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Hey All,

I would be very much appreciative if somebody could take a look at my tactic below and offer me some advice.

I'm Arsenal in 2028 - I won the league last season playing a 433 which had aggressive off the ball instructions (Very high defensive level, more urgent pressing and counter press) and the effectiveness started to wear off towards the end of last season and beginning of this season so tried to start developing a more rounded and less aggressive tactic. First half of the season went ok but form dropped off massively with only 4 wins in the last 14 (all at home against big teams - Man United, Barcelona, Liverpool and PSG). Struggled hugely away from home both this season and last season as well (last season I had a goal difference of +46 at home and +1 away from home).

In terms of style of play - I want to be pretty solid as a team, decent possession but not looking to pass teams to death and good coherent attacking play with front players linking up well to create chances both through crosses and through balls.

Have a really high quality of player through the team - no obvious weaknesses - good defenders, plenty of good passers, dribblers, finishers, etc. Happy to share screenshots of any key players to the system etc.

Below is my tactic as it stands now and then also the match stats from my last three games to show inconsistency of how we perform against big sides at home compared to how we play against smaller teams and away from home.

Only player instructions are for the two wide attackers to close down more to achieve the split press with the pressing forward.

Any advice or tweaks or weakness/contridictions in the tactic would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

 

 

 

Tactic.jpg

V United.jpg

V West Ham.jpg

V Wolves.jpg

Edited by charliecul12
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This is pretty much the exact same tactic i'm using, except the striker, i'm using a Complete Forward (support), and some TIs, so i'll be following the thread closely. How are your Central Midfielders holding up ? Both my DLP and CM(a) have really bad average ratings despite being world class players and suited for the role.

Overall I have the same issues as you. Team plays good, lots of XG, sometimes it seems that I lack punch upfront, even though the XG are good. I'm first in league tied with 2nd, but I scored 12 less goals than them in 20 matches which is quite a lot ! I do have the best defense though, so there's that.

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You have a good overall balance in your setup of roles and duties, but too little creative force and movement up front. So I would suggest either switching the striker's role to something more creative and/or roaming (CF/DLF/F9/TQ, depending on the player) OR the attacking CM into the mezzala (also on attack duty). 

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On 04/04/2021 at 17:23, Fatkidscantjump said:

This is pretty much the exact same tactic i'm using, except the striker, i'm using a Complete Forward (support), and some TIs, so i'll be following the thread closely. How are your Central Midfielders holding up ? Both my DLP and CM(a) have really bad average ratings despite being world class players and suited for the role.

Overall I have the same issues as you. Team plays good, lots of XG, sometimes it seems that I lack punch upfront, even though the XG are good. I'm first in league tied with 2nd, but I scored 12 less goals than them in 20 matches which is quite a lot ! I do have the best defense though, so there's that.

Yes I have been having exact same issue with my DLP and CM(a) - really bad average ratings despite top quality players.

Thanks @Experienced Defender and @Keyzer Soze for the advice just in pre season but will make a change to a more creative striker role and see how that goes.

Thanks,

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I just dont understand how to get tactics working on this game. I am using the above tactic (with a deep lying forward on attack) packed full of world class players (all of them well suited to in theory create a well balanced team) and I just cant get any sort of result away from home. Every team I play away from home looks like 1970's Brazil whilst my team looks like a non-league team. I just dont understand what I am doing wrong.

Just played a poor Bournemouth team away from home and lost 3-0 with them having 19 shots and me 5 - posession was relatively equal. I just dont get how to make tactics work on this game.

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18 hours ago, charliecul12 said:

I just dont understand how to get tactics working on this game. I am using the above tactic (with a deep lying forward on attack) packed full of world class players (all of them well suited to in theory create a well balanced team) and I just cant get any sort of result away from home. Every team I play away from home looks like 1970's Brazil whilst my team looks like a non-league team. I just dont understand what I am doing wrong.

Just played a poor Bournemouth team away from home and lost 3-0 with them having 19 shots and me 5 - posession was relatively equal. I just dont get how to make tactics work on this game.

I hear you. I just had a similar experience in an AWAY Europa League match. Where an Everton team beat my Real Sociedad side 2-0. I played a very similar balanced tactic to yours except with False 9 and Mezzala on Attack (instead of CM Attack). We could barely make third of chances they had. And could barely get our ball out of our half. And I built this team specifically with possession football in mind. I handpicked them for their "possesion-friendly" attributes such as first touch, passing, technique, composure, decisions, vision and teamwork and balance. 

It's a really frustrating when your team can beat Barcelona at home but then struggles Away so much. 

Just wanted to let you know you are not the only one. I think we all wish our tactics were more consistent but then the game would probably become too predictable and mechanical, losing its hold on us. Trust me, it's not fun using an exploit tactic and winning everything like in the old days of FM.

Edited by crusadertsar
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  • 2 weeks later...

I really need some help with setting up a team tactically. I cant get a result out of anywhere - I am using the tactic in my initial post except with a deep lying forward on attack duty and lost 4 on the bounce scoring only 2 goals.

My team is packed full of world class players in even position. It just doesnt seem right that given the quality of player I have and using a balanced tactic following a lot of the advice on here  on how to set up a tactic that I can be so bad. We are terrible we look terrible structurally, not organised as a defensive unit, can't keep possession and absolutely toothless going forward. Cant get any sort of performance out of my central midfielders who seem to get around 6.4 every game and pass up good simple attacking passes in favour of just hitting long balls straight to the opposition. And the opposition teams are so much slicker than me - good transitionsm, sharp finishing, move up and down the team as a unit and this is any team including the teams in 20th and 19th in the league who both beat me easily in successive games.

The thing I'm really struggling with is given the quality of player and my reasonable balanced tactic why are things so bad?

Any help greatly appreciated as close to tossing the game in the bin and walking away as never felt in 25 years of playing the game as clueless about setting up tactics as I have now. And not looking for a magic tactic but I just cant see what I'm doing so radically wrong to cause such bad performances and results given my players and tactics.

Thanks.

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That does sound weird. I'm currently running pretty much the same tactic in my Barca save and things went pretty smoothly for me. Used a CF(s) instead of a DLF(a), a Mezzala (a) instead of cm(a) and a DM instead of a halfback. Pretty much all my squad specifically the attacking players have the PPM play one-twos which I've found to be important in breaking down the opposition when they're sitting back. Also tend to play on attacking mentality against lesser opposition and positive against tougher teams.

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1 hour ago, charliecul12 said:

I really need some help with setting up a team tactically. I cant get a result out of anywhere - I am using the tactic in my initial post except with a deep lying forward on attack duty and lost 4 on the bounce scoring only 2 goals.

My team is packed full of world class players in even position. It just doesnt seem right that given the quality of player I have and using a balanced tactic following a lot of the advice on here  on how to set up a tactic that I can be so bad. We are terrible we look terrible structurally, not organised as a defensive unit, can't keep possession and absolutely toothless going forward. Cant get any sort of performance out of my central midfielders who seem to get around 6.4 every game and pass up good simple attacking passes in favour of just hitting long balls straight to the opposition. And the opposition teams are so much slicker than me - good transitionsm, sharp finishing, move up and down the team as a unit and this is any team including the teams in 20th and 19th in the league who both beat me easily in successive games.

The thing I'm really struggling with is given the quality of player and my reasonable balanced tactic why are things so bad?

Any help greatly appreciated as close to tossing the game in the bin and walking away as never felt in 25 years of playing the game as clueless about setting up tactics as I have now. And not looking for a magic tactic but I just cant see what I'm doing so radically wrong to cause such bad performances and results given my players and tactics.

Thanks.

Sounds like your players don't fit this style of football. 4-3-3 is pretty much build for possession style. Do you have highly technical players with high levels of technical attributes such as passing and first touch or composure and balance to hold on to the ball for long periods? Do the they vision and decisions to spot the right pass? Or great off the ball and anticipation to take full advantage on the opened up. space.

For example current Manchester United squad is also full of world-class players. But try to make them play vertical Tiki Taka and they will look like a bunch of amateurs.

In the game it is not just about the right tactic and roles. But also about making sure that your team is suitable to the tactic.

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Sometimes bad form causes bad form, but having that much trouble with world class players does sound like a tactical/suitability issue.

The issue I see that could lead to having trouble against “bad” teams while beating top sides is that your midfield might end up being to far apart and too conservative.  The HB will stay deep, the DLP will stay put, and your CM(a) will bomb forward.  Against top sides, that HB and DLP will provide good cover, and the four players going forward with WBs in support will be enough when the opposition is throwing men forward.  Against lower opposition, though, the CM(a) is the only one centrally that’ll provide forward movement and he’ll often be too far forward to help in the build up. You have 4 players being conservative and against lower sides I find you only need three. 
If you like the HB, maybe make the DLP  more dynamic offensively (CM(s) with PIs to make him more creative, or RPM?). If you like the DLP there, maybe give the DM a support role, maybe even a regista if they have the right attributes.

The other option is, as Experienced Defender suggested, giving the CM(a) a different role. Mezalas have worked very well for me in the 4-3-3, they're still attacking, still penetrate, but they don’t just sprint towards the box like the CM(a). A BBM can also be effective here with good movement and running off of the DLP. I personally do not like the CM(a) in this formation. It’s too one dimensional and often gets in the way of the DLF while usually not being as effective at scoring and getting on the end of chances.
The choice does largely depend on the players you have, but my first instinct is that the problem is in the midfield trio.

 

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Many thanks  for the responses - I have attached some screenshots of my midfielders below just to add a bit more context to who I was using in the system.

I tend to use Rice or Neri has the half back, Kidane as the deep lying play maker and Mijatovic as the central midfielder on attack. Valdir I tend to use in a couple positions when rotating. I have tried Kidane and Neri as the two midfielders in front of the half back however Kidane has poor finishing so didnt feel he suited the central midfielder role and Neri has come deep for the ball as a trait which I also felt made him unsuitable for that role.

 

Rice.jpg

Valdir.jpg

Kidane.jpg

Mijatovic.jpg

Neri.jpg

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11 hours ago, charliecul12 said:

I am using the tactic in my initial post except with a deep lying forward on attack duty

What about changing the CM on attack duty into mezzala on attack duty? Both in order to add more movement and creativity without losing central penetration and because you have an IW (as opposed to classic winger) in AMR. Of course, pay attention to player selection, since the mezzala is a more demanding role.

A split block involving the 4 most attacking players could also be helpful, especially as you have optimal compactness thanks to the combination of higher DL and standard LOE.

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4 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

What about changing the CM on attack duty into mezzala on attack duty? Both in order to add more movement and creativity without losing central penetration and because you have an IW (as opposed to classic winger) in AMR. Of course, pay attention to player selection, since the mezzala is a more demanding role.

A split block involving the 4 most attacking players could also be helpful, especially as you have optimal compactness thanks to the combination of higher DL and standard LOE.

This. Mitajovic would make a great mezzala - as would Neri. Also, If you have the three forward players plus the mez press more, you’ll shut down cautious opposition while still giving a little space to lure them out.

Also, I can see why you set up your midfield the way you have based on the players, but I don’t think they’re as balanced/effective as they could be. I think having two conservative roles out of three is too much for playing teams that will sit with ten men in the box. Kidane is a good DLP in CM, so I’d wonder about playing Neri as a DM with a more progressive role than HB to add something unpredictable in attack. Against deep defending sides you can put that extra man forward.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @13th Man and @Experienced Defender for the suggestions.

Have changed my set up to a regista in the DM position with Neri playing in their and Mijatovic as a mezzala and add the split block onto the front three and mezzala to see how that goes.

One game in so far - North London Derby v Spurs and won 2-0 15 shots to their 10. So an encouraging start - the teams passing, movement and interplay instantly feels a bit sharper than previously after 6 defeats in a row with only 2 goals scored!! Wasnt perfect in the Spurs game but hopefully have a base from which I can start to tweak from based on what is actually happening in the games.

One question I do have is my inside forward - screen shot below - in my first couple of seasons he was just gliding past players at will and generally terrorising players meaning he created lots of goals and scored loads - for last 12 months he seems to just run into players or is too tentative and almost waits for the defender to tackle him. Is there anything I can do to help he recreate his previous form?

@bezzy1970 Its called Base21 Dark (FM 20) skin - I have to play the game with stadium photos so it was one of the ones I found when googling this that lets me do that!

Many thanks,

Hamid Gherbi.jpg

Edited by charliecul12
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Glad to hear it’s started well, that’s a good game to right the ship!

Spurs are still a decent-top side (I’m guessing still in your save) so the question is more - did you see better movement? Seemed like you stayed defensively stable, so that’s good.

In terms of the IF, I think as teams sit deeper, they won’t come out and close him down, they’ll sit back and force him to beat them. As an attacking player myself, I can tell you it’s much much easier to beat a defender rushing out than one who tracks you and doesn’t commit! I think it’s just a natural consequence of being a top side.
Of course, there are tweaks to be made based on how teams are playing you, but your tactic naturally creates 1v1s for him with the right side overload, so I don’t see any issues there.

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We did see much better movement in that game - felt like the players had much better options on the ball and transitioned from back to front in a much more fluid manner.

Followed that up with a horrid performance away to West Brom - 12 shots a piece and equal possession but just couldnt seem to get control of the game and lost 2-1 with a hole the size of the grand canyon in between my two centre backs. Is there any specific tweaks you would make to away games to get better control of those games?

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38 minutes ago, charliecul12 said:

We did see much better movement in that game - felt like the players had much better options on the ball and transitioned from back to front in a much more fluid manner.

Followed that up with a horrid performance away to West Brom - 12 shots a piece and equal possession but just couldnt seem to get control of the game and lost 2-1 with a hole the size of the grand canyon in between my two centre backs. Is there any specific tweaks you would make to away games to get better control of those games?

What formation did West Brom run? If they had a lot of players forward then the regista can get caught upfield in quick transitions. In that case it might be better to keep the DM as a HB in those games to protect the neckline and maybe use your DLP CM as a CM(s) with PIs to encourage more risk taking in passing but encourage dynamism than DLP usually gives you. 

You can also pull the MEZ back to support duty which will help you not get too caught out. This, BTW, is my preferred attacking CM role. I find the MEZ(s) to be really dangerous, lurking around the edge of the box as both a creative force and a goal threat if given space. They also don’t get in the way of the front three as much but are still close enough to contribute.

Wonder why you’re CBS were so wide? Maybe marking two strikers with tight marking instructions? They don’t have “stay wide” TIs do they?

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Thank you for the tips - just create an away tactic which I'll trial and tweak over the next few away games and see how it goes - Barcelona away in the next game as good as any place to start! Did get a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid using my other (Home) tactic though although we were under the cosh a fair bit.

Just watched the goal back several times - for some reason my right back got dragged over to the left hand side of the pitch (need to check set piece takers etc) and my right hand sided centre half got dragged out to right back. As my right back got himself back into position my centre half didnt shift across leaving the gap. So the issue with my right back which I need to investigate more caused it but would have hoped my centre back would have got back into position quicker - centre backs dont have PI's. Number 12 is my right back in below screenshot and 6 and 4 as centre halves.

West Brom were playing 4231 and actually the first goal was pretty similar (although with the real extreme gap) and came from their centre forward taking up a position between my two centre backs - a long ball came forward and my centre half went to challenge the striker and got beaten leaving a one on one.

Many thanks for the advice - much appreciated and has got me giving my tactics a bit more thought and doing things like analysing goals conceded to see where I can improve things.

Goal.jpg

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On 18/04/2021 at 13:27, charliecul12 said:

Thank you for the tips - just create an away tactic which I'll trial and tweak over the next few away games and see how it goes - Barcelona away in the next game as good as any place to start! Did get a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid using my other (Home) tactic though although we were under the cosh a fair bit.

Just watched the goal back several times - for some reason my right back got dragged over to the left hand side of the pitch (need to check set piece takers etc) and my right hand sided centre half got dragged out to right back. As my right back got himself back into position my centre half didnt shift across leaving the gap. So the issue with my right back which I need to investigate more caused it but would have hoped my centre back would have got back into position quicker - centre backs dont have PI's. Number 12 is my right back in below screenshot and 6 and 4 as centre halves.

West Brom were playing 4231 and actually the first goal was pretty similar (although with the real extreme gap) and came from their centre forward taking up a position between my two centre backs - a long ball came forward and my centre half went to challenge the striker and got beaten leaving a one on one.

Many thanks for the advice - much appreciated and has got me giving my tactics a bit more thought and doing things like analysing goals conceded to see where I can improve things.

Goal.jpg

That is some...interesting positioning by your CBs. Was this ball sent directly from their #5 or had possession just been recycled? I could see this happening if your CBs had just aggressively closed down someone and their #9 had attacked the open space. But I don’t see aggressive pressing in your tactic so that’d be odd too!

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