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[FM21] - Unable to Defend Crosses

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I've just finished my 3rd season with Tamworth down in the Vanarama National North.  We finished 10th, which isn't bad but a bit frustrating after lurking in the playoffs for a good part of the season.

Our Achilles' heel seems to be defending crosses / corners and thus conceding headers.




Some of these stat's confuse me though.  The first screen shot from the Team Report > Analyst Report page says 18 crosses from the RHS of the pitch.  Yet the assists screen only shows 6 from the right - are they looking at a different number of matches?

I managed to sign two big, ugly CDs but any cross into the box has me wincing.  We seem to get beaten in the air or somebody makes a complete howler (eg misses a header or drops their marking) and a striker gets another header on goal.

I've used a 4-3-3 DM all season which has been tweaked.  For instance, the FB was on Support but I moved it to Attack as we had runs of matches without creating much.  I also used a DLP(S) instead of the CM(S) as originally I wanted to leave space for the IW to move into but then wondered if it was too static and hoped the CM(S) might venture forward more a little bit.  The DM also started as an A(D).


The analyst note note saying the RHS is our weakness makes me wonder:

  • Swap the MEZ(A) and CM(S) over, meaning the CM hopefully covers the space behind the W(A) to protect the FB(D) better
  • However, would a MEZ(A) trip over the IW on the left?  Would a CM(A) work better here, perhaps with a couple of PIs to semi-replicate the MEZ eg Dribble More and Take More Risks?
  • Alternatively, an AP(A) has similar creative traits to the MEZ but won't (shouldn't) get into the box and I feel I need a CM goal threat to backup the PF & AML/AMR.  My starting MEZ scored 14 goals but that includes penalties - second only to my starting PF who notched up 26.
  • Defensive Width is also a conundrum.  Set to "Force Opposition Outside" means we don't put as much pressure on the player delivering the cross, but does bring the CDs closer to hopefully leave few gaps for an attacker to exploit.
  • Or, do I go with to the other end ("Force Opposition Inside") to try to cut the crosses off at source?
  • I moved the LOE and DL down to Lower as Standard seemed to leave oodles of room behind the back four for balls over the top.


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I like your approach, one thing to consider is the height / jumping of your full backs because they will be at the end of crosses too. Force opposition outside will see you receive crosses a lot indeed, maybe swap to "normal" and change situationally.

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Check personnel.

Train - Defend Wide - Aerial Defence

Tactics - Defend Wide - Oi's Trigger press on wide men crossing the ball - Tight Mark players attacking the ball on the far posts.

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