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Trying a simpler approach


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Hi! I think is the first time I create a thread here. First of all, sorry for the bad english, it is not my mother tongue.

I played FM since 15 years albeit with interruptions and I'm afraid I learned a bit more than nothing. I read a lot of guides and threads and debates and then when I try to use those ideas in my saves it never works.  

The intention of this thread is to try a simpler approach because I read is a very good way to start understanding the game and playing better. So I will use an average team for this so I don't depend on great players to hide my lack of knowledge. And I will be sharing the tactics aspect where I struggle so hopefully you guys can help me to be a bit better than today :D.

(The team)

Espanyol is a VERY average team. They don’t have a clear strength or weakness. They are actually “decent” in all areas. A good manager would do well with this team. But it is not my case.

So, I decided to play a simple way to help my decent team to do decent during the season and hopefully finish in a better position than expected (12th).

The squad:
On the back I have one defensively intelligent CB who is weak on the air and two tall, strong and with decent mentals. So I could complement them: one intelligent and one tall.

(The intelligent one)

Spoiler

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(The tall one)

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I think the only “strength” my team have is the central midfielders who are defensively intelligent and can play with composure. But none of them have good attributes for the final third. So I will go with a double pivot in midfield for the sake of solidity.

(The playmaker)

Spoiler

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(The defensive one)

Spoiler

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On the flanks (fullbacks and wide midfielders) we don’t have speed. We are decent compared with the rest of the league. They are also average dribbling and crossing the ball. Good thing is they have good workrate, teamwork, bravery and stamina so we can count on them going up and down the pitch.

(Left fullback and left winger)

Spoiler

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Ozr7yJUKPorTy3sAvF7LWJJ6fpENFK_T6ZYwoinSwr5_XsfOgQ7s_d0SQWOYf8XsFbkqw94OzBZY-3tJx1j9QKDyT7JZb_p9_K5B3H-bve9WSH01QTdiHknsQZMNCnvxYSvhLu_h=s0

(Right fullback and right winger)

Spoiler

b0aSvkPArf5enhC7Uhw27v9ZAD4kk6NYZJmwbMUUgKhz3NkLNI2zZ9g2tAXM9PS2LLFmi5mWcV_WbVEman6AWiGPfl_1tQgwj4h7uDbGmxzZSpKBY8QUyWwk-1Okd2EkCOSiKNOD=s0

 

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Upfront we have a tall, strong and intelligent striker who has only 4 in determination :rolleyes:. He can play a lot of roles, that’s a good thing but such low determination will not help if we are a goal down. A good partner for him could be an exotic chinese poacher who has speed and good finishing, or an aging attacking midfielder who is an all around average :D.

(The big guy)

Spoiler

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(The fast guy)

Spoiler

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(The older and the younger attacking midfielders)

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So upfront I could go with the big guy-fast guy combination, but having no central midfield running forward would isolate our striker. But if I play a direct game with wingers it may work.

The other option to link the stationary midfield with my (now lone) striker is using the attacking midfielder in the hole. Hopefully he will feed our big or fast man and recycle possession with our double pivot.

I will opt for the latter because I like the two banks of four and since I'm argentintian I have a thing with numer 10s playing in the hole. So the tactic looks like this:

1PKVy0rlsSJ3xLQXCbZkFlj46q1J8jcstShDC4fw015nqDfE1kjGI5j6QB9sOKFVc_ShwI-0gnLlhOhYSVk8SZiGGkBoRCFFQu4c9BgEUsAuq-ssJFKL1Z1YufUApzl_oGz-NEq0=s0

I went for the Wa because he has more acceleration and of the ball. My idea is that when the ball is on the left he uses his legs to try to beat his man and send the ball to the box, or play a one two with the supporting attacking midfielder. And if the ball is on the right he arrives on the box becoming a threat on the far post. Teams tend to have a lot of problems defending the far post. And this lad has 13 in finishing, 14 in technique and shoots with power so we could use that.

On the right I went for the Ws and FBa because I like overlaps and since we don’t have one on the left I don’t want to be symmetrical and predictable. And the lad is a FB and not a WB because he already goes forward whenever is possible as a player trait. Since FB has a lower starting position than WB I want him to be aggressive but not too much.

Finally in the center midfield where I have my “strength” I choose DLPs and CMd. The more defensive one is on the right to cover the attacking fullback and he is on defend because he has only 10 off the ball, so I don’t expect him to be good enough in attacking transitions.

Mentality and team instructions:
I went for balanced because as we are average I want them to play a 50-50 risk game. Also, the balanced mentality gives us a mid block and I think that is the best for our team because our centerbacks aren’t very confident in the air, and our attackers aren’t fast, so the low block will not be a good fit. And I'm not too confident for the high block either as I’m not sure if the players have the quality for that instruction.

The narrow attacking width instruction is to have the players closer to each other so they can find passes a bit easier.

Personal instructions:

- The NCB has this role because his composure is only 9. And It would be nice to find the Poacher hoofing the ball from time to time.
- The AMs has roam from position and move into channels so he can support the wingers.

And that's it. In the next post I will share the first 6 league matches and the things I thing I see and what I would like to solve.
 

Edited by bosque
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After 6 matches:

129517073_Capturadepantalla2021-09-11ala(s)03_32_22.png.769e7f94e6a98ee7df48a3910fdc6001.png

It looks bad but I'm not sure if it's that bad. Against Celta de Vigo was an even match and we deserved better. Rayo Vallecano was the bad game, we weren't good enough.

But against Barcelona and Sevilla I think we played well, we compete and we created some chances. And against Sevilla we were one man down in the first half after an stupid mistake + awful tackle of our left fullback. So this is my "analysis".

- I think the narrow width doesn’t work. I counted a lot of failed attacking transitions where we ended up very narrow and had to make a long shot or ended up losing the ball with a bad pass. (Before the match 6) I took it back to normal so we have no TI’s right now.

- Defensively we are doing okay. Not conceding stupid goals like balls behind the defence with our player being in the moon, or counterattacks from a bad set piece. Most of the goals came from a good play from the opposition, a long shot or a set piece. I can’t point a clear red flag here or a pattern.

- Reviewed all matches and I couldn't find any big problems in the build up. The transitions almost always break up in the midfield to attack phase or when trying to finalize. One thing is working very well is we are finding our Wa unmarked or in a 1v1 situation in the box and he is our main scorer right now with 3 goals in 6 games.

- But I see a lot of isolation attacking. The partnership FBs-Wa has a big gap and the Wa is often dribbling in isolation and ends up surrounded by opposition. This isolation happens too with our striker. When we attack we have few bodys attacking the box and the AMs is doing little. I can’t remember highlights from him, he is almost ignored.

- I expected to see natural overlaps in the FBa-Ws but something very interesting happened: natural underlaps. The winger stays wider and the FB attacks the half spaces. In the last match against Real Betis this very movement happened and ended with the fullback shooting at goal and in the rebound our Wa scored.

- My biggest concern right now is what to do to solve that isolation problem upfront because defensively we are doing decently. I would like to reduce the gap between the FBs and Wa but I don’t want my Wa to stop being a goalscoring threat. Also I need to do something with my attacking partnership (AM + ST) because they are having low ratings in almost all games. But I don’t know what to do to be honest :onmehead:

UPDATE:

Ok. Now that I'm trying to be less anxious I'm paying more attention at the role descriptions and I think they just gave me two BIG hints about the attacking partnership isolation. It says the poacher doesn't matters about build up, he is just fine sitting upfront waiting for the team to feed him balls. And about the AMs it says he just sits in the hole, on the other side the AMa attacks more the box and tries to feed his teammates too. I am thinking about changing the AMa so he is another presence in the box and the Poacher to a TMs because we have this big capable guy. But first I will only change the AMa and see what happens.

Edited by bosque
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Il 11/9/2021 in 08:29 , bosque ha scritto:

1PKVy0rlsSJ3xLQXCbZkFlj46q1J8jcstShDC4fw015nqDfE1kjGI5j6QB9sOKFVc_ShwI-0gnLlhOhYSVk8SZiGGkBoRCFFQu4c9BgEUsAuq-ssJFKL1Z1YufUApzl_oGz-NEq0=s0

Seems like you don't have anyone on the central final third cause the AM(C) is going back to the midfield leaving your poacher alone when building fast. Try to build a lil bit slower if your players can handle it or try to be a little more aggressive on the midfield.

Edited by Andrew Marines
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1 ora fa, bosque ha scritto:

I went for balanced because as we are average I want them to play a 50-50 risk game

Watch out, mentality doesn't work as you think. Mentality is only how many risks are your players taking when playing. You can be on attacking but still be a pretty defensive team. If you use a BWM you can use any mentality you want. He's still gonna defend a lot. maybe on attacking, he'll try a long pass or maybe a dribbling but this is gonna happen few times

Edited by Andrew Marines
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Your tactic looks fine. The only deficiency is the lack of movement on central midfield and central attack. Your Wa and central attacker isolate because of this.


You use DLPs-CMd partnership. Both roles are sitter. For solving this issue you can use DLPd on RCM and BWMs/CMs/BBMs on LCM which suits best to your player.

 

Poacher always wants to stay in the box and needs space to score goals. He is not capable of creating space on his own. But an AFa is. If you use a Pa on lone striker you can use APa/AMa/Ta on AMC to create space for Pa more. Or you can only change Pa to AFa without changing AMC role.

 

So the problem is not attacking width. It is about roles/duties.

Edited by zabyl
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hace 40 minutos, Andrew Marines dijo:

Seems like you don't have anyone on the central final third cause the T(C) is going back to the midfield leaving your poacher alone when building fast. Try to build a lil bit slower if your players can handle it or try to be a little more aggressive on the midfield.

What do you mean with T(C)? And yes, that fast building is true. I think I will try to be more aggressive on the midfield.

 

hace 26 minutos, zabyl dijo:

You use DLPs-CMd partnership. Both roles are sitter. For solving this issue you can use DLPd on RCM and BWMs/CMs/BBMs on LCM which suits best to your player.

Yes that is something I was afraid when building the tactic and it's something that is happening in matches. It makes a lot of sense to have a runner with a more defensive player in a central pair. I have one guy who can play as a BWMs so I will try to use him and see what happens.

 

hace 26 minutos, zabyl dijo:

Poacher always wants to stay in the box and needs space to score goals. He is not capable of creating space on his own. But an AFa does. If you use a Pa on lone striker you can use APa/AMa/Ta on AMC to create space for Pa more. Or you can only change Pa to AFa without changing AMC role.

I changed to a AMa on the match after Betis before this comment and we played well but got fm'd and end up losing 1-0. And at the next match we got destroyed by Real Sociedad, 1-3.

So for the next match I will try with BWMs to have more dynamism in midfield and AMs + AF.

PS: I don't understand one concept. How the poacher gains space with an AMa? Don't they end up using the same spaces?

Edited by bosque
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11 dakika önce, bosque said:

PS: I don't understand one concept. How the poacher gains space with an AMa? Don't they end up using the same spaces?

If you use an attack duty AMC (except SS) behind Pa, AMC can play closer to Pa and draw one or more defenders from his marker with his incisive movement by drawing attention from Pa.

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I forgot to write @bosque you should increase pressing intensity one level up for midblock press. Otherwise it can be passive and not enough reactive.

Edited by zabyl
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On thing that made me laugh is you said you don't have speed out wide and your wife players have at least 14 for acceleration anyways have others have suggested the P is a very static role so he'll probably be isolated. 

You need to start looking at the formations you come up against, if you're going to keep using the P then you want to watch out for teams that play with DMs or 3 at the CBs because you'll always have 3 defenders against your striker and he's going to go lost in those games so when you come up against teams like that change your striker to a DLPs or PFs and add "Roam from position" and "move into channel" then you want to change the AM to a SS that way you have the striker dropping and moving around and the SS going forward (the play close to eachother and give your tactic more movement in the final third).

Going to midfield I'll switch the position of the DLP and the CM then change the CM to a BWMs. The DLP works better when you have other players supporting him and with the way you've set it up the Wa will just be running off on his own. If you follow my suggestion, the BWM will push up to win the ball and if he does he has the Wa to play the ball to

Edited by DarJ
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2 hours ago, bosque said:

I'm all for simplicity, but this tactic looks pretty toothless.

Firstly, individual mentalities:

Attacking

Balanced

Attacking Balanced Defensive Balanced

Balanced Defensive Defensive Positive

Both CMs are also going to Hold Position, which doesn't really seem like it's needed with such conservative FBs. Who're they covering for, if even on Attack duty, FB will be Positive at best?

In terms of roles, personally I never found much success with a Poacher as lone striker. It's a very simple role that doesn't really try much in terms of creating chances for itself, which could be problematic in a tactic where he's your only real attacking outlet. AM with Balanced mentality won't be attacking the box too often and Winger in the midfield strata will mainly be looking to provide width. You seem to be betting on crosses a lot (three players instructed to Stay Wider/Cross More Often) and those tend to be quite low-percentage chances. If that's what you're going for, I'd get rid of the Narrow instruction.

Personally, I'd make the following changes:

  • Either free CMs up a bit (e.g. DLP/CM + BBM), or make FBs more aggressive
  • Change lone striker to a more mobile role (e.g. AF/CF) or have him assist in build-up (e.g. DLF/F9) and have your AM attack the box instead (e.g. AMat/SS)
  • Rethink wide-midfield roles (two Wingers are very cross-heavy; WM is more versatile and IW pairs well with aggressive FB)

I struggle to see what kind of style you're going for currently. I'm not sure what your board expectations are, but 4 losses in last 5 is relegation form.

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1 ora fa, bosque ha scritto:

T(C)

Sorry it's the italian translation of AM(C).

 

1 ora fa, bosque ha scritto:

How the poacher gains space with an AMa? Don't they end up using the same spaces?

AM(A) is a lot more free and he'll search up for spaces but still trying to get the ball up on the field. You need that. But anyway, poacher is a bit useless if you have a good player that can keep the ball. Try using advanced forward to make him more free

Edited by Andrew Marines
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Thank you guys for all the feedback! I like that it makes a lot of sense and the opinions aren't too different. It's all very clear.

hace 9 horas, zabyl dijo:

If you use an attack duty AMC (except SS) behind Pa, AMC can play closer to Pa and draw one or more defenders from his marker with his incisive movement by drawing attention from Pa.

Oooh, great. I think I understand it a bit more. The Poacher role needs someone closer supporting him. For example a DLF or TM is a good match for him right?

hace 8 horas, zabyl dijo:

I forgot to write @bosque you should increase pressing intensity one level up for midblock press. Otherwise it can be passive and not enough reactive.

Would you increase pressing intensity with a BWMs? I feel he will rush too early gifting a lot of space behind him. I should experiment and see what happens because it's true that we may be a bit passive when defending. 

hace 8 horas, DarJ dijo:

On thing that made me laugh is you said you don't have speed out wide and your wife players have at least 14

I don't know, 13 is the average attribute in LaLiga according with the Comparison tool. So 14 it's a bit above average. It's not slow but it's not explosive either. More often than not I am facing AMR/Ls with 16 or 17 in both acceleration and pace.

Nice insight about the opposition formation and the tweaks I could do in the attacking partnership. Thanks! I will pay attention to that.

hace 8 horas, Zemahh dijo:

I'm all for simplicity, but this tactic looks pretty toothless.

I'm afraid that is something I end up doing often. I try to achieve balance but end up being too passive.

hace 8 horas, Zemahh dijo:

Personally, I'd make the following changes:

  • Either free CMs up a bit (e.g. DLP/CM + BBM), or make FBs more aggressive
  • Change lone striker to a more mobile role (e.g. AF/CF) or have him assist in build-up (e.g. DLF/F9) and have your AM attack the box instead (e.g. AMat/SS)
  • Rethink wide-midfield roles (two Wingers are very cross-heavy; WM is more versatile and IW pairs well with aggressive FB)

Nice suggestions! The first and second one almost everyone in here suggested me to adjust that and it makes sense so I will do it.

About the third one is something I was considering actually. I think wingers works better with a heavier presence in the box and since my wide players are more "team players" I could experiment with WM/IW roles and see what happens. Thanks!

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hace 8 horas, Zemahh dijo:

I struggle to see what kind of style you're going for currently. I'm not sure what your board expectations are, but 4 losses in last 5 is relegation form.

Yes, I'm aware that is relegation form :lol: The board expectations are mid table so I'm aiming for a solid 10th. Is very early in the season, I think we can do it.

On the style question. I'm not trying either counterattack or possesion. I'm happy with a solid mid block that doesn't commit too much. I want to win the ball around our midfield third so we can have the opposition on the back foot and then attack using the space. But if we can't counterattack then try to linking up passes looking for the shot on goal. In my mind is a pragmatic style. Is this coherent?

Edited by bosque
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4 saat önce, bosque said:

The Poacher role needs someone closer supporting him. For example a DLF or TM is a good match for him right?

Definitely.

 

4 saat önce, bosque said:

Would you increase pressing intensity with a BWMs? I feel he will rush too early gifting a lot of space behind him. I should experiment and see what happens because it's true that we may be a bit passive when defending. 

As you wrote; your team needs to be reactive to play midblock press style.

 

Focusing on big benefits is a better way than clinging to small problems.

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6 hours ago, Djecker said:

I've had some decent success with a Poacher-TM(su) combo recently.

That's different, he's trying to play with one striker and the P is definitely not the answer

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5 minutes ago, DarJ said:

That's different, he's trying to play with one striker and the P is definitely not the answer

There was a suggestion upthread of pairing the poacher with a DLF or TM. I was endorsing that suggestion.

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