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Play down the middle boss? No I'm good...


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I'm using a 5-4-1 Diamond WB formation, aiming to play through the middle. But for match after match, the match report says that focus of our attacks have been down the flanks.  This isn't ideal, because I've only got wing backs out there, no wingers/wide midfielders.  What would cause this to happen?  Thanks!

Edited by temporaryeggs
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1 hour ago, Freakiie said:

Well hard to say without seeing your tactics, but generally the middle is 10x more crowded than the sides, so play will naturally move out wide because that's where space is.

I acknowledge that's usually the case.  So what kinds of tactics create space in the middle, whereby you can successfully exploit the middle? 

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In that match, it is very understandable most of the attacking play came through the wings. RB Leipzig are also using a narrow formation.

Re: Focus play instructions, this is just my opinion but I find that they create space in the areas of the pitch that aren't where the play is being focused (either you overload that section of the pitch or the defense drifts to that part of the pitch there by creating space elsewhere). So by focusing play through the middle, you are creating space down the flanks if the opposition reacts to this.

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2 minutes ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

In that match, it is very understandable most of the attacking play came through the wings. RB Leipzig are also using a narrow formation.

Re: Focus play instructions, this is just my opinion but I find that they create space in the areas of the pitch that aren't where the play is being focused (either you overload that section of the pitch or the defense drifts to that part of the pitch there by creating space elsewhere). So by focusing play through the middle, you are creating space down the flanks if the opposition reacts to this.

That makes sense!  So if I want to play down the middle, I should focus play down the flanks?  There's a perverse logic to this, so I'm gonna try that for the next little while.

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I've taken a look at your tactic and it definitely has flaws, both in terms of your selection of roles and duties and contradictory instructions.

Anyway, when it comes to the Focus play instruction(s), it is just an instruction that - like any other instruction - only serves to encourage (a bit) more of a certain type of behavior by your players. In the specific case of the Focus play through the middle, the instruction virtually asks your players to try to use the middle areas of the pitch whenever possible or sensible. But the instruction itself cannot determine which area of the pitch will be predominantly used during an actual match. Because:

1. there are other elements of the tactic - most notably the setup of roles and duties - that affect how your team will play;

2. there is the opposition on the pitch as well, whose style of play will also have a significant effect on your team's play.

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4 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

I've taken a look at your tactic and it definitely has flaws, both in terms of your selection of roles and duties and contradictory instructions.

Anyway, when it comes to the Focus play instruction(s), it is just an instruction that - like any other instruction - only serves to encourage (a bit) more of a certain type of behavior by your players. In the specific case of the Focus play through the middle, the instruction virtually asks your players to try to use the middle areas of the pitch whenever possible or sensible. But the instruction itself cannot determine which area of the pitch will be predominantly used during an actual match. Because:

1. there are other elements of the tactic - most notably the setup of roles and duties - that affect how your team will play;

2. there is the opposition on the pitch as well, whose style of play will also have a significant effect on your team's play.

Thanks for the reply, those are good points.  Could you please elaborate about the flaws of my tactic?  I don't have a good tactical sense yet, so I'm really keen to hear how more experienced FMers think.

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1 minute ago, temporaryeggs said:

Could you please elaborate about the flaws of my tactic?

- the selection of central midfield roles (both mezzala and AP are attack-minded roles + your mezzala is even played on attack duty)

- how do you expect to protect the left flank when your (already attack-minded) lone WB only has an attacking mezzala in front of him?

- what's the logic behind your choice of the "Play for set pieces" instruction when your other in-possession instructions are clearly oriented toward patient possession football (and perhaps overly so)?

- using 2 BPDs (plus SK on support duty) makes little (if any) sense if you want to play patient possession football (as your in-possession TIs obviously suggest)

- why tight marking? 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

- the selection of central midfield roles (both mezzala and AP are attack-minded roles + your mezzala is even played on attack duty)

- how do you expect to protect the left flank when your (already attack-minded) lone WB only has an attacking mezzala in front of him?

- what's the logic behind your choice of the "Play for set pieces" instruction when your other in-possession instructions are clearly oriented toward patient possession football (and perhaps overly so)?

- using 2 BPDs (plus SK on support duty) makes little (if any) sense if you want to play patient possession football (as your in-possession TIs obviously suggest)

- why tight marking? 

My answers to your questions will reveal my ignorance, so apologies for that in advance...

- I didn't realise that a mezzala on attack wouldn't help with defence.

- I geared my recruitment to find players who'll be mustard in the box on corners, and good corner takers.  Often this is how I get goals.  I had no idea that "play for set pieces" wasn't compatible with possession football.

- I wasn't aware that BPD/SK on support weren't compatible with possession football.

- Tight marking because the AI suggested it...

My team is predicted to finish solidly mid table, so perhaps patient possession football isn't a tactic that I should be using.

If you could give any advice, especially on player roles, that'd be fantastic!

 

Edited by temporaryeggs
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55 minutes ago, temporaryeggs said:

I didn't realise that a mezzala on attack wouldn't help with defence

It's not a question of whether or nor the attacking mezzala would want to help in defense, but whether it can do that effectively. That's why a good balance of roles and duties is so important. 

 

57 minutes ago, temporaryeggs said:

I geared my recruitment to find players who'll be mustard in the box on corners, and good corner takers.  Often this is how I get goals.  I had no idea that "play for set pieces" wasn't compatible with possession football

You don't have to use the PfSP instruction in order to benefit from your aerially dominant players and/or set piece specialists. Because if you dominate matches against defensive opposition, you'll have a lot of set-piece situations anyway (especially corners).

The PfSP instruction is more appropriate for weaker teams that lack the quality to create something through open play or simply want to use set pieces as a time-wasting method. 

1 hour ago, temporaryeggs said:

I wasn't aware that BPD/SK on support weren't compatible with possession football

BPD - as opposed to standard CB - tends to play long-ish adventurous passes whenever possible. Which is obviously not possession-friendly. The same is true for a SK, especially on a higher duty (support or attack). Therefore, having one BPD and/or SK on defend duty is okay. But there is really no need for two (or more) in a possession-first type of tactical style. 

 

1 hour ago, temporaryeggs said:

Tight marking because the AI suggested it

How do you mean "the AI suggested it"? :confused: 

 

1 hour ago, temporaryeggs said:

My team is predicted to finish solidly mid table, so perhaps patient possession football isn't a tactic that I should be using

Yeah, probably. 

 

1 hour ago, temporaryeggs said:

If you could give any advice, especially on player roles, that'd be fantastic!

For the same style of play (patient possession) or something different?

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I've played with Mezzalas and a role like that needs players with Good pace,  stamina and workrate. If you don't have that in him, then yes he's gonna have a bad time getting back on defense... :D

Edited by Jean0987654321
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I do use ball playing defenders a lot in my possession based tactics, it really depends on your roles and duties working together and the mentality you are playing on. Its just a higher bar for people to get them to work consistently for possession based tactics. I like BPDs because I like having different kinds of attacking patterns and the occasional risky pass from them is good to have especially in mid block systems. However if your tactic isn't well constructed with the right  roles and the duties like the OPs tactic then they will hoof the ball.

For example if you use focus play down the flanks the BPDs could bring the ball out of defence for you and play it towards the wingbacks. I have also used BPDs in systems where they actually bring the ball all the way down the flanks as well. Again this is something that happens because of the right roles and duties around them. Its similar to getting liberos  playing effectively in the game. If I wanted to use a libero as the prime focal point of attacks from deeper then I make sure he isn't surrounded by BPDs and has no playmaker in front of him. I like how SI have raised the bar for getting roles and duties working in concert in FM21, its a lot more interesting, and failure usually involves picking the wrong players playing in the right roles, which is currently the main issue a lot of people are having with their tactics

 

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10 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

I've played with Mezzalas and a role like that needs players with Good pace,  stamina and workrate. If you don't have that in him, then yes he's gonna have a bad time getting back on defense... :D

To get a mezzala to help you out in defence, just make sure he has the right attributes to do the job, this includes but is not limited to bravery, positioning, concentration and tackling.

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18 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

How do you mean "the AI suggested it"? :confused: 

It was suggested in a prematch briefing by my assistant manager, who is a conglomeration of 1s and 0s.

 

For the same style of play (patient possession) or something different?

It's probably not fair to ask you to suggest a good tactic/roles for my team.  I should probably pay you!  

But could you comment on the quote below?  It really got me thinking.  It seems imply that : if you want to play down the sides, focus play in the middle to make the middle congested and create space on the flanks, and vice versa.

21 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

In that match, it is very understandable most of the attacking play came through the wings. RB Leipzig are also using a narrow formation.

Re: Focus play instructions, this is just my opinion but I find that they create space in the areas of the pitch that aren't where the play is being focused (either you overload that section of the pitch or the defense drifts to that part of the pitch there by creating space elsewhere). So by focusing play through the middle, you are creating space down the flanks if the opposition reacts to this.

 

 

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