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FM - it's not a game for the casuals is it?


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I took a break of about 4 years from playing FM until the end of last year where i thought i'd try it again....it culminated in me buying this years one as well. But i'm getting the same feelings and problems as i had when i stopped playing it 4-5 years ago. The game is just so complex. There is way too much stuff that goes into creating a tactic and there is no help to tell you reasons as to why it's going wrong (unless i'm missing something?!). You can't just pick up the game & have some fun with it...as before you know it, youve lost 4 or 5 in a row and you're struggling again, without any explanation. 

Last game against Dortmund was a prime example. From kick-off my players just stand there and watch Haaland run from deep with one ball over the top and he's 1v1. This despite trying to press more urgently - everyone just stands still and gives the midfielder plenty of time to play a ball over the top. It just doesn't make any sense. 

I've tried to create a more possession based tactic as my defending more deep and hitting on the counter tactic simply wasn't working. I've tried to keep it fairly simple with a CM on DEF in order to counter Lazzari getting forward on the right on an ATT WB tole (seeming as he's one of my best players, i wanted him higher up the pitch). i've tried SMS on a number of roles to try get the best out of him but with little luck. Now on a BBM role. Alberto has been injured but again trying to get him dictating the game higher up the pitch for my front 2. 

Nothing seems to work and the losing streak has started again after an OK start and frankly, despite reading alot of stuff on here and watching a fair amount of youtube tactic building videos - i'm just lost with it all. Below is the tactic i used the last two games where i lose to Milan and Dortmund without really laying a finger on them. I changed Correa to a Trequarista just now as i was going to try that role...

 

image.thumb.png.525ebf1b2c9b9188b7da735d3b0c6d27.png

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I used the exact same shape last year and this year.

First problem I see is you tell your keeper to play to playmaker yet your playmaker Is really advanced like you said you want him effecting play higher up. But this means your keeper is going to look to go longer to him rather than say one of the cbs or wings backs. This contradicts your Possession idea. Intend to let my keeper choose his own pass that Way you keep variety to build up. More often than not he Picks defenders cause of your instructions but on occasion he will play a killer ball. 

I wouldn’t use all your front 3 on attack duties. I find the treq and the AP(A) very similar both will look get between the lines and are creative players. But it can work. 
 

adding some variation to attack I would suggest going down the route of making overloads especially in possession systems. As you can drag teams around then punish them.  

i would swap sms and Alberto. Play Alberto as a DL/RPM(s) play SMS as a shadow striker. Change Correa to a DLF(s) or F9.

Add the team instructions focus play down the left. Your DLP/RPM WB AND DLF/F9 will now all look to overload the left side off the pitch and will drag the opponent to that side. Often leaving a 1v1 on the other side for either AF or RWB. (Add overlap on right side if RWB isn’t attacking enough) the switch of play will often find you goals (ass direct passing to DLP/RPM if not happening enough)

The attacking pattern is the that the dlf/F9 dropping will pull a Player with him into a deep area and the SS will have space to attack that he has left.

3rd route to goal is your attacking right wing back running down the right taking players on and combining with the AF or crossing himself now the DLF/F9 will make mate runs to the back post. 
 

in defence when it comes to using pressing lines i personally use the rule of having my LOE one notch down from my DL to help keep the team compact with out the ball. 
therefore I would go with a standard LOE and higher DL. This will also help give you space to attack in behind with the AF.

i am by no means an expert like others here. But that would be my ideas. I also find it useful basing my tactics around a real life system it helps me look out for what I want to see on the pitch 

hope this helps 

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Honestly mate it doesn't seem too bad to me. I don't think there's any reason why you shouldn't be able to at least finish in your predicted position. There are a couple of small things I'm noticing though

  • Distribute to your playmaker (like the previous post mentioned). The go to for possession sides is to distribute to CB's
  • This centre backs and a midfielder on defend duty could be a bit overly defensive against smaller sides and during home games
  • You're giving your wingbacks all this freedom to attack only to ask them to pass the ball around the box when they could be in a good position to cross, especially when you have 2 strikers in the box.
  • It's more common for possession teams to build from the back (play out of defence) than not, why aren't you using it? it could help you control games if your team can do it

How badly are you actually doing? It could just be a bad run of form, especially since you had said you had a decent start. Try to make sure everything else is set up well before you put your tactics too far under the microscope. IMO the worst thing to do during a bad run of form is to chop and change your tactics so much as everyone will just lose familiarity. Try make sure your set piece routines look okay, play players who are on good form (last 5 matches rating) and keep morale up through team meetings + praising / criticising when necessary.

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9 minutes ago, Jack722 said:

Honestly mate it doesn't seem too bad to me. I don't think there's any reason why you shouldn't be able to at least finish in your predicted position. There are a couple of small things I'm noticing though

  • Distribute to your playmaker (like the previous post mentioned). The go to for possession sides is to distribute to CB's
  • This centre backs and a midfielder on defend duty could be a bit overly defensive against smaller sides and during home games
  • You're giving your wingbacks all this freedom to attack only to ask them to pass the ball around the box when they could be in a good position to cross, especially when you have 2 strikers in the box.
  • It's more common for possession teams to build from the back (play out of defence) than not, why aren't you using it? it could help you control games if your team can do it

How badly are you actually doing? It could just be a bad run of form, especially since you had said you had a decent start. Try to make sure everything else is set up well before you put your tactics too far under the microscope. IMO the worst thing to do during a bad run of form is to chop and change your tactics so much as everyone will just lose familiarity. Try make sure your set piece routines look okay, play players who are on good form (last 5 matches rating) and keep morale up through team meetings + praising / criticising when necessary.

I agree with all of this apart from  adding the play out of defence instruction. If he adds that along with his already shorter passing, working ball into the box and lower tempo his football will become so passive with no penetration. It becomes overkill. If anything I would maybe take work ball into the box of and add play out of defence if your going down that’s route.  Like you said he has wing backs with space to attack and cross so pointless adding a further instruction to restrict them in doing so. 

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Thanks for the advice guys! I had amended a couple of things just after i posted this & played a further game which was a 2-2 draw against Crotone - although it was a much better performance. I've just tweaked a couple of bits based on what you've said. I do think that perhaps i get ahead of myself sometimes and think that i can win the league first season with teams/squads that perhaps aren't yet ready. I got destroyed by Milan however which was what really frustrated me. 

I've screenshotted my latest variation. Thoughts were to create an overload on the left hand side - which ties in nicely with what SixPointer suggested. 

Question - do you change things when playing against better sides - especially away from home?

Will give this a run a little later - but any feedback will be welcomed?

image.thumb.png.56e7774bece64a6eeed9855c8686ba01.png

 

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1 hour ago, Paul Barton said:

Thanks for the advice guys! I had amended a couple of things just after i posted this & played a further game which was a 2-2 draw against Crotone - although it was a much better performance. I've just tweaked a couple of bits based on what you've said. I do think that perhaps i get ahead of myself sometimes and think that i can win the league first season with teams/squads that perhaps aren't yet ready. I got destroyed by Milan however which was what really frustrated me. 

I've screenshotted my latest variation. Thoughts were to create an overload on the left hand side - which ties in nicely with what SixPointer suggested. 

Question - do you change things when playing against better sides - especially away from home?

Will give this a run a little later - but any feedback will be welcomed?

image.thumb.png.56e7774bece64a6eeed9855c8686ba01.png

 

That’s definitely looks a lot better. just be careful you don’t get there left wing back attacking at ease. 
Like all my ideas i play them out to see what works that’s how I find out. There no set in stone rules to the game it’s fluid and so many options. 
 

 I would hugely recommended reading pairs and combinations pinned on the top of the forum it’s real game changer.

home and away I don’t look into to much. The way I play is I look at the opponents strengths and weakness. In the scout and analyst reports.
 

I then have 3 systems that offer me the same core idea but with tweaks in them. Usually I have aggressive one. Middle ground and then a more cautions approach. 

Each one has its on strength and weakness and way of attacking and defending. But mainly the core is the same. I use my roles duties and formation to make them different. And small team instruction tweak.

Try keep it simple is the best advice. Overkill is the biggest issue as then you don’t know what works what doesn’t. Don’t add something for the sake of it. What the game closely and see if you really need to be using  instructions. Have a plan and stick to it. 

when I build a tactic I start with formation then mentality as that sets the base for everything then I set my roles and duties. I then play it out. On 2D on comprehensive for the friendlies and see what’s working and what’s not then I add my instructions to suit and watch to see if they work. 
 

again am no moderator or genius. It’s just my take on how I play the game. Someone like @Experienced Defender Is great for advice and building simple balanced systems 👍🏻

 

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I don't play a 5-3-2 but a couple of things:

- The DLP(D) & WB(A) is just going to leave a massive gap in attack with no link up between those two

- Positive & higher DL is crazy high

- IW(A) & Mezz(S) & WB(S) might be a good overload or could cram up play when there's no one on the right taking advantage of it, Ciro maybe

- Positive & a few safe instructions doesn't make a possession tactic   

- Two playmakers in the middle just seems overkill

It might work but over a preseason you wont be able to tell, it's a decent indicator but can take a couple of month for things to click. It might be worth giving Touch a go where none of that matters  

 

 

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A couple of general things I find.

- the game is not really that complicated once you learn how to think in FM language - that is once you are able to translate your ideas into the ME. It is important to have a clear idea of what you want to do. How do you want to play, how will you score goals, how will you defend? Once you can answer that you can start asking what each player should do in your tactic, and that leads you to player roles and duties. Then you can add any TIs or PIs you think are required to achieve your desired style. That is "all" there is too it. We like to overcomplicate things, us humans. The only real complication is thinking about how players interact with each other, rather than what they do individually. So thinking things like "Player X drops off to draw a defender, player Y runs into that space, and receives a pass form player Z". In your case I would say that you have a think about these things, especially when it comes to TI. Ask if they are required to achieve the style you want. If not, remove them and see what happens. 

- Not all struggles are tactical, sometimes it is players not being suitable for what you want them to do. Or players simply not yet being up to speed on your tactics, or not used to playing with each other, or a number of other things. This is often overlooked here, but I am more acutely aware of it after the start to my most recent save. You need to make sure your players can do what they are supposed to do. This will be especially true when you identify the key positions in your formation. In my specific case, I lacked a quality left winger to play as an IF(A). This player is key to my team scoring, both taking chances and creating them. My players were not good enough at taking chances and not good enough with their movement, so my attack stalled. This was not anything tactically wrong - we created the chances I expected - but we either did not put them away or the last bit of quality we needed was missing. In a similar manner, my team started the season by basically conceding almost every single shot on target. Which was annoying, because it meant I lost games I should have won. After things settled a bit, we now have the best defence in the league. My point here is that you should not just give up on a tactical idea because it does not work immediately, there are more things going on than tactics. 

So my main advice is to simplify. Work out what each player should do with and without the ball and set up so you think that will occur. Then add whatever TIs or PIs you think are needed (normally I do it one by one for things I am not sure of), and see if that actually makes your players play more like you want. Then be patient with things like players missing chances or conceding a lot of stupid goals. Sometimes these things are not tactical, you have to stick with it a little to find out.

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7 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

A couple of general things I find.

- the game is not really that complicated once you learn how to think in FM language - that is once you are able to translate your ideas into the ME. It is important to have a clear idea of what you want to do. How do you want to play, how will you score goals, how will you defend? Once you can answer that you can start asking what each player should do in your tactic, and that leads you to player roles and duties. Then you can add any TIs or PIs you think are required to achieve your desired style. That is "all" there is too it. We like to overcomplicate things, us humans. The only real complication is thinking about how players interact with each other, rather than what they do individually. So thinking things like "Player X drops off to draw a defender, player Y runs into that space, and receives a pass form player Z". In your case I would say that you have a think about these things, especially when it comes to TI. Ask if they are required to achieve the style you want. If not, remove them and see what happens. 

- Not all struggles are tactical, sometimes it is players not being suitable for what you want them to do. Or players simply not yet being up to speed on your tactics, or not used to playing with each other, or a number of other things. This is often overlooked here, but I am more acutely aware of it after the start to my most recent save. You need to make sure your players can do what they are supposed to do. This will be especially true when you identify the key positions in your formation. In my specific case, I lacked a quality left winger to play as an IF(A). This player is key to my team scoring, both taking chances and creating them. My players were not good enough at taking chances and not good enough with their movement, so my attack stalled. This was not anything tactically wrong - we created the chances I expected - but we either did not put them away or the last bit of quality we needed was missing. In a similar manner, my team started the season by basically conceding almost every single shot on target. Which was annoying, because it meant I lost games I should have won. After things settled a bit, we now have the best defence in the league. My point here is that you should not just give up on a tactical idea because it does not work immediately, there are more things going on than tactics. 

So my main advice is to simplify. Work out what each player should do with and without the ball and set up so you think that will occur. Then add whatever TIs or PIs you think are needed (normally I do it one by one for things I am not sure of), and see if that actually makes your players play more like you want. Then be patient with things like players missing chances or conceding a lot of stupid goals. Sometimes these things are not tactical, you have to stick with it a little to find out.

Absolutely spot on!

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Thanks guys. I'll give things another go later on and see how things go with what I posted above & I'll report back how it goes. I think I have a rough idea of what each player instructions do, but trying to knit them together maybe an issue. I'm halfway through reading the pairs and combinations thread so hopefully that'll help. 

I think for myself it's about being patient. Perhaps I tinker a little too much which doesn't help. 

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Before you judge on a tactic make sure to have tactical and positional familiarity maxed out. 
 

before that players will not carry out their task efficiently 

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Very possession-minded team instructions coupled with an anti-possession setup of roles and duties is the most obvious contradiction in your tactic and the most probable reason why it does not work.

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Im glad I just stumbled across this thread.. I recently (2 hours ago) was playing around with the idea of getting a 3-5-2 system working on FM21, having recently been using a 4-2-3-1 with great success I thought it might be turn to have a change up and looking at the players at my disposal the 3-5-2 )however you want to say it suited us the best. 

as @SixPointer mentions above, Ive gone with an overload on the right side which in theory should open up the space on the left for the AF & CWB to get into. I decided to use a CM-S on the right side of the centre midfielders as I think it will do a bit of everything and is able to roam towards the right more. I was considering using a MEZ at first but felt that it doesn't offer enough in the defensive transition and leaves larger gaps behind him, I also considered and am still considering a CAR as I like how it drifts wide but also gets forward around the box but still offers better defensive stability than a MEZ. 

Its still really early days for me using this set up, I need to see how it plays out a little more.

2021-03-12_17-06-05.jpg

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I feel a little contradicted here.

The thread title wonders whether FM is a game for casual players, yet I'd suggest the poster isn't really playing as a casual player.  Playing full fat FM, creating and analysing your own tactical system, reading lots of guides and watching all manner of YT videos seems pretty involved for casual play?

16 hours ago, Paul Barton said:

You can't just pick up the game & have some fun with it

Have you tried FM Touch instead?  It's much more stream lined and designed more along the lines of pick up and play.  You could also try (at least as your starting point) the pre built tactics which come with FM and (I believe) FM Touch.  Some are better than others but most, with the odd tweak here or there if needed, can help you get into the game pretty quickly and can help relieve the immediate pressure of trying to come up with something workable when you don't really understand what's going on.

It sounds to me like you're trying to run before you can walk, creating unnecessary pressure on yourself and so spoiling your enjoyment.

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30 minutes ago, Louisking1992 said:

Im glad I just stumbled across this thread.. I recently (2 hours ago) was playing around with the idea of getting a 3-5-2 system working on FM21, having recently been using a 4-2-3-1 with great success I thought it might be turn to have a change up and looking at the players at my disposal the 3-5-2 )however you want to say it suited us the best. 

as @SixPointer mentions above, Ive gone with an overload on the right side which in theory should open up the space on the left for the AF & CWB to get into. I decided to use a CM-S on the right side of the centre midfielders as I think it will do a bit of everything and is able to roam towards the right more. I was considering using a MEZ at first but felt that it doesn't offer enough in the defensive transition and leaves larger gaps behind him, I also considered and am still considering a CAR as I like how it drifts wide but also gets forward around the box but still offers better defensive stability than a MEZ. 

Its still really early days for me using this set up, I need to see how it plays out a little more.

2021-03-12_17-06-05.jpg

Would personally swap your DLP and CM. Make it a DLP support and a CM(d) or use a RPM I’ve had major success with the RPM file used in this very shape. I’m going to do a write up on my tactic just whenever I get home from work. But I may be stuck here a few months longer.

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5 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Would personally swap your DLP and CM. Make it a DLP support and a CM(d) or use a RPM I’ve had major success with the RPM file used in this very shape. I’m going to do a write up on my tactic just whenever I get home from work. But I may be stuck here a few months longer.

I love a RPM and its usually my go to role but I was sceptical about it in this system, but ill look at it now and see what I think! 

 

Look forward to reading this when you get round to writing about it

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30 minutes ago, Louisking1992 said:

I love a RPM and its usually my go to role but I was sceptical about it in this system, but ill look at it now and see what I think! 

 

Look forward to reading this when you get round to writing about it

Just make sure you have the right player for the RPM role as it’s very demanding. Don’t go sticking a player with low mobility. Make sure he has good anticipation, positioning on top of usual play making stuff so he has good reading of the game and know where to be on the pitch. 

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1 hour ago, herne79 said:

I feel a little contradicted here.

The thread title wonders whether FM is a game for casual players, yet I'd suggest the poster isn't really playing as a casual player.  Playing full fat FM, creating and analysing your own tactical system, reading lots of guides and watching all manner of YT videos seems pretty involved for casual play?

Have you tried FM Touch instead?  It's much more stream lined and designed more along the lines of pick up and play.  You could also try (at least as your starting point) the pre built tactics which come with FM and (I believe) FM Touch.  Some are better than others but most, with the odd tweak here or there if needed, can help you get into the game pretty quickly and can help relieve the immediate pressure of trying to come up with something workable when you don't really understand what's going on.

It sounds to me like you're trying to run before you can walk, creating unnecessary pressure on yourself and so spoiling your enjoyment.

You've probably hit the nail on the head truth be told. I would say I am casual player. I play probably 8 hours a week in total. But do watch others on twitch and also YouTube videos during lunch breaks etc. 

Frankly I'm putting pressure on myself to win titles instantly and that just doesn't work in most cases. 

I'll stick it out and hopefully turn this around! Playing touch version isn't an option. That was just too easy! 

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1 minute ago, Paul Barton said:

You've probably hit the nail on the head truth be told. I would say I am casual player. I play probably 8 hours a week in total. But do watch others on twitch and also YouTube videos during lunch breaks etc. 

Frankly I'm putting pressure on myself to win titles instantly and that just doesn't work in most cases. 

I'll stick it out and hopefully turn this around! Playing touch version isn't an option. That was just too easy! 

Looking for a happy medium. Like someone said previously that is why SI made the presets to give people a really good starting point 

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As far as the thread title is concerned I’m inclined to agree. This iteration of the game seems to require a depth of knowledge/understanding that would be beyond the casual player. Its like trying to make a cup of tea and having to understand the molecular bonds that form water first. 

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20 minutes ago, Marki said:

As far as the thread title is concerned I’m inclined to agree. This iteration of the game seems to require a depth of knowledge/understanding that would be beyond the casual player. Its like trying to make a cup of tea and having to understand the molecular bonds that form water first. 

I agree that FM is not an easy game to master and does require a considerable degree of tactical knowledge and understanding (among other things), but that's exactly the reason I love it so much.

However, once you understand key principles and start thinking logically about tactics, it becomes pretty easy to play.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I agree that FM is not an easy game to master and does require a considerable degree of tactical knowledge and understanding (among other things), but that's exactly the reason I love it so much.

However, once you understand key principles and start thinking logically about tactics, it becomes pretty easy to play.

And the best it is the help is there to learn it. If you want to become good. If not FM touch is better. If they made it for the Casual player what would all us hardcore tacticians do 🤣🤣 

FM16 I was at a loss and started to read the guides on here and other peoples websites and eventually I’ve built up a solid knowledge of in game tactics coupled with my immense love and knowledge of them in real life. Do I still get bad seasons of course cause that’s real life football. Example given Liverpool. 

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6 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I agree that FM is not an easy game to master and does require a considerable degree of tactical knowledge and understanding (among other things), but that's exactly the reason I love it so much.

However, once you understand key principles and start thinking logically about tactics, it becomes pretty easy to play.

I really do hope that this is the case for me. I've just finished reading he pairs and combinations guide which certainly helps to put things into a clearer light. I had a rough idea of what i was doing, but this will hopefully giv me that extra nudge to be able to piece things together.

Going to play a few games with Lazio now - fingers crossed i can implement what i've learnt!

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Conclusion - it's still just not working. I'm not creating anywhere near enough chances & have drawn games 0-0 or lost a few close games whilst winning a few closer games without really creating enough chances. Below is what i'm now playing with the idea to overload the left hand side and then cross for Immobile / Alberto or Lazzari arriving late. It looks like the Central 2 just aren't setup correctly. I'm assuming they're too far apart from each other to play a short passing game. Where is it going wrong?

I just don't know anymore....

image.thumb.png.2266be01140681a9a57b4db6b281ca1d.png

 

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On 12/03/2021 at 12:18, Paul Barton said:

Will give this a run a little later - but any feedback will be welcomed?

image.thumb.png.56e7774bece64a6eeed9855c8686ba01.png

When there is no DM;

  • Using a MEZ with 2 CM tactics is a high risk.
  • Using a player/role on CM which has roaming PI or similar player trait is a high risk.

 

Shorter passing+lower tempo+play out of defence are possession based TIs. But wide attacking width is not.

If you want an overload to free up an opposite side player; using playmaker with overloading side of the pitch is a better way to do this. They are not only ball magnets withal opposite player magnets.

 

What can be changed for me?

  • DLPs on RCM
  • Your star player Milinkovic-Savic CMs on LCM.
  • WBs/CWBs on RWB
  • AMs/a on AMC
  • APs on LW
  • Attacking width to standard (your 2 wingbacks provide enough width)
  • Overlap right (to push RWB more to take advantage of opposite flank overloads)

 

On 12/03/2021 at 20:15, Louisking1992 said:

Its still really early days for me using this set up, I need to see how it plays out a little more.

2021-03-12_17-06-05.jpg

A very good example here. Uses both wide & central areas. I would change DLPd to DLPs to make him more involved in both sides of the play, (attack & defence) if I used this.

Edited by zabyl
added : CM to 3rd line
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16 minutes ago, zabyl said:

When there is no DM;

  • Using a MEZ with 2 CM tactics is a high risk.
  • Using a player/role on CM which has roaming PI or similar player trait is a high risk.

 

Shorter passing+lower tempo+play out of defence are possession based TIs. But wide attacking width is not.

If you want an overload to free up an opposite side player; using playmaker with overloading side of the pitch is a better way to do this. They are not only ball magnets withal opposite player magnets.

 

What can be changed for me?

  • DLPs on RCM
  • Your star player Milinkovic-Savic CMs on LCM.
  • WBs/CWBs on RWB
  • AMs/a on AMC
  • APs on LW
  • Attacking width to standard (your 2 wingbacks provide enough width)
  • Overlap right (to push RWB more to take advantage of opposite flank overloads)

 

A very good example here. Uses both wide & central areas. I would change DLPd to DLPs to make him more involved in both sides of the play, (attack & defence) if I used this.

Thanks. I had made a few of those tweaks already (see latest screenshot). I'll change a few other bits suggested and see how I get on

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9 hours ago, Paul Barton said:

Where is it going wrong?

imo you have a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.  Because you are using so many instructions when (by your own admission) you don't have a good grasp on what they all do, it'll be almost impossible to identify where it's going wrong.

It is much easier to start with few (or no) instructions and add gradually to refine your style of play or address specific issues than it is to start with loads.  If you start small and add something it tends to be easier to see if what you add works or not.

Your players are quite capable of playing matches with minimal input from you due to their roles, duties, Traits and attributes.  Add instructions gradually to help define your desired style of play and/or to address specific issues you may notice after you've seen how your players play.

I think you've fallen into the classic FM trap (which, trust me, we have all done) of getting all the toys out of the box and trying to play with them all at once.  I'll give you a few simple examples from your set up above:

1) You want to "Focus play down the left", yet your playmaker and attacking wingback are on the right.

2) What have you noticed about your attacking wingback on the right that makes you think you need to tell him to overlap?

3) What does the overlap instruction actually do, because it has nothing to do with making wingbacks overlap midfielders or strikers? (It makes your wingback slightly more attack minded.  That's all.  You really want that if he already has an attack duty and, probably, the Trait to get forward often?)

So I think that posting pictures of your tactic (14 TIs btw is total overkill) and getting people's comments on it is missing the bigger picture of your intended "casual" play.  You clearly want to build your own tactic (good), so start small and build.  Don't start big and subtract :thup:.

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11 minutes ago, herne79 said:

imo you have a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.  Because you are using so many instructions when (by your own admission) you don't have a good grasp on what they all do, it'll be almost impossible to identify where it's going wrong.

It is much easier to start with few (or no) instructions and add gradually to refine your style of play or address specific issues than it is to start with loads.  If you start small and add something it tends to be easier to see if what you add works or not.

Your players are quite capable of playing matches with minimal input from you due to their roles, duties, Traits and attributes.  Add instructions gradually to help define your desired style of play and/or to address specific issues you may notice after you've seen how your players play.

I think you've fallen into the classic FM trap (which, trust me, we have all done) of getting all the toys out of the box and trying to play with them all at once.  I'll give you a few simple examples from your set up above:

1) You want to "Focus play down the left", yet your playmaker and attacking wingback are on the right.

2) What have you noticed about your attacking wingback on the right that makes you think you need to tell him to overlap?

3) What does the overlap instruction actually do, because it has nothing to do with making wingbacks overlap midfielders or strikers? (It makes your wingback slightly more attack minded.  That's all.  You really want that if he already has an attack duty and, probably, the Trait to get forward often?)

So I think that posting pictures of your tactic (14 TIs btw is total overkill) and getting people's comments on it is missing the bigger picture of your intended "casual" play.  You clearly want to build your own tactic (good), so start small and build.  Don't start big and subtract :thup:.

Thanks. I'll start to dull it all down abit. I wanted my RWB to get forward more and be on the end of crosses from the left which is why I set him up to overlap. 

In terms of actual player roles, do you think they seem OK? It seems like there is an imbalance in the middle perhaps? I had switched my DLP to a CM on defence duty. I'm also thinking that the MEZ instructions on SMS are abit of a waste for my best player

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My first FM21 tactic has 4 TI and a couple of PI (to get AML + AMR to mark opposition FB), if you want to be casual keep things simple and give the players options rather than trying to be Pep/Bielsa and micro-managing what they do.  Quite often role+duties don't match the TI's which ends up restricting what the players can do.  Thats not to say a tactic can't have a lot of TI's but they have to be having the expected effect when you watch the play.

The main issue many players, especially casuals have is expecting there idea should work, when its flawed so blame the game.  Most commonly this will be very attacking roles+duties, wanting runs in behind opponents defence, but then also want possession and high pressing resulting in no space to make runs (except wide) and restricted passing options.

A second issue is trying to force players into your system.  The first thing I saw in your team + system is you have 3 players centrally in front of MSS, his traits make him get forward and into the box, but is there space for that?  Are those forwards roaming/dropping to create space for him and able to create a chance for him? Not just through there role+duties, but there attributes/traits. Is having such an attacking CM best for this formation?

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If I had Milinkovic-Savic on my team; I would definitely go for a shape that limits his abilities less. I would use him on a 3 midfielder system with a CMa to free him up for doing what he wants. :onmehead:

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2 hours ago, Paul Barton said:

I wanted my RWB to get forward more and be on the end of crosses from the left which is why I set him up to overlap.

I know and it can be a common misconception - us players can tend to think "I have to tell my player(s) to do something" when actually our players might be perfectly capable of doing what we want anyway without telling them to do it.  When this happens the end result can be overkill and (at worst) leave your team terribly exposed to counter attacks because your players are too often caught out of position.  In this example, your RWB already has an attack duty and (possibly) a Trait to get forward often which is more than sufficient to get him forward a lot.  So if you then add an instruction to make him even more forward minded you must see that it is needed, not just think (or assume) it is needed.  And the best way of seeing if something is needed or not is to not give him the instruction in the first place - ie., start small and build if needed.

2 hours ago, Paul Barton said:

I'll start to dull it all down abit

How?  What are you going to remove and why?  This is my point - starting as you have with so many instructions it becomes very hard to decide what you should change.  And we're getting way beyond the scope of casual play here too.

If you want to play as a casual FM player using the full version of the game you absolutely can do it.  Set your assistant to manage things such as press conferences and general training so pretty much the only thing you get involved in is individual training for each of your players.  And even that you can just set up once and then just check player progress every 6 months or so.  As for tactics, start with the default set tactics.  Pick one style and formation you like the look of and feel your players are suited to.  Make little adjustments (if needed).  Which frees you up to concentrate on playing matches and making transfers.

If you really want to get into all the whys and wherefores of tactical analysis and development then go for it.  There are plenty of guides and advice out there.  But that's not casual play.

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2 hours ago, herne79 said:

I know and it can be a common misconception - us players can tend to think "I have to tell my player(s) to do something" when actually our players might be perfectly capable of doing what we want anyway without telling them to do it.  When this happens the end result can be overkill and (at worst) leave your team terribly exposed to counter attacks because your players are too often caught out of position.  In this example, your RWB already has an attack duty and (possibly) a Trait to get forward often which is more than sufficient to get him forward a lot.  So if you then add an instruction to make him even more forward minded you must see that it is needed, not just think (or assume) it is needed.  And the best way of seeing if something is needed or not is to not give him the instruction in the first place - ie., start small and build if needed.

How?  What are you going to remove and why?  This is my point - starting as you have with so many instructions it becomes very hard to decide what you should change.  And we're getting way beyond the scope of casual play here too.

If you want to play as a casual FM player using the full version of the game you absolutely can do it.  Set your assistant to manage things such as press conferences and general training so pretty much the only thing you get involved in is individual training for each of your players.  And even that you can just set up once and then just check player progress every 6 months or so.  As for tactics, start with the default set tactics.  Pick one style and formation you like the look of and feel your players are suited to.  Make little adjustments (if needed).  Which frees you up to concentrate on playing matches and making transfers.

If you really want to get into all the whys and wherefores of tactical analysis and development then go for it.  There are plenty of guides and advice out there.  But that's not casual play.

I want to learn to develop and get involved with my tactic. By casual play - i guess i mean, i don't put in many hours. My initial point was more based around the fact that i don't put in 100's of hours a week which makes me more of a casual player. I want to learn how to piece together tactics, but the game is very complex so makes it difficult!

 

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1 hour ago, Paul Barton said:

want to learn to develop and get involved with my tactic. By casual play

 

Ill give you a 5 minute guide.

Once you understood the principles of risks and how to balance them out, it should be quite easy to put a tactic together. You can adjust the risks you are willing to take in three sections. When your team is in Possession, when your Team is out of Possession, and in transition from one phase to the other.

Taking higher risks in possession will lead to more goal scoring opportunities, but may lead to chances of lesser quality or potentially loosing the ball more quickly, as players are taking more risks in terms of their actions.

Taking lesser risks in possession will lead to the complete opposite, meaning less goal scoring opportunites but properbly more quality ones, and also a lower risk of loosing the ball due taking less risks when performing actions.

Taking higher risks out of possession will lead quickly winning back the ball and restricting space for the other team to operate in, but can leave your defense exposed and out of position

Taking lesser risks when out of possession wont leave you exposed or out of position, but will also leave more space to the other team to operate in.

So here is the clue now, you can not only balance out the risks within in possession pahse and out of possession play seperatly, but also balance them out against each other. e.g. high risk in possession and low risk out of possession vice versa.

Mentality is just the general layer of risks your team is willing to take. Higher mentality = more risks in- and out of possession. Lower Mentality = lower risks in and out of possession.

High risk in Possession:

  • Wider attacking width
  • Pass into space
  • Direct passing
  • Higher Tempo
  • Shoot more often
  • Hit early crosses
  • Dribble more
  • Be more expressive

Low risk in Possession:

  • narrow attacking widt
  • short passing
  • lower Tempo
  • Work Ball into Box
  • Dribble less
  • Be more edisciplined

High risk out of Possession:

  • Wider defending
  • Offside Trap
  • Higher Line of Engagement
  • Higher Defensive Line
  • Tight Marking
  • higher pressing intensity
  • Get stuck in
  • Prevent GK

Low risk out of Possession:

  • Narrow defending
  • Lower Line of Engagement
  • Lower Defensive Line
  • lower pressing intensity
  • Stay on Feet

Hope i didnt forget any.

 

General Tip: The better your team the higher overall risks you can take without being punished. 

Edited by CARRERA
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I've tried to dull things right down - but things just haven't improved at all. In fact, they've got worse! I'm 10th & on the verge of the sack. I changed things up a little and tried to get a few more men forward to score more goals, it worked, but that then also resulted in defence opening up which was previously solid. 

I've tried almost everything and nothing works...

image.thumb.png.1a6596ee3ca86dc2614be4eae39fb736.png

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Your front 3 look a good combination. In midfield if the dlp is your holder which he usually is in a sitting role, cm might be a bit meh. I might have more legs like a bbm, or maybe a mez to support the wb.

Also your wb are your main source of width. But altho you want certain balance, perhaps have youre right wb who is covered on the right cm by the dlp attack, and link with the supporting dlf. The 3cb allow you to play wb, so its best to maximize them while also having different options. Also in a short passing game its best to also have different options interlinking with different roles.

Thats what i think of your players roles.

The team instructions at first it is best to keep it simple especially in the lower leagues where it easier to start.

Also every role and tactical instruction, player and team has a highlight hover message which gives a brief instruction of what it does.

Edited by Gold
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5 hours ago, Gold said:

Your front 3 look a good combination. In midfield if the dlp is your holder which he usually is in a sitting role, cm might be a bit meh. I might have more legs like a bbm, or maybe a mez to support the wb.

Also your wb are your main source of width. But altho you want certain balance, perhaps have youre right wb who is covered on the right cm by the dlp attack, and link with the supporting dlf. The 3cb allow you to play wb, so its best to maximize them while also having different options. Also in a short passing game its best to also have different options interlinking with different roles.

Thats what i think of your players roles.

The team instructions at first it is best to keep it simple especially in the lower leagues where it easier to start.

Also every role and tactical instruction, player and team has a highlight hover message which gives a brief instruction of what it does.

Everything you've suggested is ptetty much how I've played for the most part. The RWB was on ATT and the other CM was on BBM. 

I'm not sure if it's now something to do with the TIs or maybe even team Morale? 

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Personally if that was my system I would want both those Wingbacks as complete wingbacks on attack. They are dynamic they will provide a whole new dimension to the tactic in attack sometimes going as far to provide an extra body in  the box when the chance presents itself. Then I want to get both those guys wide open in as much space as possible and I want our men in the middle to find them in that space. I would want Milenkovic to be a creative force as well as an attacking presence in the box so I am going to carefully prepare a role for him that allows him to provide both The two CM's are going to be my mop up men on the wings providing cover out wide if the WBs are high and we turn the ball over but I would also want them providing a presence around the edge of the box and sometimes even get in to the box.

If you give me a bit I will show you exactly what my vision  would be in the set up you have outlined there.

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As a whole that looks good to me but, is Luis Alberto a DLP(D)? I really didn't think defending is one of his strong points & was more suited to AMLRC strata ie get him forward so he's not having to defend the middle of the pitch. I did a season with Lazio & wouldn't dare put Alberto or SMS in a CM slot  

Your two guys in CM are going to need to be rock solid when you have no DM.  

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7 hours ago, Paul Barton said:

I've tried to dull things right down - but things just haven't improved at all. In fact, they've got worse! I'm 10th & on the verge of the sack. I changed things up a little and tried to get a few more men forward to score more goals, it worked, but that then also resulted in defence opening up which was previously solid. 

I've tried almost everything and nothing works...

image.thumb.png.1a6596ee3ca86dc2614be4eae39fb736.png

Play until you reached max tactical familiarity. Before that you simply can’t judge if your tactics is good or not. 

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3 minutes ago, CARRERA said:

Play until you reached max tactical familiarity. Before that you simply can’t judge if your tactics is good or not. 

That's not true, you should be analysing tactics right from the get go  and looking at most of the OPs iterations they have very close to maximum familiarity.

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39 minutes ago, Johnny Ace said:

As a whole that looks good to me but, is Luis Alberto a DLP(D)? I really didn't think defending is one of his strong points & was more suited to AMLRC strata ie get him forward so he's not having to defend the middle of the pitch. I did a season with Lazio & wouldn't dare put Alberto or SMS in a CM slot  

Your two guys in CM are going to need to be rock solid when you have no DM.  

Agree regarding Alberto. He hasn't been playing there. I had Darder who I signed who is more defensive minded. He has played there a few times but on a support mentality with a CM on defence. 

I was actually playing SMS and Alberto just behind a striker with two others sitting behind them. SMS was a AMC attack duty and Alberto was a AP on support. I was trying to get them both in the side as they're my best players but it just wasn't working

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1 hour ago, Crazy_Ivan said:

Personally if that was my system I would want both those Wingbacks as complete wingbacks on attack. They are dynamic they will provide a whole new dimension to the tactic in attack sometimes going as far to provide an extra body in  the box when the chance presents itself. Then I want to get both those guys wide open in as much space as possible and I want our men in the middle to find them in that space. I would want Milenkovic to be a creative force as well as an attacking presence in the box so I am going to carefully prepare a role for him that allows him to provide both The two CM's are going to be my mop up men on the wings providing cover out wide if the WBs are high and we turn the ball over but I would also want them providing a presence around the edge of the box and sometimes even get in to the box.

If you give me a bit I will show you exactly what my vision  would be in the set up you have outlined there.

Thinking I may try something similar. By WBs on attack with the two CM's on duties to perhaps cover. Maybe a CAR and a DLP Def or CM Def? 

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Regarding the base formation and strategy, were these selected following the default pathways ie. did you click on Catenaccio, then click on one of the suggested formations etc etc. If so, did the default Catenaccio setting suggest playing with the high defensive line and pressing, as per the opening post? Whilst this seems to have been changed in later tweaks as per your most recent screenshot, the same question applies...were these tweaks made to a tactic that was selected from the custom playing styles/settings or one created from scratch?

I may be mistaken, but one would imagine in selecting a custom playing style, we plug into a particular set of algorithms and no matter how much one varies the PIs and TIs, there is a lasting legacy of that primary choice. By setting up as Catenaccio, everything else becomes a catenaccioed version of...It comes as no surprise then that a catenaccioed high defensive line and press equates to a bunch of bird watchers clad in Lazio blue watching Haaland the hawk ravage their goalkeeper. The two settings cancel one another out leading to zero.

The difficulty now is, major tweaks will compromise tactical familiarity, the default produce of which is a lesser yield. The aim of this programming (tactical familiarity) was to reduce the power of the plug and play formation. Clearly there's plenty wrong with Dear Lazio, but how sweeping can the changes be without losing an established identity, no matter how porous that might be at present. 

A few thoughts:

- Positive team mentality, is this permanent or does this vary depending on opposition, or in-game events?

- Why be more expressive? What is the cumulative flair rating of the team ahead of the back three? The maximum flair rating for those 7 players (including the wingbacks) is 140, any less than 80% of maximum (112), take this off. Yes, the idea of players being more expressive is appealing, but in the SI cosmos, this purely a question of intelligence, whilst there are many other attributes that influence expression, Flair rules the roost in FM. A quick glance at how the game defines it is testimony to that.

- How does the Distribute to Fullback setting play out given there are no actual fullbacks in the base formation? Had this issue playing with a wing backed system, watching extended highlights, it became apparent all balls were going to the CBs, once in play, the WBs made their forward runs and were far beyond the passing capacity of Troost-Ekong and Sons. Distribute to the flanks seemed to find the WBs with greater regularity.

- All 3 CBs are CDs set to defend, by default this means they're less likely to add a bit of trajectory to their pass and find the Wingback and in the defensive phase, more likely to hold their line. If the line breaks, who covers? Ahead of the line, do they get any support? Does the DLP have any defensive attributes >/=14 (tackling, marking, positioning, OTB), does Darder? 

- Why shorter passing? Are there enough passing options to maximise this approach. Watch extended highlights, pause the game during a transition once the ball has left defence, take a screenshot. Assuming the ball progresses beyond the halfway line, pause again and take a further screenshot. If it progresses to the final third, take another. Now look at the position of your players relative to the position of the ball, how far does the ball have to travel in order to find a player? Is short passing the best option, it may well be, but better to know than assume. 

- Why DLF when you already have an AMC in dead centre? Is the DLF asked to play wider so as to avoid piggybacking the AMC? Think of the DLFs in real life, how many play with an AMC directly behind. Don't most 4-2-3-1s ask the CF to make lateral runs, or ask the AMC to play as support striker as the CF drops deep (ala Kane and Lucas Moura). If Caciedo's best position is DLF, then either have him dropping wider or shift the AMC to AMLC, so when he drops, he drops into a different zone.

 

The formation needs balancing, even more so if the hardwiring is viewing this in terms of Catenaccio.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Paul Barton said:

Thinking I may try something similar. By WBs on attack with the two CM's on duties to perhaps cover. Maybe a CAR and a DLP Def or CM Def? 

The Carrilero shifts wide and leaves the midfield wide open. Two manned midfields are best served protecting the centre, leave the flanks to the wide centre backs and hope your wingbacks can be bothered to help out. If you have a DM behind the two, then Carrilero till your hearts content. 

If your WBs are going attacking, then having both MCs on defend is a sensible option. More so when one factors in the Positive overall mentality. Defend individual mentality on a Positive team mentality, does not equate to an overall Defensive mentality in the chosen player. By playing Positively, the balance is tilted towards attack. Assuming Balance equals 0, Cautious -1, Positive +1 one and so on, and from the individual perspective Def is -1, support 0, Attack 1, it becomes obvious that a defensive individual in a positive or attacking team mentality, is less defensively inclined. In fact, at one point, one of the tactical windows confirms the effect of Team Mentality on the Player's, cue the "Very Attacking" description, despite there being no option to play a player very attacking. 

With that in mind, the lack of defensive support for the back three becomes all the more obvious. In a custom formation, hardwired and algorithmed to death, this is bread and  milk for the match engine. 

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39 minutes ago, Paul Barton said:

Thinking I may try something similar. By WBs on attack with the two CM's on duties to perhaps cover. Maybe a CAR and a DLP Def or CM Def? 

I think I am going to bow out of this one. I had some analyses ready but I think you're just getting a lot of information chucked at you and me adding to that will not really help you.

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Just now, Crazy_Ivan said:

I think I am going to bow out of this one. I had some analyses ready but I think you're just getting a lot of information chucked at you and me adding to that will not really help you.

It's interesting to see how do many people have different opinions of what may or may not work with this system! 

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1 minute ago, Paul Barton said:

It's interesting to see how do many people have different opinions of what may or may not work with this system! 

To be fair there are many ways to skin a cat on FM. One thing I hadn't asked you was how you want to the system to play out and that's the vital bit tbh. Stick with it because a lot of us were in the same boat as you at one point and when it finally clicks it becomes a very satisfying and rewarding experience.

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Talking from personal experience, I've run a simple 4-4-2 with minimal instructions for years and only really make in-game tactical changes when I identify issues.

The key is understanding the formation you are using and knowing what its strengths and weaknesses are. Maximize the strengths and attempt to mitigate the weaknesses.

The best piece of advice I can offer is to WATCH your matches in detail and ANALYZE what you are seeing.

If you are struggling with that perhaps posting some .ppms of the matches where your team lost on here can help.

Ultimately, you need to have a plan of how you want to see the team perform and start building from there.

Saying you want to create a possession based tactic is too vague in my view and it doesn't help others to help you because everybody has a wide range of differing opinions of how they would create such a tactic.

You need to be asking yourself and answering questions such as:

Who do you expect to be your main goalscorer?

How are you going to create goal scoring opportunities for them?

Who creates space when your team attacks and who do you expect to exploit that space?

How are you going to defend? Are you going to attempt to press or hold shape?

When are you going to attempt to win the ball back? 

Do you have players that are capable of playing the way you want?

How are you going to treat transitions?

Once you can answer those questions you will have clear idea of what you are looking to build and also a firm foundation for how to build it.

Finally, tactics aren't the totality of the things you need to consider when trying to get your team to perform. For e.g. looking at your bench, your players are in appalling condition in terms of fitness which indicates to me that you aren't rotating enough and you aren't making your squad players available for the reserves. Bench players need to be fit and raring to go much like your first choice players as you could be depending on them to come off the bench at any time and have an impact. How are they supposed to do that when the majority aren't even close to being match fit? 

All the best

Edited by pheelf
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