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Posts posted by Zoetermeer

  1. Are there any guides out there that deal specifically with strategies for playing against much stronger teams? I'm trying my hand with Wigan at the moment, and we're doing fine against mid- and lower-table teams in the Premier League but we're being demolished by the top four or five.

    I know the usual tack is to keep men behind the ball and look for countering opportunities, but my squad isn't really built for quick counter-attacking. We're sorely lacking in pace, short on quality wingers, and our strikers aren't really cut out to be poachers. We beat teams that are better than us by playing ball-control and retaining defensive shape, but this sort of breaks down when we're up against a side that is drastically better than us at every position.

    I realize that you can only hope for so much success against teams when you are clearly inferior, but my ultimate goal is to at least be competitive when I go to Old Trafford, for example. I remember Cleon had done some remarkable things with Swansea in FM12, though maybe the talent level there was a little higher than what I have.

  2. I've switched to a 4-1-2-2-1, basically replacing the AMC with a DM (who I've set to DLP-D). This has certainly helped us defensively, as we give up far fewer chances, but problems persist with possession. We're lucky to keep the ball 60% of the time at home (on a good day), and usually we seem to average 45% or so. I've tried the usual combination of shouts (push higher up, stay on feet, hassle opponents, retain possession, work ball into box, play through defense), but these don't really seem to have much of an effect.

  3. This forum needs more reading and less interpreting things that weren't written. People are really reluctant to take things factually. Your tactic is far too fancy IF you're not really knowing what you're doing. That's what I meant. What you posted here gave me the impression, that you may have not read one of the basic guides and I wanted to be encouraging by saying, that it's not as easy as it sounds to recreate "Barca"-play and it doesn't make you "So Bad at FM13" as you think.


    Sorry, I misunderstood you. Thanks for your help!

  4. Well......

    I am managing Barca too, they offered me the job after just 20 games (I was top of the league with Spurs).

    I just used my same tactics as with Spurs, and have not had too much trouble and indeed am concentrating on youth development as the results keep rolling in.

    My observations of your tactics are that I assume you are using a 4-2-3-1 with MCs rather than DMs?

    Your roles are fairly similar to mine, but I use a 4-1-2-2-1 (4-5-1 in normal terms).

    Your main weakness is your MC duo. Whilst the roles and duties you have set match the capabilities of the players, they are exposing your defence.

    A DLP has a deep mentality, but on Support will actually be level with your BWM - you have no real link between defence and midfield, and nobody consistently dropping in to cover that space.

    Cesc in a Support role with Villa also in Support limits your potency through the middle.

    Short passing isn't necessarily a good thing. By using mixed you offer more options to your players, and with the technical proficiency at Barca, it makes sense to give them those options.

    Increasing Creative Freedom and Roaming isn't really necessary, as the players will do this anyway due to their quality. By increasing these areas further, you are probably stretching too far beyond the general plan. Consider trying default for both.

    Finally, I wouldn't tweak individual sliders, so try removing your closing down settings. You can still dominate possession without this applied.

    Thanks! My path sounds just like yours (except I was managing Arsenal) -- we were top of the table, and then was offered the job. Yes, I'm using a 4-2-3-1. I think what you say about the lack of a good link between defense and midfield is consistent with the problems I'm seeing -- we have problems moving the ball through the middle, which I think is a major problem because my central players are really the engine that makes the whole thing go (Xavi, Fabregas, Iniesta). (Unfortunately Barca sold Thiago just before I took over).

    I'll try this and see what happens.

  5. In my opinion, if you're not really knowing what you're doing, your tactic has too many fancy settings. Try a rigid philosophy, less creative freedom (standard or lower), no ball-playing DC and generally much, much more standard things before trying to take it too far.

    On the fly I think you should switch the DLP and BWM's duties, change the striker to attacking CF and one of the IFs to a supporting role.

    But even better for you would be to read the guides around here, before expecting to instantly be the next Guardiola. ;)

    I don't know where you got the impression that I don't know what I'm doing. I've read the guides, and based on the information I've gleaned from those guides, I've come up with a tactic that I think should work -- but it doesn't, hence the need to ask the experts around here. I did start with a much-more-vanilla tactic, and have tweaked and tweaked to try and improve my squad's performance.

    I appreciate your suggestions, but could have done without the last paragraph. I think, in general, this forum could do with fewer responses like yours. I'm taking a patient approach to FM13, trying to learn, and ask the experts questions whose answers might not only help me but others as well. The game can be frustrating at times and I make a concerted effort to avoid the useless-bashing posts that moderators hate, but I'm much less inclined to even bother asking here when it's likely I'll just be confronted with a snappy, condescending remark.

  6. To me it seems like many more teams are playing an aggressive pressing game -- it kind of reminds me of FIFA 10/11 (I haven't played since then). There must be something about my tactic that isn't putting enough passing options around people to give them an outlet when they're pressed. I thought that you would be asking for trouble pressing a team like Barca, since they have the technical players to carve you up when you do that. But my team wilts in the face of such pressure.

    I've had problems with the wide players too, but mostly my problem is that they run with the ball all the way from midfield into the box before blasting a shot wide. I've tried setting their 'run with ball' to rarely or shouts like 'play through defense'/'work ball into box', but they still do it -- perhaps it's PPM's. I've read that PPM's have a much greater influence on how players play than in previous versions.

  7. Yeah, I'm in the same place as you are. I tried using 'control' and even 'attacking' strategies, as these crank up every player's closing down (among other things), but I think that results in too much wasted possession because the team takes more risks. Sometimes it seems like using 'attacking' is certain death on FM13 -- I always get caught on the break if I do it.

    The low point for me was in the UCL knockout round, away at Lille. We lost 1-3, and Lille had 63% possession, 85% pass completion. I didn't think it was possible to make Barca play this badly.

  8. I can't even succeed with Barcelona. Yes, really.

    I took over in December of my first season -- Villanova had just been sacked, and the club was in full crisis mode with Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Pique, and Puyol all injured (!). So I set about bringing in a world-class corps of physios to do their magic, and in the meantime used a defensive tactic so we could survive until the return of the first-teamers.

    Anyway, once everyone was back and fit I began using a more aggressive tactic (below). But I'm having all kinds of problems -- we're leaking goals (conceded 5 at Man City), we're lucky to hit 55% in possession, the opposition usually gets lots of chances, and we're stockpiling yellow cards. Fabregas just received an automatic ban after picking up his 15th yellow of the season.

    We also have a ridiculous proneness to injury. Messi was only back for like two weeks before he went down again for 3 months, and ditto for Iniesta.

    The strange thing is that we aren't losing as much as you would expect, despite the problems -- we usually seem to find ways to win or at least draw. For example, in the Man City game we were shredded defensively but drew the game at 5-5. We just played the away leg of our UCL semi tie at FCP -- they had 60% possession and doubled up on us in chances, but we still won 3-2. I guess I can't complain that we're doing okay, but we look ugly out there and don't resemble Barca at all (and those problems are magnified on the road).

    Here's the tactic:

    ST: CF(S) - Villa

    AMR: IF(A) - Sanchez

    AML: IF(A) - Pedro

    AMC: AP(S) - Fabregas

    MCL: BWM(D) - Busquets

    MCR: DLP(S) - Xavi

    DR: FB(Auto) - Alba

    DCL: BPD(D) - Mascherano/Pique

    DCR: CD(D) - Puyol

    DR: FB(Auto) - Alves

    GK: SK(D) - Valdes

    Philosophy: balanced

    Strategy: counter

    Passing: shorter

    Closing down: press more

    Creative freedom: more expressive

    Marking: zonal

    Crossing: drill crosses

    Roaming: roam more

    That's it, except I've tweaked the 'closing down' sliders of all players except the back four to be 'whole pitch'. I want my forward players to press high up the pitch, while retaining shape at the back. This is kind of similar to a tactic that one of the more experienced guys was using in the Barca thread (but I'm posting here because it's strictly a tactics question).

    I want to dominate possession and deny the opposition the ability to establish themselves in their final third. That's the most important thing to me.

  9. my tactics work superb at home, beating sunderland and man city 7-0 cardiff 9-1 in the same month, away from home a 1-0 win against Arsenal fair enough. but no way should i be scraping a 1-0 away to sheffield wednesday.

    that is what bugs me no end. i know those sources to how i'm winning, yet the players dont act the same, away from home, hands are more or less tied.

    Have to agree with that. It seems like the home team is always playing on steroids. There's certainly a such thing as homefield advantage in real life, but it seems overdone in FM.

  10. Only the more combative personalities seem to be missing training, etc. (Luis Suarez was just transfer-listed and is unhappy, so he skips training from time to time). Usually what happens is the AI will set an asking price that isn't outrageous but still above value -- but because AI-managed clubs don't seem to make offers to players when the transfer window is closed (e.g. September through December), the listing clubs gradually lower the players' asking price until it matches value (maybe because of a perceived lack of demand).

    For example, Cavani was listed in my game in early October and his asking price was around £35m, IIRC. Now it's late November and his asking price is £20, which exactly matches his value. Ditto for Jovetic and Thiago -- haven't checked on all the others. So in January I could get Cavani + Jovetic + Thiago for the cut-price of £42m altogether. Not peanuts, but that's three world-class young players.

    Edit: Many of these players are actually being shopped for below-value asking prices, e.g. Hamsik is available for about £14m on December 20.

  11. Isn't it a little nuts how many players become unhappy and thus transfer-listed in the first few months of a new game (FM13)? In my current save, it's December and here's a list of players (that I know of) transfer-listed:

    Christian Eriksen

    Marouane Fellaini

    Thiago Alcantara

    Edinson Cavani

    Marek Hamsik

    Samir Nasri


    Radja Nainggolan

    Alan Dzagoev

    Stevan Jovetic

    I could almost build an all-star team here, assuming I had the funds.

  12. Thanks! I didn't realize that 'hassle opponents' switches you to man marking. I always assumed it was just an across-the-board increase for each player's closing down slider.

    Do you have your support wing back/winger both on the same side? I've had trouble figuring out the correct role for the striker, so I may try your suggestion. The problem with Arsenal is that their options at striker are either out-and-out poachers (Walcott, Podolski) or target men (Giroud). I want the same effect you're going for -- my striker to drop deep and play in the wide attackers. I've achieved a degree of success doing that with Giroud as either a TM support or Treq, but it doesn't feel qui

  13. After rage-quitting several times, I read the twelve-step guide and some of Cleon's helpful threads, and started again. I'm managing Arsenal and about two months in thus far, I'm doing okay but I'm having trouble figuring out how to make my tactic work when my team doesn't have the ball.

    I used the prevailing wisdom and simplified my tactic, using most of the defaults for everything. I use a 4-5-1 with a balanced philosophy and a 'counter' strategy, with the following selection:

    T(A) - Giroud

    AML: IF(A) - Gotze/Podolski

    AMR: IF(A) - Chamberlain/Gervinho/Walcott

    MCL: AP(A) - Cazorla/Diaby (and Wilshere when he gets healthy)

    MCR: DPL(S) - Ramsey/Arteta

    DM: DM(D) - Arteta/M'Vila

    DL: WB(A) - Gibbs/Santos

    DR: WB(A) - Sagna/Jenkinson

    DCL: BPD(X) - Vermaelen

    DCR: DC© - Koscielny/Mertesacker

    My tactic seemed to work pretty well for the first few league games -- I like the counter strategy because it allows for a patient build-up, efficient use of chances, and players generally stay deep enough to pull the oppositon forward and create more space. However, I feel like every match I play we start out on our back heels, with the opposition taking 60-70% of the possession and creating chances early until I start tweaking. I'll usually use 'hassle opponents', 'retain possession', and 'pass to feet' to even out the possession numbers and reduce the opposition's completion percentage. I may throw in the occasional shout to deal with specific threats posed by the opposition's formation.

    Our most recent game came away at Galatasaray for the CL group stage. They came out and dominated possession early, but we still managed to create more chances and went up 1-0. Despite the scoreline, for long stretches the opposition would play almost Barca-esque, ping-ponging the ball around in my half and my players seemed incapable of stopping it. I had 'hassle opponents', 'get stuck in', tackling 'aggressive', and 'press more' set, but this seemed to have no effect on their ability to run circles around my team. They eventually won the match 2-1, as they were able to consistently apply enough pressure to create enough chances to win.

    It drives me nuts when the opponent is able to play this way, especially a team that isn't particularly good technically. Any ideas on how to stop this? Maybe there's something fundamentally wrong with my shape? I feel like my problem isn't really so much that we're wasting possession when we have the ball, but that we have enormous problems winning it back.

  14. Aside from the ME, I like a lot of the other additions. I especially like the DoF -- my initial reaction to hearing about it was "eh", but it's kind of nice to pick out players and add them to a list, essentially saying "director, go get this guy". One minor problem with the transfer targets list I've noticed is that the DoF seems only able to work on one player at a time -- he can't work on buying multiple players in parallel.

    I haven't even played enough with the ME to notice all of the other issues people have been raising, but there are a few minor things I don't like that are more related to the ME's GUI than anything else:

    1) The player names are really hard to read for some reason. I don't know if making them black instead of white would help, but the text also seems to be in a bold font of some kind so the letters all run together. I didn't have any trouble reading names in FM12.

    2) In FM12, I watched matches at one notch below the maximum speed. This is going to be a purely personal preference for everyone, but for me that was fast enough that I didn't waste my life watching games but not too fast to make the game impossible to follow. For some reason, in FM13 the notch below max is too slow, but max is too fast.

    3) I like how you can sub without leaving the main ME screen, but I rarely end up making like-for-like substitutions (often I need to shuffle people around amongst positions after subbing). There isn't any way to do this (that I know of) without going to "advanced tactics".

    I can't decide whether the GUI (not in the ME, but in general) is much better than FM12 or not. I may just be so used to FM12's layout that FM13 is a difficult adjustment, so who knows.

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