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Derby County team playing utterly poor, no sign of improvement.


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Hello,

My Derby County save is going very poorly in my second season after playing fairly well last season. I have good player all round that are above average for the league but the team is doing bad and I don't know what to do.

Can anyone help me with fixing my team. I have a feeling my tactic is the problem and for pride or some other reason I won't download a pre-made tactic.

I've read a lot of material on how to be a good head coach but i seem to be doing something wrong. I've linking my save down below and I'd like to ask if anyone can take a look at it? It's on Football Manager 20

Edit: I've been told to upload some screens hots of my tactic. This is the tactic I used at the beginning of my second season i have since removed majority of my instructions as I was told I'm over instructing. I have since kept-

IN POSSESSION: Standard passing, lower tempo, play out of defence

IN TRANSITION: Take short kicks, distribute to CB, counter press

OUT OF POSSESSION: Standard lines and More urgent pressing

 

I also have a problem of setting roles for my midfielders. Eg. AP, BBM & DLP or BWM, DLP & CM. I just don't know what three roles work well with vert tiki-taka.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h8zncXKJwYbc334-BDCNPkbXdMiHhBdl/view?usp=drivesdk 

2021-04-27 12_54_55-Football Manager 2020.png

2021-04-27 12_55_23-Football Manager 2020.png

2021-04-27 12_56_00-Football Manager 2020.png

Edited by Louie_g_34
Addition of screenshots and a better description.
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Hi Louie,

I'll move this over to the tactical/strategy forum. While it's great that you've provided a link to the save and a couple of people might download it to give advice, you'll reach a broader audience if you can post your tactic in full, ideally with a screenshot.

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Problems with your tactic are the following:

- the left flank overly vulnerable (instead of defensive cover for the attacking FB, you are using a mezzala in the midfield)

- the midfield trio has no single holding or covering role; instead, all 3 roles are roaming runners

- the fullback role on the right flank is too conservative to properly and consistently support his inside-oriented wide partner, especially in a possession-minded tactical style like yours

- the use of needlessly too many instructions, some of which even conflict with others

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19 hours ago, Louie_g_34 said:

Hello,

My Derby County save is going very poorly in my second season after playing fairly well last season. I have good player all round that are above average for the league but the team is doing bad and I don't know what to do.

Can anyone help me with fixing my team. I have a feeling my tactic is the problem and for pride or some other reason I won't download a pre-made tactic.

I've read a lot of material on how to be a good head coach but i seem to be doing something wrong. I've linking my save down below and I'd like to ask if anyone can take a look at it? It's on Football Manager 20

Edit: I've been told to upload some screens hots of my tactic. This is the tactic I used at the beginning of my second season i have since removed majority of my instructions as I was told I'm over instructing. I have since kept-

IN POSSESSION: Standard passing, lower tempo, play out of defence

IN TRANSITION: Take short kicks, distribute to CB, counter press

OUT OF POSSESSION: Standard lines and More urgent pressing

 

I also have a problem of setting roles for my midfielders. Eg. AP, BBM & DLP or BWM, DLP & CM. I just don't know what three roles work well with vert tiki-taka.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h8zncXKJwYbc334-BDCNPkbXdMiHhBdl/view?usp=drivesdk 

2021-04-27 12_54_55-Football Manager 2020.png

 

- I'd have the leftback on a support duty, I'd have the RB as a wingback. 

- Remove get stuck in

- Remove pass into space

- Possibly take the tempo up a notch

 

 

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On 28/04/2021 at 12:50, Louie_g_34 said:

2021-04-27 12_54_55-Football Manager 2020.png

Keeping your basic ideas intact I would try: 

AF-a

IF-s                           IW-A

MEZ-s   CM-s

DLP-s

FB-a     CB-d   CB-d     WB-s

GK-d

This midfield trio is (a bit) more cautious and stable than your existing midfield. With overall high mentalities from Positive coupled with a relatively lower tempo, the central midfielders should have no problem being involved both in build-up and the final third. 

I would consider removing/changing the following team instructions:

  • Play for Set Pieces: from the look of your setup, I don't think you want your team often taking the "easy" option to play for a set piece, you want them to attack the goal; if your team is naturally suited to be dangerous at set pieces, they will still be a threat without being the focus of your play 
  • Play out of Defense: shorter passing + lower tempo + distribute to CBs should be adequate to encourage your team to build play from the back without overly restricting your players' options on the ball 
  • Higher Line of Engagement --> Standard - lowering the distance between your Defensive Line (Higher) and Line of Engagement should make your team more compact and thus more difficult to play through
  • Get Stuck In: this might not be suited to all situations, keep an eye on fouls/yellow cards
  • Standard (actually "Fairly Wide" on Positive) Attacking Width --> Fairly Narrow - brings your players closer together and provides more shorter passing options

Other important things to note: 

  • Focus Play Through the Middle: This TI is adjusting your CBs mentality from Cautious --> Balanced and the DLP-s from Positive --> Attacking. This means your holding midfielder will be your most aggressive passer, and will seek to take risks to advance the ball. If your player can handle that responsibility, this is potentially a potent weapon to introduce variety into your build-up. However, this could also lead to danger. Be aware. [Edit: No longer true on FM21.]
  • Be More Expressive: I am unclear how this mechanic specifically works, but it may allow your players a wider range of options than your instructions allow by default; the additional roaming should be helpful for your attackers to find space and combine, but you could always remove this instruction and apply individual roaming instructions.
  • Low Tempo: While lower tempo can encourage your opponent to disrupt their defensive shape by pressing your player on the ball, your overall approach towards goal will not be urgent. The Positive team mentality might counteract this by encouraging your players to generally take more attacking options when possible, but if you find your team playing with a lack of purpose this might be an instruction that you adjust.
  • Counter: I think using this TI is a good balance to your generally low-tempo short play. If/when there is space and disorganization, your team will try and capitalize quickly. When there is not, they will attack patiently.
  • Pass Into Space: This is NOT a button to automatically generate through-balls. This TI instructs your players to prefer to pass in front of a teammate ("into space") rather than into feet. This instruction doesn't seem to get much love on the forums, but I believe it could actually be quite useful to get your players to generate some momentum towards the goal. Keep an eye out for poor turnovers.
Edited by Prolix
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18 hours ago, Prolix said:

Keeping your basic ideas intact I would try: 

AF-a

IF-s                           IW-A

MEZ-s   CM-s

DLP-s

FB-a     CB-d   CB-d     WB-s

GK-d

This midfield trio is (a bit) more cautious and stable than your existing midfield. With overall high mentalities from Positive coupled with a relatively lower tempo, the central midfielders should have no problem being involved both in build-up and the final third. 

I would consider removing/changing the following team instructions:

  • Play for Set Pieces - from the look of your setup, I don't think you want your team often taking the "easy" option to play for a set piece, you want them to attack the goal; if your team is naturally suited to be dangerous at set pieces, they will still be a threat without being the focus of your play 
  • Play out of Defense - shorting passing + lower tempo + distribute to CBs should be adequate to encourage your team to build play from the back without overly restricting your players' options on the ball 
  • Higher Line of Engagement --> Standard - lowering the distance between your Defensive Line (Higher) and Line of Engagement should make your team more compact and thus more difficult to play through
  • Get Stuck In - this might not be suited to all situations, keep an eye on fouls/yellow cards
  • Standard (actually "Fairly Wide" on Positive) Attacking Width --> Fairly Narrow - brings your players closer together and provides more shorter passing options

Other important things to note: 

  • Focus Play Through the Middle: This TI is adjusting your CBs mentality from Cautious --> Balanced and the DLP-s from Positive --> Attacking. This means your holding midfielder will be your most aggressive passer, and will seek to take risks to advance the ball. If your player can handle that responsibility, this is potentially a potent weapon to introduce variety into your build-up. However, this could also lead to danger. Be aware.
  • Be More Expressive: I am unclear how this mechanic specifically works, but it may allow your players a wider range of options than your instructions allow by default; the additional roaming should be helpful for your attackers to find space and combine, but you could always remove this instruction and apply individual roaming instructions.
  • Low Tempo: While lower tempo can encourage your opponent to disrupt their defensive shape by pressing your player on the ball, your overall approach towards goal will not be urgent. The Positive team mentality might counteract this by encouraging your players to generally take more attacking options when possible, but if you find your team playing with a lack of purpose this might be an instruction that you adjust.
  • Counter: I think using this TI is a good balance to your generally low-tempo short play. If/when there is space and disorganization, your team will try and capitalize quickly. When there is not, they will attack patiently.
  • Pass Into Space: This is NOT a button to automatically generate through-balls. This TI instructs your players to prefer to pass in front of a teammate ("into space") rather than into feet. This instruction doesn't seem to get much love on the forums, but I believe it could actually be quite useful to get your players to generate some momentum towards the goal. Keep an eye out for poor turnovers.

Focus play doesn't adjust mentality anymore 

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On 29/04/2021 at 16:11, Prolix said:

Keeping your basic ideas intact I would try: 

AF-a

IF-s                           IW-A

MEZ-s   CM-s

DLP-s

FB-a     CB-d   CB-d     WB-s

GK-d

This midfield trio is (a bit) more cautious and stable than your existing midfield. With overall high mentalities from Positive coupled with a relatively lower tempo, the central midfielders should have no problem being involved both in build-up and the final third. 

I would consider removing/changing the following team instructions:

  • Play for Set Pieces - from the look of your setup, I don't think you want your team often taking the "easy" option to play for a set piece, you want them to attack the goal; if your team is naturally suited to be dangerous at set pieces, they will still be a threat without being the focus of your play 
  • Play out of Defense - shorting passing + lower tempo + distribute to CBs should be adequate to encourage your team to build play from the back without overly restricting your players' options on the ball 
  • Higher Line of Engagement --> Standard - lowering the distance between your Defensive Line (Higher) and Line of Engagement should make your team more compact and thus more difficult to play through
  • Get Stuck In - this might not be suited to all situations, keep an eye on fouls/yellow cards
  • Standard (actually "Fairly Wide" on Positive) Attacking Width --> Fairly Narrow - brings your players closer together and provides more shorter passing options

Other important things to note: 

  • Focus Play Through the Middle: This TI is adjusting your CBs mentality from Cautious --> Balanced and the DLP-s from Positive --> Attacking. This means your holding midfielder will be your most aggressive passer, and will seek to take risks to advance the ball. If your player can handle that responsibility, this is potentially a potent weapon to introduce variety into your build-up. However, this could also lead to danger. Be aware. [Edit: No longer true on FM21.]
  • Be More Expressive: I am unclear how this mechanic specifically works, but it may allow your players a wider range of options than your instructions allow by default; the additional roaming should be helpful for your attackers to find space and combine, but you could always remove this instruction and apply individual roaming instructions.
  • Low Tempo: While lower tempo can encourage your opponent to disrupt their defensive shape by pressing your player on the ball, your overall approach towards goal will not be urgent. The Positive team mentality might counteract this by encouraging your players to generally take more attacking options when possible, but if you find your team playing with a lack of purpose this might be an instruction that you adjust.
  • Counter: I think using this TI is a good balance to your generally low-tempo short play. If/when there is space and disorganization, your team will try and capitalize quickly. When there is not, they will attack patiently.
  • Pass Into Space: This is NOT a button to automatically generate through-balls. This TI instructs your players to prefer to pass in front of a teammate ("into space") rather than into feet. This instruction doesn't seem to get much love on the forums, but I believe it could actually be quite useful to get your players to generate some momentum towards the goal. Keep an eye out for poor turnovers.

@Prolix thank you so much for this feedback. I've played 7 games with this information and won us 6 games! (One loss was against Man Utd in the F.A cup)

Thinking back now I don't even know what I was thinking with all those instructions.

One problem I see now is that my subs are way below my first teams level, a long term injury might mess up my progress, but that's a problem for future me. 

Thanks again and all the best

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