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Ah the utter pointlessness of playing deep defensive football in FM


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10 minutes ago, Pasonen said:

Good point and also points out the biggest area of improvement needed for FM. How ME represents situations in game when manager does everything/something wrong. Over attack or over defend. When over attacking should cause against you dangerous counters and lost balls it causes 30 shots Vs 1 and lost header in freekick. When over defending should give you too many fouls, penalties, bad bounces and minimal penetration to opponent it shows against you 40 shots. There just aren't that much chances (good or bad) in football.

I think the ME is on correct way but the mentality thing is holding it down. One slider that modifies all is not needed anymore and this fact is just much more obvious with more defensive mentality tactics. Risk taking is afected by so many other PIs and TIs and roles and duties and PPMs it's unbelievable mentality is still there.

 

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Bad tactics cause mistakes yes? Does this happen in FM? Bad tactics cause shots in FM :D I mean yes there is some mistakes that ME represent if bad tactic for your team, example CD loses ball if defline too high when you got cd with bad composure and bad first touch. But is there enough bad passes or interceptions If your roles are all attack and high tempo? Or bad fwd run decisions? Why is this so? I think it's because it would require a lot more intelligent AI to pull this off. I mean matches would be so much more complex to handle that keeping numbers near reality would be very hard. Just my guess :D

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It's not really a fact that defending in a low block is easier at all. One of the greatest problems with it is that mistakes so much closer to go get punished a lot more easily. Team that defend successfully in low blocks tend to have a) extremely well drilled midfielders and defenders, because you can't afford mistakes that close a) strong outlets to relieve pressure.

As for FM there's been loads written on how to execute it properly. As with anything, you're going to need the right type of players

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Once more this thread is showing how misleading the whole concept of mentality is in its current state. 

its not about defending or attacking, its about taking risks, both in and out of possession. The roles and duties will also influence your overall risk. 

As this thread is mainly about a defensive playstyle I will limit this post to rather low mentalities. Typical low risk playing styles are:

  • Narrow attacking width (affected by mentality)
  • shorter passes
  • lower tempo (affected by mentality)
  • time wasting (affected by mentality)
  • Work ball into box
  • dribble less
  • tactical discipline (affected by mentality)
  • forward movement of players (affected by mentality)
  • Lower LOE / DL (affected by mentality) 
  • defensive width (affected by mentality)
  • loose marking (affected by mentality)
  • less pressing (affected by mentality)
  • stay on feet (affected by mentality) 

So basicly a low mentality will implement a passive playstyle which doesn’t allow your players to do anything or at least on a very low risk.

the fact, that lower mentalities will insist your players to waste time and not move forward when in possession does show, that this mentality is not made for scoring goals and trying to achieve something. it’s not even about sitting deep and fight for the ball with aggressive tackling and physical presence. It’s just about being passive and inviting pressure, trying to destroy the others team match.

becoming too passive eg even further drop the lines or stay on feet even more, will open up space for the other team after a certain point. 

Generally Said being defensive solid or sitting deep and counter is not a matter of mentality, it’s a matter of your overall Setup including roles and duties. And as long your goal is to win a game, you logically can’t go with a lower mentality then balanced.

obviously it’s still possible to adjust lower mentalities in a way that you can score and win. from a logical point of view it doesnt really make sense tho to go that way.

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The idea that you cant go lower than balanced to win a game is fundamentally not true

The idea that you cannot score goals and achieve something on lower than balanced is also fundamentally not true

I think the biggest problem here is there's such a narrow view on things

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2 hours ago, Mitja said:

What's the point of having mentality in game then? To dominate possession against much better teams? Lower mentalities are practically useless In T&T forum there's not a single tactic which uses lower mentality than balanced. The only way to have solid counter attacking tactics is to use higher mentalities. Such startegy is promoted by all tactical experts there. 

Lower mentalities are actually quite useful, either situationally when you want to see out a game and defend a lead in the closing stages, or when you want to use a more attacking tactic, playing on the front foot all the time, while still not being incredibly risky. It's a bit of a contradiction really, but lower mentalities suit a patient possession game while higher ones suit "defensive" counter-attacking strategies.

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13 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

The idea that you cant go lower than balanced to win a game is fundamentally not true

The idea that you cannot score goals and achieve something on lower than balanced is also fundamentally not true

I didn’t say that at all.
In football Manager there are many ways to achieve certain things or playing styles.

usually tho people are looking for the easiest way to achieve certain things because it’s the most effektive way.

and by the pure fact of how mentalities work you can’t insist, that lower mentalities are primarily made for scoring goals and winning the match. 

It simply is illogical to waste time while looking for goal scoring opportunities. 

 

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24 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

The idea that you cant go lower than balanced to win a game is fundamentally not true

The idea that you cannot score goals and achieve something on lower than balanced is also fundamentally not true

I think the biggest problem here is there's such a narrow view on things

Yea you have to counter balance with roles, PI’s & TI’s. But the ME does reward a attacking mentality vs a defensive. Being overly attacking doesn’t expose you as much unless you are doing it against a team who is just much more talented than yours.

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Just now, Mars_Blackmon said:

Yea you have to counter balance with roles, PI’s & TI’s. But the ME does reward a attacking mentality vs a defensive. Being overly attacking doesn’t expose you as much unless you are doing it against a team who is just much more talented than yours.

That would entirely depend on how you've set up

I've said it before and I'll say it again, mentality should be viewed as nothing more than levels of risk.

I don't think he's active anymore but @Cleon used to play on defensive mentality just to prove that low risk football could still mean lots of goals,

Equally @Rashidi has used attacking mentalities to create very strong defensive systems

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1 minute ago, themadsheep2001 said:

I don't think he's active anymore but @Cleon used to play on defensive mentality just to prove that low risk football could still mean lots of goals,

Equally @Rashidi has used attacking mentalities to create very strong defensive systems

Exactly what we are trying to say and it has always been like that, attacking mentality suits more counter attacking/direct and defensive more possessional style. The opposite to what you would expect and oppsoite to what in game description says. Real life logics works for more aggressive and higher mentality tactics but not for defensive mentality. But we are still looking for proper lower block tactic on mentality lesser than balanced in T&T forum for example.

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34 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

That would entirely depend on how you've set up

I've said it before and I'll say it again, mentality should be viewed as nothing more than levels of risk.

I don't think he's active anymore but @Cleon used to play on defensive mentality just to prove that low risk football could still mean lots of goals,

Equally @Rashidi has used attacking mentalities to create very strong defensive systems

Exactly. You have to balance risk no mattter what mentality you go with. Mentality, Roles, TI, PI is all risk factor. 
 

What I’m saying, it’s much more easier to lose in the ME if you are overly passive (very low risk and not creating) and inviting teams into your own goal vs being overly attacking (extremely high risk). Granted you won’t be effective being overly attacking but you’re going to win more times than you lose because the AI doesn’t do a good job exploiting your holes unless their teams is just way more talented.

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6 minutes ago, Mitja said:

Exactly what we are trying to say and it has always been like that, attacking mentality suits more counter attacking/direct and defensive more possessional style. The opposite to what you would expect and oppsoite to what in game description says. Real life logics works for more aggressive and higher mentality tactics but not for defensive mentality. But we are still looking for proper lower block tactic on mentality lesser than balanced in T&T forum for example.

You're taking what I said out of context, I'm not saying it suits either more. I'm saying you can achieve the same things on almost any mentality, providing you follow up with the right instructions, and you account for the varying levels of risk driven by mentalities

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Late to party but I kind of see what the OP is saying.

Lets see this game: https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/397395/Live/Europe-UEFA-Champions-League-2009-2010-Barcelona-Inter

Barcelona only managed to do 20 shots. 4 on target. Why was this? Lack of space. There was no space for Barca to take a shot. Players grew frustrated that they only saw legs. Any attempt to penetrate the area would find 3/4 players right there... pass back. Inter was reduce to 10 man! Yet nothing crazy regarding shots.

In this game, Barca had a shot every 4 and half minutes. In the OPs game, city had a shot every 2 minutes. I'm quite surprised with the possession being that high. If you are shooting that often, eventually, possession should drop because your are not keeping the ball as long before making a shot.

In my view, Mourinho would want the team to:

  • Defend, Defend, Defend - we are here to not concede 2 goals. Barca can rent their half for all we care.
  • have 11 men behind the ball (reduce space)
  • stay on your feet - avoid fouls and avoid getting out of position
  • zone marking - avoid Barcas movements to disassemble the defence
  • Might have made man marking to Messi (box and 1 kind of thing were you create a defensive box and use 1 player man marking a key player)
  • Tight marking - when the player lands in your zone you mark him to avoid passes to a marked player.
  • No pressing until ball arrives in the Area - you are comfortable not having the ball. But when the ball enters the Penalty Area, PRESS

So imagine 11 players moving side by side as a block. Even if Barca was doing a high tempo, Inter players would be "ok pass what you like outside of the area, here you don't do anything".

Found this on that game https://boxtoboxcentreback.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/barcelona-1-0-inter-milan-28042010/

So, can we in FM, create a tactic that, mimics this? No care for attack - just prevent the other team from invading the area. 

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30 minutes ago, bastoshaq said:

So, can we in FM, create a tactic that, mimics this? No care for attack - just prevent the other team from invading the area.

I sort of tried this last year and it actually went quite well. Firstly, I tried a save with Burnley and although we overperformed the expectations (predicted to battle against relegation, finished 14th), I wasn't entirely happy with the result. Then, I started a save with Macva Sabac in Serbia ("Play defensively solid football" philosophy) and it went much better. Again, we were predicted to battle against relegation, but finished 6th, with fewest goals scored and least goals conceded (outlines huge emphasis on defence). And lastly, I did a pure counter-attacking save with Dorking Wanderers (Attacking 4-4-2) and ended up winning the league comfortably.

I documented it all in the thread below, but the gist of it is that defensive football is definitely possible, with the right profile of players. If you're going to invite opposition deep into your half, it's very important you actually have players capable of dealing with extended periods of pressure. I even prioritized Concentration, Positioning, Bravery, Marking and Tackling in my wingers, basically a bunch of bullies ready to break legs in all positions.

That said, you still have to temper your expectations when it comes to such extremely defensive football. You're hardly going to win titles with doing nothing but sitting back and you can't exactly guarantee clean sheets either. When you're defending on the edge of your penalty box, your margin for error is very low and sometimes goals just happen. It's also worth noting that teams are very rarely this passive in real life. For example, Atletico Madrid (best "low block" team in the world) have some of the best pressing stats (PPDA) out there, meaning they do far more than just passively sit back.

If your goal is solely to overachieve, playing on the front foot is definitely a safer choice, but saves like this can be a fun little experiment every now and then.

 

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4 hours ago, Mars_Blackmon said:

Yea you have to counter balance with roles, PI’s & TI’s. But the ME does reward a attacking mentality vs a defensive. Being overly attacking doesn’t expose you as much unless you are doing it against a team who is just much more talented than yours.

I am sorry I've been away from the forums for 6 weeks. Was in quarantine for 4 weeks as I travelled between two countries to settle my mothers last rites.

Mentality is purely risk, so one can play on balanced and higher, simply because you are willing to take more chances. And you are right, you counterbalance more aggressive mentalities with careful choice of duties and roles looking to make sure that you don't leave yourself too exposed.  I wouldn't say that one is rewarded more for playing on higher mentalities. One is rewarded only if they have done everything right. For example, I frequently hear from people that high tempo is the best way to play, so they play on higher mentalities, then complain that they don't create good chances. This could be down to other factors, like poorly considering the available space to create those chances.

Personally you can create good tactics and all mentalities, one just needs to understand how the mentality itself is affecting decision making on the pitch. Lower mentalities - more considered measured football. Higher mentalities, more direct, riskier chance creation. So one has to use TIs and PIs to mitigate against that risk. Problem is - most people choose every PI to tick.

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2 hours ago, bastoshaq said:

So, can we in FM, create a tactic that, mimics this? No care for attack - just prevent the other team from invading the area. 

Yes easily done in the game. You need to play with deep compression, tight marking and use opposition instructions effectively. Chances are you will not create as many chances of your own but you will create high quality chances on the break. I did a video explaining compression and another one explaining how to create these kind of low block systems. Personally speaking they can be fun, but you will need to be "Johnny on the Spot" with OIs recognizing potential dangers.

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imo the main issue with playing "defensively" or whatever has nothing to do with Mentality, the match engine, or any other tactical settings.

In my experience the main issue is the way in which the game itself tends to lead us managers - especially the more inexperienced ones amongst us - down a certain path of using Mentality (and other tactical settings) to create our desired "defensive" or "attacking" styles.  This can be fine and be a good enough starting point, but that's not always the case and where confusion can set in.  This can be compounded by a lack of real understanding as to what Mentality changes and how altering team instructions then adapt those default Mentality settings, typically resulting in becoming overly passive or aggressive.

The bottom line is we can play pretty much any style of football on any Mentality so long as our other tactical settings and players work in combination with, and compliment, the chosen Mentality.

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12 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I'm going to guess that your idea of a defensive tactic is to set up with a low DL, low LOe, defensive mentality, low pressing, and narrow defending, right? Which is exactly how you bet utterly pounded like this. If you are going to invite a good team to constantly attack you without a coherent strategy and no threat of your own, you are going to lose nine times out of ten. 

There have been a few threads like this lately, which display a misunderstanding of how defensive football works. I'm tempted to try to write something about this if I can find the time. 

Please do. I’m no expert clearly and need assistance! 

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3 hours ago, Rashidi said:

So I took a simple logical approach for my next match, deciding to play on cautious mentality. The timing of this thread was perfect.

I want to play defensive football, so I set up a lower line of engagement, but I also want a higher defensive line, the idea here is to create a compressed block. I add tight marking, but I have no intention of playing narrow. That's inviting the opposition too deep against my Forest side who are new to the premiership. I set my mentality up as cautious because I don't like the idea of everyone just hoofing up the ball. However I do know that the right choice of roles could lead to good combinations. So I use a BPD in my defence who has a good eye for the pass, a DLP who has the killer ball. To support him and give him more options he plays alongside a WTM. Now with my fullback surging up on an attacking mentality i keep one defender on cover, the one beside him. To unlock the space on the other flank I employ an IF and an AF.

So I know that my compression is going to create issues for the opposition, and I also know that my team is likely to lose balls in transition if i allow my players to express themselves, so I tell my players to dribble less. We will let the ball do the walking. I set my passing to standard and play on a higher tempo. With a few attack duties the structured shape allows for some of these roles in the final third to be more attacking. Most notably my AF and my IF, the only two roles expected to create issues on the break.  To further solidify the compression i use tight marking and tell my players to get stuck in. They need to win the ball in my defensive zone. We aren't good enough to win the ball in the final third so I won't even bother to counterpress.  Mentality has been set to cautious.

My final piece of the puzzle is making sure we don't foul up set pieces. I set up for quick counters after defending a corner. Defensively we are set up to mark the areas of the penalty area which most people usually forget to isolate. My corners are all mixed to add some variety but if i do lose the ball during a corner my players positioning should allow us to recycle possession, but for insurance I make sure to keep 3 back at all times. To finish things off I use Opposition Instructions to tell my players to tight mark their wingers and close down their fullbacks. This way we make sure the right threats are covered.

My cautious 433DM completely routs Wolves in the premiership, a side littered with talent.

One can create tactics on any mentality, the art of creating defensive football is about the whole equation. Maybe I should do another season livestreaming  playing on defensive football.  If people can't get the pieces to work together, don't blame the tools. I will attach a pkm from the game in case people are interested.

Forest.pkm 180.19 kB · 3 downloads

This is great and really appreciated. I’m also sorry to hear how your last few weeks have been.

I think one of the biggest issues is the lack of definition or clarification from SI. which means we rely on the good will of the likes of yourself.

lack of clarification means;

mentality. I don’t think it’s logical to pair cautious mentality with creativity. If you’re cautious you’ll be playing the safe pass surely. 

Tight marking in opp instructions.  Where, When and what does it actually mean. If I tightly mark an opposition FB cos he’s good at crossing...where does that marking actually begin?

same for pressing 

tempo. This is a real misnomer. The best shortest passing teams play a quick tempo. One touch passing and v quick movement. The most direct teams play at a quick tempo to get the ball forward. The best counter attacking teams eg Liverpool play high tempo to win the ball back and get a shot at goal ASAP. In fact tempo is more reflective of mood. Hence why IRL managers and experts consistently refer to the need for a better tempo after h/t. It’s not as if IRL any team has been sent out to play as slowly as possible. For some reason teams fall into a slow, multiple touches, sideways passes tempo trap. It’s more team mood than direction IMO.

Once again appreciate your help. I’m beginning to understand the game better. I still think City would hammer spurs. They will in the carabo cup final in 2 weeks I’m sure but I’m really understanding DL LoE. I still think the ME is missing something eg. Teams the defend v deep against United IRL tend to neutralise them. I don’t think the current ME allows for that but......maybe it does and it’s  not as easy as deep and narrow with NCBs and FBs on defend!

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, FulchesterFred said:

mentality. I don’t think it’s logical to pair cautious mentality with creativity. If you’re cautious you’ll be playing the safe pass surely. 

You're thinking in binary terms - safe or risky. Even if you're on a Cautious Mentality, you can still have a playmaker who "plays risky passes" and he will look to do that. He'll just take fewer risks in doing so when it's a Cautious Mentality vs Positive Mentality, as an example. I'm going to use made up numbers, but lets say on Cautious Mentality in your tactic that playmaker will attempt risky passes only when he's 75%+ sure of being able to pull it off. On Positive Mentality, he'll take a bit more of a chance, so say he'll attempt risky passes even when he's only half sure it'll be completed. In both cases they're creative.

7 hours ago, FulchesterFred said:

tempo. This is a real misnomer. The best shortest passing teams play a quick tempo. One touch passing and v quick movement. The most direct teams play at a quick tempo to get the ball forward. The best counter attacking teams eg Liverpool play high tempo to win the ball back and get a shot at goal ASAP. In fact tempo is more reflective of mood. Hence why IRL managers and experts consistently refer to the need for a better tempo after h/t. It’s not as if IRL any team has been sent out to play as slowly as possible. For some reason teams fall into a slow, multiple touches, sideways passes tempo trap. It’s more team mood than direction IMO.

Tempo is just how long a player holds onto the ball before 'needing' to make a decision. It's not an out of possession instruction and there are different ways of 'using' tempo. 

The more cautious Mentalities do have lower tempos. If a counter attack triggers in the ME though, the set tempo etc does not matter. Mentality and Tempo get maxed out. The more aggressive Mentalities do have high tempo so there you're less reliant on ME counter attacks.

You mention short passing and high tempo being combined. You can do that, but you'll need players who are technically good enough and mentally quick enough to make those quick decisions regarding what to do.

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On 12/04/2021 at 21:52, Zemahh said:

Any tactic with Defensive Mentality is hardly "counter-attacking", you're practically asking your team to take no risks at all. Even with Instructions like More Direct Passing or Higher Tempo, your players' Mentalities will still be way too cautious for any quick breaks in most cases, apart from occasional automatic counter, that triggers under the hood when certain conditions are met. Mentality is a risk modifier, not something that defines your playing style and defensive solidity with one click. I do agree that the UI in its current shape can be very misleading though, not to mention some of the defensive presets which are pretty much set up for failure.

As for the "defensive" tactics in general, there's multiple threads on this very subject in the Tactics subforum, if OP is after actual advice:

Just some recent examples. For every "this or that doesn't work" thread, there's a few examples of people making it work just fine. :D

To try and put up a meaningful defence (unlike my team's efforts) my game plan was to start out defensive and open up to 'cautious' after 15-20 mins. That went out of the window however when they scored twice during that period, so it was largely damage limitation afterwards (they were 3-0 up by half time). My team was second favourite pre KO in that match, but we're not that far behind the top sides in my division so I expected a bit more of a fight at least.

For the record I have pulled off many David vs Goliath away wins in my current save (it's 2032 on FM19) so I know how to set up a side to play defensively. It just feels at times when you play the top top sides you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, because unless they get complacent they still blow you away at times. My best chance in recent seasons has been to shift from my usual possession based short passing game and go with a more direct wing plays system as this occasionally catches teams out, but that only works so many times.

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The sooner SI removes the outdated default tactics the better for all us to avoid misconceptions specially for new players.

For the mods and the content creators that have direct access to SI staff, why do we still have these extreme and overcomplicated presets full of misconceptions and TI's that might be ok for very specific players and situations, but not as presets? Please convince them to add there proper setups that are simple and make sense, from @Rashidi@HUNT3R@Experienced Defenderetc. In fact it would be even better if the presets were also something we could import in game, so we have SI presets but also content creators presets as packs to have better and more options. Also in these presets I'll add a long text description about why and for which purpose is each setting used in that specific preset tactic and the type of players needed for it. That way the presets have a real use and are also a learning tool.

Regarding the mentality topic, I created a nice 4-2-2-2 counter tactic on positive mentality that allowed me to reach the premier with Crewe and sit there in the 4th position in my first season after promotion, so any combination of mentality and the rest of the settings is possible (specially combined with LOE and LOD as the previously mentioned content creators are tireless explaining again and again). But I also think that taking more risks both in mentality and pressing is an advantage in current ME and not punished enough not having the right players for it as it should, probably because the AI managers are too conservative to punish us except in the last minutes of each game when they can really scare the user when they decide to go all out attack.

Edited by Icy
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4 hours ago, Icy said:

The sooner SI removes the outdated default tactics the better for all us to avoid misconceptions specially for new players.

For the mods and the content creators that have direct access to SI staff, why do we still have these extreme and overcomplicated presets full of misconceptions and TI's that might be ok for very specific players and situations, but not as presets? Please convince them to add there proper setups that are simple and make sense, from @Rashidi@HUNT3R@Experienced Defenderetc. In fact it would be even better if the presets were also something we could import in game, so we have SI presets but also content creators presets as packs to have better and more options. Also in these presets I'll add a long text description about why and for which purpose is each setting used in that specific preset tactic and the type of players needed for it. That way the presets have a real use and are also a learning tool.

Regarding the mentality topic, I created a nice 4-2-2-2 counter tactic on positive mentality that allowed me to reach the premier with Crewe and sit there in the 4th position in my first season after promotion, so any combination of mentality and the rest of the settings is possible (specially combined with LOE and LOD as the previously mentioned content creators are tireless explaining again and again). But I also think that taking more risks both in mentality and pressing is an advantage in current ME and not punished enough not having the right players for it as it should, probably because the AI managers are too conservative to punish us except in the last minutes of each game when they can really scare the user when they decide to go all out attack.

Agreed, high risk just isn’t penalized enough considering how too much low risk strategies can pretty much make a team non existent in attacking and defending.

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On 14/04/2021 at 17:14, IbrahimAliMaher said:

To try and put up a meaningful defence (unlike my team's efforts) my game plan was to start out defensive and open up to 'cautious' after 15-20 mins. That went out of the window however when they scored twice during that period, so it was largely damage limitation afterwards (they were 3-0 up by half time). My team was second favourite pre KO in that match, but we're not that far behind the top sides in my division so I expected a bit more of a fight at least.

For the record I have pulled off many David vs Goliath away wins in my current save (it's 2032 on FM19) so I know how to set up a side to play defensively. It just feels at times when you play the top top sides you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, because unless they get complacent they still blow you away at times. My best chance in recent seasons has been to shift from my usual possession based short passing game and go with a more direct wing plays system as this occasionally catches teams out, but that only works so many times.

That is exactly what happened to Atletico against Chelsea this season in Champions League. Playing with little risk is not always the better option. Why play with so little risk at the start when you know your team is not that inferior to the opposition?  If you start your team playing defensive, even letting one goal can be very costly. That goal could come from a set piece or a long shot that you never expect to go in and nothing that your tactics could prevent. A better option will be to gain a lead first and then play defensive as the opposition pile on pressure. 

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4 hours ago, zyfon5 said:

That is exactly what happened to Atletico against Chelsea this season in Champions League. Playing with little risk is not always the better option. Why play with so little risk at the start when you know your team is not that inferior to the opposition?  If you start your team playing defensive, even letting one goal can be very costly. That goal could come from a set piece or a long shot that you never expect to go in and nothing that your tactics could prevent. A better option will be to gain a lead first and then play defensive as the opposition pile on pressure. 

To add some context, this team (RB Leipzig) is my main bogey team; in my six seasons as manager I have precisely one win against them, maybe one draw, the rest all defeats. I get results from time to time against Bayern and some of the other bigger sides, but hardly ever Leipzig. Their usual formation is the same as mine, so if I match them up and go toe to toe avainst them they'll more than likely beat me as they have the better players overall. I also can't go for my direct wing plays route as their CBs are really good in the air. That just leaves defense (and hopefully counter) and try to contain them.

I take your point that the best form of defence sometimes is offense, but these guys have such a hoodoo over me it's tough to go more expansive against them, especially away from home.

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On 15/04/2021 at 10:05, Icy said:

The sooner SI removes the outdated default tactics the better for all us to avoid misconceptions specially for new players.

 

Having default tactics is absolutely required. Firstly for people who are new to the game and feel overwhelmed by choices, and secondly for players who have neither the time nor the motivation to do a lot tactically. 

People who post regularly on the tactics forums have long noted that the preset tactics are, quite frankly, really poorly made tactics that absolutely do not help people. They present a misleading representation of how you should build a tactic, and they are so chocked full of TIs that there is no way you could work out what is doing what. They need to be minimalized at the very least, I'd hoped SI might get greater input from some of the very knowledgeable people you mention.

What I would really like to see on this front is a tactic generator. You give a formation, tick a couple of boxes on how you want your team to play, and it will generate you something that makes sense tactically. Something that it is clear is a starting point for a user to try to build their style. 

The documentation also needs a change. I liked FM19 which had visual representations of various things that change with mentality and other things. 

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I will say this, while I understand it's possible to be successful with defensive approaches here and there (eg. underdog playing a cautious low block), the game seems to reward riskier tactics WAY more. I don't know why that is, but even the poorest sides tend to perform far better with aggressive setups, than they do with more cautious ones. We see this time and time again in the download section, practically every tactic there has a high risk mentality, combined with high lines and maxed out pressing and those tactics will get you decent results no matter what team you're managing. There's just something off with how the game perceives pressing; fitness, cohesion and all the rest doesn't seem to actually matter that much.

Doesn't even have to be a downloaded tactic, from my experience you're far better off with an aggressive setup, than you are with low blocks (if your goal is to get best results possible and you don't care about playing realistic tactics). @Rashidi is as good as it gets when it comes to tacticians and even he got spanked 3-0 by Bournemouth while playing a cautious low block in one of his recent streams. I understand he also got some great results with that same tactic, but the point is low blocks seem to be much riskier than just going for it, while in reality it should probably be the opposite (at least when it comes to not leaking goals). Seems like the AI just isn't that good when it comes to defensive positioning, marking, spacial awareness, etc. That's probably also why ultra aggressive tactics are so successful in this game, it's just too easy to overwhelm the AI.

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2 hours ago, Shib0 said:

will say this, while I understand it's possible to be successful with defensive approaches here and there (eg. underdog playing a cautious low block), the game seems to reward riskier tactics WAY more.

I think there are two reasons. One is that football in general rewards positivity more than negativity. Most games where a team sets out to just defend and hope they get a goal on the counter end in defeat or a draw. That is why it is noteworthy when it works. I can't think of a truly defence first team that has any any success in recent times. There are odd exceptions - Chelsea in their champion's league triumph, Greece in Euros in 2004 (I think it was that year anyway). 

Then there is the reason why it pays probably more than is should to be risky as a lower team against a bigger one. This is, mostly, because FM teams tend not to react perfectly to what is happening. If a team is attacking and leaving space that is being exploited, they tend not to stop doing so after the first or second time they get cut open. I'm sure they do react, but it is often not quickly enough and it makes it easier to play riskier as a lower team, because you know you can. This is an FM thing just regarding how hard it is to code an AI that acts like a human. Not that I am moaning or berating the code, I think it does a decent enough job. But play enough and you find the patterns of the AI.

In the end, it is absolutely easy to have a extremely solid defence without relying on a high press or to be successful without super risky tactics. I use a split press in my current tactic, where most of the team drop back into position and the rest press hard to disrupt buildup play. I have it working extremely well and am almost always in the top half for my defence (of course it depends on the team just how well you can do). Like I said before, a lot of this comes down to a misunderstanding of what defensive football is and how it should be played. It comes in many flavours.

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5 hours ago, Shib0 said:

I don't know why that is, but even the poorest sides tend to perform far better with aggressive setups, than they do with more cautious ones.

Because lower mentalities are not made to get the best out of your team. (Eventhough you obviously can use them to perform well)

they are primarily made to make the OTHER team not perform well. You can see that by a simple example as lower mentalities come by default with „waste time“ instruction when in possession. 

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10 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Then there is the reason why it pays probably more than is should to be risky as a lower team against a bigger one. This is, mostly, because FM teams tend not to react perfectly to what is happening. If a team is attacking and leaving space that is being exploited, they tend not to stop doing so after the first or second time they get cut open. I'm sure they do react, but it is often not quickly enough and it makes it easier to play riskier as a lower team, because you know you can. This is an FM thing just regarding how hard it is to code an AI that acts like a human.

Exactly this. How you can make AI dependant game more realistic for human player. Well you can't if AI isn't smart enough. Maybe there should be human Vs human version of FM?

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7 minutes ago, Pasonen said:

How you can make AI dependant game more realistic for human player. Well you can't if AI isn't smart enough. Maybe there should be human Vs human version of FM?

I don't think the issue is they can't, making AI actively adapt to user's tactics would probably be fairly simple. Now, I don't think the AI should ever counter every tactical decision immediately, that would be unrealistic and boring, but maybe just some of the most obvious things like a high defensive line and maxed out pressing, that would be easy to spot in real life. How quickly and whether at all managers respond could be dictated by their Tactical Knowledge, for example.

But the problem then becomes, half of the playerbase would never win another game. We already see these "AI is cheating" threads pop up every time someone gets countered or scored on from a set piece, now imagine if the AI could actually switch to a direct 4-4-2 to bypass your press and hit you on the break, when it recognized you're throwing everyone forward. Something like this could only work if the feedback system was vastly improved though, so users were able to recognize their tactical faults more easily.

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35 minutes ago, Zemahh said:

If the feedback system was vastly improved though, so users were able to recognize their tactical faults more easily.

True and passing accuracy, first touches and general quickness of realistic tempo should be lower with better understanding of spaces from AI. After this game would not be anymore so straight forwardly punishing but if changes would be made only to AI reactions right now matches would be like 10-10 at least.. say goodbye to realistic stats. :D

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1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

We already see these "AI is cheating" threads pop up every time someone gets countered or scored on from a set piece, now imagine if the AI could actually switch to a direct 4-4-2 to bypass your press and hit you on the break, when it recognized you're throwing everyone forward.

That was a little bit of the case with the pre-release beta of FM20.  I was playing a low block, direct, counter-attacking system and I was scoring most of my goals from long balls over the top and 1 on 1's.  Won the league (D2 in Denmark) with a team predicted to struggle.  The feedback was awful - they tweaked the ME in the 2 weeks before full release as a result and all a bit ugly.   I kinda felt they tried to give us a ME whereby you got punished for high defensive lines, but it wasn't right with too many 1 on 1's even with lower lines.

ME wise, SI are in a no-win situation.  I'd love to see them aggressively patch the ME to stop exploit tactics as they did with Diablo back in the old CM (03/04?) days.  But just go see how many people have viewed knap's thread - it's a 7 figure number (!!), so they won't do it as it would cost them money in sales.  That leaves them trying to produce a ME that keeps these people happy - as well as people who want to create their own tactics and not take advantage of exploits.  I end up never playing a very high defensive line and counter pressing as it feels like I'm cheating - but that shouldn't be the case, as plenty of teams do this irl (including un-fashionable teams like Barnsley).  I don't know there's an answer outside of having 2 full fat versions (so people can use different databases/leagues that aren't playable with the base game) - a proper simulation where exploits are punished and they work hard to patch any that exist - and a more "arcade" (for want of a better word) type version where you can get away with exploits.  That would double development time, bug fixing etc. and I can't see SI wanting or being able to do that.  Throw in 2 versions of Touch as well - and no chance.

I wish SI the best trying to find the sweet spot, but it's the main issue with the ME for me and I can't see them being able to produce a top ME simulation because of it.  I've already to decided to pass on FM22 - partly because FM20 I didn't enjoy and FM21 is better, but still bugged and the ME, again while better, still has things wrong with it such as it being harder to play a low block than an exploit (my 2p with low blocks is that you can do it - but if one little thing is wrong with your tactic you will struggle.  There's very little margin for error - so hard for more casual players.  I'm doing better in recent games in my save, but it's taken several hours of watching Daljit and really battling through quite a few losses. With an exploit - just set everything to max and smooth sailing).  So, it'll cost them my £40 in November - and perhaps a few more like me - but if they patch exploits I suspect it would cost them a bunch more and lead to far more negative comments on Twitter and here.

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It’s really provoked a great chat. Jose’s just been sacked so maybe taking on Spurs is the impossible job. To go back to the subject maybe I should change it to the utter pointlessness of playing defensive football IRL. 
 

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4 hours ago, Zemahh said:

I don't think the issue is they can't, making AI actively adapt to user's tactics would probably be fairly simple. Now, I don't think the AI should ever counter every tactical decision immediately, that would be unrealistic and boring, but maybe just some of the most obvious things like a high defensive line and maxed out pressing, that would be easy to spot in real life. How quickly and whether at all managers respond could be dictated by their Tactical Knowledge, for example.

But the problem then becomes, half of the playerbase would never win another game. We already see these "AI is cheating" threads pop up every time someone gets countered or scored on from a set piece, now imagine if the AI could actually switch to a direct 4-4-2 to bypass your press and hit you on the break, when it recognized you're throwing everyone forward. Something like this could only work if the feedback system was vastly improved though, so users were able to recognize their tactical faults more easily.

This is where the tactical knowledge attribute should come in at.

 

The big piece to the puzzle is that attributes don’t matter as much as they should in the current form of the game, that’s why a bottom feeder team can go up against a leading team with an attacking style and have more success on average than they would if you adopted a low block system. 
 

Yku should be in danger of conceding lots of goals and being out of position using high risk tactics with players that aren’t capable of the play style but it’s just not happening.

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Some of what I'm about to say probably echoes some of the thoughts some of you have already put out. My thoughts on the matter are it is far too easy for an underdog to overachieve with an constant positive or higher mentality maybe due to exploits and it does not reflect real life.

Lower mentality (low risk) created tactics will probably be much less successful than those which take more risks because those that take more risks will score more goals and requires the AI to react effectively to draw back to level scores. With an underdog persisting with a high risk mentailty after scoring I think they should be punished more frequently unless they are using tactically sound systems. Many high risk systems just don't get punished currently and you're able to use them without throttling back.

I think to be more successful mentalities should be used on a situational basis rather than a match plan for the full 90 mins. It's a little bit illogical to be using a low risk mentality if you're 0-0 or 1-0 down and hope to win the game, instead I think low risk should be used in certain circumstances:- 

When an underdog is holding on to a lead though this should be abandoned if they go ahead or if you're not satisfied with a draw

To tire out the opposition, if you are evenly matched sides and they are playing a high intensive system playing cautiously for 20-60 minutes should frustrate the opposition and maybe put you in a position to capitalize late on

If you've been conceding loads of goals recently and you want a more defensively solid display to help morale you may want to be cautious/defensive for certain periods

 

Using real life as an example and from what I perceive happens:-

Top teams play risky most of the time, if a top team plays against another top team and goes ahead that's when you might see the leading team start to reduce their risk or at the late stages of each half. If top teams have a 2+ goal lead then it may be sensible to play with less risk.

Top teams playing away from home against other top teams may be less risky in their approach as they will be happy with a draw, if the home team scores then you can be sure the away team will not persist with a cautious approach.

I planned on writing more but I think you've probably the gist of what I'm getting at. 

 

 

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There are major problems with how mentality works at the moment. Anything higher than balanced it is ''run at defense'' style, There is very little passing. There's some 30 to in some games even 60% less passing attempts than in real life. With more defensive mentalities there's much more passing. So there's frequent scenario where defensive teams (especially those using shorter passing) manage to outpass even best teams but with very little sometimes even zero shots. Another thing which is also important is that passing strings and passing% are far bigger than in real football which meens there are too few transitions which would pump up the number of counter attacks.

Actually the opposite is happening to what game description says or what somebody would expect compared to real football. 

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On 12/04/2021 at 06:10, kentonizking said:

There is a very good tactic in the forums, which is based on Simeone's non possession based football. I've found it pretty useful for situations in which you are likely to concede huge amounts of possession and shots.

It's good for soaking up and hitting on the break

Might help

Where

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