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Lowest lines, no pressure, defensive mentality - it works


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As several reminders of different mods haven't helped, unfortunately we had to do some cleanup in the thread. So you might be missing some posts.

Other than that, please do continue discussing the tactics and refrain from any personal digs. Thank you very much.

 

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2 hours ago, BruceyBall said:

With the fourth paragraph you admit the theories set up by people like me are correct. Who does play low block in real football? Teams with the worst players in the league. Below average.

This isn't necessarily true. 3 of the top 6 teams in the Premier League have below average PPDAs. I think it really just comes down to manager style more than anything else. 

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Em 09/01/2022 em 05:25, Cleon disse:

What does the amount of time someone has played have to do with it? Yes Rashidi has played the game a long time and understand how it works. However he's always been an aggressive kind of manager. Historically if you look back over everything he has ever written, videos created, podcasts he's done and the streams, you'll see he very rarely plays low blocks or conservative football. With all respect to @Rashidi he has always been a manager who plays on the front foot and takes it to the AI teams and he's very good at it. Playing low blocks, defensive football can and does work. I think he even posted that above himself, so I'm not sure why people post a screenshot of him at the bottom of the league and struggling and then make this an hard and fast rule that it cannot work no matter what. Guess what, even those who are great at the game and have a better understanding than most, still have bad saves from time to time. Doesn't mean it doesn't work.

No one should be basing if something works on what person does or how one person perhaps struggled. That isn't the standard. Are defensive/lower block systems harder to get working? For sure because the ME rewards aggressive tactics. But that doesn't mean other ways of playing don't and can't work. It just perhaps takes more effort than most are willing to put in.

Also after watching it myself, there is no way he was playing properly. For someone of his standards, he was half arsing it and didn't really care when playing. You can clearly see this.

Getting low blocks to work can be hard work though but so can any kind of football as we all know. Especially in a match engine that rewards aggressive football. However if you want to play the defensive/low block stuff then you need to do a few things.

  • The shape you use will determine which areas will be overrun and will be problematic. Some formations are better suited than others.
  • Roles and Duties you use need to compliment the style. For me, I like to use aggressive roles in a defensive or low block system so we can have a bit more bite when going forward. It's good to be solid when you don't have the ball but when you do have it, you still need to do something with the ball or you'll just be pinned on the edge of your own box the entire of the game.
  • Don't panic if possession is low or that the opposition is in your own half at times. This is a by product of the way you want to play.

These are just some of the basics and fundamental's that I see people struggling with. 

  • Other things needed here are players who are able to actually execute the plan. You need players who will be mentally strong here and not crack. For me I put mental strength way ahead of technical ability, especially for the more defensive positions. On the strikers or attacking players it's not as important but defensively its the biggest factor.
  • Holding shape is vital for this type of football as you want people in the areas the tactic is set. This means that by holding shape you are asking players to build up patiently (positionally).
  • Regroup is also another vital component because you want the players to revert back to the team shape when you lose the ball and not be aggressive. This allows you to go back to being compact and structurally sound.
  • The line of engagement is another. If you have this too high while play a low line players will look to hassle the opposition much higher than you initially set and can help destroy your team shape. So it's worth pending 10 minutes looking at during games to find that sweet spot. So you find yourself not over extending or being too aggressive and causing a domino effect positionally. 

Now I have two different saves, which I'm using to write my books that I've mentioned in the other thread. One of these were based on Sheffield United under Chris Wilder. We played a low block and was happy to allow the opposition to be deep in our own half as we knew the defence could cope.

Untitled.png.6a95b13f75d06f59045d28a9baaffeff.png

This is what I use. Out of possession we are really strong and defensively sound due to the team instructions and overall shape. We basically defend with 10 men in our own half as the strikers come deep and help out. But when we have the ball we are aggressive with it and I have plenty of options to progress the ball forward and actual passing outlets.

I've played this way 6 seasons so far in this save games and have won the Premier League multiple times. I don't want to spoil too much or give too many details about specifics as it'll ruin the free books which will be released very soon. But I don't focus on possession instead what I focus on is quality shot creation. The lower mentalities are good for this. Balance or lower should create better chances than the more attacking options because stuff is less rushed and more precise. Obviously the roles and players themselves play a role here too. But for anyone wanting to improve shot selection and quality I'd suggest never going above balance, which I've written about why in the past.

On the second save I have, I play the same way but with a different formation. This save is much harder as I'm a much smaller club and making strides into European football means its more challenging due to player quality letting me down. However fundamentally the style I play still works though but it isn't easy. Once I can bring better players in the better the system will function. Here is how I play on this one;

Untitled.png.4d86d969caa7a40147f5aa36ade5f9bc.png

I've played 11 seasons with Íþróttafélagið Þór in Iceland playing this way. I got promoted playing this exact style and won multiple leagues titles with this. And now trying to conquer Europe with it too. I've not compromised once on my style. I do have a rule of thumb that I mentioned earlier in my reply though and that is;

Being more defensive and in a low block allows you to be really aggressive with the role and duty choices without being punished too much due to how deep/compact we are generally. This then allows us to use the ball to the best of our abilities. I'd also argue the opposite too, if you use the other extreme and are really aggressive then you can afford to be less aggressive with the roles due to where space appears and players positioning being very high already.

The standard of player I have is superior in the league but average for Europe at best. This is the best attacker at the club Untitled.thumb.png.c59e6190eb47ae85716f6ec688342ba4.png

As you can see he isn't anything special. But in Europe we are pumping well above what real expectations are and firmly holding our own. Yes I've lost some games and you'll think it doesn't work or isn't working but you need to remember who I am and just how far behind these teams I am. It's all a progress and sometimes no matter what you just aren't good enough personnel wise even though your tactics and ideas work. Also expectations are everything and something I think people often forget. It's important to take stock of where we should be and what we should be doing rather than what is happening now. Just because you might have won a few games or been top of the league or even won it (or a cup) it doesn't mean you belong there permanently. Take stock of actual expectations. This is the point I'm at with Europe. We are progressing well and getting further every year and over the next 5 seasons I'm hoping I can bring the club up to standards to actually win the CL. As our reputation grows and we earn money, I'll hopefully be able to attract better quality players and have better facilities which will then allow me to challenge.

Untitled.thumb.png.b2a502eaa12cc68fc14a329970e03a5a.png

Untitled.thumb.png.1766a9daafdc3d3139509fb0c7bbf3e3.png

Untitled.thumb.png.e4dba869072addec23025bb706ddeea5.png

We've had some brilliant results in Europe as you can see. But I've worked hard to get us to this point and try building on what we did the season before to keep progressing. We are easily one of the worst teams in the entire competition and us even getting out of qualifying stages is an achievement in itself, let alone actually holding out own in the group stages against elite opposition year after year. This is proof what we are doing works long term. Especially when you consider how our first few European adventures went.

Untitled.thumb.png.dc0f65b15019268b62383b9a3d7e3b31.png

Untitled.thumb.png.4ac4433d6598afa78bbc1bf5b1e0b101.png

Could you make your tactic available for download?

 

 

 

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I've had a lot of fun playing low block, low intensity pressing tactics and had a lot of success.  A few tips from my experience:

  • you don't need a SK, so you can prioritize reflexes, aerial, communication, positioning and de-emphasize first touch, passing, vision, acceleration
  • you can get away with slower CBs
  • you can convert a mediocre CB, if possible ball playing, or a more defensive FB into a very good DM in this type of system, because you're not looking as much for attacking contribution
  • if you have CBs who are great in the air, and strong, you might be able to defend more narrowly.  Sometimes you might want to have your wingers man-mark opposition wingbacks
  • against far superior teams with great, quicker forwards, I've played a narrow defense with 2 DMs.  Good luck working through that block.  Yes, it provides very few, if any attacking chances, but really you're just playing for a draw and looking for 1 or 2 counters and maybe a few set pieces
  • LOE controls not only how high the forwards engage but also how they engage:  with a lower or much lower LOE, the game instructs: 
    • The first player is unlikely to trigger the press, but will instead look to block passing lanes.  Other players will follow suit while retaining much of their tactical positioning as they bid to condense the available space to play in.
Edited by glengarry224
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On 02/01/2022 at 04:37, nully29 said:

First dozen matches I was watching full games and the tactic works like this. 

On defense, all players are very deep around our box. Killer balls are not an option for an opposition. In previous match engines ops would just score from 30 yards with my whole team in the box. This time long shots are blocked by 3 CMs and a TFs. Ops resort to flank attacks but defending wide with 5 at the back takes far post crosses away too. I do concede some corners but corners are not that dangerous in this engine. In my first season I let in 6 goals from corners and it was the worst on the league. We rarely foul. Least fouls in the league and almost no yellow cards. I have Ease tackles both as PI and OI often.

The offense is inspired by NFL. This is where I've learned the distinction between passing game and a running game. We play running game. There's no quick transition for a devastating counter. Instead, we slowly pass the ball to the full back or mezzala, who runs the ball up the pitch and gets a throw in. Then we do it again and again. We draw a lot of fouls for wide free kicks. Also get on wide areas, creating corners or crosses to TF. Our only move in the open play is that sometimes a weak-side mezzala is making a run off the ball, gets a diagonal pass from another mezzala, gets behind the defense and scores. If we lose the ball, we immediately regroup. We never let opponent run a counter.

If we let in a goal, we keep playing the same way. We do not change mentality or do anything at all to go on the attack and tie game. Even with those settings, against opponent that's sitting back, we generate a lot of free kicks and corners. Once I even had a come from behind 2-1 win.

What OIs did you use? Is see the tackles, but what did you use for the press and marking? On what positions 

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Oof, some heated minds on this thread :D


While I cannot vouch for "extreme"(passive?) low block, "standard" low block have been working well for me since late FM19.

However, this required some intense work to understand the game mechanics, ideal players profile, tactical interpretation, etc. (on this forum, I've made maybe two or three topics back on FM19 which testify of it !)
Since then, and while depending on my mood and/or the squad I end up with, low blocks 433 or 442 I've been my go to.
Again, only if I have a squad at least capable of doing an above average job at it.

On my current journey-man (S09), I'm second season in charge in my current club and had 3 transfer windows to get in players that will work best with the tactic.
While having superb team in in my eyes, media prediction was still mid table and the usual suspects (Liverpool, Man City, etc) have dream teams compared to mine.

This is what I mainly use :
 

Révélation

image.png.dc7220617e4271e5148df5e21645ee60.png


Simple, isn't it ? There is some PIs to perfectly tweak it, and it's not a "passive low block" (split block PIs and Get Stuck TI).
I will go like this for most games. If the opposition is much stronger and/or I feel we are too adventurous on the first 10-15min (I play comprehensive highlights), I would tweak the tactic with one or multiple changes according to what I see :
- RB to WBs
- Lower tempo one notch
- BBM to CMs/BWMs
- MEZs to BBMs
- Defend/Attack narrower


These are the results so far :
 

Révélation


image.png.06f6efaa9fb9261aaba68fbfbe2abdce.png


Top teams are still hard foughts games as you can see, but we are fighting for the title while we were supposed to be competing for the 9th-6th position.


The key point I think is this :

Le 10/01/2022 à 15:33, Rashidi a dit :

[...] you need the right players to make a tactical system work and low blocks are viable on FM,  They are more challenging to use, because you need to be prepared to defend, get mentored by Allardyce and get a stiff drink.

While you don't need 5 stars players to make a low block work, you do need a specific kind of player profiles to make it work.


Yes, yes, I know. High-Pressing mid/high block are the way to go if you want to steam roll your save. But in my eyes, these are like playing Stealth-Archer on Skyrim :D  when it's too easy -even more after all when wonderkids newgens start to blossom- where is the fun ?
(I also limit my self to very minimal use of South American "OP" regens...call me crazy)


Oh, and I do LOVE counter-attacking goals.
 

Edited by Cassius
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I had a brilliant career in Scotland last year with Stranraer. Took them up to the Prem playing a low block with a low, narrow defensive line. The key is indeed getting the roles right and I usually played on a balanced mentality with lots of passing into space and good dribblers carrying the ball up the field

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8 ore fa, Cassius ha scritto:

Simple, isn't it ? There is some PIs to perfectly tweak it, and it's not a "passive low block" (split block PIs and Get Stuck TI).

I'd like to try this tactic, I'm a 4-4-2 hardcore fan but would like to change as I haven't used 4-3-3 since FM20 (I think) and this system of yours intrigues me. And so I wanted to ask you what are the PIs you mentioned in your post and if the split press is applied by all five front players or just the three most advanced and only one between Mez and B2B.

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Il y a 1 heure, sovy666 a dit :

I'd like to try this tactic, I'm a 4-4-2 hardcore fan but would like to change as I haven't used 4-3-3 since FM20 (I think) and this system of yours intrigues me. And so I wanted to ask you what are the PIs you mentioned in your post and if the split press is applied by all five front players or just the three most advanced and only one between Mez and B2B.

No problem ! here you go :


MAIN PIs :

- RB : Stay Wider ; Run Wide with the ball => this player will be one of the main assist provider and the main out wide player of the team, it is essential that he got both excellent crossing + speed and stamina to recover to his position

- LB : Cross from Deep => the idea is here to avoid the player going all the way to the opposition byline, as he will have less cover on his side (IWa+Mez) than his mirroring partner on the right flank. He will still get all the way up there if the team happens to end in a static stance, but as in this case the opposition is pinned in their own box, it will be less of a risk

-
Central Midfielders : if I'm giving out too many freekicks to the opposition early game, I remove the TI get stuck in BUT add tackle harder to my two CMs. This is the place on the field were I don't want to be to soft. Ideally, if any of your two CMs has a good long shot, I'll add shoot more often. According to the combination, the most advanced midfielder will also have more urgent pressing (eg: On a Mez/B2B combination, the Mez will have more urgent pressing)

- LW : stay narrower ; more urgent pressing = > I want him to link up easily with the DLFs and avoid DLFs to be too isolated. The more urgent pressing is part of the split block strategy of course! 

- RW : stay narrower ; more urgent pressing => same as above. In case that I am using a less roaming CM on his side (CMs or BWMs), I will also add roam from position to allow him more freedom and spice up the thing on that side

- DLFs : more urgent pressing ; tackle harder => split block again, with an additionnal tackle harder to hassle the opposition with a little more needle.



If you need more info, let me know ! hope it works for you !




 

Edited by Cassius
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On 09/01/2022 at 09:25, Cleon said:

 

 

Sorry for the lengthy reply and somewhat hijacking the thread but I didn't just want to say words without any proof to back up what I do. I want to discuss the issues and let people know that you can play this way long-term.

 

 

Any chance of you sharing the PIs to your tactics?

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On 14/01/2022 at 03:01, Cassius said:

Oof, some heated minds on this thread :D


While I cannot vouch for "extreme"(passive?) low block, "standard" low block have been working well for me since late FM19.

However, this required some intense work to understand the game mechanics, ideal players profile, tactical interpretation, etc. (on this forum, I've made maybe two or three topics back on FM19 which testify of it !)
Since then, and while depending on my mood and/or the squad I end up with, low blocks 433 or 442 I've been my go to.
Again, only if I have a squad at least capable of doing an above average job at it.

On my current journey-man (S09), I'm second season in charge in my current club and had 3 transfer windows to get in players that will work best with the tactic.
While having superb team in in my eyes, media prediction was still mid table and the usual suspects (Liverpool, Man City, etc) have dream teams compared to mine.

This is what I mainly use :
 

  Hide contents

image.png.dc7220617e4271e5148df5e21645ee60.png


Simple, isn't it ? There is some PIs to perfectly tweak it, and it's not a "passive low block" (split block PIs and Get Stuck TI).
I will go like this for most games. If the opposition is much stronger and/or I feel we are too adventurous on the first 10-15min (I play comprehensive highlights), I would tweak the tactic with one or multiple changes according to what I see :
- RB to WBs
- Lower tempo one notch
- BBM to CMs/BWMs
- MEZs to BBMs
- Defend/Attack narrower


These are the results so far :
 

  Reveal hidden contents


image.png.06f6efaa9fb9261aaba68fbfbe2abdce.png


Top teams are still hard foughts games as you can see, but we are fighting for the title while we were supposed to be competing for the 9th-6th position.


The key point I think is this :

While you don't need 5 stars players to make a low block work, you do need a specific kind of player profiles to make it work.


Yes, yes, I know. High-Pressing mid/high block are the way to go if you want to steam roll your save. But in my eyes, these are like playing Stealth-Archer on Skyrim :D  when it's too easy -even more after all when wonderkids newgens start to blossom- where is the fun ?
(I also limit my self to very minimal use of South American "OP" regens...call me crazy)


Oh, and I do LOVE counter-attacking goals.
 

Your tactic looks great in both FM and IRL. I've had my greatest results from using a wide 4-3-3 similar to yours. 

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Has anyone tried an extreme low block, its insanely fun, if you are the sort who likes defending a lot.

Basically I set up this 442DM system with two DWs a backline of 4 and two strikers up top in an AM/TM set up. My defensive line was low and my line of engagement was also low.  Now here is where I ventured into catenaccio territory, or at least wet my feet a little.

I decided to reduce pressing intensity, and tell my players to stay on feet which was very important. I cant have my players committing to tackles in front of our penalty area otherwise we end up giving up free kicks. And since we are so deep there isn't any reason to increase pressing intensity. On lower settings of pressing intensity players tend to commit when they need to.

I have 3 tactical setups which are all low blocks. The 433DM, the 442DM and the 4132DM, which are all fun.Calegari.png.1e2975ea7d831fbb14bad7748de6df27.png

What i have meddled with is mentality, I don't always play on Balanced, sometimes I do play on attacking mentality. That's only because i want balls played out quickly and I dont mind the risk factor,


Against Roma we played the 433DM

1115026834_Calegari2.png.23d2ad1ae0e55c758f2be0cf968094ff.png

Over in Malaysia I am managing Kuching FC, where I am also using the low block, albeit one which breaks all the rules, but its actually my favourite shape for a low block.
2022-01-19_16-34-05.png.44a03ef220322d11378c5246eea559e3.png

This is a slightly different style from a lot of my other formations, its a low block but its built around sitting really deep but keeping the ball and then by using a combination of specific passing instructions I created different attacking options. So I don't get for example a hoof crazy system. I use IWBs who are told to keep it short and take less risks and I tell by DWs to go to the byeline to cross. My RPM is told to play direct and notice my keeper?  Here with this set of instructions I got a slightly different kind of a low block where I also keep the ball and use it in different ways. Here we beat a club much bigger than us.

I do like Low Blocks a lot and there are many ways you can play it.  You can either have those that hoof the ball up or you can have those that are more disciplined and seek to wear the opposition down. Note that if its set up right you can end up creating chances where even if the AI can get itself into goal scoring positions the quality of their SOT can be poor.
2022-01-19_16-36-59.thumb.png.232b88c71351092ef3c5f0ec346caf29.png

 

The Kuching example is probably more of a mid block, but when i want to go hunker I reduce my pressing intensity and I lower my defensive line as well

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I appreciate your enthusiasm @Rashidi I always read it with much interest. After all this reading and listening I am still a beginner.

I had a working 4312 (FM20) and gained manager of the year with 12th place but next season nothing is working out. I tried the low block with the 4312 but just getting jammed up front. Sometimes it is really frustrating, losing week after week. Sometimes 9 games without winning. The most frustrating point is, I bought the players for 4312 and now I am thus desperate, that I try a 433 as described above. Without even having the players :rolleyes: 

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Il y a 8 heures, Oakland Stomper a dit :

Your tactic looks great in both FM and IRL. I've had my greatest results from using a wide 4-3-3 similar to yours. 

Yeah ! If you have the players for it, I found it really performing without being a OP tactic/breaking the match engine (which is important for my enjoyment)
Winning PL on the last season was a bit of a luck (80 pts, lowest of the modern PL era since Man Utd 2000/2001 !) but I'll take that I try again this week.
And the big bonus is : despite games against top side being tight, most games/goals are fun to watch !

Edited by Cassius
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18 hours ago, Cassius said:

Yeah ! If you have the players for it, I found it really performing without being a OP tactic/breaking the match engine (which is important for my enjoyment)
Winning PL on the last season was a bit of a luck (80 pts, lowest of the modern PL era since Man Utd 2000/2001 !) but I'll take that I try again this week.
And the big bonus is : despite games against top side being tight, most games/goals are fun to watch !

I have found that much as IRL fitting players into some form of 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 is much easier than doing so with more "exotic" formations. The roles seem to be better defined and the team shape easier to create/coach. 

There was a tactic created by a poster named Mzkit @ 5-6 years ago that was incredibly effective and fun to watch (FM is a game after all so it needs to be fun!). It was a 4-3-3 that could be played on either attacking or control (this is prior to positive) with no players on attacking mentalities. The keeper and two central defenders were on defensive with the rest on support. The following year SI took away the option for high defensive wingers which scuttled the tactic. 

Have fun and keep us updated! 

 

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On 14/01/2022 at 11:01, Cassius said:

Oof, some heated minds on this thread :D


While I cannot vouch for "extreme"(passive?) low block, "standard" low block have been working well for me since late FM19.

However, this required some intense work to understand the game mechanics, ideal players profile, tactical interpretation, etc. (on this forum, I've made maybe two or three topics back on FM19 which testify of it !)
Since then, and while depending on my mood and/or the squad I end up with, low blocks 433 or 442 I've been my go to.
Again, only if I have a squad at least capable of doing an above average job at it.

On my current journey-man (S09), I'm second season in charge in my current club and had 3 transfer windows to get in players that will work best with the tactic.
While having superb team in in my eyes, media prediction was still mid table and the usual suspects (Liverpool, Man City, etc) have dream teams compared to mine.

This is what I mainly use :
 

  Hide contents

image.png.dc7220617e4271e5148df5e21645ee60.png


Simple, isn't it ? There is some PIs to perfectly tweak it, and it's not a "passive low block" (split block PIs and Get Stuck TI).
I will go like this for most games. If the opposition is much stronger and/or I feel we are too adventurous on the first 10-15min (I play comprehensive highlights), I would tweak the tactic with one or multiple changes according to what I see :
- RB to WBs
- Lower tempo one notch
- BBM to CMs/BWMs
- MEZs to BBMs
- Defend/Attack narrower


These are the results so far :
 

  Hide contents


image.png.06f6efaa9fb9261aaba68fbfbe2abdce.png


Top teams are still hard foughts games as you can see, but we are fighting for the title while we were supposed to be competing for the 9th-6th position.


The key point I think is this :

While you don't need 5 stars players to make a low block work, you do need a specific kind of player profiles to make it work.


Yes, yes, I know. High-Pressing mid/high block are the way to go if you want to steam roll your save. But in my eyes, these are like playing Stealth-Archer on Skyrim :D  when it's too easy -even more after all when wonderkids newgens start to blossom- where is the fun ?
(I also limit my self to very minimal use of South American "OP" regens...call me crazy)


Oh, and I do LOVE counter-attacking goals.
 

Well done on getting good results, but I definitely wouldn't say this is a low block. Much more a mid block, especially since you have your forward players closing down more.

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