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Hi Guys,

for quite a long time I am trying to achieve a successful 5-3-2 tactic (or other 3 CB and striker approach), but it is not working for me. 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 tactics are working fine, but it seems I am not good enough with other tactics.

 

Could you please have a look at my tactical setup and let me know your thoughts about it? I also tried a setup putting DM to CAM (DLP and BTB on CM), but same result - no good xGoals ratio and not winning a lot of games. I also changed a bit the MEZ role between support and attack, also I tried different roles on the wings.

I am a big fan of possession football, this is why I am trying to achieve this with a lower tempo.

Thanks a lot in advance four advice, below you can see the screenshots of my current tactic:

 

grafik.png.5731acd7c65b2cc55f68e0e60cd073fe.png

 

grafik.png.c981ec5fde137660c3f2639fca1f6815.png

 

grafik.png.33eb8d663825b3294e5415d33795ecbf.png

 

grafik.png.11a5f9555c7075bf892a855fdfd755d1.png

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10 minutes ago, mcpay said:

Hi Guys,

for quite a long time I am trying to achieve a successful 5-3-2 tactic (or other 3 CB and striker approach), but it is not working for me. 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 tactics are working fine, but it seems I am not good enough with other tactics.

 

Could you please have a look at my tactical setup and let me know your thoughts about it? I also tried a setup putting DM to CAM (DLP and BTB on CM), but same result - no good xGoals ratio and not winning a lot of games. I also changed a bit the MEZ role between support and attack, also I tried different roles on the wings.

I am a big fan of possession football, this is why I am trying to achieve this with a lower tempo.

Thanks a lot in advance four advice, below you can see the screenshots of my current tactic:

 

grafik.png.5731acd7c65b2cc55f68e0e60cd073fe.png

 

grafik.png.c981ec5fde137660c3f2639fca1f6815.png

 

grafik.png.33eb8d663825b3294e5415d33795ecbf.png

 

grafik.png.11a5f9555c7075bf892a855fdfd755d1.png

I see some problems here:

- your TI'S are very possession friendly, pretty much overkill really, especially the in possession ones, but the 5-3-2 is not suited to such style.

- urgent pressing combined with less then optimal defensive compactness (gap between DL and LOE)

- tight marking doesn't make sense with the supposed possession-looking style

- in a bottom heavy formation, prevent short GK distribution doesn't work well

- why both TSK and distribute to CB'S?

- work ball into box, be more disciplined, lower tempo and narrow is incredibly passive, would make tempo and width default and remove wBiB and BMD.

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Lots of issues to unpack, but fundamentally, your formation and tactical approach don't align and everything else just compounds that...

  • You're pressing high up the field to win the ball back, but your formation is extremely back heavy and you're completely out numbered in your press against almost any formation;
  • You're playing a narrow formation, then telling your players to play even narrower, and compounding that further by overcomplicating your WB roles;
  • In attack, you're not stretching the pitch, vertically or horizontally;
  • Nor are you moving it quickly or creating numerical advantages to pressure the opposition;
  • You're asking too much from Piatek in playing him as CF(A) considering your formation and supporting roles; 
  • Considering how defensively you're setup and how much "support" there is around him, he should be extremely focused on scoring goals (Poacher or AF);

I could keep going, but again, your formation and tactics are in such misalignment, that I suggest deciding whether you want to prioritize that formation or that playstyle. Then, more specific and useful suggestions can follow. 

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Hi Both,

thanks a lot for your valuable feedback and it really helps as I assume I was thinking too much and extreme into one direction.

As I am such a big fan of pressing, but also posession, I really wasn´t spending too many thoughts on high pressing line giving a big gap between the lines (among other things you mentioned).

I think I will work on the formation again (making it less back heavy) and consider your feedback and give it another shot - I am sure I will be having more questions;-)

Thanks again for taking the time:-)

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I'm using a 5-3-2. When I started with my lower league team, given the players at my disposal that seemed the best formation and I've stuck with it. However, I've had to radically alter my instructions. I was lulled into a false sense of security in beating lower league sides with poor tactics but got caught out higher up. I'm currently in the midst of my third major overhaul.

I see some of my early errors in your set-up. In brief, I was trying to be too urgent. I wanted a pass 'n' move vibe to my play - possession-based but adventurous, but I had too many instructions like urgent pressing, counter-pressing, and so on. So long as oppo defences were hapless, I looked good, but once I came up to decent defences I found I had enough possession but couldn't score - I was prioritising quantity over quality of chances and rushing forward play.

You look like you might be okay at the back although potentially punished down the flanks if your CWBs are caught too high up the pitch, but might struggle to score. A key tweak I've made is sacrificing the possession philosophy by altering passing from -1 (quite short) to +1 (quite direct) but on middle tempo. That seems to work for me but of course my squad is different so don't just copy it. Take advice from the guys above, modify your set-up then do experiments. What I do is take 'time out' from my season and play an average opponent half a dozen times (exiting the save and redoing the match whatever the result) until I feel I've found a balance. Then re-start your save proper and watch the next few matches closely, looking out for your tweaks to see what difference they make. Don't care if you win or lose through a freak goal here or there - focus on seeing the effects of your tactical system.

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thanks phnompen, i was already getting mad not being able to set up a 5-3-2 while classic tactic work fine. "good" to hear you were struggling as well and interesting to see how you found your approach! i am playing this game for quite some time, wouldn´t call me an expert, but you think you understood it a little;) funny you mention that you made sacrifices in regards to posession tactic, it feels hard to me to do so, but i think it is a good approach. combined with the advice of the guys i hope i can get the tactic working much better very soon. also helpful to just try new tactics in one single game to find balance, will try this as well:-)

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, mcpay said:

I am a big fan of possession football, this is why I am trying to achieve this with a lower tempo.

I really share your love for possession oriented playing styles. though Im questioning if this formation actually is well suited for that style of football.

Anyway, what’s important when playing patiently, is to create unpredictable and overlapping movement in the attacking third.

you could achieve that to some extend with central midfielders running wide, while being overlapped by your CWBs. 

create a more fluid share of responsibilities in central midfield by using a DLP(s) on you DM Position (maybe could try a regista). He will be perfekt for your players to recycle possession. 

With 3 central defenders and a DM you lack body’s in the upper half of the pitch. One idea could be to be more aggressive from deeper areas with a Libero who also creates more overlapping movement and has enough time to move up the pitch due to lower tempo.

central attack seems fine to me.

Balanced mentality seems fine as a starting point. 

when in possession with so many players down the pitch play out of defense can suite well as passing options will be available. So are shorter passes as you primarily want to keep the ball to the ground. As shorter passes do also affect tempo by lowering it, I would properbly start out with standard tempo and see how it goes.

while work ball into box does generally suit possession oriented football, your players are more likely to play patiently anyway due to lower tempo from shorter passes and balanced mentality. So as a starting point I would remove that and see how it goes first. 

Narrow attacking width does favour shorter passes, but also limits the space for your players to roam around and create movement. So I would remove that. Same goes for tactical discipline as it also limits your movement. 

however to balance out your relative low risk in possession i would add pass into space which well suits shorter passes or be more expressive to allow even more (off the ball) movement and create freedom to be less predictable. check especially your players stats for off the ball, vision, flair, decisionmaking, anticipation. 

When in transition, counterpress Is fine as you are well covered by your CDs and the DM. However if you play the aggressive Libero unticking it or even regroup might be more effective. 

I wouldn’t go with hold shape as you already transition relatively slow with play out of defense, shorter passes (lower tempo) and many players down the pitch. don’t Pick counter either as you obviously look for a different style. 

GK instructions seem fine. 

when out of possession, i would go with a standard line of engagement, as you don’t have many players up the pitch, so I would start pressing slightly into the oppositions half. I would go though with a higher defensive line, as it will help you to recycle possession and provide more passing options when inside the oppositions half. 

defend wide, as you still want to win the ball back as quickly as possible. Also you are well covered centrally. Increased pressing intensity is fine to keep up the pressure, tho is prevent GK distribution as it allows you to prevent a slow build up from your opposition after a goal kick eventhough you are on a standard line of Engagement. 

to mark your enemies tight your players need physical superiority and good marking skills so have a look at that. get stuck in though could suit well as it helps you to aggressively win the ball back. You can even see that in real life, that teams go for aggressive tackling rather the stay on feet when pressing hard, as they are vulnerable once the ball has passed through their trap and also it’s not quite as punishing when forcing a free kick in the oppositions half as it would be in their own half.

hopefully I could help a bit. 

Edited by CARRERA
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I'm currently running a high tempo 3-4-1-2 that is completely dominating possession (59% season average through 35 matches), and yes it's a true 3-4-1-2 with defensive wingers.  I didn't actually go out looking for that formation/tactic but I found it did the things I wanted it to such as - not let the opposition out of its own half through counterpressing and simply having bodies forward (but as @CARRERA says, keeping a high line but standard LOE) and giving players multiple passing options, both close and distant.  While it gets beat over the top on occasion, it's surprisingly defensively strong, especially as my backup tactics allow me to retreat into a 5-2-1-2 or 3-5-2.

I know that conventional wisdom says that possession should be slow and short, but without some tempo and movement to your play, the opposition will mark your players out of the game.  I also agree with others here who say your tactic lacks dynamic movement, with your mezzala being the one exception.  You need your CM's going wide and at different levels [I like mez(a) + car(s)].  My 3-5-2 (which I sometimes move to a 5-3-2 if the wings are exposed too much) that looks somewhat like yours, but with quicker passing and more allowance for direct play.  I find that, especially on a balanced mentality and with enough options nearby, players will choose the short, easy option the vast majority of the time.  By forcing them to go slow and short, you don't give them the option of playing a longer ball, even if that is the best choice to keep possession.

If you want to dig down deeper, I just went a little crazy with a tactical self analysis post in my career thread.  It might not be what you're looking for, but it might also give you some food for thought (?).

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wow guys, thanks for further feedback, really appreciated you took so much time to help me. i am curios now to try things out and finally get a 5-3-2 working :-) today i am on a virtual beer tasting, so should do it after or rather tomorrow:-))

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I'll just update you on my ongoing efforts to squeeze the most out of my 5-3-2. As I said, for 11 seasons I was cruising against hapless lower league opposition, not really noticing the flaws in my tactics until I got promoted to the Championship where I hit a brick wall. A lot of my rivals are ex-Premier League sides with vastly superior squads, so I suddenly need to pay attention to every tiny detail to survive this league. I quickly realised my gung-ho intensive strategy had been found out and I went back to the drawing board. The last few days have been an education. I've read hundreds of pages of threads here and followed links to various sites. I thought I had it all figured out and then I went to play my next 2 fixtures - and lost them both. This took me into a fortnight international break in which I've used to opportunity to experiment with my U23 side with most of my first team squad (minus the likes of my representatives of St Kitts and Nevis, Kosovo and Norn Ireland U19s) available. What I've discovered is that following the expert advice too slavishly led to a too-mechanistic tactic and greater success has come from reverting back to more common sense and attention to the players' attributes, whilst still taking on board a raft of expert tips.

To be more specific:

The first match with a new structure was a Carabao Cup game vs Birmingham, in my division, rated about equal by the bookies but which our board expected us to win. We lost 1-2. I'd been persuaded that my 5-3-2 wasn't suited to possession-based tactics, so I gave up short passing/high tempo for a more direct approach. The result was I completely surrendered possession to the point that I was gifting them the game. I upped the tempo to average and hit counter-press and my possession went up from 30% to 45%. In the next game, a league encounter with table-topping Stoke I started with those settings. We lost 2-1, but that was fair enough and my possession was close to 50%. It was a satisfactory performance overall, but despite the strong opposition I felt my front two were still impotent. Although I have a much lower than average squad for the division, I'm supposed to have 2 of the deadliest strikers and they ain't scoring, so I realised that's gotta be on me.

So onto the U23 match with Mansfield U23s. Obviously I'd be expected to trounce them, but I used it to replay the game on 5 different mentalities (all else unchanged), compared the stats and watched the games. For all the mentalities from defensive to attacking (I omitted the 2 extreme ones) the outcomes were similar but watching the games the approaches were not and accurately reflected what you'd expect of the mentalities. That in itself was a bit of a revelation because I'd got the impression I should leave it on balanced and tweak roles and duties - changing mentality is too radical I was informed. But it doesn't seem that way - it looks like once I'm content with my roles, duties and TIs, I maybe ought to only change mentalities in response to how a match is going unless there's a very good reason to do more.

Whilst the OP began by laying out his tactics, roles, duties and TIs, I'm coming round to seeing they are so dependent on the players' attributes (and traits) that advising on that basis is not overly helpful, so I don't think there is much point me sharing my tactics. But there is one more observation that makes a big difference. In all my experimental matches, at least one goal came from a set piece. Corners mostly but also an indirect free kick and even a throw-in. It occurred to me that I last set and saved my set-piece routines about 4 seasons ago when most of my good players have moved on and my current squad were mostly in my youth team at the time. So by revisiting and tweaking my set-piece routines, suddenly they're potent. A handful more goals from them over a season should earn a decisive number of points, maybe saving me from relegation of meeting my board's expectation of a mid-table finish.

Anyway, getting my striker to score against quality defe3nces is still a work in progress, but i think otherwise, I'm mostly content. Now the international break is over, it's back to the fray.

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UPDATE: Egad! I think I've cracked it! My non-scoring strikers are suddenly scoring for fun and we're top scorers in the division, up into the play-off positions.

And the magic formula? Inverted Wingers.

Having risen from the lower leagues, I've never previously used fancy-dan foreign positions, but I figured now in The Championship my players might have the attributes to give 'em a go. So I inverted my wingbacks, putting both on attack duties (compensating for 4 attack duties by using cautious/balanced mentalities). The effect in a 5-3-2 is this: with 3 central midfielders, 2 strikers and 2 inverted wingbacks, the central attacking area is overloaded (can get a bit packed actually, with up to 18 players crowded in and around the box, so I go mid/wider attacking width too). Defenders get pulled out of position and short passes find their way to the strikers in scorable positions.

 

IWBs solves another problem too. I'm playing FM19 which has a bug (?) where nearly all crosses are blocked - from out wide anyway. Seems to be fine crossing from the channels; in many games my crossing percentage is up from 3% to 30%.

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@phnompenhandy I am on the verge of removing your last 2 posts from this thread because I am struggling to see how are they supposed to help the OP in relation to his specific issues. The fact that you use the same formation as his does not mean that you can hijack his thread to talk about your FM save or career. There is a separate forum for that. So either post comments that clearly and directly have to do with what the OP asked about or open your own thread topic in the appropriate forum section.

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Posted (edited)

@mcpayYou and I are going through the same issues in the same league it seems. I'm on my third season at Kiel and the results, on paper, have been very good considering the club's size and expectations. We came second first season and got promoted then finished 6th in our debut Bundesliga campaign. On first glance this looks like a terrific achievement but when you watch us play it feels like a unsustainable slog.

 

Possession wise we're awful and rank around 16th in the league. While we're not a low scoring team it does feel like we rely far too much on pieces of individual brilliance (almost always by my striker Janni Serra) or set pieces (also Janni Serra getting on the end of things). The most frustrating part is our complete lack of any kind of consistency- we beat league winners Dortmund and then getting absolutely outplayed and dominated by Augsberg and Werder. I'm also not overly impressed by how we look at the back either- despite three central defenders I'm often seeing a single striker get a lot of space to operate and capitalise. 

 

I'm attempting to make subtle alterations to see if I can rectify some of the problems but I'm not seeing any evidence of positive change on the pitch yet. I'm considering packing it in and dropping 3 at the back for next season but it will require a far bit of wheeling and dealing as I have no wingers at the club and I have two top quality strikers that should both start and I'm reluctant to break up. 

Edited by causeforconcern
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@causeforconcern hahah, i feel you - for me it is exactly the same:-) i also have tried to adapt step by step to some of the instructions/guidance given here, but when i simulate a few games it seems there is not too much of change. but i hope this weekend i have enough time to give it another shot. anyway, would be nice to hear from your way to more brilliance ;-)))

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21 hours ago, mcpay said:

@causeforconcern hahah, i feel you - for me it is exactly the same:-) i also have tried to adapt step by step to some of the instructions/guidance given here, but when i simulate a few games it seems there is not too much of change. but i hope this weekend i have enough time to give it another shot. anyway, would be nice to hear from your way to more brilliance ;-)))

I'm actually switching to a 4-3-1-2 for my next season to try flood the midfield a bit more to retain possession. I'm not sure how much it will help given the main reason possession is lost is my fullbacks struggling for options but time will tell. I've bought in a couple of players that far better suit the mezzala role so perhaps that will help. 

 

 

 

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