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Help - I've improved my 4-3-3 DM, but can't convert chances for toffee


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So, as the title says.

I feel like I'm going absolutely out of my mind with rage at this point in my current FM save, because I seem to have magically reached that point again were; either I'm having bad luck and reacting too early and making too many changes... or something has changed with the games reaction to me or something,  and I can't figure it out.

As reference, I'm managing Southampton in my current save. It's the 30/31 season. And the last 3 seasons I've more than handily won the Premier League. Add into that a Champions League win, an FA Cup and 2 Community Shields. So, an established silverware winning side. We're good.

This season however, good God...


1611655813_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_03_28.png.257db6d0f237554a9c3f7855be0f2d1e.png

27 games in, and I've somehow lost a staggering 8 games. In all my 3 title winning seasons I only lost 6-7 games at most, and some of them came towards the end when giving a couple of young players some games when the title was all wrapped up. Couple this with a resurgent Liverpool and United who refuse to drop points, and I feel I'm pretty much out of this title race completely. 

But with those games, I have no idea how to analyse the data properly and figure out what the hell went wrong. It just baffles me.

I'm using a combination of 3 tactics that I've been flitting between. It used to predominately be a 3-4-1-2, but with the winter update, that tactic kinda stopped working at all. It used to be somewhat effective against 4-3-3 DM teams, but then all of a sudden it just isn't... I can't explain it. Then I switched to a bland 4-4-2, which won me my Champions League and last Premier League title... but then, I'm not sure if the game updated again or something, but upon coming back to the game last week after a month or so away, just to finish off a season, it just suddenly stopped being effective as well. Like, every game was a struggle for a shot on target. I felt like I only won the league that year 'cos with 8 games to go, I'd managed to build a comfortable 12 point gap, but I basically tanked out of every other competition embarrassingly. 

But, for the past while now I've tried to adapt and been sticking to something like this;

1007420480_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_06_18.png.a19d3582562b8be78ff0d3a70ad3005c.png

 

It's been working well, as you can see;


1317953770_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_08_57.png.d4b99072a5f0e2f3c3dd88d70beff7c6.png

 

But every now and then I'll just have a game where NOTHING goes right for my team AT ALL.  And I don't understand at all. Is this just a new quirk of the ME at this stage? That your team will just suddenly not turn up for a game en masse?  Is the opposition just gunning for me more now that I'm established as a good team? It took them long enough, since I've been dominant for 3 years now (even before that, my previous 2 seasons in the Premier had me finishing 2nd)

Tactically, the areas that I can't figure out or make any sense of anymore are basically 

- How wide to play, how wide to defend

- Do I pass into space?

- My lines of engagement, I used to always be Higher, but then seemed to constantly be hit by pacy strikers on the counter... so I lowered it, but the issue isn't fixed at all it feels like, barring me now just allowing opposition teams to play out from the back even more

- Do I bother with the Counter-press?

- Having tight marking always on?

- Facing 4-2-3-1, which always seems to score goals from all across the front 4 somehow

Addressing some of the issues...

In the 2-1 loss to Leeds, they seemed to just play a ridiculously wide game. Everything seemed to happen for them out wide.  At the time I think I was experimenting with forcing the opposition wide (thinking I could deal with them basically having to lump the ball in from a cross), but all that happened was my players ran around like headless chickens chasing opposition players, allowing areas of the pitch to be open. Somehow as well, despite me playing a 4-3-3 against their 4-2-3-1, they seemed to just always have a man in the centre of the pitch free for a pass, and my guys just stood nowhere near them. Like, no desire to stand anywhere near their men at all. So, naturally I tried to play a bit wider myself, asked my players to play more standard defensive width.

But NOTHING changed in game... they kept having the exact same kind of chances, and my players just refused to adapt and or listen to me. They kept standing in bizarre positions, and allowing the opposition to just hold the ball.

Passing into space... I used to it... but then started questioning who I was passing too, especially when playing higher LoE. I can't make my mind up on it. When I lowered my LoE to standard and tried to use it, it seemed to barely function as a way to play either way. I dunno anymore about passing into space, the team seems to just do whatever at this point.

Counter-pressing and tight marking... in the past it felt like a given to have these always on if you were a great team, but so far all I see when I try and have both on is opposition players having mad dribbling games... talking like an AMR player dribbling all the way from the right wing, infield, and finding himself on the left wing, all the while dragging my LB along for the ride 'cos he was trying to mark him. I've seen that happen a dozen times when trying to play this way, so I gave up. I'm not contemplating just giving up Counter-pressing in general, but doesn't it still work? All my players have great Teamwork/Work rate, so...
 

Every now and then I get results like the Leeds 1-2 loss, the recent shocking 1-4 Tottenham result, the 1-3 against Arsenal the 0-2 against Man City (who in my save at the time were sitting in 15th, managerless and winless in 8 games, go figure). In this games I have literally no idea what I've done different, and can't figure out what the opposition does different, but I end up barely getting a sniff on goal. In my previous seasons I at least always felt competitive in games, like I had a chance regardless of the quality of the opposition. Now, I just seem to get games (again, against a baffling array of opposition quality, they can 3rd place Liverpool, or 15th place Leeds, it doesn't seem to matter) were nothing I do seems to matter. My players are gonna have a stinker, not implement any change in gameplan, and the opposition will have the best games of their lives.

What tends to happen, almost without fail in these scenarios is;

- Game starts

- Opposition just gets about 5-7 shots within the first 20-30 minutes or so

- I get none, like, literally nothing seems to happen, I can't make any inroads whatsoever. Doesn't matter if I try a slower tempo passing game, working it into the box, doesn't matter if I pass into space and go direct, nothing seems to go for my team.

- They inevitably score. My team literally seems incapable of doing anything, regardless of any shift in instructions I give. They refuse to turn up

- I panic and switch formation to a 4-4-2 or something, opposition considers it job done and sits back a bit

- My shooting stats get inflated because of this.

- I lose embarrassingly, with my players not getting above a 6.7 across the board

Like, I don't get what I'm meant to do in these types of games. Am I just meant to resign myself to the fact that the opponent has turned up massively, and all their players are motivated/playing out their skin, and my players just refuse to turn up and perform? It's like consistently the most obvious thing I can see, and I have no idea how to fix that during a match... it just seems every now and then this kinda crap just happens, despite none of my players being inconsistent (refuse to buy any player that has that for this very reason), or 'hating big matches' or any of that.

They just seem to refuse to turn up in some games.

Watching the most recent loss, the stupid 4-1 loss to Tottenham... this is the overall ratings for both teams at the end;

983903550_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_14_19.png.e8ce4f254bfda2f012c66ddef32324cf.png

2073069269_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_14_21.png.dc7776016b5fa1c6a691099145d73179.png

This is even a light example of my issue. I've had games were my midfielders have all seemingly got 6.1 - 6.4's, while the opposition across the board have 7.0+ in every position . And again, I have literally no idea why my otherwise solid tactics have all gone out the window. Granted, this Tottenham game was just a freak fluke anyway, it feels like. They had a pen, and their last two goals were direct from set-pieces. But still. 

Compare that to when I played Juve in the cup... exact same tactic from me, but;

 

667462627_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_49_42.png.cccb7554650fd72bca190f481d20c055.png

1186357085_Screenshot2021-04-08at23_49_46.png.814aa754965665adaf95d2a347026f1f.png

I mean... night and day difference. I literally don't know how to figure out how I go from only allowing 1 off shot target against one of the best sides in Europe, to getting utterly humiliated by a bang average Tottenham side. I was raging so hard in that Tottenham game, it was unreal. 'cos it's felt like all 8 losses I've had this season have come in this exact same way. My players just refuse to turn up sometimes. Especially my brain dead GK

Lastly, in my rant/request for help...

4-2-3-1

This formation is literally the only thing I seem to face at this point. EVERY TEAM in the game uses it now it seems, and I can't ... figure out how to deal with it at all it seems at times. If I press high, their lone striker with pace kills me on the counter, if I don't press high, their wide attackers seem to link up magically and decimate me. Their AM is just a mercurial something or other, despite me trying to play with a DM to compensate. I try and play from the back, but can't seem to do it without being pressed, when I see highlights with the opposition having the ball and playing from the back, literally none of my players are pressing their backline barring my lone solo striker, who wanders around doing nothing. 

It's just too bad at this point. I don't even feel like I'm exaggerating in saying it, but literally every team uses it now in my save game. It's borderline being OP with how effective Liverpool and Man United are using it to just walk the league again.

Aaaand breathe.

Thanks for any tips/advice. Soz for the long post

Edited by SuperBiggles
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How do you want your team to play or do you just want to win? 
your tactic, especially your setup of roles and duties is quite direct, looking for quick transitions, which properbly can’t work against teams that sit deep anyway. 

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First off, please mind the language (as I had to edit your opening post).

As for the tactic, you are probably going to hate what I'll say, but the tactic looks extremely unbalanced, so you should actually be extremely happy with the results IMHO. 

All 3 forwards + mezzala on attacking duties. Both central midfielders in roaming roles. Overall, the setup of roles and duties looks as though the back half of the team are in charge of defending only, while the front half are responsible solely for attacking like mad. Any opposition that is well organized in defense can easily take advantage of the weaknesses in you tactic. 

Btw, offside trap makes little sense when you don't play with a high D-line, not least because it leaves your defenders too little time to react timely when the trap fails. 

Tweaks you may want to consider at least when it comes to roles and duties:

CFat

IFsu                                Wat

CAR      CMat

HB

FBat   CDde  BPDde   IWBsu

SKsu

It is still a pretty much gung-ho setup, but a bit more balanced at least. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, CARRERA said:

How do you want your team to play or do you just want to win? 
your tactic, especially your setup of roles and duties is quite direct, looking for quick transitions, which properbly can’t work against teams that sit deep anyway. 

I think the overall tactic was just one of those hodge-podge messes created out of sheer frustration, were I just thought 'sod it, go for it lads'. Looking back at it now with the cold light of morning, a lot of the pieces of it are all chopped and changed and leftovers/changes that I kept making while trying to to figure out what the hell I was doing

 

 

8 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

 

As for the tactic, you are probably going to hate what I'll say, but the tactic looks extremely unbalanced, so you should actually be extremely happy with the results IMHO. 

 


Not at all, if anything I don't like this tactic at all myself. If I'm honest, I think I was trying to modify WorkTheSpace's Nottingham tactic he's using in his Park to Prem save on YouTube... while trying to play to at least some of the strengths of my team. But it just feels like a mess looking at it. 

 

 

8 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

First off, please mind the language (as I had to edit your opening post).

As for the tactic, you are probably going to hate what I'll say, but the tactic looks extremely unbalanced, so you should actually be extremely happy with the results IMHO. 

All 3 forwards + mezzala on attacking duties. Both central midfielders in roaming roles. Overall, the setup of roles and duties looks as though the back half of the team are in charge of defending only, while the front half are responsible solely for attacking like mad. Any opposition that is well organized in defense can easily take advantage of the weaknesses in you tactic. 

Btw, offside trap makes little sense when you don't play with a high D-line, not least because it leaves your defenders too little time to react timely when the trap fails. 

 

Now that you point it out to me, and the frustration has disappeared with a nights sleep, I can understand everything you're saying here. I think my thinking with it was that... well, in defence we should keep this shape. 4 at the back, holding midfielder, 2 in front, look to work it forward with speed when we win the ball back. When that happens I expected basically the BBM and the MEZ to join the attack and sit behind the Striker, providing options for him, blah... blah... It kinda worked, but it just always seemed a fluke.

I have changed it now this morning while trying to re-assess what the actual playing style I wanted was, and came out with this;

697527382_Screenshot2021-04-09at09_38_24.png.138f4666a1e21fb6d0bb504ac1438780.png

I'm thinking it's more balanced? But if there's anything else you can suggest, I'm all ears.

The HB is a role I love anyway, so I thought I'd dump him in... I've gone FB's over WB's because I prefer how they aren't quite as gung-ho getting forward. I have set individual instructions for them both to go wider though, just so we have some width in attack. Having one BPD on Cover has stopped, for the two games I've played at least, being hit on the counter as hard.

Midfield... I've put the MEZ in to compensate on the side with the Raumdeuter. I'm thinking his tackling and desire to drift wider will compensate in that area of the pitch? CM(at) is there to get forward and sit behind the attacker a bit more.

The Raumdeuter is there as basically a goal threat. I find that IF's this year are just inconsistent at best, and it's a role that I tend to struggle with for some reason. Besides, my team is littered with a good couple of players who fill out the RMD role perfectly, with great Work Rate/Off the Ball, etc...

The False 9 is there to basically link up. I ask the GK to distribute to him as well, as he's a great aerial presence is Ramirez. 

Other than that... gone a lot Higher with the lines. Basically attempting to pin the opponent back. I got rid of the Counter-Press, because all it seems to do for my team is over-commit players to running around like headless chickens. I've found that having just More Urgent pressing in general makes the player nearest to the opposition player who has the ball press effectively, while not destroying my team's shape and dragging players all over the shop.

I've also gone for a Lower Tempo, as it's something that I always use to use in my 3-4-1-2 that I felt worked much better than a Higher Tempo... I dunno, I just get the feeling it allows the players more time and opportunity to pick a better pass, rather than rushing it and fluffing it.

I also got rid of Run at Defence, and instead have just given individual instructions of Dribble More (where it wasn't already selected) to the players in my team with great dribbling.

So far I've had 2 games with this tactic, very riskily trying it in a Cup Final no less... and the results were;

258934147_Screenshot2021-04-09at09_38_34.png.b06e36d9c81c2e3138cf50eff079e985.png

587153975_Screenshot2021-04-09at09_39_28.png.48063c0f6600c11cf99a6132c4065448.png

 

Initially I'm just utterly surprised by how well the RMD has done. In the past when I've tried it, it's always been a mess that has never performed for me. In the first game I had Sancho as the RMD (not -the- Sancho, he's a regen) and he's not the best finisher, so understandably struggled. Next game I had Lobos there, who is a great finisher, and he got two goals as the RMD. I subbed on Salazar to go into the RMD role late on, switching Lobos to the F9, and lo and behold, Salazar scored on the counter in the RMD role too. I think I'm falling in love...

Cheers for the initial feedback, and now wondering if there's anything I can do to improve my changes? (sorry for the ranty bad language as well)

Edited by SuperBiggles
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Why do you keep holding on to the overlap instructions while running very passive fullback roles? Also I guess you had overlap instructions on while you were using wing backs? Because yes, those will further increase their mentality (and drop the mentality of the wide players up front) so wing backs that have high enough mentality to overlap naturally will go a bit crazy. It doesn't make sense with your desire for a stable back 4 either, as positive mentality + overlap means your fullbacks will have attacking mentality, so they're basically on the same level as a wing back without overlap.

Considering you have the HB for cover you can easily run more aggressive fullback roles, but then I'd just drop the overlap (as it does a whole bunch of things) and just run WB(Su) on the left who will naturally move high enough up the pitch to support the attack and overlap the RMD. Meanwhile on the right side you have a winger on support, who will naturally be out wide and will be occupying very similar spaces as your FB with your instructions, while having relatively low mentality due to support duty and overlap instructions. If that works for you all good, but I'd have a look if you're not hurting your winger with those instructions as you're forcing him inside and he'll have a relatively passive mentality.

 

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1 hour ago, Freakiie said:

Why do you keep holding on to the overlap instructions while running very passive fullback roles? Also I guess you had overlap instructions on while you were using wing backs? Because yes, those will further increase their mentality (and drop the mentality of the wide players up front) so wing backs that have high enough mentality to overlap naturally will go a bit crazy. It doesn't make sense with your desire for a stable back 4 either, as positive mentality + overlap means your fullbacks will have attacking mentality, so they're basically on the same level as a wing back without overlap.

Considering you have the HB for cover you can easily run more aggressive fullback roles, but then I'd just drop the overlap (as it does a whole bunch of things) and just run WB(Su) on the left who will naturally move high enough up the pitch to support the attack and overlap the RMD. Meanwhile on the right side you have a winger on support, who will naturally be out wide and will be occupying very similar spaces as your FB with your instructions, while having relatively low mentality due to support duty and overlap instructions. If that works for you all good, but I'd have a look if you're not hurting your winger with those instructions as you're forcing him inside and he'll have a relatively passive mentality.

 

Fair point, I’ll have a look at it. 
 

My thinking was that I still want some width, some outlet out there. 
 

From my understanding, a FB will not be as willing to bomb high up the pitch like a WB would. I still want them to go high somewhat, I don’t want like a rigid back 4 or anything, but by the same token I don’t want them so high that we’re vulnerable on the wings on the counter. 
 

That was my thinking anyway... that the FB will still go forward, but not as frequently and intensely as a WB

 

But I’m more than happy to be proved wrong. 
 

And the overlap was there as I noticed in both games with this tactic change... originally I wanted to play through the centre, but the team was just running into inroads way too often. Asking for the overlap, usually the FB will be there by himself, with no opposition player near him. Him receiving the ball on the overlap would draw out attackers to him, freeing it up centrally a bit it seemed. 
 

And the Winger in the right as well is the role I’m  unsure of, to be frank. I’m kind of enjoying the overload it makes down there, but at the same time I’m happy to have suggestions on what to do with it. I also thought that the CM(a) going forward... if I had an IW on that right side, wouldn’t he always be running into the same positions as the CM(a)? Would they not try to occupy the same space too much? 
 

At the minute squad wise, I’ve got 2 very strong, traditional right footed wingers who are in the squad from previous tactics I had, so my hands are tied with how they have to be put into the team for now. 

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@SuperBiggles Your tactic is looking better overall. I'm glad you are getting good results from the Raumdeuter. That's always been one of my favourite roles to try to create a tactic around. But I'm just puzzled why you still using fullbacks? They are just way to passive for such a system as yours. You can keep fullback support on the right since you have a winger and cm(a) there. But on left you will need a more proactive role like wingback on support in order to link up with Raumdeuter better.

And especially because you already have a half-back.

Edited by crusadertsar
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15 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

Fair point, I’ll have a look at it. 
 

My thinking was that I still want some width, some outlet out there. 
 

From my understanding, a FB will not be as willing to bomb high up the pitch like a WB would. I still want them to go high somewhat, I don’t want like a rigid back 4 or anything, but by the same token I don’t want them so high that we’re vulnerable on the wings on the counter. 
 

That was my thinking anyway... that the FB will still go forward, but not as frequently and intensely as a WB

 

But I’m more than happy to be proved wrong. 
 

And the overlap was there as I noticed in both games with this tactic change... originally I wanted to play through the centre, but the team was just running into inroads way too often. Asking for the overlap, usually the FB will be there by himself, with no opposition player near him. Him receiving the ball on the overlap would draw out attackers to him, freeing it up centrally a bit it seemed. 
 

And the Winger in the right as well is the role I’m  unsure of, to be frank. I’m kind of enjoying the overload it makes down there, but at the same time I’m happy to have suggestions on what to do with it. I also thought that the CM(a) going forward... if I had an IW on that right side, wouldn’t he always be running into the same positions as the CM(a)? Would they not try to occupy the same space too much? 
 

At the minute squad wise, I’ve got 2 very strong, traditional right footed wingers who are in the squad from previous tactics I had, so my hands are tied with how they have to be put into the team for now. 

A baseline FB is indeed more passive than the WB, however with look for overlap he will be on attacking mentality, just like a baseline WB, so with the instruction the FB will play a lot like a WB(Su) without the overlap TI. Furthermore, the look for overlap will also alter the behaviour of the wide man ahead of him in various ways, which is why personally I haven't used the TI in ages and simply relied on role combos that naturally overlap. If it works for you that's fine, just keep in mind that "look for overlap" has a lot more effects than simply your FB getting forward a bit more often.

As far as the right side goes, you could change the winger to attack duty and remove the overlap to just let the FB sit deeper, provide a passing outlet and defensive stability while occasionally putting in a cross from deep. Could also run an IWB to cover the space left behind by the CM(A) in midfield, especially if you leave the winger on support duty as he'll provide some defensive cover then. The main thing you want to avoid is the FB and Winger running too much towards the same place on the field.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Freakiie said:

As far as the right side goes, you could change the winger to attack duty and remove the overlap to just let the FB sit deeper, provide a passing outlet and defensive stability while occasionally putting in a cross from deep. Could also run an IWB to cover the space left behind by the CM(A) in midfield, especially if you leave the winger on support duty as he'll provide some defensive cover then. The main thing you want to avoid is the FB and Winger running too much towards the same place on the field.


I did contemplate running an AP on the right, 'cos I bought this guy who's a natural in that position;

1022372353_Screenshot2021-04-09at15_27_54.png.18127a58c7317955c5022e1ccdcba629.png

It's not something I'm familiar with at all doing though, so I'm unsure if it's something feasible or advised at all? I don't recall seeing or reading anyone using AP on the wings to any real effect. The idea intrigues me, but like I said, I've no idea how it'd work, or any real confidence that it could. Or maybe a Treq?

Edited by SuperBiggles
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3 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

It's not something I'm familiar with at all doing though, so I'm unsure if it's something feasible or advised at all? I don't recall seeing or reading anyone using AP on the wings to any real effect. The idea intrigues me, but like I said, I've no idea how it'd work, or any real confidence that it could. Or maybe a Treq?

What about a Wide Targetman on Support? Change the rightback to a FBatt (then you can remove the Overlap on the right because it'll happen naturally). So Iago will hold up the ball and have the FBatt and the CMatt to support. Maybe even change the striker to an attack duty with moves into channels. Like a PFatt or AFatt. That'll leave tons of space for the RMD and Iago can launch killer balls to him. Then add an Underlap on the left side which will push the FBsu (maybe change to WBsu if he isn't getting far enough forward) up further/make him more aggressive and he'll look for the RMD and Mezzala in the middle. It will be a more dynamic attack with 3 or 4 ways to score. 

Also think about dropping the line of engagement to give your RMD more space to work into by letting the opposition come out more. 

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Posted (edited)

So, for anyone to give some further feedback (positive and negative both welcome), after much fiddling around again I've gone for something like this with my 4-3-3;

547855780_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_16_23.png.a7ca213ee68917f1f814ecf65f098ac3.png

A few changes to the last one, for sure. To go through it a bit;

Attack

Starting with the front 3... I dropped the F9. It was just ... eh. Very ineffective. No goals, no assists from open play (a few from set-pieces)... very little influence, which was annoying. Switching him to a PF(a) at least seems to provide some kind of momentum and forward oomph for the team as a whole, instead of having no focal point at all up front. 

I also dropped the RMD. It was just super, super inconsistent. I understand that the role itself is all about being in the right place, right time, making the most of intelligent movement/play over anything else... and when it works, it works great! But I found it was either a 7.4 rated game with a goal/assist, or a 6.0. As shown;

1505809000_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_20_59.png.4975903807ff25a7faf422609468aef8.png

Either great! Or crap. Sorry for the cropped screenshot, just trying to keep this easier to look at. After fiddling around, I just stuck Juan Martin Sancho (my godly left winger) in at IW(a) again. He's one of those bizarre players who just over-performs for what he is so much, and again, he's bailing me out a lot. 

On the right side I went for the experiment of the AP(s). I also added the instruction to sit narrower. My thinking for this is to work along with the instructions to look for the underlap, plus play through the middle, being super narrow. In the 2 games I've tried it, this was that players output;

37023406_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_28_14.png.fac18666a312d2e3adc6605c68245f8e.png

Pretty nicely influential. 

As a preface to just say, I'm one of those types of players who will click on things and really not quite understand what I'm 100% doing. My management style can pretty much be described as 'happy accident'. So, in my head, I'm thinking that the focus through the middle and underlap is basically allowing the AP (who sits narrow) to have a great influence in the game.

Midfield

Midfield I just changed the MEZ to a BBM. This was essentially just to facilitate the notion of wanting to focus through the middle. I didn't want that player drifting wide anymore, so simple change.

Defence

Changed my FB's to WB's after that basically being the key suggestion. Also dropped the overlap instruction. Seems to be working well. The defender on cover still helps massively with the counter.

 

in terms of other things... I dropped the Lower Tempo, and went High again. In some games the players were just way too sluggish and not making great choices across the board... at the time as well I thought a Lower Tempo would aid the RMD, allow him the time to get into better positions, but now that I’ve dropped that role it didn’t seem important enough. 

So, yeah. Other than that, I've fairly confident in this formation now this time. Especially after the result against Barcelona, which was as follows;

1197358716_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_16_32.png.de6342fb45fa0e729a519891a65d68bf.png

At half-time it felt a bit unreal;

1577781523_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_12_09.png.4559abe0c8460a6e800a2d72d183799a.png

This is a Barcelona side that have won every single La Liga in my save (it's now the 30/31 season) since I started, and show no signs of ever slowing. So, they're pretty much one of the best teams in the world. They did eventually score a goal in the game, but that came from a late set-piece were one of their players blasted an absolute thunderbolt into the net.

So, hopefully I can maybe think I'm a bit more settled with this tactic. The only thing I still seem to kind of struggle with with this shape in general is dealing with teams who play out from the back, since I don't Counter-Press. I don't know, sometimes I find I get games were a highlight starts, and it's the opposition endlessly knocking it around a the back, none of my players really engaging, and it can result in a near chance/or even a goal. Something I'm not too sure how to deal with. To be fair, I haven't seen that in the two games since I swapped out the RMD and other roles, so maybe I've become a bit more ... "engaging" up front.

Cheers for any further feedback and advice! Feel free to point out anything glaringly stupid that I've done that I'm too stupid to see.

Edited by SuperBiggles
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52 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

547855780_Screenshot2021-04-09at23_16_23.png.a7ca213ee68917f1f814ecf65f098ac3.png

 

52 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

So, for anyone to give some further feedback (positive and negative both welcome)

Well, it looks quite aggressive, but may work fine provided your players are good enough to execute such a demanding playstyle. In any case, much better balanced than both previous setups :thup:

One more thing though: do not use offside trap when your CBs are on different duties. So either remove the OT instruction or set them both to defend duty.

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12 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

The only thing I still seem to kind of struggle with with this shape in general is dealing with teams who play out from the back, since I don't Counter-Press. I don't know, sometimes I find I get games were a highlight starts, and it's the opposition endlessly knocking it around a the back, none of my players really engaging, and it can result in a near chance/or even a goal. Something I'm not too sure how to deal with.

You could adress this by employing a split block - aka adding 'Close Down More' as PI's to the front 3+the CMa. This will encourage them to press a bit earlier/more intensely than the rest of your squad, and will synergize well with your very aggressive LoE+DL. That, plus maybe preventing short distribution can curb that kind of build up well - especially if you expect to win most aerial duels from goal kicks. 

Be wary though - if you don't have any issues pressing wise in most games, I'd only make this change when needed. :)

Edited by Christopher S
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Posted (edited)

So, looking for some help with this again. I've edited the title, so hopefully some people can have a look again and help.

Overall I've settled for what I had going in one of my last posts, with something like this;

2045598646_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_30_44.png.41bef40b78eedec9fb05bff19702a19d.png

(Ignore the fact that Rashford is on the wing playing as an AP, that was just a mistake from me)


It's working well. Changes I made from the last one was swapping the CM(a) to a MEZ. This was because things were getting too crowded in midfield, what with playing narrower, asking for underlaps, and asking the AP on the right to sit narrower. I at first thought it'd make things more overload-y in a good way, but it was just way, way too congested. I know this means that both the BBM and MEZ are liable to roam in the midfield, but the AP seems to always sit quite nicely in his position to act as an effective pivot for a lot of things. It's the first time in ages were I've even had an AP get great consistent ratings (depending on the player)

The only other change that I can recall was asking for players to tackle harder. For the most part this stopped the issue of us not being able to stop teams who play out from the back, and so far I've not seen too many yellows or red cards to hinder it.

My problem that I seem to be having with this tactic now is how wasteful we seem to be.

I tend to watch on Extended Highlights when I'm trying a new tactic as well, to see if I can spot any problem areas myself, but so far from what I can see when we get a shot/highlight is my players just fluffing the chance. Either they just try a pot shot somewhere (despite there being options to pass back, recycle, or attempt a forward thinking pass), or just hitting the woodwork, hitting slightly wide, etc... the opportunities feel like they can be there, just not the conversion? Unless I'm massively missing something. I will concede that our Clear Cut Chances always seems remarkably low, but not the xG?

We're doing well overall, here's a screenshot of my schedule to show the results;

359209471_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_34_14.png.0656b0314b0f22287d8b36268ea7e033.png

Barring an atrocious game against Fulham in the cup (embarrassingly crashing out in the first round), we've done well defensively (for the first time in my career in my save), and while we restrict the opposition in a great manner, in terms of attack... well, here's some results;

Here's one of our best results;

691008679_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_27_02.png.96eda410c6bb5e3a0a0cb9f4f88281e9.png

We still won handily, but the shot on/off target ratio is horrible by my standards. 43 shots, but only 18 on? Granted their keeper got a 7.7 (that seems to be a bit of a theme, too)

Here's the bore 0-0 against a newly promoted Blackburn (trying to tell myself I didn't purposefully tank this game as irl Rovers fan)

361762609_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_27_27.png.f607f7ef140f830695c50a94a1a8d98b.png

I mean, again.. opposition keeper on a 7.7 ... and we had 26 shots, but only 2 on target. 2!!! Atrocious. Here's a screenshot of our shot map, which I find a bit confusing and baffling to analyse;

998104353_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_41_38.png.a50ed5e11c78208970ad8ebdc0115a2b.png

Then against Wolves...

1180112866_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_27_56.png.9a04189fc4ede1c29a923d3a0c5d58a8.png


I mean, it's a lot better, and I'm reliably closer to my xG. But going again against a Leicester side who were mid-table;

623800949_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_42_53.png.acb843c830bf9827d20dea7b70659320.png

Even when they had an absolute 'mare of a day, I could barely break through. I had to change the tactic up at the 75th minute to a 4-4-2 just to generate a few more shots on target, which luckily worked out as we won. But Christ on a bike, before that again we had like 18 shots, but only 2 on target. The first goal was even classed as an OG, so we didn't even generate a shot on target for that. 

So, is there some glaring issue with my tactic that makes us so wasteful? I've put Work Into Box on to try and get us to create more clear chances, but it doesn't seem to work at all.

For further reference, this is my main/key striker who I'm relying on the most;

854563669_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_45_33.png.35cb56b6854b96166a6cb84b097e4bfb.png


I mean, he's pretty good, right? He’s scoring a decent amount, but a lot of them still seem to be set-piece headers, a penalty I think so far this season, and the an outrageous long shot. So he does score, it’s just a lack of thOse “simple” goals. The only PI I’ve got on him as well is Dribble More, to make use of that 19 dribbling  
 

Unless I'm missing something and over-estimating him. I don't know whether it's him or just bad luck, but the amount of times he hits the woodwork as well is beyond silly. Do I need to give him a Player Trait for Placing Shots or something to help his conversion rate?

Cheers for anymore help

Edited by SuperBiggles
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  • SuperBiggles changed the title to Help - I've improved my 4-3-3 DM, but can't convert chances for toffee

I mean, you're massively flooding the center, smashing every player you have into it. You also push and press incredibly high giving the opposition no space and then as if all this wasn't bad enough you ask your players to work ball into box, asking them to find space that will never exist because there are gonna be like 15 players in and around the opposition area.

I honestly don't understand the underlap instruction (Just because underlap/overlap TIs are there does not mean you always have to select one of them), especially combined with wing backs, a role for which every personal instruction is for them to stay out wide. Your striker also has amazing 19 jumping reach, yet you don't want your team to play crosses to him?

How should your striker score simple goals? Your instructions mean your team won't play crosses, so his amazing aerial ability is basically wasted and while he is an amazing dribbler, there is no space really to dribble into and way too many bodies in the way due to you pushing the opposition and your own player into the opposition area and while he's by no means bad at it, finding space and scoring are actually his weakest attributes (And yes 15s all around is still very good, but he has to find space in a fashion similar to finding a needle in a haystack and try to finish while probably surrounded by at least 2 opposition players and having another 2 between him and the goal at all times).

You basically force the entire pitch into the opposition area and then try to make something happen with no space whatsoever, so sooner or later your players will simply smash it at goal, with 5 opposition players between themselves and the goal. Your team is good enough to make it work, but it's no surprise that you're horribly inefficient with chances like this.

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1 hour ago, Freakiie said:

I mean, you're massively flooding the center, smashing every player you have into it. You also push and press incredibly high giving the opposition no space and then as if all this wasn't bad enough you ask your players to work ball into box, asking them to find space that will never exist because there are gonna be like 15 players in and around the opposition area.

I can see what you mean. The gameplan I envisioned/wanted was to force everyone into the centre like the tactic does. Defensively I was sick of always seeming to be hit on the counter on the wings, which now is a thing that no longer happens, 'cos as you said, I've literally forced everyone into the one area of the pitch. Defensively I think it kinda works for me, but I can understand what you mean about not being able to then make use of that domination by turning it into anything meaningful, 'cos the areas to crowded. In my head I thought I can force everything into one area, then allow the quality of my players (who make up the bulk of the media best 11, so some of the best players in the league) to shine through and let us get the ball into the net effectively through individual quality. Guessing I'm not giving everyone enough breathing room to operate. Is there a way to fix this while remaining kind of as how it is? I did contemplate wanting to player Wider, thinking it'd open more space for everyone. But when I tried it the defensive side of it went out the window, and there was more space for the opposition to exploit as well

The Work Ball Into Box was only a new addition, because naively I thought it'd make the team at least try to pass backwards here and there instead of just thinking "sod it, nothing's opening up, I'll smash it at the goal". I'm guessing that's not how it works then. I just stupidly thought it meant in as direct a way as possible it'd generate more shots on target.
 

 

1 hour ago, Freakiie said:

 

I honestly don't understand the underlap instruction (Just because underlap/overlap TIs are there does not mean you always have to select one of them), especially combined with wing backs, a role for which every personal instruction is for them to stay out wide. Your striker also has amazing 19 jumping reach, yet you don't want your team to play crosses to him?

 


I'll 100% admit that I am in no way shape or form someone who is a tactical mastermind, I'm more of a happy accident. One of my bugbears with FM, which is otherwise a pretty solid game, is how vague some of the instructions are for how they play out. Like overlaps I thought it meant "if it's there, make use of it", but is it more "always look for an overlap, only play football that way!".
In terms of the underlap. It's something that I was experimenting with, and also the first thing that gets switched off if after 15 minutes or so I haven't had a decent shot yet. In my head I thought it meant that play would happen in this way;

- WB wins the ball back 

- BBM starts making a run centrally, bombing forward

- WB spots the BBM running forward (what I thought was an underlapping run?), and passes forward for him.

Also thought the same would be true with the wide IW and AP spotting the midfielders running forward from centrally as they win the ball back wider. I thought there could be some chain reaction of ball being won back wide, then progressively forcing a forward, central run as the preference for how it was going

But as I said, it's not something I'll even claim to understand, so I'm more than happy to get rid of it. Sometimes it seems to work, but I'm thinking as per my results, it tends to happen when I play the better teams for some reason?

In terms of crossing. Would playing out in attack wider and asking for early crosses/asking the WB's to cross more often result in more crosses for Ramirez?

 

1 hour ago, Freakiie said:

How should your striker score simple goals? Your instructions mean your team won't play crosses, so his amazing aerial ability is basically wasted and while he is an amazing dribbler, there is no space really to dribble into and way too many bodies in the way due to you pushing the opposition and your own player into the opposition area and while he's by no means bad at it, finding space and scoring are actually his weakest attributes (And yes 15s all around is still very good, but he has to find space in a fashion similar to finding a needle in a haystack and try to finish while probably surrounded by at least 2 opposition players and having another 2 between him and the goal at all times).

You basically force the entire pitch into the opposition area and then try to make something happen with no space whatsoever, so sooner or later your players will simply smash it at goal, with 5 opposition players between themselves and the goal. Your team is good enough to make it work, but it's no surprise that you're horribly inefficient with chances like this.


The simple goals I was expected was from patient, but high tempo passing (via the Work into Box) were the opponent gets lazy, and Ramirez breaks free, finds a yard of space and just pops a shot off for a goal. 

But I can understand why that's hard to come by, 'cos like you said, I'm forcing way too much to happen in one area of the pitch, and congesting it to basically restrict me as much as the opponent. 

In your opinion what would help me? Do I need to not press as high and give myself more space to run into? Do I need to attack wider, create more space for myself for passing options? I did briefly try both, but panicked a bit too early I think when we then started letting the opponent have too much of the ball. My supposed world class GK scares the crap out of me for how easy he is to beat, so I basically tried to make it so he never has to be challenged in a game, by forcing us to play the game in one area of the pitch, and let my teams quality win out.

Would really appreciate any suggested ways to improve 
 

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2 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

2045598646_Screenshot2021-04-13at12_30_44.png.41bef40b78eedec9fb05bff19702a19d.png

I would definitely:

- change the mezzala's duty into attack

- change the keeper's duty into support 

- either remove the offside trap TI or play both CBs on the same duty (defend)

and

- considerably reduce the number of instructions both in and out of possession

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35 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

Would really appreciate any suggested ways to improve

My first thought would be to stop changing things. You've used 9 different tactical setups in 18 games, and never played the same system in consecutive games. How are the players supposed to know what you want when you don't seem to know yourself?

Pick a system and play it for at least 3 games.

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Work ball into box will make your players slow down play and try to find the opening. Considering you flood a lot of players into that area this opening will most likely not be found and while it might take a bit longer, sooner or later your players will just smash it at goal as they run out of options. At the same time it'll also reduce things like crosses, which with a great aerial threat such as Ramírez is quite a waste. Considering you will already find relatively little space, taking things even slower will not help you much offensively, it'll at best just give you more possession.

So Overlap/Underlap. It's an instruction for your full backs and the wide player in front of them.

They alter your fullback and wide players mentalities. The full back will have their mentality upped one tick (to encourage more further runs), with wing backs that isn't really needed, as they already have high mentalities on a positive team mentality. It then also lowers the mentality of the wide players in front of them by one tick, as they're expected to slow down a bit. The wide players will also be encouraged to hold the ball, to allow the fullbacks the time to make runs forward. Then depending on whether you look for overlap or underlap the wide player will move outside/inside depending on the instruction and the fullback will move in the opposite direction. So when you're looking for underlap you're telling your IW to sit wider (which contradicts his instructions to cut inside) and the wing back to sit narrower and cut inside (which again contradicts the wing backs instructions). In an overlap setting it'd be the other way around, with the wingback sitting wider and the IW going narrower, something both roles inherently do already, thus making the instruction somewhat irrelevant (and as it alters a bunch of other stuff including their mentality can result in a bunch of unwanted knock on effects).

So for starters I would remove the underlap and just see how the wing backs play naturally. The role will see them overlap the IW/AP naturally and will give you an option out wide, while also pulling the opposition full backs outside. A change in the striker role could be helpful as well to give him a bit more movement and just create a bit of chaos, he's perfectly suited to a CF role. If you then find yourself lacking a bit with penetration (although the CF(A) should be plenty aggressive) you could adjust the duty of the Mezzala or perhaps change him to a CM(A) to more aggressively attack the box using the space your CF might leave.

Early crosses probably won't make much of a difference, they're good to hit the enemy before their defense can settle, but with your instructions the opposition will rarely move out far enough that their defense will be disorganized. Might as well let your wing backs move up and cross from good positions, the way you're set up they should have plenty of space when they overlap.

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45 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

I would definitely:

- change the mezzala's duty into attack

- change the keeper's duty into support 

- either remove the offside trap TI or play both CBs on the same duty (defend)

and

- considerably reduce the number of instructions both in and out of possession

I tried a game making use of some of the suggestions you gave, and it's hard to say whether or not I was FM'd, or if it's just ... I dunno. A bad day at the office, as the game likes to tell me. This is what it looked like after a few changes here and there. Dropped instructions in and out of possession, changed the MEZ to attack;

1271806404_Screenshot2021-04-13at16_34_05.png.c3443c7adfc84a2fa0c6dcb93fa79415.png

Then this was the preceding result;

1793296370_Screenshot2021-04-13at16_21_08.png.b617476eb23a75e3fceded5ec9059e4c.png

I'm not sure if it was just one of those catastrophic days were none of my players turned up again, as seems to just happen every 7-8 games, or what. But it was just stupid.

The thing I kept noticing until I changed things on the fly after there second goal were;

- Lowered lines resulted in what happened before I was using the previous instructions - ie, they just constantly played out from the back, I surrendered way too much space, and they just passed the ball around way, way too neatly. And none of my players seem to do sod all about it. Nobody engaged early enough, we just let them have it, to our detriment... my hope was that we'd conversely get more space to operate ourselves, but all we did was shoot ourselves in the foot and lose to their high press. 

- Vandevoordt is an absolute moron/liability/I hate him. This is why previously I tried to funnel and force everything into one area were I could maybe rely on everyone being in an around the same area to force the issue for my benefit, and rely on the quality of my entire team to do things. Vandevoordt faced three shots and let all of them in... despite the fact that he's "this good";

286206336_Screenshot2021-04-13at16_43_26.png.278a35fd5b338e8620f8f5715fb10e27.png

1678682938_Screenshot2021-04-13at16_42_36.png.c0eef470e904ab4aaa7bb4e443aea17f.png


I know defending is done as a team, I get that. I totally understand it's down to everyone. But when I'm paying this plonker to do one job when called upon, and he always fluffs it, it leads me to never want to rely on him. He's such a donkey.

I get that this was just one result, but I just wanted to show the immediate impact of the changes
 

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

My first thought would be to stop changing things. You've used 9 different tactical setups in 18 games, and never played the same system in consecutive games. How are the players supposed to know what you want when you don't seem to know yourself?

Pick a system and play it for at least 3 games.

I don't feel like I'm fundamentally changing that much that the familiarity struggles for. for the most part I've settled on a formation, and now just fiddling with player roles to try and figure out the issues in it.

For the entirety of this new season, including all pre-season friendlies, I played the formation I put up recently were I was complaining about conversion rate. So for about 18 games or so we've been settled, barring the odd instruction removed/added here and there in an attempt to fix my problem.

 

 

2 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

I can see what you mean. The gameplan I envisioned/wanted was to force everyone into the centre like the tactic does. Defensively I was sick of always seeming to be hit on the counter on the wings, which now is a thing that no longer happens, 'cos as you said, I've literally forced everyone into the one area of the pitch. Defensively I think it kinda works for me, but I can understand what you mean about not being able to then make use of that domination by turning it into anything meaningful, 'cos the areas to crowded. In my head I thought I can force everything into one area, then allow the quality of my players (who make up the bulk of the media best 11, so some of the best players in the league) to shine through and let us get the ball into the net effectively through individual quality. Guessing I'm not giving everyone enough breathing room to operate. Is there a way to fix this while remaining kind of as how it is? I did contemplate wanting to player Wider, thinking it'd open more space for everyone. But when I tried it the defensive side of it went out the window, and there was more space for the opposition to exploit as well

The Work Ball Into Box was only a new addition, because naively I thought it'd make the team at least try to pass backwards here and there instead of just thinking "sod it, nothing's opening up, I'll smash it at the goal". I'm guessing that's not how it works then. I just stupidly thought it meant in as direct a way as possible it'd generate more shots on target.
 

 


I'll 100% admit that I am in no way shape or form someone who is a tactical mastermind, I'm more of a happy accident. One of my bugbears with FM, which is otherwise a pretty solid game, is how vague some of the instructions are for how they play out. Like overlaps I thought it meant "if it's there, make use of it", but is it more "always look for an overlap, only play football that way!".
In terms of the underlap. It's something that I was experimenting with, and also the first thing that gets switched off if after 15 minutes or so I haven't had a decent shot yet. In my head I thought it meant that play would happen in this way;

- WB wins the ball back 

- BBM starts making a run centrally, bombing forward

- WB spots the BBM running forward (what I thought was an underlapping run?), and passes forward for him.

Also thought the same would be true with the wide IW and AP spotting the midfielders running forward from centrally as they win the ball back wider. I thought there could be some chain reaction of ball being won back wide, then progressively forcing a forward, central run as the preference for how it was going

But as I said, it's not something I'll even claim to understand, so I'm more than happy to get rid of it. Sometimes it seems to work, but I'm thinking as per my results, it tends to happen when I play the better teams for some reason?

In terms of crossing. Would playing out in attack wider and asking for early crosses/asking the WB's to cross more often result in more crosses for Ramirez?

 


The simple goals I was expected was from patient, but high tempo passing (via the Work into Box) were the opponent gets lazy, and Ramirez breaks free, finds a yard of space and just pops a shot off for a goal. 

But I can understand why that's hard to come by, 'cos like you said, I'm forcing way too much to happen in one area of the pitch, and congesting it to basically restrict me as much as the opponent. 

In your opinion what would help me? Do I need to not press as high and give myself more space to run into? Do I need to attack wider, create more space for myself for passing options? I did briefly try both, but panicked a bit too early I think when we then started letting the opponent have too much of the ball. My supposed world class GK scares the crap out of me for how easy he is to beat, so I basically tried to make it so he never has to be challenged in a game, by forcing us to play the game in one area of the pitch, and let my teams quality win out.

Would really appreciate any suggested ways to improve 
 

Cheers, most helpful! Wasn't aware (clearly) of how the underlaps/overlaps properly worked 

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2 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

I don't feel like I'm fundamentally changing that much

Ignore me... I was looking at the AI formations :seagull:

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53 minutes ago, SuperBiggles said:

I tried a game making use of some of the suggestions you gave, and it's hard to say whether or not I was FM'd, or if it's just ... I dunno. A bad day at the office, as the game likes to tell me. This is what it looked like after a few changes here and there. Dropped instructions in and out of possession, changed the MEZ to attack

You changed roles and duties as I suggested, but when it comes to instructions, it seems that you made changes on a rather random basis. 

Try without the get stuck in and with higher D-line (the LOE can remain at standard). 

Anyway, it is very important to watch the matches (at least in the Comprehensive mode) so that you could spot where the weaknesses are. If you don't want to watch matches and tweak the tactic accordingly, then better download a plug'n'play tactic from somebody and focus on other aspects of the game. 

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3 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

You changed roles and duties as I suggested, but when it comes to instructions, it seems that you made changes on a rather random basis. 

Try without the get stuck in and with higher D-line (the LOE can remain at standard). 

Anyway, it is very important to watch the matches (at least in the Comprehensive mode) so that you could spot where the weaknesses are. If you don't want to watch matches and tweak the tactic accordingly, then better download a plug'n'play tactic from somebody and focus on other aspects of the game. 

I was watching the game on extended highlights, but next time I’ll watch further. 
 

For the instructions I removed pretty much most of the instructions, almost a default mode, so I could make changes on the fly as I was watching the game. 
 

After the first goal went in I decided to try a Higher LoE, because Everton just constantly dinged the ball around the back and split me open. So, I thought press further up, stop the passing from the back?

Shortly after the daft second goal, I changed back to both lines being Higher. We responded with a goal. 

 

Also, Everton scored and focus on their wings... so I reverted back to trying to force everything through the middle, trying again to force things to be played out there were I thought I would win out. 
 

Sadly my players had other idea and decided to play as wazzocks to a man. Either that or my tweaks were wrong and daft?

it was only one game, but I find every now and then I have these games were my players and their ratings are just all atrocious, and nothing I do seems to get them out of their funk, they just resign themselves to having a stinker. And always the opposition performs massively in these games. 
 

I dunno, just a bad game? I’ll start the next few games with the “blank slate” style you kinda suggested, and as to what I can change as the game goes on  depending on what I see. 
 

Odd time to ask, but is there any way to get an in-match display for a positional heat map style thing? FM 20 had it and I loved it, cos it let me have a much better idea of how high or low to press depending on how the game goes. Now for the life of me I can’t figure out how to get that display during a match, so my favourite tool is just gone 

 

EDIT:

Like, man... am I just the unluckiest player or what? This is getting beyond frustrating and unreal. Just played another game now that I'm free, started with more of a clean slate type thing, seeing how the game goes, and;

1502401076_Screenshot2021-04-13at21_24_00.png.6c4a26fef14ce2ed003fd577594cc8b1.png

West Brom had one meaningful highlight. ONE! And scored. And their GK? Saved a pen, got a 9.2. Me with an xG of 1.92, can't score for crap. I'm pulling my hair out at this point over this. Like, I can't understand if it's just absolutely horrific luck, or is it just something wrong that I'm doing? Sorry, this needs to be a bit of a vent/ranty edit

Edited by SuperBiggles
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3 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

After the first goal went in I decided to try a Higher LoE, because Everton just constantly dinged the ball around the back and split me open

Well, higher LOE in combination with standard D-line means low compactness, which in turn means your players have to cover too much space when defending. Which is made even worse with your aggressive defensive TIs such as extreme pressing and get stuck in. So instead of improving the situation, the tweak you made only compounded the issue. 

 

3 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

Shortly after the daft second goal, I changed back to both lines being Higher. We responded with a goal.

As you can see, as soon as you improved defensive compactness by reducing the distance between DL and LOE (even if by just one notch), you got "rewarded". Because the tweak you made was logical, as opposed to the previous one. 

 

3 hours ago, SuperBiggles said:

I’ll start the next few games with the “blank slate” style you kinda suggested, and as to what I can change as the game goes on  depending on what I see

That's the best approach IMO. Just try not to panic if things start going wrong and do not make changes/tweaks on a random basis. 

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Just from your match stat screenshot and sancho being benched, your team must have a high quality. 

also with 60-70% possession and lots of shots I bet the other team is sitting deep and overloading their own box, not capable or willing to play their way out of your press. 

if that’s the case, what’s the idea behind setting up your team to progress quickly and look for the counter attack with a relatively low level of overall creativity, including roles and mentality?

I feel like the tactic is too predictable and impatient when playing against defensive teams.

Also trying to play on a higher tempo with 4 players (both WB, BBM and MEZ) making runs from rather deep areas, might not really fit together. 

so i would slow the Play down, and add more creativity either from tactical settings or roles wich come with more creative freedom hardcoded (e.g. complete wing back, inverted wingback, complete forward, another type of playmaker).

If you want to remain on the more progressive side of play, try to attack from deeper areas (lower your LOE) and give up some of your dominance by not pressing that intense. questionable tho if this will make the other team move out of their area and open up some space for you. 


 

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