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Tactics against superior opposition


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Hi, I've read loads of entries within this section and I've settled on these tactics when playing against the stronger teams. What do you guys think please ? Is there anything I'm doing wrong. Used once against Bayern Munich and got a nil nil

 

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Where is the most important part of any tactic - roles and duties? I don't see them in your screenshot(s).

Anyway, I already see a potential issue with your out-of-possession TIs - aggressive defending coupled with relatively low compactness. 

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Sorry yes.....

                    DF (s)

IF (a)                           winger (s)

          Cm (s)     Cm (a)

                    Def mid (d)

WB (s)     def      def     FB (s)

 

Ok, so I need to lower the intensity and bring the LOE back one two to lower?

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17 minutes ago, Oli99 said:

DF (s)

IF (a)                           winger (s)

          Cm (s)     Cm (a)

                    Def mid (d)

WB (s)     def      def     FB (s)

Okay, given that you need a tactic against superior opposition, it means you need to make it as compact and defensively solid as possible. When it comes to your roles and duties, the right side looks very good in terms of balance between the roles and duties (FBsu + CMat + Wsu) :thup:

The left one is not too bad either, but I would still make just 2 small tweaks to make it even more solid - swap the duties of the striker and AML and change the MCL into a holding or covering role (without changing the support duty). That would ensure sufficient defensive cover in the midfield + make the AML/IF to help his fullback more in defense + allow the striker to attack space earlier during attacking transitions, thereby making counter-attacks by your team potentially more effective.

Basically this:

                  DLFat

IFsu

           BWMsu

WBsu

However, along with these 2 role/duty-related tweaks, I would also up the mentality to Balanced. Because that would encourage faster attacking transitions than under the cautious, which means more potential counter-attacks for your team (plus less attack duties needed overall). You don't need to use a low team mentality (such as cautious or defensive), because lower mentalities do not make a tactic and tactical style more defensive per se, nor do they make it more solid in defense. Instead, your defensive solidity is primarily affected by 2 factors - defensive compactness in the sense of the distance between D-line and LOE and optimal balance of roles and duties. 

34 minutes ago, Oli99 said:

Ok, so I need to lower the intensity and bring the LOE back one two to lower?

You basically need to drop the LOE to lower and up the D-line to standard. That's an optimal combo for a defense-minded tactic. 

When it comes to pressing intensity, it also depends on your team mentality (because the mentality affects/adjusts all other instructions). But in any case, I would advise against both extremely urgent pressing and prevent short GKD. There is no universal recipe as to what level of aggression in defense is optimal, because it really varies from team to team (some teams can afford to be more aggressive, others cannot). So that's something you have to experiment with until you find the combination of defensive instructions that optimally suits your players). 

Speaking of in-possession instructions, I really don't see why would you want to use an instruction such as overlap (either left or right) in a tactic against superior opposition and thus needlessly increase defensive risk for your team. Therefore, I would remove the overlap from your tactic. 

Play out of defence is another potentially risky instruction (albeit for a different kind of reason), so be careful when using it as well. 

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Ok, I'll swap the roles of the striker and AML over, my reasoning for their current roles is based on the AML being a quicker player and therefore more valuable in counter attacking, but I also understand the importance of strengthening that left side. I'll also change my cm(s) to BWM (s). Is there an alternative role though, because doesn't the BWM tend to stray from his position chasing down the ball, potentially leaving gaps ?

I didn't realise the mentality affected the pace of attacking transitions, so that makes perfect sense to switch to balanced. My reasoning for cautious was the lower amount of risk it brings with it. 

I can see now that compactness is the key, so I'll make the necessary changes with the def line and LOE and turn the intensity down. 

The overlap on the left is purely because Digne is the leading source of goals that I don't want to lose completely 

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2 hours ago, Oli99 said:

I'll swap the roles of the striker and AML over

Not roles but duties

 

2 hours ago, Oli99 said:

'll also change my cm(s) to BWM (s). Is there an alternative role though, because doesn't the BWM tend to stray from his position chasing down the ball, potentially leaving gaps ?

Carrilero is the best alternative IMO. But BWM should not be a problem in this system because there is added protection behind him in the form of the holding DM. Unless you don't have a player suitable for the BWM role (suitable in terms of his attributes, not the game recommendation). 

 

2 hours ago, Oli99 said:

The overlap on the left is purely because Digne is the leading source of goals that I don't want to lose completely

The problem is that you cannot look at either players or roles in isolation from the rest of the tactic as well as style of play you are aiming at. On top of that, WB on support duty will naturally overlap his wide partner whenever a good opportunity arises anyway. Basically, most things players are supposed to do are already defined by their roles as well as role partnerships and combinations, so a number of team instructions are not needed at all most of the time. The setup of roles and duties is key to any good and consistent tactic, instructions are of secondary importance (they only serve to define the tactical style a bit more closely, that's all).

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Yes sorry I did mean duties, I'll look at the players attributes and decide which role to use in midfield.

I understand now the primary importance of roles and duties after you've explained it. I will remove the overlap instruction. 

Excellent advice, I'll put in to practice. Thank you

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Oli99 said:

Could switching the DLF(a) to AF or PF(a) provide better results with the counter attack though ?

Depends, if the forward is slow but good in the air, can hold off a defender & pick a pass then a DLF is a good choice. If he's fast, can dribble & have solid mentals then an AF/PF would be a good choice 

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  • 4 weeks later...

After a good couple of seasons we're suddenly struggling, can't score goals or keep them out at the other end. Top performers from last season are really underperforming. Is there anything obviously wrong here ?

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Not really that I can see, maybe the BWM infront of the back 4 isn't doing his job? Could maybe have DLC on Attack for a bit more bite? Maybe an AP(A) isn't threatening enough? Two BPD's giving the ball away?

TI's, maybe ditch Prevent short GK distribution (seems pointless unless you're pressing up really high) 

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2 hours ago, Oli99 said:

Is there anything obviously wrong here ?

Prevent short GKD and low LOE does not really go hand in hand.

BWM would make more sense instead of the CM on support in MCL (but on support duty, rather than defend). Whereas a standard DM on defend duty would come instead of the BWM. 

Pass into space should generally be used only on a situational basis, i.e. as an in-match tweak in situations when it clearly makes sense.

The lone striker would make a lot more sense on attack duty, given that the tactic is obviously meant to be counter-attacking. 

Why insisting on playing out of defense in a counter-attack/fast transition-minded tactic? :confused:

Last but not least, your decision to play defensive football with a fairly strong team like Everton does not sound logical to me.  

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Normally the BWM (d) is a Def Mid (d) but this has not helped either. Perhaps I'll try the BWM (s) instead of the CM(s) as suggested. Also used DLF on attack as well with INF on support for balance. The APM is sometimes a CM on attack depending on who plays in that position. Definitely switch off prevent short GK and pass into space, (instead use this more on a situation basis) plus turn off play out of defence. I basically use a tactic that can be effective against the big teams (compact and defensive minded duties) but modified slightly against teams I feel I could beat 

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Still no improvement, my best performers from last season Buendia, Digne and Boga, have only a couple of assists between them all season. Cm(s) is now a BWM (s) Centre foward is Advanced forward on attack now. Perhaps the team just isn't good enough ?

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I was editing my post when you posted that, I wrote this:

Right, Positive mentality so you want your team to attack, then you ask your most advanced CM to shoot less often - makes no sense

You want your team to attack but you're asking them to back off putting on pressure with a lower LOE - makes no sense

Positive plus Higher Tempo is very high tempo football, you're asking your team to get the ball up the field as fast as possible, a type of tempo reserved for top class teams with top class players

Pass into space, why? DLF, IF, AP & 2 BPD's are already being asked to do that, that with a very high tempo & you're asking your team to just give the ball away 

DLF & IF(A) should link up nicely but you're asking Iwobi to be the main goal scorer  

Simplify it

 

                           DLF(A) - have DCL more keen to get a shot off, get forward, be a threat etc  

IF(A)                                                   W(S)  

 

                  CM(S)              CM(S)                 - tailor these guy's PPMS, if one's good at Long shots, good technique etc ask him to shoot more often, Good Passing & Vison, Take more Risks, if one can Dribble, good Agility, Balance etc have them run on the ball etc 

                                DM(D)/AM(D)             - just a simple, boring, solid role 

WB(S)             CD(D)        CD(D)           FB(S)           - no need for a BPD at all really when you have a DM sat right in front of them 

                                 

                                   SK(D/S)

 

TI's

How do you want to play? If you want to play offensive football just play on Positive & leave it at that 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Oli99 said:

Hope this helps, I've made the changes suggested

I'd just change Gravenburch from an AP to CM(S/A) with Take more Risks so that he'll still look to play in the front 3 & take a shot when he fancies it 

Edited by Johnny Ace
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I would also pay attention to player selection in the midfield. What are Bruno Guimaraes defense-related attributes? Is he capable of playing a BWM role effectively? The same question for Davies as the holding DM in your setup?

With a low LOE you are essentially playing defensive football. Which requires defensibly reliable players in the midfield (at least 2 out of the 3). 

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I guess the positive mentality with the LOE was to encourage the counter attack, but I will reign in the tempo as you suggest and pass in to space has been switched off. I've changed things with DCL as a pressing forward attack with Inside forward on support. Both defenders no longer ball playing defenders as you've suggested. Gravenburch doesn't have the attributes to play as a CM on attack so I picked him as a playmaker, but I can find an alternative player and play a CM attack. Davies definitely suits a defensive role and I've switched Bruno to a carrielo, which suits him. Results have improved somewhat in the last few games. Thank you for all your help

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15 hours ago, Oli99 said:

Gravenburch doesn't have the attributes to play as a CM on attack

Are you sure? If he has attributes for AP on attack (a role you played him in), then he should definitely be able to play as a CM on attack in a 433DM Wide (not 4231). Can you post his player profile (screenshot). 

 

15 hours ago, Oli99 said:

Davies definitely suits a defensive role and I've switched Bruno to a carrielo, which suits him

As with Gravenburch, can you post these two player profiles as well?

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Gravenberch can play CM, but his tackling is so low, I'd prefer him higher up the pitch, I've found all his assists have come from playing AP attack. Davies positioning needs work, but he's more than capable as as a DM defend, don't you think ?

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Ok, I'll try Gravenberch as a CM attack and add dribble more, Davies is performing well though, but I agree he's a better CM support. I've also got Harry Winks to play Def Mid on defend, perhaps continue with him, he's playing well and doing what I want him to do, providing cover. 

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1 hour ago, Oli99 said:

Gravenberch can play CM, but his tackling is so low, I'd prefer him higher up the pitch

Well, I was referring to him as a CM on attack duty in a 4123 wide, not a holding CM in a 4231. Which of course does not mean that you should not play him as an AP. The choice of a player's role can vary from one tactical setup/formation/style of play to another. In short, you can play him in either role, depending on what you want/need him to do in a given system. He can also be a mezzala, for example. 

As for the holding DM,  Gueye, Guimaraes and Winks are all better choices than Davies (Gueye in particular). 

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Ok great, I'll use Gravenberch in both roles and see what works best on this system. I have never used a mezcal, but it's something I'll look at. Davies will just be a CM support going forward as suggested by you with Gueye as the def mid on defend duty. Thank you 

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1 hour ago, Oli99 said:

Davies will just be a CM support going forward

In what setup? I mean, what are the rest of roles and duties going to look like in the system with the CM on support (be it Davies or someone else)?

Because if you just change the MCL from the BWM into CMsu within your current setup, that does not look like a good idea IMHO.

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Had three excellent results in a row since making the changes suggested. I've changed my tactics each season, whilst trying to learn the game

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And of course there's always bohemianism. Its probable that their (superior opp's) comparative advantage re: squad quality etc, is hardcoded into the system. Perfect example being the myriad Liverpool tests that achieve 100+ goals, 100+ points, 100+ consecutive victories. Assuming the game's default is to exaggerate the strength of Goliath, it's likely all 50 shades of David were equally coded to be destroyed. SI often bring in gamers to gauge the thought processes of players, work a response to their actions and then hardcode that to add Popeye forearms to their monster. Effectively they get an idea of how we think and wire that into be battered too.

Embracing the idea that the almost all algorithms lead to a defeat, the antitheses would be to be unalgorithmed and play for the glitch in the matrix. Rather than compaction, sitting back, dropping mentality and Sam Allardycing, have made it modus operandi to divide each half into equal parts, usually blocks of 15 minutes (sometimes duration is defined by the highlight shown) and vary the emphasis in each, with one constant, come out swinging, akin to the boxer who knows he has no chance over 12 rounds.

The base formation remains the same with roles, individual/team mentality, tempo etc changed immediately after kickoff. Not always, but on enough occasions to challenge the null hypothesis, we have more chances or corners than the opposition. Granted few of these yield highlights but that's not a concern, rather its viewed as 'the game' computing, sifting through its codes to try and restore the balance of superiority. 

When the time elapses, the emphasis is changed, we drop from the extreme aggressive Leeds Unitedesque madness to a balanced or cautious mentality, use double-marking, adjust the block, pressing intensity, but retain the tempo. We make use of the "automatic" individual mentality settings too, a very effective tool when used correctly tbh. Its important to watch the game in full when going automatic, certain exploits become obvious. Have a tendency to reactively retain the "automatic" mentality on the side opposite to the exploit, adjust individual mentality on the side of the exploit and alternate the focus of play.

The second-half works similarly, come out swinging then balance up and keep transforming. The Automatic tool is key in the second half, thus there's a lot of watching involved. 

On double-marking, watch for changes in the morale of opponents in key positions. Not only can players be taken out of the game and rendered near useless, but it lowers morale often enough to yield an angry...if you get one of those, use it. Focus passing towards the player, tighten the double-mark. Have seen a very decent return on bookings and sending offs playing on morale and man-marking. Get impression the ME reacts to player booking by reducing their commitment to tackles and pressing, unless its wired into a player trait or they're angry. Once the yellows goes up, the flood gates open.

Of course to double mark, asymmetry is imperative or numerical advantage in the zone in which the double mark is applied. 

Gave Bournemouth a going over (they were heavy favourites and joint top at the time, forwards banging them in) and a 4th placed Swansea (in very good form) a helluva of a beating. Yellow  cards aplenty. Morale down in the dumps for both of them, pathetic team average ratings. Bohemian Rhapsody.

 

Edited by Guv'nor
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