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Fundamental Football Manager - Making that basic 442


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FFM is back. The challenge for me nowadays, as some of you may have observed is finding time to play the game and to contribute on the forums. Its getting much harder with work stuff getting in the way, and thankfully my SAP implementation is done, dusted and getting an award..which means I may have slightly more time on my hands now, but nearly as much as the days of 03/04.

Understanding what works and what doesn't

While there is a lot of information on the forums, the challenge for most is making that 442 work. While I have managed to do it in FM08, making it do the same for FML is another matter; Playing against the AI is so much more easier for me.

- Defending

When setting up the backline you need to take into account what their roles are and more importantly what you're up against. In an attacking 442 you'd typically have the fullbacks on mixed FWR, mixed TTB..all you need to do to make a defensive adjustment is to remove FWR and TTB. This allows your fullbacks to stay closer to the defensive line and to support the DCs.

When you're faced with a formation that has a solo striker, and has perhaps 2 wingers. You DO not want your fullbacks to go on attacking sprees. Containing the opposing force is key in keeping a tight backline. And to do that remove your FWR.

TTB is another instruction that can create problems, while its good to have it for attacking sides, it can prove counter productive. It affects possession. So if you want good buildup play from the back make sure your fullbacks are not on TTB. If you see them hoofing the ball up, its usually down to not having good passing options. So make sure you have good anchors in midfield.

What about closing down? Set to own area as far as possible. This does not give up cheap space on the flanks for the AI to exploit. Defensive lines? These are perhaps the easiest to set up and the hardest to understand. Dlines affect closing down and how you defend. The higher it is, the more attacking your set up and the more vital it is that your attacking force is closing down heavy.

<LI> Central defenders get pulled out and this allows the AM to play a simple pass to the striker who scores...is a typical scenario. The problem is not the DC it lies in your instructions. The 442 can be adjusted very simply with a short farrow into a central DM position. Once that is done that problem disappears.

This brings us to the midfield. Having set up your back four the job now is to set up the central midfield.

-Midfield

There are 2 ways you can do this and it depends on what you have at your disposal. If you have a very good defensive minded MC, he is going to become a very good passing outlet, and it seems to happen automatically whether you like it or not. One MC is on mixed FWR and another should be on FWR often. This allows a bit of tick tock passing. If you want to be more adventurous, set to high tempo and passing of 1. This will see some quick one touch passing in your midfield to bring the ball up.

If you want your wingers to become Ronaldo..they need the right attributes. OTB is very important. So set them to FWR often and RWB, often. Cross ball - depends on you. I usually have one on mixed and another on none. There is a huge difference and I will let you lot figure that out, it will be very surprising and delightful.

What about creative freedom? Well if your CF is low, your players will typically hold their shape. And if your fullbacks are on no TTB be prepared for a lot of possession. The play is usually more disciplined and structured. If you want to be more flamboyant and risky then start setting CF to normal for the central midfielders..keep the defensive one on low and set high on the wingers. You should see more movement into space now.

- The attack

Plenty of debate here I'm sure. Personally I prefer the solo striker with low CF and a deeper striker(farrowed or barrowed) with more CF, FWR often. So that he can be the go to guy when goals are needed.

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Great stuff Rashidi1 there is a lot in here that i have found out bthrough several years fo trying to put together 442s and also due to some of the fantastic work by others on these forums.

One thing that is particulalrly interesting here is your comments on wingers. I am impatient so forgive me for askin but i am itrigued by your wingers' instructions. I love wingers that get to the byline and throw the ball into the box but how does your setting crossing as one to mixed and one to none work? You said it was surprising how so?

As i said it is just soemthing that is bugging me.

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Thing is I like my wingers to have some creativity. If I set them to cross ball often...all they do is go to the bye and cross, thats fine if thats what you want

I like to see them cut in and pass or cut in and make a run..that's the effect of those other settings

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Okay that makes sense and may actually be something i oculd translate to my villa team. i want to get the most out of Ashley Young and perhaps cutting in would help. would suggest with him i have the none or mixed option?

Also, whilst i am picking your brain, what, if any, changes would you make to the above set up if you were playing a counterattacking style?

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

Thing is I like my wingers to have some creativity. If I set them to cross ball often...all they do is go to the bye and cross, thats fine if thats what you want

I like to see them cut in and pass or cut in and make a run..that's the effect of those other settings

If you've got a Beckham/Bentley on the wing who isn't the quickest but has good crossing and technique, would you suggest setting forward runs to mixed (or even rarely) and cross ball often?

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Originally posted by Law_Man:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rashidi1:

Thing is I like my wingers to have some creativity. If I set them to cross ball often...all they do is go to the bye and cross, thats fine if thats what you want

I like to see them cut in and pass or cut in and make a run..that's the effect of those other settings

If you've got a Beckham/Bentley on the wing who isn't the quickest but has good crossing and technique, would you suggest setting forward runs to mixed (or even rarely) and cross ball often? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well for them to get into good positions, they need someone to pass the ball to them and they should run into some space. Ideally the player in MC position should have strength good passing and be set on TTB. In this case, the beckham player cannot have RWB often, FWR on mixed or often is fine. There is a subtle difference between the two. in mixed he will sometimes go forward, in often and coupled with attacking mentality he will do that every chance he gets. How well he finds that space depends on OTB.

And cross ball often..hmm..sometimes the wingers just go down the flanks, try and dribble and all that stuff. So I would set him to mixed first...watch how he performs, if he is getting in a lot of good crosses. Then fine. Adjust based on your players skillset

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

I hate the often instruction...they become mindless robots down the flanks.

Ok, so assuming you'd keep the cross ball at mixed, what do you think about what I said about forward runs mixed and run with the ball mixed for a Beckham/Bentley type winger? And whats your preferences from where to cross from and where to aim the cross to?

If you've got a Ronaldo type player then cross from byline and cross center?

If you've got a Bentley type player then cross from deep (or mixed?) and aim for far post?

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Ah but Rashidi sometimes mindless robots can be useful. i have managed to turn awful players into assist machines using that approach, admitedly it is not the most fun or creative but can be an effective way to get the most out of a player, particulalrly a young-un who is learning his trade.

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Great post Rashidi - can't wait to get home and have a go at setting up a solid flat 4-4-2 now (getting a flat 4-4-2 to work has become my greatest aim in FM08, but so far all my efforts have been in vain!).

Could you expand a bit on how you use OIs please? I know there's lots of posts on the subject knocking about, but a simple concise overview to accompany your initial post would be brilliant.

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Law_Man:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rashidi1:

Thing is I like my wingers to have some creativity. If I set them to cross ball often...all they do is go to the bye and cross, thats fine if thats what you want

I like to see them cut in and pass or cut in and make a run..that's the effect of those other settings

If you've got a Beckham/Bentley on the wing who isn't the quickest but has good crossing and technique, would you suggest setting forward runs to mixed (or even rarely) and cross ball often? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well for them to get into good positions, they need someone to pass the ball to them and they should run into some space. Ideally the player in MC position should have strength good passing and be set on TTB. In this case, the beckham player cannot have RWB often, FWR on mixed or often is fine. There is a subtle difference between the two. in mixed he will sometimes go forward, in often and coupled with attacking mentality he will do that every chance he gets. How well he finds that space depends on OTB.

And cross ball often..hmm..sometimes the wingers just go down the flanks, try and dribble and all that stuff. So I would set him to mixed first...watch how he performs, if he is getting in a lot of good crosses. Then fine. Adjust based on your players skillset </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cheers Rashidi icon_smile.gif

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The use of OIs and arrows is important in making any tactic. OI work wonders against teams that have few midfield players and are pumping in an army upfront. So use OI to close down these players.

Arrows allow you to set up players when you have possession of the ball, this gives you passing and defending options. When you are faced with a dangerous AMC, you have 2 options. OI him or set one MC on a barrow. This will effectively prevent your DC from going for the player to early allowing for cheap goals.

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Originally posted by beverage1982:

Okay that makes sense and may actually be something i oculd translate to my villa team. i want to get the most out of Ashley Young and perhaps cutting in would help. would suggest with him i have the none or mixed option?

Also, whilst i am picking your brain, what, if any, changes would you make to the above set up if you were playing a counterattacking style?

If I want to have a counterattacking tactic then perhaps, no FWR on the fullbacks and ttb to mixed..the defensive line should be on the lowest setting of normal. Since its a c-a tactic then one touch passing may not be a good idea, some players should be on direct passing. Again this depends on the players at your disposal.

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

I like to see them cut in and pass or cut in and make a run..that's the effect of those other settings

I have a strong feeling you don't like giving out exact settings rash..saying that though, how do you set that up?

also...

Originally posted by rashidi1:

-Midfield

There are 2 ways you can do this and it depends on what you have at your disposal. If you have a very good defensive minded MC, he is going to become a very good passing outlet, and it seems to happen automatically whether you like it or not. One MC is on mixed FWR and another should be on FWR often. This allows a bit of tick tock passing. If you want to be more adventurous, set to high tempo and passing of 1. This will see some quick one touch passing in your midfield to bring the ball up.

You mentioned 2 ways to set up the CM's, you only gave an example of one. icon_smile.gif

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one is a defensive minded MC.. and another is an offensive minded mc.

The conventional way of setting it up it via the FWR instructions. Defensive has none, so he always hangs back. The one forward can have higher closing down which would make him run around like a mad chicken.

Thats one way, another way is to barrow one mc into a central slot and have his FWR on mixed or none. This works when you are facing an AMC led attack which can be annoying.

For the wingers:

Robot-crossers...FWR often/RWB/Cross from bye

Pass and run crosses -- FWR often/RWB mixed/ Cross from bye

Cutting in wingers - FWR often/RWB often/Cross none, passing short

Now you can also affect them with......farrows..long farrows makes them run forward,pick up the ball and run, infield arrows makes them cut in and run at defenders

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

one is a defensive minded MC.. and another is an offensive minded mc.

The conventional way of setting it up it via the FWR instructions. Defensive has none, so he always hangs back. The one forward can have higher closing down which would make him run around like a mad chicken.

Thats one way, another way is to barrow one mc into a central slot and have his FWR on mixed or none. This works when you are facing an AMC led attack which can be annoying.

For the wingers:

Robot-crossers...FWR often/RWB/Cross from bye

Pass and run crosses -- FWR often/RWB mixed/ Cross from bye

Cutting in wingers - FWR often/RWB often/Cross none, passing short

Now you can also affect them with......farrows..long farrows makes them run forward,pick up the ball and run, infield arrows makes them cut in and run at defenders

And just seen this icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for answering that. I noticed you aren't mentioning mentality at all? *hint*

I was actually mucking around last night with a single ST, farrowed AMC and a often fwr running MC, if the ST is strong and can hold the ball up it creates some interesting one 1-2's with the deeper running players icon14.gif AMC had FWR mixed though.

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Whether you get a winger to do runs inside depends a lot on the individual ppms in the game, not setting a winger to cross often has the effect of making him make dangerous runs to the flank and actually pass the ball sometimes to players in better positions to shoot. IMHO the default shape for a 442 can work in FM, but you need to make slight changes to it...

these aren't major as they still achieve the same effect as a 442 but the roles and responsibilities of players are better defined. Using the OI well can be a good key to turning around a match. I sometimes use it especially if I'm facing a formation that uses only 1 or 2 MCs, in such a situation, I target the one who usually does most of the passing.

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

Incidentally I use OI a lot now in this game as this seems to be the most effective way of handling different formations and annulling key players.

rashidi1, With a counter attacking tactic, generally the closing down is set to deep or own area, similarly with the defensive line. as I understand it, this pre-empts using the closing down option in the OI instructions.

Quite a lot of suggestions are to use closing down at all time for wingers. How does doing that affect my overall counter attacking tactic? icon_confused.gif

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

Whether you get a winger to do runs inside depends a lot on the individual ppms in the game, not setting a winger to cross often has the effect of making him make dangerous runs to the flank and actually pass the ball sometimes to players in better positions to shoot.

Better used when deploying a shorter strikeforce I'd imagine

IMHO the default shape for a 442 can work in FM, but you need to make slight changes to it...

Do you mean in the way of using AML/R with barrows? Or maybe a DMC with a farrow to MC?

these aren't major as they still achieve the same effect as a 442 but the roles and responsibilities of players are better defined. Using the OI well can be a good key to turning around a match. I sometimes use it especially if I'm facing a formation that uses only 1 or 2 MCs, in such a situation, I target the one who usually does most of the passing.

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Originally posted by benno39:

How did i lose this

Hi rashidi i used your comments for a 4-4-2 went to man u and this happened. What do you think i could have done to have won the game. This was the first game i used your set up and it was outstanding.

I don't really know, the stats seem outstanding..looks like a sucker punch while you were attacking. Without knowing all the details, and this is a really wild guess...could it be that you weren't deep enough with your defensive line...and did you use the OI to contain Rooney or Tevez...whoever is playing deeper is the dangerous player.

Another thing..I would take a long hard look at your set pieces as well..12 and no goals? And your freekick settings too..Seems like a lot of good wasted chances.

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Jaycar that's not always true..a tall strikeforce and wingers who pass the ball is equally dangerous..I prefer that when I drop my defensive line...cos that gives my wingers more room, and usually on counters they cut in and run to goal

Secondly this is a 442 so I'm using orthodox positions...no DM to MC arrows....MC to DM arrow I do use quite a lot.

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jaycar It really depends on the set-up and their attributes. If a player has great OTB then you don't need to depend on dribbling, instead have one forward hold up ball and set him to TTB often and have the other striker make forward runs often and RWB mixed. That's the set up I normally have.

If you have 2 fast and skillful strikers then you could conceivably set both to RWB often. You could even set it up with cross from bye often and he will peel away to the flanks and try and cross the ball to players coming in late into the box.

Patrick27 I'd use OI and tick tightmarking on the tall striker, so he becomes a poor target.

In fact I'd recommend the use of OI whenever you can to nullify players. In FM2007 I never used it once, now in FM2008 I seem to be turning to it a heck of a lot more. You can use OI to disable a potent midfield, stymie skillful wingers or shut down talented playmakers.

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How about someone designs a 442 that works consistently throughout the season. I'm not saying wins every game but if you have a superior team then you really should be beating Wigan at home.

I would be very interested to see if the "gurus" are able to achieve a consistent 442 as in my opinion FM08 is not suited to the formation which is a major flaw in the game.

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Originally posted by philwood:

How about someone designs a 442 that works consistently throughout the season. I'm not saying wins every game but if you have a superior team then you really should be beating Wigan at home.

I would be very interested to see if the "gurus" are able to achieve a consistent 442 as in my opinion FM08 is not suited to the formation which is a major flaw in the game.

A consistent 4-4-2 that is the same, every match, with no tweaks, and nearly always wins? I certainly couldn't do it. I very much doubt anyone else could, simply because the engine doesn't work that way. You need to tailor the tactic to the match, either by pre-match tweaking, designating opposition instructions, or loading a tactic pre-designed for the situation.

However, a 4-4-2 set that works. Been there, done that. Philwood, if you can't reconceptualise the game as at the very minimum requiring a home and away approach, you won't get very far.

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Originally posted by philwood:

How about someone designs a 442 that works consistently throughout the season. I'm not saying wins every game but if you have a superior team then you really should be beating Wigan at home.

I would be very interested to see if the "gurus" are able to achieve a consistent 442 as in my opinion FM08 is not suited to the formation which is a major flaw in the game.

I have a 442 which I have been using in FM2008 and some ludicrous shaped formation for other matches. What I have found is fairly simple:

a. You can keep the basic shape but you need to learn how to use OI. This is the vital piece of the puzzle which I have finally figured out, thanks to a hiding I got online recently from the Collyer bros.

b. You need to be able to determine when to adjust your Dline against fast attacks.

There are easier ways to do this, some use on away tactic and one home tactic..prob based on similar principles. You can't use one tactic the whole season long without tweaks, that won't happen. Small changes are needed and i recommend very strongly to use the OI.

All you need to do is apply some good ol fashioned common sense.

At home I typically play in your face football, incredibly fast-paced one touch football, with some direct passing thrown in for good measure and that tends to result in me parking a bus in the opponents half.

Away and depending on who I face I play a slightly more conservative game where my defensive line is adjusted based on how my fullbacks are defending. If they are tracking back too much I know the AI is playing high up the pitch so I go deep, then I make tweaks using OI which has now become the best tool ever in the game. I use it exclusively and I recommend anyone who wants to get consistency to do the same

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OI are still a mystery to me and others rash, is there any chance you could make some examples?

For instance I never know how to handle a very quick, dribbly, 2 footed winger.

If you tight mark can he turn the marker and leave him for dead? Do you close him down often? You can't show him onto a weaker foot, there isn't one. If he is also brave then hard tackling wont work.

To many unkowns icon_frown.gif

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rashidi

Thanks for a great post and some really good ideas. I've taken on board some of the points you've highlighted.

First game, 4-0 win over W.Bremen in the CL. One of the most convincing wins of my season so far.

My 2 CMs dominated. A goal each, one with 2 assists and the other with one. My wingers not set to Cross Ball often has shown great results. They seem to influence the game a lot more and as you said, not cross the ball from the bye line everytime the get it. With my strikers not being the best in the air, its going to suit them a lot better.

Which was shown with them both scoring.

Thanks again icon14.gif

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Originally posted by jaycar:

OI are still a mystery to me and others rash, is there any chance you could make some examples?

For instance I never know how to handle a very quick, dribbly, 2 footed winger.

If you tight mark can he turn the marker and leave him for dead? Do you close him down often? You can't show him onto a weaker foot, there isn't one. If he is also brave then hard tackling wont work.

To many unkowns icon_frown.gif

Think of it like this.....

Would you rather sit on the shoulder so that a fast player can't shoot off? Or would you like to stand back wait for him to enter your zone and then decide to go for him. What's the best way of containing a speedy target? Seems fairly obvious to me.

When faced against a player who possesses a sweet foot and can pass a ball through a hole in a needle...do you tight mark him or close him down? Another obvious choice for me at least.

Tight marking and closing down (OI) is a decision you need to make based on the formation and the players up against you. Creative players you close down, holding players you close down, fast players, you tight mark so they can't really do much with the ball. If they turn and twist to lose your defender it should boil down to attributes then.

Once again I am only talking about Opp Instructions...

Scott08 Good to hear you're doing ok..those wingers look a lot better now don't they? And a heck of a lot more dangerous. icon_wink.gif

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

Opposition Instructions

My thoughts on opposition instructions for defenders are basically based on the combination of close down and pace and acceleration. If my defenders can match the pace and acceleration of there ‘zone’ opponent (especially my backs), I will let them close down and mark tightly

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Originally posted by oescus:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rashidi1:

Incidentally I use OI a lot now in this game as this seems to be the most effective way of handling different formations and annulling key players.

rashidi1, With a counter attacking tactic, generally the closing down is set to deep or own area, similarly with the defensive line. as I understand it, this pre-empts using the closing down option in the OI instructions.

Quite a lot of suggestions are to use closing down at all time for wingers. How does doing that affect my overall counter attacking tactic? icon_confused.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

rashidi1: Could you give me your take on some posters OI avice on closing down on appropriate players when you are operating a counter attacking tactic? See above.

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Thanks for the reply Rashidi1. I don't really use OI but it seems now that I will.

Great thread,

Patrick.

PS. Do you leave your team on gobal mentality, or do you give each player their own seperate mentalities? Sorry if this way asked before, but I couln't see it.

Thanks again.

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Great thread Rashidi icon14.gif

quick question... on the centerbacks, what type of marking have you found most effective?

obviously it would depend upon how good the defenders are. If I have quick defenders I tend to go with zonal marking and untick tight marking, whereas with better and quicker defenders I use tight man-marking. Seems to work fairly well I suppose but I wondered if you set yours up any differently?

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I was looking ara reply that you posted earlier. You said to you who you want to attack, defend and do both. Would I be right in saying that in a 4-4-2

Attack = My two strikers

Attack and Defend = LW/RW, CM's and FB's

Defend = My two centerbacks

Please correct me if you think that I'm wrong (I probably am)

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When it comes to mentality I practice a rigid policy which I rarely change.

Defenders have a defensive mentality

Fullbacks have a normal mentality/Defensive Mids have normal

Attacking players have attacking mentality. I usually use the first notch of attacking for them.

I do have more attacking formations where the whole team is on one mentality except for the 2DCs which are on normal mentality. The defensive line in this case tends to be either high normal or pushed up.

IMHO closing down is not about the frequency but where you close down. In any formation you always want your defensive half to keep a good shape, so closing down in own area is always good. If you employ a DM and he has the right attributes then he can be a bit more higher.

You can set up formations that employ high CD or own area CD the effect in both is that your players have better conditioning to hit back. In a C-A tactic i would keep the whole team on own area...keep passing focus to mixed so that the strikers always stay in the middle.

When I use the OI, its simply to shut down players...wingers get tight marked, DMs get closed down heavily.

Patrick27 Yes I would do that

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I set my closing down to own area, for literally the whole team, except for the strikers, and the wingers. Closing down settings tell your team where to begin. The higher they are the more likely you are to lose defensive cohesion.

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Thanks rash, i had been doing very well at corners with kabul scoring 15 goals in 30 games all from corners. I had VDV on the set pieces, but i think you was right about the sucker punch Tevez with a 35 yard screamer in the top corner. But since that game i have gone 15 games unbeaten which is fantastic for me, so thanks very much you have really help me a lot.

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