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Help with my 442 lower league: is my team just bad?


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Hello everybody,

 

 I am seeking a bit of help to understand what I am doing wrong. I am a new player to the game, and I am really interested in the tactics bit. As I like to approach the stuffs logically, I would like to start with the basics: simple 442, before moving to the more complex formations and concepts like overloads etc. Therefore,  I am managing Oxford City in Vanrama South. LL is perfect for 442. I restarted 2x the save. First time it went good; until it didn't. I was on losing streak and no way to bring morale back up again. So I restarted and focused on keeping morale high, as I thought I was a bit too focused on going through the games without taking care of that part. But somehow in the new save, whatever I do, I just suck. Which makes me wonder, maybe my good form on first save was just luck, and tactic is basically bad.

 

So what do I want to do?

  • Simple 442 with as less PI/TI as possible and simple roles as I am lower league. It is also a good exercise to really focus on duties 
  • Do I want possession? No, not necessarily. I find the nice counter attack with 3-4 passes and nice off the ball work by all these sprinkling guys quite beautiful. But I also want to be able to create something in case the other team let me have the ball (here we can maybe talk about adjusting the tactic after 20-30mn of game)
  • I don't want to have 20 chances, but I want 2 or 3 with good xG 
  • Therefore, I need to be very solid in defense. I am not going to score 4 goals and conceide 3. I want to score the 1st one on counter, and then eventually use the space which is opening up through  the increase of mentality of the other team to score many more

So where do I go from that?

I start from defense:

  •  I want to be very solid. So I need to be compact (narrow), but also a bit deeper to let them come and avoid over the defense ball (you can find tall guys but slow, or small guys but fast in those leagues)
  • I don't want to win back the ball too much up the pitch: pressing urgency on basic settings to preserve the shape, and lower line of engagement

 

In transition:

  • Counter obviously
  • I used distribute to full backs but I removed it as it might hamper this GK kick above the defense (my GK has a 12 in kicking)
  • I also used distribute quickly but my GK has very bad passing stats in game (40% passes), so I removed it again.

In possession:

  • Work ball into box, as my guys started to shoot to the moon in the last 20m while in long possession (but here probably vecause I have not enough movement in such phases)

 

So here we go:

image.thumb.png.f1e89943474b1eeb7904b6a320cb2f87.png

 

CD on defense

FB on support. I want them to be focusing first on defense, and make the forward run when it is safe

Wingers on attack. By having one of them on Support, nothing happens in the game. No replay except the ones of IA scoring against my frozen CD

 

CM in support. Here I wanted an easy role. For duty I set one on defense at first, but the other CM su was left alone in possession to control midfield. A little bit of pressing and we faced a deadly counter attack (5th tier teams all playing 433 gegenpress :rolleyes:). With both CM on support, I still have the nice 2 lines in front of the box out of possession

 

DLF su and Poacher on attack. AF gave me way too much offside. Probably too low attributes of my players. I feel the DLF is coming too much down the pitch and leaves the P a bit alone.

 

Here are the results:

image.thumb.png.a16e2eb33a4ea744401ae3325e24f3b3.png

 

I am again facing a losing streak. I don't want to again tweak and click every single button after every lost game (which is what I always do), as I feel it will confuse my players. I think I made some good signing, here is the report of my assistant:

image.thumb.png.5fadc2a9433d82c0a642981546c670b3.png

image.thumb.png.16e02f51134e7130e667b15d0156f3a5.png

 image.thumb.png.fafcc293cd122f5948dfa56ccd79065c.png

Thank you for any suggestion and advice. I feel I would lose something by downloading standard gegenpress tactics online. I  need this intellectual challenge. BUt having a few advices from experienced guy might help me understand where I am missing something. And get better. Long term I would like to get up the divisions and let this 442 evolve with some wing play once I find players able to handle it. By maybe taking control of possession (or at least not let it to the other side on purpose). Creating overload on one side, having the playmaker in midfield to orient the ball to the other empty flank. That is for the long run but I am almost discouraged that I can't handle the simpliest 442 LL counter...

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Here are main and most obvious weaknesses of your tactic from my perspective:

- all 4 midfielders are runners (none is a holder or at least covering role)

- both wide ones are played on attacking duties + in an inherently attack -minded role (winger)

- an instruction such as work ball into box requires players who are very capable both technically and mentally (which can hardly be the case in a lower league) + the instruction does not fit in with your setup of roles and duties (even if the players are good enough)

- with both defensive and engagement lines set to the same position (lower in this case) in a formation with no DM, your level of compactness is lower than optimal (though not dramatically so)

- on top of that, playing with a low(er) LOE de facto means playing defensive football, which makes the problem of your porous midfield setup even worse

Now, the 442 as a formation is better suited to more direct styles of play than possession football (which does not mean that it cannot be adapted to some sort of hybrid possession style through a proper selection of roles, duties and instructions). But in general, the 442 is optimal for a direct counter-attacking style. But whatever your preferred style is, the tactic needs pretty much tweaking (according to my observations above).

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Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I figure out a few tweaks by myself, which corresponds to a few of your comments. I was able to see some very nice counter attacks on almost each replay: CM regaining back the ball, kicking to the DLF, who waits a bit until the poacher makes a nice run, passing the ball into space to get a nice one on one. All counter attacks are hapenning in center of pitch though, which is OK for me, but I was expecting more from my wingers on attack? I am now 4th in league (media prediction: 15th), and I just won against the 1st and 3rd in league with clear counter attack chances. I still feel it needs to be polished.

image.png.3634df646ea9fdc95da86538ef050ce4.png

image.png.0b72817ebd7c8f806b92d7d24aee2011.png

 

First tweaks I made are more related to some specific player problems. GK and one CB had terrible passing rates. Like really really bad. My DLF is not very big so no chance to get those long balls they threw again and again: I added play out of defense, distribute to full backs, and shorter passing+take less risk as PI, which increased passing rate for them to 60%

 

Before I suffered a lot of counter attacks: as you said, all midfielder were runner. I switched one CM do BWM defense. He is then dropping a touch more out of possession also, providing a bit of coverage between the two defensive line. And I clicked the regroup in transition, as I felt my guys were trying to press the ball carrier on counter attack (which passed the ball and did not wait for our guys to be there) instead of running back to defensive positions. I stopped conceiding on counter attacks.

I keep conceeding a lot of crosses. Is there anything I can do against that? I have the impression it is happening when they hit early crossings: my CBS or even FBs are not moving and the striker seems to just move exactly in the space between or behind defenders.  Is it linked with your comment about  wingers on attack, evenually not able to press the guy hitting the cross? If not, would you mind explaining why it is bad to have both on attack? If yes, should I drop both them to support duties?

I unticked the work ball into the box also by myself. I feel the instruction is not only pushing the player to choose the pass instead of the shot, it is also changing somehing else. I don't know, maybe mentality of the player and the one around in some ways, but there is definitely something "under the hood". Now instead of passing laterally my guys are either looking for the through ball or shoot. I think I will give some PI instructions to shoot less though as a lot of shot are hitting the corner flag.

Also, I have pressing set on standard setting, should I try to press slighly more urgent? Maybe it can help me to avoid those crosses but also to gain the ball more often to initiate the counter attack?

Thanks a lot for your insights, very helpful. I enjoy a lot the thinking involved in that. 

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3 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

I think I will give some PI instructions to shoot less though as a lot of shot are hitting the corner flag.

Sitting in my chair having a nice relaxing coffee before work , and I read this...Coffee now sprayed over my computer screen :D
 

 

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:lol:  

side referee is heavily sweating every time my CM is approaching the box and do not know what to do with the ball. I mean you know shooting and having the ball constantly 1-2m too high or too much to one side, I can understand. But here every single time the ball is doing something funny. High consistency though :lol:

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Ok so first season I finished 3rd, and lost in half final of playoffs after the penalties. Second season, after a complicated start (probably because of the 7 nex signings), I climbed up and was ranked 3rd again. And then this happened:

image.png.4382fb5cc9fccab3f05d58d9485eb1e4.png

After the nice 6-2 against hungerford, everything broke appart. I concede a lot of goals from 20m long shots and on crosses. What can I do against that? i tried to press more with my CM and my wingers/fullbacks but I still concede on crosses and 20m shots.

 

Why is my tactic falling appart? My guess is now I am considered as one of the good teams, and everybody is letting me have the ball and wait, not creating the space I need to exploit the force of it. For the 20m shots and crosses which suddenly seems to be deadly everytime I am puzzled.

I tried to make the tactic evolve, but it is creating zero chance. And the other team still destroys me. They score even more easily... Can you guide me to understand why it is not working? Here is how I thought about it: I want to play a bit higher and not sit too low to allow the other weaker team to get a chance (I lost a lot of games with 2 or 3 goals on 0.3xg), so I up the defensive line a bit. I want to press more to get the ball and eventually counter attack. I ask ,y player to play with shorter passes to be a bit more patient in the construction. I ask one fullback to go on attack to get the overlap and create something on on side. Here is the tactic:

image.png.01ba762cdbc65a4b50d7c26427a96655.png

This game can be so frustrating...  now with the losing streak whatever I do or say, the players are upset and want to leave. I am still hanging on my playoff place but with 2 games to go and only 2 points ahead of the 7th place, I fear I will not make it...

 

 

image.png

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Personally, I'd consider removing:

- Shorter passing - you've got a target man you can play off that isn't been exploited, especially with play out from the back on as well. I'd leave it on standard.

- Remove overlap left/right - your players will hold onto the ball waiting for the fullbacks to make runs, which can hold up your attacking play 

Add:

- Up the tempo to higher

- Pass into space

Also look at: 

- In the analysis it says you're conceding from long shots -  maybe add counter press to make sure opposition are being pressed

- Tight mark opposition strikers 

- Do some match prep tactics in training to keep the familarity up 

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Have a look at who is creating their chances. Who is supplying the ball to the player to shoot? Stop the supply and you stop the shot. You’re playing a BWM so look at man marking their playmaker, if that’s what they are doing.

 

I generally have a 2nd and even 3rd tactic, which is just a little tweak of the main tactic. So it might be the LoE and Defensive Line is deeper, the mentality is more defensive or more attacking. I generally set them up as a defensive version, balanced version and a more attacking version to vary on a different type of opponent. It’s something you can switch to instantly.

 

While watching the game do you ever tweak the tactics to how the game is developing? The A.I. does. Constantly the A.I. will swap players around to shake of man markers. So if the A.I. goes more attacking be prepared to change and adapt to stop them. I’m not talking huge changes either could be as simple as moving from Positive Mentality to a Defensive or Cautious one. So it means you’re team is taking less risks. 
 

Lastly, read the team reports from the scouts. If the team you’re about to play have tall strikers along with quick, good crossing wingers then as above defend wide to combat it. Don’t let them get down the wing and cross that ball. Sometimes if I’m struggling against an aggressive attacking midfielders then I might drop my DLP and BWM from the CM slot to the DM slot to stop those shots from their attacking players.

 

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3 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

This game can be so frustrating...  now with the losing streak whatever I do or say, the players are upset and want to leave. I am still hanging on my playoff place but with 2 games to go and only 2 points ahead of the 7th place, I fear I will not make it...

Sorry, but that's no surprise to me. Because both your tactics have some obvious weaknesses and contradictions. 

The game just wants people to think logically when creating their tactic(s). For some people it's obviously frustrating. For others it's quite rewarding. 

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Thank you for your replies. Here a few comments (my intend is not to be stubborn, I am sure you guys know better. I will try all your suggestions, It is just to help me understand some points and why my thinking is wrong):

 

Quote
12 hours ago, silentwars said:

Personally, I'd consider removing:

- Shorter passing - you've got a target man you can play off that isn't been exploited, especially with play out from the back on as well. I'd leave it on standard.

Here I start to see a pattern in my tactics. I ask my player to do something (through instructions or role), and I ask them something else with some other instructions. I need to be careful about that. Brings me to the why I clicked it and why I clicked "play out of defense": my center backs were kicking the ball every time they had possession, even without pressure and with passing options. That lead to a lot of replay for the IA where it was their MD getting the ball from this long shots and distributing to the sides. So I thought I need to tell them to pass the ball shorter, and the CMs which are more talented can play the killer pass in space to my forwards. Obvioulsy a bad idea. Then, are those lost balls by my CBs a "necessary evil"? I tried with PIs but not so much improvement

Quote
12 hours ago, silentwars said:

- Remove overlap left/right - your players will hold onto the ball waiting for the fullbacks to make runs, which can hold up your attacking play

 

OK, got it. Then when do you want to click this option on? When you face a team parking the bus and can't go around? Because with the correct role/duty I found this overlap is happening naturally. Is it when you select a role/duty/mentality for defensive purposes which is not making the wingbacks go forward, you can trigger the overlap with this option in offensive phase? Otherwise I don't see why you would need such an option

Quote
12 hours ago, silentwars said:

Add:

- Up the tempo to higher

 

Here I guess the goal is to go faster forward to avoid the other team to regain defensive shape. How do you assess if the tempo is too high? Is there an stat to assess turnover? Maybe intercepted passes?

Quote
12 hours ago, silentwars said:

- Pass into space

 

 That is an interesting one. I never know when to click it. Without having it on, all replays are already played within space. Is that an indication I should use it more and click the option? Then I guess you don't want to use it against a team parking the bus, because space doesn't exist?

Quote
12 hours ago, silentwars said:

Also look at: 

- In the analysis it says you're conceding from long shots -  maybe add counter press to make sure opposition are being pressed

 

Hmm, ok I thought counterpress was in the next few seconds after the loss of ball. Here the long shots are coming after a long possession where they can't go through my compact shape. Some choose to go around to winger and cross, some chose to shoot. A CM with 5 or 6 at long range shooting attributes scores wonderful goals, so I guess it is because they have the eternity to prepare the shoot in the best condition possibles. Same with crossing and below average crossers. 

 

12 hours ago, silentwars said:

- Tight mark opposition strikers 

OK, but I need to be careful if the guy is a deep lying forward or a TM, he will drop and take one of CBs off position, creating space for a CM to go through in the middle?

 

12 hours ago, silentwars said:

- Do some match prep tactics in training to keep the familarity up

I will try this. I am semi pro so only a few training a week available. I guess I should keep the general training and swap the specific ones for this?

 

12 hours ago, silentwars said:

Also, if you're conceding a lot from out wide then change the defensive width back to standard.

Yes, I will try this. First analyse the type of goal from opposition before game (analyst report), and adjust. A pattern I see with the goals coming from crossing: my winger is pressing the other winger, the IA winger passes back to the full back or CM, my winger regains shape and goes back to narrow position and let the IA winger free to advance, IA fullbacks passes again to winger etc 2/3 times until the winger is in position to cross. So he is always 2 seconds too late on the winger. The width will help to close down faster. I tried man marking, PI instruction to close down more but with no success. I will give defensive width a try. The narrow width helped me a lot for the balls in the middle of the box. So many people here, no chance to shoot from there.

 

11 hours ago, Pipster said:

Have a look at who is creating their chances. Who is supplying the ball to the player to shoot? Stop the supply and you stop the shot. You’re playing a BWM so look at man marking their playmaker, if that’s what they are doing.

 

I struggle against the 433 (logical for a 442). Because I am sitting deep , the three middfielders are able to do whatever they want. I tried to increase pressing, line of engagement, defensive line etc, but I am always outnumbered. If I go out and chase them with my 2 CMs, they are playing triangles and then it lets my 2 CBs with 3 opponents to deal with. but by writing it I see I can maybe switch to a 4-4-1-1 to have one of the forward support my 2 CMs?

11 hours ago, Pipster said:

generally have a 2nd and even 3rd tactic, which is just a little tweak of the main tactic. So it might be the LoE and Defensive Line is deeper, the mentality is more defensive or more attacking. I generally set them up as a defensive version, balanced version and a more attacking version to vary on a different type of opponent. It’s something you can switch to instantly.

Yes, that is exactly my idea to have a tactic more suited to the teams weaker than me and refusing to dicatate the game

 

11 hours ago, Pipster said:

While watching the game do you ever tweak the tactics to how the game is developing? The A.I. does. Constantly the A.I. will swap players around to shake of man markers. So if the A.I. goes more attacking be prepared to change and adapt to stop them. I’m not talking huge changes either could be as simple as moving from Positive Mentality to a Defensive or Cautious one. So it means you’re team is taking less risks. 

I am trying to do it, but I think I lack the "eye" to understand where the problem is coming for. It is like chess, sometime the problem is 2 or 3 passes before the assist. But whatever I do, it seems to be too late or not working. Which means I don't react properly. Still need a bit of training here. I generally play with positive mentality. But when I concede a goal, if I switch to balanced or cautious, then I create nothing. If I change nothing, I concede more. Very difficult fo me to decide between trying to catch up or play safe. 

 

11 hours ago, Pipster said:

Lastly, read the team reports from the scouts. If the team you’re about to play have tall strikers along with quick, good crossing wingers then as above defend wide to combat it. Don’t let them get down the wing and cross that ball. Sometimes if I’m struggling against an aggressive attacking midfielders then I might drop my DLP and BWM from the CM slot to the DM slot to stop those shots from their attacking players.

I read the reports from scout and analyst every time. It helps me to understand if they are playing with crosses or through balls etc, and from which side. I adjust the duty of my wingers accordingly. Sometime I play a good team which can do everything, but this is football and I just hope my strenght are stronger than theirs :) 

 

9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Sorry, but that's no surprise to me. Because both your tactics have some obvious weaknesses and contradictions. 

The game just wants people to think logically when creating their tactic(s). For some people it's obviously frustrating. For others it's quite rewarding. 

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy it. My english is bad, what I wanted to say is I am frustrated because I am not intelligent enough to grasp every aspect of the tactic fast enough :) I am not blaming the game. I am blaming myself for going through this 10-15 games losing streak by tweaking the tactic in every way without finding the solution because I am too stupid to spot the problem. It is all about compromise and balance, and when I tweak something it improves one point but makes something else worse. Which I need again to tweak, but then something else is not working anymore etc. One tweak will work against a certain shape or type of play but will not work against another one. I haven't found the way to make the tweaks in one shot.

 

But I  am severly hooked here. 300 hours in the last 5 weeks on this game. When I spot a problem, and for the rare case I tweak the tactic or make a subsitution which solves the issue and this is leading 15mn later to a goal  or a good defensive movement, oh my god. I look at my wife and say "ce jeu est formidable" (this game is wonderful). 

 

Thank you all for your time. I will keep posting my questions on these tactics during my save because obviously I am a beginner and there will be many more mistakes/things I can't wrap my head around. And this is only for a simple 442, I can't imagine for more complicated shapes...

Edited by rizaulait2
corrected typo 4411
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Here are a few screenshots of the situations where I concede: 

First against a 442:

image.thumb.png.69448beb0adb3b2be9aee3af68433607.png

The full back are fairly wide, my winger closes down...

image.thumb.png.c2edd438013d00df3e24c90ab12314bb.png

But just follows the FB and don't challenge the ball. 

 

Here another situation against 433: they are playing with 2 IF. They are focusing play in the middle to make space for their FBs.  Please note how my BWM (no8) is sitting deep not really helping. the CMs from IA are doing what they want in front of my 2 lines. Only my wingers seems to be able to help. Is it a situation where I need to change the duty of my BWM to a more positive one? In order to be a bit higher and disturb the opposition? Or should I up the complete defensive line? If I try do sit wider, they will go through the middle like butter thanks to their natural overload in midfield, increased by the IFs

image.thumb.png.6f2a4bbc3d2e140e2244b76f4115ca78.png

 

Here is how it ended: they had a choice to cross or a choice to go again in center, providing good chance for a long shot by no8:

 

 

 

 

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Yup hearing your pain. 

Best advice I can give you is strip your tactic down. Get rid of everything. Get rid of the BWM until you understand what it does, and what type of player is required to make it work.  Make him a CM(s). Keep you Poacher & TM (S). Play one winger side as (A) the other as (S). Make the opposite fullback (A), the other (S). Your two CD's can play CD, yeah? If not make them NCB's. I'd start balanced but that is just a personal preference.  Back line? Are you slow or are you fast?  Slow drop the back line a bit. That's it. No other instructions.

Get to know what your players can and can't do, and mold those positions to suit. LLM 4-4-2 is all about being big, strong & tough, and fast on the counter. Be that side. Build you tactic from the ground up. If you do that and slowly layer the instructions over the top one time, you begin to know what adding new instructions do and don't do, and what effect it has/hasn't on your players. Learn. At the moment you are adding/removing instructions with only a vague idea of what they actually do. Some instructions have a further impact on other instructions, like a ripple effect.

Watch the game. The whole game. You see so much more. After a while you get to know your players can and what they can't do with the tactic and you can then drop this to watching the first 15 minutes, and then go on extended highlights. Important games go back to the full game.  For me the first fifteen minutes tell you how you are going. Personally in every match I watch the first fifteen minutes.

Read this thread. In fact everyone should read this thread if they want to play LLM. Rashidi says it a billion times better than I ever could.

Most Excellent Thread

 

FM is not understood in 300h. I've been here 21 years, and am still learning.

 

 

 

Edited by Taipan
speeeling
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Thank you for this absolute gem about LLM and team assessment. It is amazing how bright it is when you read such content. I wish I could take the light to my own games but as you said the learn,ing never ends :)

 

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2 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

Thank you for your replies. Here a few comments (my intend is not to be stubborn, I am sure you guys know better. I will try all your suggestions, It is just to help me understand some points and why my thinking is wrong):

 

Here I start to see a pattern in my tactics. I ask my player to do something (through instructions or role), and I ask them something else with some other instructions. I need to be careful about that. Brings me to the why I clicked it and why I clicked "play out of defense": my center backs were kicking the ball every time they had possession, even without pressure and with passing options. That lead to a lot of replay for the IA where it was their MD getting the ball from this long shots and distributing to the sides. So I thought I need to tell them to pass the ball shorter, and the CMs which are more talented can play the killer pass in space to my forwards. Obvioulsy a bad idea. Then, are those lost balls by my CBs a "necessary evil"? I tried with PIs but not so much improvement

OK, got it. Then when do you want to click this option on? When you face a team parking the bus and can't go around? Because with the correct role/duty I found this overlap is happening naturally. Is it when you select a role/duty/mentality for defensive purposes which is not making the wingbacks go forward, you can trigger the overlap with this option in offensive phase? Otherwise I don't see why you would need such an option

Here I guess the goal is to go faster forward to avoid the other team to regain defensive shape. How do you assess if the tempo is too high? Is there an stat to assess turnover? Maybe intercepted passes?

 That is an interesting one. I never know when to click it. Without having it on, all replays are already played within space. Is that an indication I should use it more and click the option? Then I guess you don't want to use it against a team parking the bus, because space doesn't exist?

Hmm, ok I thought counterpress was in the next few seconds after the loss of ball. Here the long shots are coming after a long possession where they can't go through my compact shape. Some choose to go around to winger and cross, some chose to shoot. A CM with 5 or 6 at long range shooting attributes scores wonderful goals, so I guess it is because they have the eternity to prepare the shoot in the best condition possibles. Same with crossing and below average crossers. 

 

OK, but I need to be careful if the guy is a deep lying forward or a TM, he will drop and take one of CBs off position, creating space for a CM to go through in the middle?

 

I will try this. I am semi pro so only a few training a week available. I guess I should keep the general training and swap the specific ones for this?

 

Yes, I will try this. First analyse the type of goal from opposition before game (analyst report), and adjust. A pattern I see with the goals coming from crossing: my winger is pressing the other winger, the IA winger passes back to the full back or CM, my winger regains shape and goes back to narrow position and let the IA winger free to advance, IA fullbacks passes again to winger etc 2/3 times until the winger is in position to cross. So he is always 2 seconds too late on the winger. The width will help to close down faster. I tried man marking, PI instruction to close down more but with no success. I will give defensive width a try. The narrow width helped me a lot for the balls in the middle of the box. So many people here, no chance to shoot from there.

 

 

I struggle against the 433 (logical for a 442). Because I am sitting deep , the three middfielders are able to do whatever they want. I tried to increase pressing, line of engagement, defensive line etc, but I am always outnumbered. If I go out and chase them with my 2 CMs, they are playing triangles and then it lets my 2 CBs with 3 opponents to deal with. but by writing it I see I can maybe switch to a 4-4-1-1 to have one of the forward support my 2 CMs?

Yes, that is exactly my idea to have a tactic more suited to the teams weaker than me and refusing to dicatate the game

 

I am trying to do it, but I think I lack the "eye" to understand where the problem is coming for. It is like chess, sometime the problem is 2 or 3 passes before the assist. But whatever I do, it seems to be too late or not working. Which means I don't react properly. Still need a bit of training here. I generally play with positive mentality. But when I concede a goal, if I switch to balanced or cautious, then I create nothing. If I change nothing, I concede more. Very difficult fo me to decide between trying to catch up or play safe. 

 

I read the reports from scout and analyst every time. It helps me to understand if they are playing with crosses or through balls etc, and from which side. I adjust the duty of my wingers accordingly. Sometime I play a good team which can do everything, but this is football and I just hope my strenght are stronger than theirs :) 

 

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy it. My english is bad, what I wanted to say is I am frustrated because I am not intelligent enough to grasp every aspect of the tactic fast enough :) I am not blaming the game. I am blaming myself for going through this 10-15 games losing streak by tweaking the tactic in every way without finding the solution because I am too stupid to spot the problem. It is all about compromise and balance, and when I tweak something it improves one point but makes something else worse. Which I need again to tweak, but then something else is not working anymore etc. One tweak will work against a certain shape or type of play but will not work against another one. I haven't found the way to make the tweaks in one shot.

 

But I  am severly hooked here. 300 hours in the last 5 weeks on this game. When I spot a problem, and for the rare case I tweak the tactic or make a subsitution which solves the issue and this is leading 15mn later to a goal  or a good defensive movement, oh my god. I look at my wife and say "ce jeu est formidable" (this game is wonderful). 

 

Thank you all for your time. I will keep posting my questions on these tactics during my save because obviously I am a beginner and there will be many more mistakes/things I can't wrap my head around. And this is only for a simple 442, I can't imagine for more complicated shapes...

Keep play out of defense on if you find it helps, however I would have the passing style left to standard. At the minute you are asking the players to keep the ball, even if a better option is on. 

The reason I suggested higher tempo is that you said you're not creating chances. I'd up the speed of your game to try to unsettle opponents, I also find with teams that aren't technically great that this works better, which is generally the case in non league football. 

With pass into space it will help you counter attack, if a team is sitting deep and not providing space then the players can't pass into space anyway - so you might as well have it on, especially if you have quick wingers. 

Whilst the tactic familarity isn't full, I'd mainly focus on tactical training with some fitness and team bonding.

With the forwards, I would generally mark the more advanced forward. 

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20 minutes ago, silentwars said:

Keep play out of defense on if you find it helps, however I would have the passing style left to standard. At the minute you are asking the players to keep the ball, even if a better option is on. 

 

21 minutes ago, silentwars said:

With pass into space it will help you counter attack, if a team is sitting deep and not providing space then the players can't pass into space anyway - so you might as well have it on, especially if you have quick wingers. 

Thank you. It is also a point I know but struggle to remind : setting an instruction does not mean they will only do this even if it makes no sense. Setting instruction means that when the player will chose one option instead of the other if he has many available at hand. Which is also an indication if the players are not doing what you want: maybe the option to do X is not at all there, therefore he decides for the option Y every time even if you tell him to do X...

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7 minutes ago, rizaulait2 said:

 

 

Thank you. It is also a point I know but struggle to remind : setting an instruction does not mean they will only do this even if it makes no sense. Setting instruction means that when the player will chose one option instead of the other if he has many available at hand. Which is also an indication if the players are not doing what you want: maybe the option to do X is not at all there, therefore he decides for the option Y every time even if you tell him to do X...

The players will do what you want most of the time. You have to remember they have individual instrutions as well, so if a player isn't playing how you want you can always change his role or PI's. 

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18 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

Ok so first season I finished 3rd, and lost in half final of playoffs after the penalties. Second season, after a complicated start (probably because of the 7 nex signings), I climbed up and was ranked 3rd again. And then this happened:

image.png.4382fb5cc9fccab3f05d58d9485eb1e4.png

After the nice 6-2 against hungerford, everything broke appart. I concede a lot of goals from 20m long shots and on crosses. What can I do against that? i tried to press more with my CM and my wingers/fullbacks but I still concede on crosses and 20m shots.

 

Why is my tactic falling appart? My guess is now I am considered as one of the good teams, and everybody is letting me have the ball and wait, not creating the space I need to exploit the force of it. For the 20m shots and crosses which suddenly seems to be deadly everytime I am puzzled.

I tried to make the tactic evolve, but it is creating zero chance. And the other team still destroys me. They score even more easily... Can you guide me to understand why it is not working? Here is how I thought about it: I want to play a bit higher and not sit too low to allow the other weaker team to get a chance (I lost a lot of games with 2 or 3 goals on 0.3xg), so I up the defensive line a bit. I want to press more to get the ball and eventually counter attack. I ask ,y player to play with shorter passes to be a bit more patient in the construction. I ask one fullback to go on attack to get the overlap and create something on on side. Here is the tactic:

image.png.01ba762cdbc65a4b50d7c26427a96655.png

This game can be so frustrating...  now with the losing streak whatever I do or say, the players are upset and want to leave. I am still hanging on my playoff place but with 2 games to go and only 2 points ahead of the 7th place, I fear I will not make it...

 

 

image.png

Mate, I'm also toying around a 442 in an LLM save(promoted to the top tier but anyway it's a lower rep league so finding any good players without a serious financial backing is really tough and I'm over my wage budget a little bit). 

Any way, in LLM you can't generally find total footballers. Keeping this in mind, TM and P is a standard LLM approach-a big guy and a small fast guy who can finish, good.:thup:

I find wingers as a very specialised role they provide width but you should remember you only have two guys in the middle so I found going for hard-working, relatively fast wide midfielders is best for me. They sometimes cut inside combine with midfielders or stay wide to keep the width. They decide that and it helps me stay unpredictable in matches. 

As the formation has only two guys in the middle. They should provide all of these:

---- providing defensive cover

----bridging between attack and defence

----providing final third support

----recycling possession and switch the point of attacks with good diagonals

To perform all of this tasks, imo both of them can be played in a support role. For example, an asymmetrical BBM(providing final third support, bridging between defence and attack) and DMS(providing defensive cover and keep things ticking with intelligent passes) partnership.

So if I use a defend duty in the midfield. I'd try to make up for it with an IWBS for one more guy in the middle(should be fast and intelligent-could be hard to find)

When it comes to your TIs, why do you try to play out of defence when you are going for a more direct approach apparent by the use of a target man upfront?

I hope you find these useful and if you have any questions feel free to ask:)

Edited by frukox
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The key problem in your tactic(s) is team instructions unsuited to the setup of roles and duties. For example, possession-friendly instructions such as short passing and play out of defence - especially when used together - do not go hand in hand with your selection of roles and duties, which is a lot more suited to more direct styles of play.

And then another problem are your defensive (out of possession) instructions. You have a mix of aggressive defensive TIs - more urgent press + hard tackling + tight marking - but your compactness (i.e. the DL/LOE combo) is not good enough for those aggressive instructions to work without much risk. On top of that, tight marking would not be a good idea in your system even with better compactness. 

7 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

obviously I am a beginner and there will be many more mistakes/things I can't wrap my head around

Well, precisely because you are a beginner, you should keep tactical creation as simple as possible. Start with this:

TMsu    PO/AF

Wat     CMde   CMsu    Wsu

FBsu     CDde   CDde    FBsu

GK

Then play on the Balanced mentality and no instructions at all and carefully watch what happens during matches (watch them on full or at least comprehensive highlights). Then report your impressions back here. 

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Couldn't agree more with the assertion above, why the 4-4-2? Evidently, you don't have the passers in midfield, nor decent wingers on the flanks. The 2 banks of four are being broken into like it were a country western. Too late in the season to rip it all up, but once season's done, ditch the 4-4-2, pack the preseason wit friendlies and fill the training schedule, after a good dose of bootcamp, with plenty of sessions that promote tactical familiarity. Get yourself a couple of wingbacks, a decent targetman with heading, jumping reach, no pace and  tendency to throw an elbow. Route 1.5.

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Allright, let's do this. I started with the setup above, balanced and no TI/PI. First game, I lost 4-0 against a 442. A lot of possession, but nothing interesting with the ball from my side. A lot of crosses; but all directly against the defender. Very predictable play I would say They scored 2 goals from counterattacks, and one from a penalty after a counter attack also. Similar thing happened. My CMs just passed the ball laterally to the other, the pressing by the 2 CMs makes him lose the ball (my team in white). I have a nice line of 4 attacking the defensive line but no support to my midfielders/possibility of pass.I also find the fullbacks very high up the pitch

image.thumb.png.4c1563c75bb3047a9f17e8145c7322f6.png

The 4th was a 20m shot after a corner kick. I was in struggle on each set piece. I challenged the ball so this was low chances, but still they dominated me.

After 55mn seeing no chances (or only small one, see xg curves), I decided to up the tempo a notch because I was going nowhere with this. I think it allowed me to get better chances (a few nice counter attacks or play behind the defensive liner, both with the wingers or the strikers. Unfortunately we did not finish it but I was happy with the decisions taken.

image.thumb.png.881ec1ce8f49c4cc803f7c82783f0cca.png

I saw a lot of long balls by the goalkeeper and one of the CB (he has very bad composure, vision etc, so a NCB basically). Here are the stats. Let me know if you need something else to help me tweak the tactic

image.thumb.png.b2077de64df01b43aa9b18dcfc03438b.png

Edited by rizaulait2
stats in english
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Here what I would change: I would like Oreilly to drop further back to have more space. He is already on defense duty, so maybe a BWM de? If the opposite CM is closing down, It makes room for my TM to drop in the space. Then I would drop my left winger to support. Or as suggested by frukox switch to WM. He is too high and not giving a pass option. my right winger seems better placed on the picture above. For the FBs, having the winger a bit lower will probably also avoid him to go too high. And I would up the tempo, as possession is not what fits  the team. I would try those changes first and see what happens. I am correct with this thinking?

 

Thanks for your mentoring, I really appreciate 

Edited by rizaulait2
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Higher tempo/pass into space/counter - you're having a lot of the ball but not doing anything with it so i'd increase the urgency of your play. 

More urgent press - unless you're going to use oppostion instructions then I find it's usually better to press

I would also make a slight alteration to what was recommended by Experienced D, and have the right back on an attack duty and switch the two central midfielders around, so the defensive one is on the right side of the pitch. Why? you currently have no one getting further forward on the right of the pitch and exploiting the space, the CMd will help cover.

 

TMsu    PO/AF

Wat     CMsu   CMde    Wsu

FBsu     CDde   CDde    FBa

GK

Edited by silentwars
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50 minutes ago, silentwars said:

Higher tempo/pass into space/counter - you're having a lot of the ball but not doing anything with it so i'd increase the urgency of your play. 

More urgent press - unless you're going to use oppostion instructions then I find it's usually better to press

I would also make a slight alteration to what was recommended by Experienced D, and have the right back on an attack duty and switch the two central midfielders around, so the defensive one is on the right side of the pitch. Why? you currently have no one getting further forward on the right of the pitch and exploiting the space, the CMd will help cover.

 

TMsu    PO/AF

Wat     CMsu   CMde    Wsu

FBsu     CDde   CDde    FBa

GK

Also consider taking your Line of engagement down one (only one) notch to achieve increased compactness and the opposition could leave you more space to counter into.

Plan who in your team should be the focus of your counter attacks. As you have a TM and the Wat on the left you could experiment with focusing play to the left side for periods of a match. Or switch the TM to the other side to set him up against a lesser quality CD.

Edited by nugatti
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5 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:

I would like Oreilly to drop further back to have more space. He is already on defense duty, so maybe a BWM de?

Does Oreilly possibly have some player trait such as "gets forward whenever possible" or anything that would prevent him from properly playing a holding midfield role? 

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11 hours ago, silentwars said:

Higher tempo/pass into space/counter - you're having a lot of the ball but not doing anything with it so i'd increase the urgency of your play. 

More urgent press - unless you're going to use oppostion instructions then I find it's usually better to press

I would also make a slight alteration to what was recommended by Experienced D, and have the right back on an attack duty and switch the two central midfielders around, so the defensive one is on the right side of the pitch. Why? you currently have no one getting further forward on the right of the pitch and exploiting the space, the CMd will help cover.

 

TMsu    PO/AF

Wat     CMsu   CMde    Wsu

FBsu     CDde   CDde    FBa

GK

 

Thanks, I will try first the urgency of play instruction, and then the more urgenht press. For the FBa, I do think I need something to create an overload because right now it cannot come from runs of my CMs in the middle, they are only 2 and I prefer having them distributing to the flanks. The wingers are doing very predictable play: get the ball and run a bit, then cross. Hopefully the run of the FBa will help creating the 1-2 sec unbalance on one side so my player can cross.

10 hours ago, nugatti said:

Also consider taking your Line of engagement down one (only one) notch to achieve increased compactness and the opposition could leave you more space to counter into.

That was one of my idea to try next. Thanks!

8 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Does Oreilly possibly have some player trait such as "gets forward whenever possible" or anything that would prevent him from properly playing a holding midfield role? 

Not really, he is a natural FB, but he has strong attributes to play in midfield in a defensive duty:

image.thumb.png.afa00aafd8b3791e308392cb28525ebe.png 

I have other good CMs, a bit more creative like him (but he is lacking in some key attributes according to the article of Rashidi about LL key attributes. But he is doing either great games with wonderful through balls or flank distribution, or either very bad games when the opposition is a bit more physical on him.

image.thumb.png.22911554df9347154d8034025ff25461.png

 

For your information, I replayed (many time) the game lost 4-0 with the modifications I described above: higher tempo, Oreilly as BWM de and my left winger on support. It was much better, I won 2-0 on a 1-1 xg,, had a 1-1 draw on 0.4-0.4xg, and a 0-0 on a 0.2-0.2xg (so I am not creating anything obviously, but I stopped the deadly counterattacks). Oreilly was now out of the pressing zone of the 2 CMs, and a pass was always possible in the area. I saw (comprehensive highlights) some early crosses and long balls above my defense where my GK saved me a couple of time. So I think I might need to play with the defensive line. I still had 60% possession, with nothing created on the long possession phases. I scored on counterattacks, which is good but I need to find a way to score when I am holding the ball. I will try the FBa to make some run. I need to put Oreilly as FB though, as he is the only one who can cross. 

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4 hours ago, rizaulait2 said:
13 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Does Oreilly possibly have some player trait such as "gets forward whenever possible" or anything that would prevent him from properly playing a holding midfield role? 

Not really, he is a natural FB, but he has strong attributes to play in midfield in a defensive dut

Okay. Then it suggests to me that his relatively high positioning on the pitch in a screenshot you posted was caused by a lack of viable passing options, rather than any player trait. Which leads me to a specific tweak that should allow him to be more focused on his defensive duties as a holding CM:

IWsu    CMde

FBat

This combo would also allow for more variety in attack. 

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Interesting thread this, love a good old 4-4-2

How do you find your front two's movement? TM & Poacher is a classic pairing but can be a little static. The TM will drop off the frontline a little but the idea is he gets on the end of the long passes & crosses to supply the poacher or receive the ball to feet, hold off a defender & find the Poacher. If the TM isn't a big, strong guy to win headers & hold off defenders, it'll fail, if the Poacher doesn't have the intelligence to lose a defender, it'll fail

You could try a DLF(S) & PF(A) combo. A TM type striker can play as a DLF no problem & a PF will give him partner a bit of oomph, either way, playing Balanced will have your passing right in the middle of the passing scale, I'd try upping the passing directness to open up the passing options for your team & supply to your TM/DLF 

There's a lot of big centre backs in the lower leagues, how does your TM size up?

 

 

Edited by Johnny Ace
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My TM is not really good. He has a good jumping reach (14 with 1m88) but he is lacking a bit of bravery and he lacks a bit of physical presence. I switched to DLF and he was participating much more to the game.

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