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About Contexx

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  1. “If I have to make a tackle then I have already made a mistake.” - Paolo Maldini. I wouldn't worry about tackles Personally I focus more on the interception stats, although if the football is as I intend it to be, why worry? For example, when I win fairly easily, my defensive minded cm tends to get fairly low ratings. He completes 90% of his passes, makes one or two interceptions, and his kit is clean as he's had no tackle to make .
  2. Fullbacks tucking in more or player positioning being considerably different affects the way a tactic plays out - I'm not sure if it's a matter of loopholes opening up or being plugged. Regardless, I'm curious if the changes in the ME are affecting people's tactics and results or do sound principles trump those changes.
  3. I know I should post this in the bugs forum and really don't want to disrupt the flow of this forum, but I updated to the live Beta patch, and since then, I feel like I'm playing a new game. Yes, the overpowered "lump it to the vardy" bug is gone, which is refreshing, but there are so many other things which seem to require a tactical overhaul. For example, I use a 4312, and fullbacks are a huge part of my tactic. Since the patch, when I don't have the ball, they just tuck in and hide behind my CB's, more likely to clear the ball off the goal line than close down or follow the opposition winger. When we have the ball, they turn to deep lying raumdauters, wide open and ready to cut inside regardless of instructions I give them. I don't want to turn this into a complaint session, and I know this isn't the place for it. I just want to know how others approach this change in the ME. Does updating mean the entire tactic should be reworked, and if so, would it be better to just use the old engine until the new update is stabilized?
  4. After playing a few games with this patch, I'm noticing a few things which are really nice. The dribbling and skirmishes for the ball in certain spots look more realistic. The whole long ball counterattack thing seems to be finally fixed, which makes for far more pleasant gameplay and tactical planning. I like the variety of goals being scored, as well as a few other things that have been mentioned here. One troubling thing I find is the positioning of my players seems to have morphed and gone a bit weird. This is particularly the case with fullbacks. I play a 4312 formation, using the fullbacks in the wingback role, and since the patch came out it seems they always either tuck in right next to the CB's, or just wander around. Out of possession they seem as likely to make a clearance in our own six yard box as my centerbacks, while when in possession, even if I instruct them to stay wider, they seem to just roam around when the ball is not on their "side" of the pitch. At times, the central midfielders also seem a bit "unhinged" in their positioning, but it's especially troubling when it's the fullbacks, since they're so vital to the overall "shape" of my team.
  5. I use virtually the same roles with Parma in the first season, so the squad is not good by any stretch of the imagination, particularly in defense. I started using it because I had a number of decent central midfielders and it's a formation I've always enjoyed. One of the advantages of this tactic is the "space" you get if you lump it under pressure, particularly in this match engine. I'm not saying play hoofball, but don't get caught up on the possession stats. I usually play a shorter passing game and my dlp or mezzala is still able to lump it to the rabid PF for a one of one (and he doesn't miss from time to time). High tempo/short passing/play out of defense? Yup, unless you've got regens of Beckenbauer and Maldini with Nesta waiting in the wings, you're lumping it long for all the wrong reasons. To play that kind of game, stringing gorgeous short passes together you need even more gorgeous weather conditions and players with excellent technique. Personally, I play somewhat wider, keeping my passing length at mixed, and allow myself as much of the pitch as possible, especially as I don't trust my players to get out of tight spaces. I imagine your AMC is particularly frustrating to watch. The idea of him spraying passes or running on to flick ons from your DLF just doesn't pan out, does it? I set mine to roam and as a AP, so that he can have a more dynamic interplay with the mezzala. Also, I found that putting the striker as a Complete Forward as opposed to DLF helps create space and reduce congestion in that middle area. The line of engagement thing is another thing you may want to take a look at. Do you really want your front three in the center of midfield praying for your poor fullbacks to somehow release them? Personally, especially against teams that like to build from the back, I like to up the line of engagement to "higher". This gets the front three actually defending from the front and posing more of a threat. Even if they're bypassed, if by chance you actually win the ball deeper, you'll have three players in the center to keep the opposition honest. On support duty, your AMC will still track back, and if you give him more closing down, he'll help out a lot. "Play out of defense" works - until it doesn't. If the defenders don't have any safer options, they'll play it long, especially as you have a deep lying playmaker on defend there. He'll try to make himself available, and if he's marked, then the only other option is to lump it to the pressing forward and hope for the best. I countered that by having my Advanced playmaker on "roam from position" so that there is another option high up the pitch. Another option would be putting your DLP on Support so that he has the option of riskier passes - otherwise he just chooses the safest, shortest, and easiest option of recycling possession (more often than not back to your centerbacks. Playing against teams that clog the midfield and have outlets on the wings, this is a very dangerous system to play if you want to keep possession and have a slow build up. Even the mezzala's real estate is limited, and if he loses the ball, it's very dangerous. My own midfield three are CM DLP(D) and B2B / Mezz, depending on the system I'm up against. Up front I have a complete forward, who is still eager to drop deep, but more often than not finds pockets of space in the more advanced wide areas. As for short vertical passes, I would guess having a combo of DLP (D) and AP, along with slighly more static outer midfielders might work - but only if your players have very strong technique and mental stats, since you'd basically be playing through the opposition's midfield. Anyway I hope that helps. I personally enjoy the 4312, as it's very flexible and can produce some beautiful football when it works - and utter shambles when it doesn't.
  6. I second that. There are videos on youtube of their European Cup run, although the tactic is so player-dependent. It would be very hard to replicate the roles of Prosinecki, Savicevic, and especially Mihajlovic without the appropriate ppm's. The other thing is, apart from the ultra defensive final, they played very attacking and fluid, with the players free to express themselves - Mihajlovic often bringing the ball out regardless what position he played, Savicevic actually tracking back and making tackles, and Panchev, so often playing as a poacher, getting heavily involved in the build up. As a kid, I hated that team, not only because I supported one of their rivals, but also because in my naive mind, they were buying success...Ah, how times have changed. I don't want to go too far off topic, but someone recently did a thread on success with smaller nations, and perhaps this was the beginning o the end of European competitions being realistically winnable for such teams. The Yugoslavian league itself was fiercely competitive, in spite of Red Star's general dominance, and the generation of players they had produced was truly special - Mihajlovic, Stojkovic, Savicevic, Jarni, Boban, Suker, Susic, Prosinecki, and countless others. Here is a link to a match against Real Madrid, and the sheer pace of the counterattack would not be out of place in today's Premiership. The thing that would make it difficult to fully replicate in FM would be the energy, determination, and togetherness of that team. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th-LVjN6h0Q
  7. Sounds like you might be getting roasted on the counterattack, and in that case, the FB on defend may be even more vulnerable. You play high tempo, very narrow, and cutting down on crosses and long shots, plus up front you have two dudes who will drop deep and try to run at the defense with nobody running into the box. As soon as you lose possession, your flanks are exposed by virtue of you already playing narrow. No matter how good your defensive minded fullback are, they'll have a hard time stopping any rampaging wingers - a missed tackle on a winger in full speed and you're done. Even worse, a deep cross gives your defense no chance to regroup
  8. Very interesting tactic. In my save with Deportivo I use a much more defensive version of a similar tactic using two SV's. When I took over they were on a 12 match winless streak and very close to relegation with few games to go. The squad lacked quality in defense, but were blessed with decent all around midfielders (Guillerme and Mosquera) and a hard-working striker (Andone). With two SV's, my midfield suddenly became much more dynamic, and able to both be solid defensively and offer attacking options - depending on the players used. In the second season, despite having no budget and losing Andone due to his min. release clause (thanks ManCity), managed to win the title with three games to spare, mostly based on stubborn tight defense and lethal counterattacks, which were at times beautiful to watch. Personally I kept one on support and one of attack, but obviously 2018 Deportivo are a different animal than Dortmund. The route one, higher tempo, attacking mentality you use seems exhausting - both for the players and viewer, and I don't mean it in a bad way. As someone who is always defensively oriented, I think I'd have a heart attack.
  9. Just wanted to throw this old old but still relevant masterpiece out there. I remember when the tactical creator first came out, reading the pdf, and it certainly opened my eyes to the workings of the match engine and football in general. It was a key link in the evolution from the old slider system and really articulates what for most people becomes second nature. Football and Football Manager have evolved over the years, but in my opinion this still remains the closest to a tactical manual for new players and old. Since the first installment in the 08 (I think, getting old and forgetful), I've gone through several laptops and I'd love to get my hands on the downloadable pdf, if anything as a piece of fm history. My recollection of reading it while stuck at an airport just having downloaded the revamped and TC'd fm, and being torn between wanting to play and at the same time immersed in the text. For those of us who went through the slider years, it was a wonderfully articulated guide. For those struggling to wrap their heads around some of the concepts in fm, and even seasoned pro's , I'd highly recommend it. Certainly there have been a few changes in the game, particularly with the new roles and tactical approaches, but it's still very relevant and if anyone can help me get my hands on a working download link, I'd very much appreciate it.
  10. I don't know, it depends. Sometimes it pays off more to stick to what's already working rather than invite more pressure. Against weaker teams, especially those that park the bus for 80 minutes then realize they're losing, I'm like "bring it on!" and take advantage of the spaces that will inevitably appear. Against stronger sides, it makes sense to change, but only insofar as you are being proactive - taking advantage of opposition weaknesses rather than passively defending and invite pressure. A good example of the latter is playing Allegri's Barcelona (I know I know) in the champions league. They went down and switched from the annoyingly possession based 4141 to very attacking 433 with a front three of Messi, dembele, and Suarez. it made sense to pull my wingers further back, but knowing they would be exposed on the flanks I just changed mentality of my fullbacks and focused my passing down the flanks. As in real life, I think this game tends to reward being proactive and in control. There are going to be times even though you're playing well you go behind, and are eventually rewarded for persistency. My thinking is, if your tactic is solid and things are going well, there should be no need to make major changes. the ai losing its sheeet to chase a losing game should be seen as an opportunity to finally get that elusive kick in the teeth and, more importantly test your own squad when it's, as sir Alex Ferguson said, squeaky bum time. you may find out your DC makes a silly error or a striker misses a sitter, and most importantly, here is where you really find out what your tactic and squad are made of. panicking and freaking out simply betrays a lack of faith in your tactic which should be seen as criminal for a winning squad.
  11. Excellent analysis, Cleon, and thank you for enriching our fm (and football) experience. I use this role in a sort of 442, with the two central midfielders in the DM strata - the SV paired with a DM(s). Playing as Inter, I'm often up against very deep defences, and Seria A teams like to pack the midfield, so the SV is really crucial for unlocking defences and creating movement from deep. However, as Cleon and others stress, it's an overpowered role and it's important to choose the players wisely. I'm using three different players in this role and their attributes and especially PPM's add a whole new dimension to my tactic. The first player I use is Marcelo Brozovic. In real life he's a bit of a misfit, and for both the national team and his club he seems to be a jack of all trades, but not quite good enough to consistently fit into any role. His sometimes prickly relationship with authority and propensity for hitting thunderb@stards when he's been written off make him one of my favorite players, but I digress. His ppm's are are "dictates tempo", gets into opposition area, and most importantly, likes to switch ball to the other flank. This makes for some wonderful play in that he'll often spot overlapping fullbacks of wingers who get into space, and the fact that he's attacking space from deep and drawing the opposition into awkward spots is fantastic. He's also very fit and has good workrate. The second player is Jack Wilshire. His ppm's are gets forward, killer balls, and play his way out of trouble. From time to time he gets caught in posession but it's a risk worth taking because he's also excellent at penetrating by both dribbling, and hitting killer balls when just when it seems he's lost the ball. His main problem is fitness, so I try to use him as a supersub. Finally, I have Marko Rog, who is an absolute beast. High determination, workrate, and ppm's of runs with ball through the center, gets forward, and plays one two's. He also has an engine that ensures he doesn't need to be subbed off by the 60th minutes. The thing is, none of his technical attributes are exceptional, but he's just a very good all around player who can do a bit of everything from the heart of midfield. One of the best things about this role is that even on attack duty, with the right player and system, the defense is seldom exposed. I used to put the SV on support duty against tougher opposition, but it's on attack duty that, given the space, he is able to truly come to life on the counter. Finally, perhaps I could be overthinking it, but I noticed the SV is especially valuable when play "breaks down" - for example on counterattacks, or when trying to bulldoze through packed defenses. This is where attributes like anticipation and aggression really come into play.
  12. After my Hoffenheim side became fabulously wealthy and successful I stopped using this system and decided to go with a more old fashioned 433. This thread inspired me to go back to it, and it led to some gritty, lunch pail and hard hat football of old. Fewer shots and opponents deem it a bit more "safe" to try to camp in our area. I'm happy with them firing 15+ long shots, and any runs into my box or crosses from wide are dealt with very comfortably because there is a wall of 3 big aggressive centerbacks with excellent anticipation. Once teams give up possession it gets very difficult for them to deal with counterattacks. A few things I did to make us more solid: - One winger out wide with an IWB. The inverted wingback gives us more presence in the center, and allows one of the midfielders to get further up the pitch. I'm not quite sure where to put him yet because the wingback himself is getting into scoring positions and is so difficult for the AI to pick out. The "gets forward" PPM probably contributes to this. The winger is, of course, on support duty, and him not getting too far forward creates a nice pocket of space for one of the cm's and iwb to exploit. - I actually tend to play quite narrow. This way, there is more space opening up for the wide men, and ensures play develops more. Since the danger is out wide, keeping possession and dragging the opposition towards the center helps a lot. - Having said that, I now realize just why I abandoned the tactic a few seasons ago. The football is, at times, turgid. Oh, the defense is very solid. 19 games into the season and we've conceded 4 goals - one was a penalty and the other a free kick. Hoffenheim were blessed with the likes of Nichlas Sule and Benjamin Hubner - big mountains with good marking and tackling and nothing gets past them. It also helped to have Eugene Polanski and Dirk Vogt shielding that back line. It's Tony Pulis in dreamland! However, it's hard to get many chances, and it's too reliant on the striker for goals. The striker averages a goal a game, and quite a few goals come from set - pieces , with the wide forwards chipping in once in a while, but it would be nice to get more contribution from the central midfield.
  13. I used the 343 system and won everything there is with Hoffenheim. At times it plays beautifully, although your central midfield might be the reason you started to eventually struggle. Personally I've had success with a BWM/B2B combo or something similar which will offer enough protection and cover enough space in that area. A dlp simply doesn't offer enough bite defensively and is a bit too I static. I even used a more creative player as a BWM(s) quite successfully, as he was able to provide a bit of creativity as well as making it tough for the opposition to control the midfield.. ... which brings me to the central midfield. you're outnumbered there and with three center backs behind, it's difficult for the opposition to get behind, and that can lead to loads of camping around your 30 yard line and lots of long shots. This is why aggressive midfielders are important. Also, you might consider a bit of variety for your wide players. and iwb /winger combo may give you more presence in the center and stretch the defense better. I used an AP on one wing with an attacking wingback behind him and it led to a lot of chances created through the wingback overlapping and the AP tucking in and having a lot of options. It almost looked like a pick n' roll play in basketball and is so difficult for the AI to stop.
  14. I actually gave a pretty general but common example. In that case it was a situation where there was nothing major wrong tactically per se, and it made more sense to "stick" rather than make major changes. I found that the goals I was conceding and chances missing during that slump were results of individual mistakes and not due to the tactic itself - weird deflections, woodwork, etc. This is something that's often been very difficult for me. I'd often make changes too hastily . Anyway, that's an excellent article, Cleon. The conviction you show in the way your team is playing throughout the match, in spite of the scoreline, is very admirable. As for the team meeting, we did that, and it didn't work. The whole "bad morale virus" lasted about two months, before gradually the squad got over it. I'm using that as an example of the way morale affected results. I was very tempted to make wholesale changes to the tactic. I don't believe in the AI being able to "crack" a tactic but it seemed so offputting, particularly since during gameplay, we were playing well - but "bad luck" would happen. For example, dominating a team and then conceding a silly penalty from a corner, and another goal from a 30 yard free kick. Anyway, I appreciate the article. Very interesting indeed
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