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Draigh

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  1. Indeed, using an AP(a) on one side of the pitch would work well with an IF(a) or even better, W(a) on the other side. The playmaker on one wing will see a lot of the ball, if you play him for example in a 4-2-3-1 with a supporting AM and a striker that is involved in the build-up a lot of the play will be on that side of the pitch. On the other side your attacking wide forward will stay high (and wide in the case of a winger) up against the opposition fullback, and ready to run onto through balls in behind.
  2. I believe it's also a way of allowing players to develop naturally in the positions/roles they play in. Every now and then all attributes will drop, then the ones they're training on will increase. This way a player becomes better at a certain position or role even when he's reached his full potential.
  3. An offside trap is used to compress the space the other team plays in. Using a deeper defensive line means standing off your opponents, which will give them time and space on the ball to pick out a pass. It also means that the opposing striker will probably have a running start on your defender, which makes him harder to catch. And as you mention it does indeed make it more difficult for your defenders to catch him if he breaks the offside trap. Your D-line and pressing should always be aligned, that's to say that a high defensive line should be coupled with higher pressing (no need to do this manually, you'll see the tactics creator automatically adjusts). Otherwise your opponents will be able to knock accurate balls in behind. Likewise, when using a deeper line a team should stand off a little more to avoid conceding too much space between the lines.
  4. Most of the guides that you see will still be relevant for FM17, even if they were written for earlier versions. The important thing to keep in mind when reading any guide is that you should not blindly copy instructions or team setups. Instead, try to understand the reasoning behind what's being written and think about how you can apply it to your own game. This thread is still a great place to start. Pick out the subjects you're interested in or struggling with, and take it from there.
  5. Have you tried taking a midfielder with decent striking stats and retraining him?
  6. He's got everything, doesn't he... Training should depend on what role you want to develop him into. Perhaps you want a Lampard-style finisher from midfield for your 4-3-3, or maybe you want to turn him into the ultimate deep-lying playmaker? The only thing he probably isn't suited to is purely defensive roles like the anchor man or ball-winning midfielder, as his aggression and bravery are a bit low for those.
  7. One thing I have done successfully over several FM versions is exploiting defensive fullbacks. Think of the Ivanovic mould, players who would be more comfortable at centreback, or just don't offer much going forward. It does require a specific set of players, though, including at least one good, fast winger and a hard-working wide player. Get you hard-working wide man to man-mark the opposition's best/most attacking fullback, to make sure he contributes as little as possible. Now set up your team to defend deep and narrow. As there is no way through in the middle and their attacking fullback is man-marked this will naturally draw your target up the pitch, but as he simply doesn't have the attacking quality to worry your defense. Now obviously you've put the attacking winger on the same flank, tell him to mark loosely and close down as little as possible, focus play down the flanks, get the ball forward and pass into space (behind the fullback) and voilà, your winger will be running at the defense time and time again. I used this to great effect as Tottenham, until they sold Gareth Bale of course. Still, I managed to destroy Chelsea several times like this.
  8. Not necessarily, and it's a good option with a 4-4-2. It certainly helps your defensive shape: playing narrower will mean your fullbacks and wide midfielders sit closer to the central players, restricting space and helping out when the two-man midfield is outnumbered (i.e. most of the time). Exploiting the flanks means your players will tend to focus their passing towards the flanks, where you'd want your wide midfielder and fullback to double up on the opposition fullback, who hopefully will be left exposed by his partner at AML/R.
  9. You've already got some very good advice on the offensive side of things. However, as you say you're defensively suspect balls in behind, wingers, crosses and long diagonals - you've pretty much given the answer yourself: Your defence will be very high up the pitch. Both of your fullbacks will move forward both on and off the ball. This is a first pointer - any winger/wide player staying ahead of your fullbacks will have a whole flank to himself. This means that one ball in behind you fullback leaves a player free to either run on goal, run wide and pick a cross, or - and this is probably what you're seeing very often - he will draw a centreback wide, which leaves any opposition forward/runner from deep free to run onto a cross. Secondly, you're not only conceding space down the flanks, you're also conceding a lot of space in behind, courtesy of your defence pushing up all the time. Any player with enough time on the ball can hit a long ball in behind your centrebacks for a quick forward to exploit. If you don't have fast centrebacks this is downright suicidal. A high line and plenty of pressing can be incredibly effective (think early Guardiola's Barcelona), but you have to make sure your players are up to it. Plenty of aggression, work rate and high closing down across the board are essential, fail any of those and you're likely to suffer. When a high line isn't combined with a very effective press you will suffer (think, for example, of AVB's Chelsea). In short, either make sure you're capable of disrupting your opponent from back to front, or play a bit more conservatively.
  10. When playing with DM's you really need one of them to move forward to link defence to attack, or you'll have a broken team as mentioned above. A DLP(s) can do the trick but still tends to hang back mostly, personally I usually prefer a DM(s) as they make good, forward off the ball runs, close down somewhat higher up the pitch and have some license to play incisive passes. When pared with a DM that sits in front of the defence (DM(d) or anchor man) you've got a very solid setup. Of course it all depends on the player. He's always in the center of the park so try to get someone with PPM's that complement his attributes and correspond what you want to get out of him. Stuff like dictates tempo, runs with ball through centre, likes to switch ball to other flank, gets forward whenever possible... you decide. Get it right and you'll have someone who's always very much involved in both the defensive and offensive phases of play - think Schweinsteiger or Javi Martinez in Bayern's pre-Pep 4-2-3-1.
  11. If I understand correctly fining for a sending off should also decrease the (hidden) dirtiness attribute of the player. So if you've got a serial offender a loss in aggression (which does not always occur, BTW) can be a trade-off worth considering. I rarely if ever fine players for poor performances, so can't comment on that.
  12. No, that's coverd with the "likes to round keeper" PPM.
  13. A BWM will generally chase after the ball and look to close down the opposition, so if you want someone to sit in the hole and protect the defence you'll have to look elsewhere. DM(d) is a very solid option and provides a good defensive presence while being able to hold up the ball and pass it around positively. An anchor man will close down even less than the DM(d) so will generally sit tight and only look to tackle/intercept when play moves into his area, while a DLP(d) will also close down less but has more license to play forward passes.
  14. I have the same problem when playing as Manchester united. Because most teams defend very deep and pack men behind the ball there's very little space to make the pass and very little space in behind for a striker/wide player to run onto the through ball. Most of my goals come from moves where the wide players run into the box and cut back the ball, or from set pieces and goalmouth scrambles. It is rather frustrating but a logical of you pressing the opposition and pushing them back into their own half, they're smart enough not to be too open to your technical attackers. In order to play through balls you'll need space in behind the defence, so my only suggestion would be to drop deeper and stop hassling the opposition, in order to let them move up the field. Of course your possession play will suffer so it's a tradeoff you have to consider. Personally I kept it as it is, we're playing horrible football at times but mostly winning by small margins, simply by containing the opposition to their own third and dominating the ball.
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