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How Should You Set Compactness / Pressing Intensity?


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Currently I keep it really basic and mostly switch between high block (higher defensive line + higher loe + prevent short gk distribution), a mid block where I leave the instructions blank, and a low block (lower defensive line + lower loe). This all depends on how much I trust that my team can dominate the ball vs how well I think that we can absorb pressure, or depending on how the game is playing out.

The problem is I don't really have any idea when I should go more in depth. For example, when would it be a good idea to play with a really compressed mid block (lower loe + higher dline) instead of leaving everything on standard? This could also extend to a higher block and a lower block (eg. much lower loe + standard dline or lower loe + lower dline?) 

And then there's pressing intensity, I of course know the difference between wanting to close down and holding shape, but I'm never fully convinced of when I should adjust the slider depending on the opponent and game situation. And this isn't even taking into account the tackling style or the use of tighter marking / offside trap.

I know this is a really broad question, but any links to interesting posts covering this topic, or some examples of the thought process of anyone who knows what they're doing would be useful.

Something I used to do regarding compression was that I'd typically play more compact if I'm worried the other team would be good at passing through me, to remove the space between the lines, while play less compact against a direct team, so I could pressure the centrebacks better while also removing space in behind for flickons and long passes in to space.

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LOE defines your block. 

And to have balanced compactness put DL one notch higher so low LOE + standard DL for example. 

Of course, you can play in the range but those are basic "rules" IMO.

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There's a whole bunch of different options in different situations, then you have to factor in your players too. Low Aggression & Work Rate players will put in less effort in pressing, a high Work Rate & highly Aggressive player will press more. Low Stamina, low Natural Fitness players will burn out in a heavy pressing system over time etc

High & low blocks both have their weakness. Balls over the top & long shots

A High block, heavy press may be able to brute force through a weak opponent but a more defensively solid team may just lead to frustration, so lowering the the LOE may be a way to create some space. Again, if they're good on the ball, they can just pass it amongst themselves, leading to frustration

I base it off my team, if I've got slow ass CBs that aren't going to be able to position themselves well for the danger coming or even see it coming in the first place, I'm block going to play a High Block

Mentality also plays a factor, the higher the Mentality the higher the lines 

Higher DL & a lower LOE is something I never do really, I feel it would cramp play up a bit by compressing the team 

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