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Hi! 

Before I start asking for help, I would like to give a little bit of my background. 

I have played the game on and off since FM12, but I have not really understand the game especially the tactical aspect of it. I had been quite frustrated with the game so far, not getting results, and if I do, it was probably luck.

I would really want to learn more about that aspect and I know it's has a really steep learning curve but I will finally give it a try! 

So, I have decided to start afresh and boot up a new save as West Ham. 

image.thumb.png.5ef3dcc24ccba8c780e36c19f33730f3.png

 

I went for a simple and flat 442. I am still not sure about the roles of the two CMs but i guess I had gone for that.

 

So, what do you think so far? Any changes I should make? 

 

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So... how do you want to play, exactly? 

Some of your instructions suggest a sort of 90ies Norway direct style (low LOE, tight marking, counter, early crosses). 

However, some of the other instructions suggest a more proactive approach (positive, shorter passing, country press). 

That does not mean they are incompatible, but that it is hard to give specific advice without knowing what you look to accomplish.

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To be honest, I am not exactly sure what I am looking for..

 

I do want to play on the wings with the full backs pushing up and my wingers cutting in.

 

With the settings (Low LOE, tight marking, counter as well as early crosses), I do want to hit them on the break. But it seems I can't seem to attack very well, with very little shots.

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10 hours ago, Jubes said:

I have played the game on and off since FM12, but I have not really understand the game especially the tactical aspect of it. I had been quite frustrated with the game so far, not getting results, and if I do, it was probably luck.

I would really want to learn more about that aspect and I know it's has a really steep learning curve but I will finally give it a try! 

My advice to anyone wanting to learn more about the tactical side of things is to start without any tactical instructions.  People often make the mistake of thinking they need to add team and/or player instructions to a tactic when in fact there are only really 2 purposes for such instructions:

1) To create a certain style of play.  So we’d use some instructions to create a possession based style and a different set of instructions to create a counter attacking style for example.

2) In order to fix certain issues which are seen during matches.  Notice how I say “seen during matches”.  Never assume you need to add an instruction - only add if an issue is actually seen when you play matches.

It’s also very important to understand that when you change Mentality you change pretty much everything else as well.  Team instructions change and individual player mentality also changes.

Our players are perfectly capable of playing a game of football without us managers telling them what to do.

So to start I’d concentrate on player roles and duties, and how they combine with the players at your disposal.  Roles and duties (and other tactical instructions) determine how you want your players to play, their attributes and Traits determine how capable they are of actually carrying out those roles.  Then simply set the Balanced Mentality and play a few matches.  Do your players broadly do what you want them to?  What looks good?  What issues do you notice?  Add in an instruction or two which you think might help resolve issues.  Watch a few more matches - do your changes work?  If yes, great.  If no, undo and try something else.

If it helps you to learn, set up a test save and experiment.  The tactic creator can be a bit of a minefield, so navigate through it in small steps at least at first 👍.

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1 hour ago, Jubes said:

To be honest, I am not exactly sure what I am looking for..

 

I do want to play on the wings with the full backs pushing up and my wingers cutting in.

 

With the settings (Low LOE, tight marking, counter as well as early crosses), I do want to hit them on the break. But it seems I can't seem to attack very well, with very little shots.

That's fair enough. My impression is that not knowing exactly what you're looking for is the typical problem for people struggling with tactics.

You actually have a very good starting point for wingplay looking at your roles. Your wide roles are very ManUtd from the late 90ies. Giggs bombing down the left, with Irwin supporting. Beckham playing a bit narrower and more withdrawn to play his Hollywood passes, while Neville overlaps. 

If you want to focus on wingplay, I would suggest leaving your roles as they are, removing your team instructions (maybe leave counter, if you are already sure you want lots of counter-attacks!) And then see what happens. 

Based on what exactly you see in the matches, you can then start making adjustments or asking us for specific advice. The more information you can provide, the easier it is to give helpful advice! 

For example, you mention that you get few shots of. I could speculate that what is happening is that your DLP, WM, FB(a) and DLF play short passes to each other during build up, and then one of them hits an early cross towards your AF who is a bit isolated. On the other hand, the opposite may be the case - it could be that you have a really effective early overload on the right that draws in the opposition and leaves them vulnerable to runs behind the line by your AF. 

Edited by Flokerface
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14 hours ago, Jubes said:

To be honest, I am not exactly sure what I am looking for..

 

I do want to play on the wings with the full backs pushing up and my wingers cutting in.

 

With the settings (Low LOE, tight marking, counter as well as early crosses), I do want to hit them on the break. But it seems I can't seem to attack very well, with very little shots.

If you want wingers to cut in, you might put one on IW.  Usually, I'd do that on the same side as the AF, because you have the DLF dropping deeper on the other side.  You could switch sides with the AF/DLF if you want to.

If you want fullbacks to push up, consider putting one on WB(s) or WB(a), but it depends upon their abilities too and might open you up more at the back.

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23 hours ago, Jubes said:

I have played the game on and off since FM12, but I have not really understand the game especially the tactical aspect of it. I had been quite frustrated with the game so far, not getting results, and if I do, it was probably luck.

So, I have decided to start afresh and boot up a new save as West Ham.

I went for a simple and flat 442. I am still not sure about the roles of the two CMs but i guess I had gone for that.

So, what do you think so far? Any changes I should make? 

 

I am rather inexperienced myself, not least when it comes to tactics. But here is my 10 cents.

 

I have no clue whether your 4-4-2 tactics is good or not, I don't have the competence to give a verdict.

 

However, what I do know is that I get consistently great result with the preset/template 4-2-3-1 Gegenpress. So you could try that as a plan B. It doesn't work nearly as well on FM22 as on earlier FM versions. But it works quite well, at least for League One and above. IF - that is IF - you rotate a lot. And do whatever it takes to keep your players fresh throughout the season, prevent developing jadedness.

 

This approach might come at the expense of developing young players though. This intensive tactic probably require more rest days for the players.

 

But as mentioned, it works splendidly. In my last two saves I got back to back promotions from League One to the Premier League with Sunderland. Even though knowing rather little about the game. And even more importantly, in spite of playing with harsh self imposed restrictions in order to not make the game too easy. Among other thing I delegate most stuff to staff. Including everything regarding training, scouting and hiring/firing of staff. So I basically have an awful training routine, have awful staff, and obtain a very poor selection of potential transfer targets. I assume this means that the tactic is rather good, at least when implemented in the described way.

 

I am sure that there are many better tactics out there. But this isn't the worst.

 

In any case, good luck with the game. It is a great game, I am glad I picked it up again. I had an even longer break than you, didn't player any editions between CM 01/02 and FM21.

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Thank you all for you reply!

I know I'd to understand the team instructions as well as players' instructions. So I think playing without any at first and then slowly adding the instructions as the match goes on.

However, I think my main problem is I am not sure what to look for during the match.

 

What should I look for during the game? 
 

I'm sorry if i'm asking too much..

 

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3 hours ago, Jubes said:

Thank you all for you reply!

I know I'd to understand the team instructions as well as players' instructions. So I think playing without any at first and then slowly adding the instructions as the match goes on.

However, I think my main problem is I am not sure what to look for during the match.

 

What should I look for during the game? 
 

I'm sorry if i'm asking too much..

 

Personally I don't know. And I don't miss knowing about those things. Among most other stuff, I delegate everything regarding shouts to the ass man.

I also have no clue what to look for during matches. And I always play on key hightlights so I wouldn't have much tactical inspirational gameplay to look at in any case.

My 10 cents is that if you often and rather consistently underperform xG wise, then your tactic might be weak. But I wouldn't know. Have barely used other tactics than the mentioned Gegenpress myself. Although I do remember that my teams often performed rather poorly when I experimented with other tactics in earlier saves.

Another 10 cents - don't tweak. Don't switch tactics. At least only rarely. The team needs tactical consistency, getting a lot of time to get used to the tactics, build fluid tactical familiarity etc. Results will probably be awful if you tweak often. Tha's my impression at least. But a lot of people here have vastly more knowledge about the game than I do.

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Another idea: If you haven't already, try to search this forum for pinned posts and other relevant posts via the search field. There is a lot of good content lying around even if you sometimes have to search quite a bit to find it.

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5 hours ago, Jubes said:

However, I think my main problem is I am not sure what to look for during the match.

What should I look for during the game? 

Most of that comes from experience, you can only be told so much.  However, that being said, keep it simple.  The worst thing you can do is try to watch everything or ball watch.  To start off, just watch your players and try to see if they are broadly doing what you expect them to do based on their given roles.

So from the tactic posted at the top for example, is your right fullback providing good overlaps and getting into the opposition final third?  And is he getting back quickly into defence when you lose possession?  Is your Box to Box getting forward to support your striker but also tracking back well to defend?  Is your winger getting down his flank well and putting in good crosses?  That’s the kind of thing to watch out for to begin with.

You’re also looking for consistency in these areas.  All players will make mistakes or bad decisions and get caught out of position.  If it happens infrequently then no big deal but if they’re doing it regularly, then you have a problem to fix.

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A few more tips while watching and learning:

  • start in 2D so you can concentrate on positioning and movement easier;
  • start in 'Full Match' mode - at a higher speed - because you want to see all the usually boring stuff like build up play and failed passes, which even 'Comprehensive Highlights' doesn't show;
  • pause at various points:  for example, if your DLP has the ball coming out of your defensive third, but is facing some pressure, pause and see what your shape looks like, how many passing options he has, how many supporting teammates are in short/medium/long passing range:  you are using 'shorter passing' so your players need nearby teammates to pass to, especially during transition (and one common problem with a 442 is the gaps between: DL - gap - midfield - gap - forwards, but using a DLP and DLF might cover that);
  • look for things like:
    • are players doing what you want them to?
    • are players crowding the same space? or moving to open space?
    • in attack, is someone providing width?
    • in defensive transition, are your players contesting passing lanes? dribblers?  too easy for opposition to advance into your third?
    • in defense, where are opponents making dangerous runs or passes, even if those runs/passes fail?
    • etc, etc
  • Never watch 'Key Highlights' because you'll get the false impression that every situation or type of build up results in a chance or chance conceded (i.e. it cherry picks only the successful sequences)
Edited by glengarry224
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Pause the game during highlights at key moments, when you lose the ball for example and your team transitions from attack to defense, and the other way around. See where your players are, try and find better positions for them for that particular situation if you struggle for some reason. Take it from there and keep it simple.

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10 hours ago, Jubes said:

However, I think my main problem is I am not sure what to look for during the match.

I wouldn't go too deep at the beginning and rather focus on the basic structures of your game.

  1. Most importantly, eventhough this is not a straight up ingame analysis, look at your teams general performance. Do your results match the boards and media expecations? Don't get fancy with tactics if you totally match expectations. Everything is fine to some extend.
  2. Does your selected formation match your general gameplan? For example, if you are looking for a high pressing / attacking style of football, your formation should be rather top-heavy with 3-4 players in the AM/ST strata and one or two players from deeper positions (central midfield or defence) should be assigned with an attack duty to join the attack.
  3. Fokus on general player movements, like does my fullback overlap as I wanted him to do. Does my striker fall back to link up play or does he stay up, waiting for the vertical pass. Do all players join the final third / box that I wanted to do and do the players who were supposed to stay behind, do so.
  4. Is your Team capable of creating high quality chances or does it get stuck and becoming too flat in the final third? Thats the case if your attacking shape turns into a flat line in front of the oppositions defensive line and will most likely result in a desperate cross, long shot or a loss of possession. In that case you should consider to become more direct with your playstyle. Good options to fight this are to remove instructions that lower your overall directness like work ball into box e.g. or to add instructions that help you to become more direct like run at defence, increased passing directness or a higher tempo to circulate the ball more quickly and therefore possibly open up more gaps in the oppositions defensive line.
  5. Is your defence capable of protecting your goal without conceding too many chances? Balls over the top -> lowering Defensive Line. Players can run or past through central areas -> narrow defensive width. Does the distance how far the opposition can move up the pitch without being challanged by your players, match your expectations -> adjust LoE / pressing triggers.

I hope that could help you to watch out for easiely recognizable things on and off the pitch. By the way, only make adjustments if things happen repeatedly. Nothing is wrong if your attack is getting too flat once in a while or if your defence has been played over the top once a game or if a players doesnt move as expected for a few sequences. Only make changes if there is visable pattern over a longer period (like a few matches). 

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On 23/07/2022 at 04:41, Jubes said:

So, what do you think so far? Any changes I should make? 

So what were you hoping to see happen in terms of transitions? Whenever I create any system and I choose certain team instructions I have in my mind transitions that i expect get played out on the pitch. So what do you expect to see?

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