Shi Xiansheng

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About Shi Xiansheng

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  • Currently Managing
    Curzon Ashton
  1. Yeah, it does stand to reason that Play Wider, by telling your wide men to stay wider, will encourage more wing play. And this is what I have observed in a 4-4-2 with a winger and a fullback on each flank. This would of course depend on your formation: if your formation has one man rather than two on each wing, or even none, this effect will be less noticeable. I think what herne79 is talking about, and what is discussed in the linked thread, is where players look to make passes by preference or by default. That is, Play Wider might lead to more passes to/up the flanks simply because players are there and possibly less closely marked, not because more central players are looking specifically to spread it wide, which is more what Exploit the Flanks would do. Using Play Wider without Exploit the Flanks might, then, see a pass out wide because of positioning, but then that wide player, finding himself without good options, might pass it back into the center, whereas if Exploit the Flanks were also used, the wide player might look for an overlap, hold the ball up to keep it wide, take on a defender, etc. So Play Wider doesn't tell your players to pass the ball wide, it just happens more often (formation allowing) as a side effect of the positioning. Exploit the Flanks tells your players more specifically to pass the ball wide and keep it wide, taking wide options over central options more often than not, even when central options would otherwise seem better (players in space). I'm a beginner and don't know much about how the match engine works, but this makes sense to me and fits with what I've observed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  2. Great stuff, thanks. Yes, I make a fair number of changes during games, though I generally resist the urge to throw instructions together randomly. It would be tough to give such a good idea of how I respond without a long list, but there are a few go-to changes I make when I feel I'm under threat. Changing the right back and sometimes even the right midfielder to defend duties is a response when getting killed down that flank, while my left winger sometimes gets an attack duty if there's space in behind. I sometimes swap the forwards, partially to encourage my DLF to link up with the CM(s) and partially in the hope the AF gets on the end of the left winger's crosses. More generally, I often change to Standard if I smell blood, and if trying to hold a lead or misplacing passes I might drop the tempo and the passing. Get Stuck In sometimes goes when I'm ahead or giving away too many free kicks. When chasing the game, I might increase mentality, increase some duties, Pass Into Space, Clear Ball to Flanks, Hit Early Crosses or specify cross types. "Controlling games" may have been unclear: I'm quite aware that dropping deep and going direct in possession won't generally create loads of possession. I'm fine with averaging under 50% but not with getting clobbered. But aside from that stat, what I mean is that I want to be giving the ball away more often from direct or risky passes than from simple turnovers or the like, and that I want to see less defensive panic when out of possession. Even my left back, who Stays Back at All Times on a defend duty with decent Anticipation, Tackling, Marking and Positioning, allows far too many crosses without being overloaded, and a large percentage of the goals I concede are due to defenders switching off and making simple mistakes. In my last match, I had just opened the scoring when my stopper underhit a backpass to allow their striker to score; it finished 3-1 to Worcester. I know that when outnumbered in midfield, my team's mostly weak defensive mental attributes (Work Rate aside) won't enable them to sit off and defend tirelessly for 90 minutes, but I'd like to see a conservative approach hold on a bit better without riding my luck. I'd prefer conceding fewer to scoring more if I had to choose, but I'm often pressed hard even by a two-man midfield. That said, while a deep line does help against speedy strikers, getting to the second ball is a problem I could see a higher line helping with. I score some counters but perhaps not enough for the trade offs. I'll try it. Thanks again.
  3. I've now played the same number of league matches since the introduction of a CM(d) as I had without this season, and I have seen improvements. I've won 6 in 16. My PPG have certainly risen, albeit not dramatically, and I'm still down in 15th, partially due to improved results from some of the teams around me. My tactic has evolved to this: AF(a) DLF(s) W(s) CM(s) CM(d) WM(s) FB(d) CD(st) LD(d) FB(s) GK(d) Counter/Flexible Higher Tempo, Fairly Wide, Get Stuck In, More Direct Passing GK(d): Take Long Kicks, Distribute to DLF, Distribute Quickly FB(d): Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, Cross More Often CM(s): Hold Position, More Risky Passes CM(d): Dribble Less I sometimes play on Standard with Slightly Deeper, especially when at home against a weaker side. The changes haven't been huge—four roles changed, shape changed, two more TIs and PIs for four players—but they've helped. I still feel, though, that I'm not controlling games and many results have been down too much to luck. The opposition consistently have more shots and create more chances than us, and I'm often saved by poor finishing, unlikely saves, the woodwork, last-ditch blocks, etc. Some encouraging results have been followed by defeats. The CM(d) has been huge in making us more secure and he's putting in some of the team's best performances, though I'm still trying to get him (and his backup) to unlearn Gets Forward Whenever Possible. Adding Dribble Less was partially an attempt to deal with that problem. I ditched the DLP for a CM(s) because I reasoned that as I prioritize wing play, I probably don't want a ball magnet in the center, and despite the DLP's name, he had been doing precious little playmaking anyway. Giving him Hold Position and More Risky Passes is meant to make him a bit of a cross between a DLP and an AP without the ball magnet effect. The CM(s) has a higher starting position on the TC than the DLP(s), but I can't say I've noticed him being any less disciplined. I know that More Risky Passes is a bit of a gamble, especially as he has Tries Killer Balls Often, and I've removed it a couple times when he was misplacing a lot of passes. I considered More Direct Passes, but then he has Tries Long Range Passes too and the team is on Direct Passing. Out of curiosity here, I know about the ball magnet bit, but are there other real differences between DLPs/APs and CMs not given in their PIs? I didn't see any change in his mentality, closing down or passing directness on the PIs screen, so are playmakers just ball magnets or do they pass differently too? Would appreciate any further advice or comments.
  4. I am a huge fan of this thread. I love your methodical, non-idealistic approach and you write very well, explaining your thinking clearly. I have gone through a similar sort of process, both in creating and in adjusting my tactic, though I've ended up with something fairly different. Despite the reputation of lower league football, it's been surprisingly difficult for me to find a half-decent physical defensive midfielder. (I have one decent player who can play in defensive midfield, but he's a 5'7" Deep-Lying Playmaker, so I generally want him in the CM stratum when he plays.) That means a conservative but (sometimes) direct 4-4-2. It's working okay, but I'm sometimes tempted to use something a little closer to what you've created here. Do you have any updates? I'm particularly interested in what, if any, changes you've made, and whether these represented evolution of the tactic over time, reaction to opponents, or moving past compromises you had to make based on available personnel when you found yourself able to bring in new players. I'm guessing that in keeping with the notion of the generic, changes were minimal, but you never know. Also, you said you kept PIs to a minimum; have you also preferred few PPMs?
  5. I am on my very first save ever and I'm finding myself to be generally conservative and pragmatic. I am managing in the lower leagues and my weak squad necessitates application over vision. I play simple, intuitive football, usually on Counter, prioritizing defense over attack and not losing over winning. I ask defenders to defend, not to venture forward unless I'm losing. My matches tend to be low-scoring: 1-0 is a good scoreline to me. I generally cede possession and try to grab a goal on the break or from a long ball. In attack I'm direct and I insist on having at least one winger on the pitch to supply crosses. I'm generally the sort of manager to tell my players I believe in them and put an arm around their shoulders when they lose, though occasionally I have to express my disappointment in them. In the media I'm calm and say little controversial. But who knows, maybe in my next save I'll play ambitious, expansive football and play all sorts of mind games with my players and the press. I just don't know when that will be, ha. How do you guys decide when to abandon your first save and try something new?
  6. Great thread. I've been using something a bit similar. In my fourth season managing Curzon Ashton in the VNL with a 4-4-2. I play direct football and try to keep it tight at the back, leading to a lot of low-scoring games. I have recently started to move away from a TM and am trying a DLP(s) now. Keep us updated!
  7. Plenty of great tactics employ wingers. They may present problems, but there's no reason you can't use them if you want to. It doesn't matter whether other people present what they say are good tactics without wingers; what matters is whether they work for you and help your team play the way you want it to play. I'm struggling a bit with the wingers in my tactic, which is a 4-4-2, and I'm experimenting with replacing at least one of the two with a Wide Midfielder. But I would really like to keep one of them, because they offer an outlet that produces the kind of football I like. What are you trying to do and what problems have you had?
  8. 4-4-2 is definitely not non-negotiable. I do really prefer it and I'd like to find some adjustments that can see me winning without discarding it. But if I can't get it to work, a change of formation is possible. Depends how desperate I get, I guess. The question of the TM is indeed one I've hemmed and hawed over the entire save. I chose it because my best or second-best striker when I began is a real TM specialist—he can play as a DLF, of course, but it's nowhere near ideal—plus it seemed to suit my long ball style. When it works, it can be devastating, but it is truly effective less than half the time. Getting to the second ball is a big problem, as there is often no one near him. I have signed better forwards since, but continue to use that original TM sometimes because I've had poor luck with injuries. Some are returning to fitness now, so I may try a DLF. Yeah, sorry about the attribute bit. I'm not taking your advice literally at all—it was more a thought experiment—but obviously I understand you can't manage my team for me. I'm just a novice and there's a lot to consider. Good to hear my players aren't as bad as I make them out to be! Not sure what to do with the wide men, but you have gotten me to take a closer look at my squad and I think RM is a spot I should at least consider giving a player a chance who wouldn't have been an obvious choice. Thanks again for your time.
  9. So after some encouraging signs against Buxton, I went on to get torn apart 5-2 in the cup by a side sitting a single point above me in the league table. Yikes. 4-1-4-1 time? Also, I had forgotten that I had the midfielder I moved to CM(d) training the PPM Gets Forward Whenever Possible, believing it would help him as a BBM. The next best candidate for the role also has it. Gah. I suppose if I'm to persist with CM(d) it would be wise to have both unlearn it now, unless it might be a good idea to keep it to spice up the conservative role? My DLP has the PPMs Tries Killer Balls Often, Dictates Tempo, Tries Long Range Passes and Possesses Long Flat Throw, so I feel like a Support duty does get more out of those. Attributes are in short supply, as you can imagine, but I chose Acceleration, Pace, Work Rate and Stamina as my team DNA, and all four are at least decent for my first team where relevant (my best attribute is given as Work Rate, 10th in the league). I figured these would be the ones to focus on for direct football that asks a lot of players physically. Are these reasonable choices? I see you mention a DM; although 4-4-2 is common in this division, more teams than not employ one, which makes sense. I am thinking shelving the 4-4-2 for a 4-1-4-1 might not be a bad idea. I'm aware that the role suitability wheels and star ratings are a bit arbitrary and only tell part of the story. Changing any of my wingers' roles to Wide Midfielder drops the wheel to half and their star rating to 1.5 or less. But regardless, they don't really have the attributes. Keeping in mind that A is my best winger and one of my best players, and B's star rating is in the youth squad as a Wide Midfielder, which of the following would you make a Wide Midfielder if you had to? A (L/r): Tea 9, Det 10, Wor 9, Sta 11, Tck 8 B (R): Tea 5, Det 2, Wor 10, Sta 11, Tck 4 C (R): Tea 11, Det 10, Wor 13, Sta 10, Tck 6 D (R) (best CM(d)): Tea 13, Det 10, Wor 13, Sta 13, Tck 8 E (R) : Tea 9, Det 11, Wor 11, Sta 11, Tck 11 F (L): Tea 8, Det 11, Wor 9, Sta 11, Tck 6 G (L): Tea 7, Det 11, Wor 12, Sta 12, Tck 5 I guess I could drop B and play C or E on the right. I do see what you're saying with stability on the flanks, I just feel I'm constrained by my squad here. I'm using a Structured shape now, so I'll give Flexible a try (which I do occasionally when chasing the game anyway). If that's encouraging I might try Fluid. Any specific suggestions for experimenting with strikers? Does Counter make sense for what I'm trying to do? Sorry for the long posts, but thanks to both of you for the advice. I realize I'm giving reasons I can't implement some of these suggestions, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate them.
  10. Thanks. Yeah, I was of course well aware that the BBM was a gamble, but I felt that more movement in the center was necessary to break up the static nature of my attacks down the flanks, and he did seem to be contributing, albeit not necessarily by shooting. I switched him to a CM(d) and scraped a 2-1 win at lowly Buxton, the winner coming when my DLP tucked it away in a goalmouth scramble following a corner. I did feel that there was a better shield in front of my defense and that I held on to the ball better in the center. With two central midfielders with Hold Position, both made plenty of interceptions. Buxton's goal came from a penalty after my left back chopped someone down, not from movement in the middle. I also felt that the DLP on Support was able to contribute more. Though he made only one key pass, he was more positive, even getting forward more (but not surging into the box). I guess two "sitters" in the middle is fine if you're trying not to concede. There's not necessarily so much need for a "runner" there anyway if your primary weapon is crosses (my first goal was a cross to the target man). Wide Midfielders, however, are kind of a no go. None of my available wide players are suitable. They're wingers through and through. I can of course change my right back's duty to Defend though. It's worth mentioning that it occurs to me also that my results might be partially just a swing of momentum for a tactic that produces low scorelines. I've not scored or conceded more than two in any league game, so a bad run could just be some bad luck combined with bad players. But that doesn't mean I'm not looking to improve, even if it's just to grind out draws. Any other suggestions?
  11. I have lurked on this forum for some time, but I finally feel compelled to start a thread of my own. I'm managing Curzon Ashton in the English National League North. In my first season I was predicted to finish dead bottom (partially why I chose this challenge) but managed to beat the drop by a single point. In my second season I finished 15th, and in my third 6th, just missing out on the playoffs. I thought that this season I might kick on and land a playoff spot but things are not going according to plan. I started well enough, with just one loss and five goals conceded in my first ten matches. I wasn't scoring much (ten in those ten) but defensive stability seemed to be a platform to build on. Then results started to worsen and, having lost four league matches in a row, I feel that November may be the time to go back to the drawing board before it's too late. My tactic is intended to be a fairly direct and simple 4-4-2. Hit it to the target man, get it wide to a winger, cross and score. Fall back without the ball. It looks like this: AF(a) TM(s) W(s) DLP(d) BBM(s) W(s) FB(d) CD(st) LD(d) FB(s) GK(d) Counter/Structured Get Stuck In, More Direct Passing Meat and potatoes stuff really. Some of those roles and duties may change occasionally on the basis of personnel but not often. Which brings me to an important point: this tactic is largely dictated by the squad I have available. I'm still more or less a relegation candidate and I'm currently over my (tiny) wage budget. Bringing in better players is more or less out of the question, and I believe fundamentally in playing my best players in their best positions. Changes can be made, of course (otherwise why would I be here?), but obvious ones would be awkward at best. For example, my wingers are wingers, not wide midfielders. My central midfielders are mostly passers and runners, not hulking hard men, so a CM(d) in the middle has been passed on. You get the picture. I want to make some changes before the season slips away from me, but I'd prefer not to tear up my tactic entirely. I do like the 4-4-2, though I am considering making more use of the 4-1-4-1 (third tactic trained) that I occasionally use when facing a far superior opponent. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  12. Yes, I should have figured I'd be asked. The problem is that I've conceded so many (43 in 18—worst defense in the division) that it is very difficult to pick out an overall pattern. I've certainly conceded from positional errors, long shots, sustained pressure and more. (I know that the latter two are at least partially a consequence of a low block but I think it must be possible to figure out how to concede fewer.) Perhaps I would say that angled crosses through the area, long balls over the top and simple failures to clear balls defenders have gotten to are the leading causes, but I'm not even totally sure of that and I'm not sure how helpful it is if true. According to the game, I've conceded 36 to placed shots, 6 to headers and 1 penalty. In terms of assists, I've conceded 2 from corners, 1 from a free kick, 5 from passes, 15 from crosses, 2 from long balls, 2 from mistakes and 9 from through balls. That would seem to confirm my concerns about crosses. It would seem to contradict my memory of conceding to long balls, but I'm not sure how exactly the game classifies these (notice they don't add up to 43). 11 goals have been scored from the goal mouth and 24 from the outer-central part of the box, which to me suggests weakness in my central defenders and in my goalkeeper challenging for balls. 19 assists have come from my left wing, 4 from my right, 5 from inside the box, 4 from beyond the box and 4 from far out. (Does this mean my left back should definitely be a FB and not a WB? Maybe even drop him down to FB(s)? He is my main provider of assists, though.) Not sure what can be made of all this, but any advice would be appreciated. Also, to be clear, I'm not complaining. I understand that I have the worst team in the division and conceding a lot is going to happen no matter what I do, but I am tied in 9th for scoring. So if I can go from conceding very, very many goals to just regular old very many, that could be enough to keep me up.
  13. Hi all, I'm managing Curzon Ashton in FM16, playing FM for the very first time. First, I'd like to thank llama3 for the great guide. Second, I'd like some advice on the tactic I'm using. If this would be more appropriate in its own thread or elsewhere, please let me know. I'm in the Conference North playing possibly the weakest playable English team in the game (media prediction 22nd, dead bottom), so I've kind of had to make the most of my resources. I have been able to find very few players to improve my squad who are willing to join and wage money is tight. In this tactic, the only positions occupied first-choice by new players are left back and right wing, though I have managed to bring in a few others as backup. P(a) TM(s) DW(s) DLP(d) B2B(s) W(a) FB(a) CD(d) LD(d) FB(s) GK(d) Mentality: Counter Team Shape: Structured Team Instructions: Higher Tempo, Slightly Deeper Defensive Line, More Direct Passing, Stick to Positions Overall I'm looking for a relatively direct, physical counter-attacking style based on being defensively compact. I am struggling, though. Obviously as much as I would like to score more, I would say that generally speaking I'm scoring enough (considering I'm perhaps the worst in the division) but I'm conceding too many. I'm closer to the average for scoring than for conceding. I have tried the P as an AF, which worked okay, but I think the change to the P was beneficial. DW may seem a somewhat unorthodox choice on the left, but this guy, possibly my best player, is actually a natural left back and far better suited to DW than to W or WM. Plus, defensive stability. I've also tried the left back as a WB but he's less comfortable in that role. He seems to overlap enough as a FB. Central midfield does okay but I'm not sure that a DLP(d) is a solid enough sitter. Both of these guys could play CM(d) if they had to but are less good at it than their assigned roles. I've tried the left central defender as a stopper. He was okay but I think I want him on defense to hold position more with the Counter mentality and deeper line. I'm using no player instructions and there may PPMs that are counterproductive or advisable ones missing. I'd hope the thinking behind my team instructions should be pretty self-explanatory. I used Look for Overlap for awhile but I think the full backs overlap enough anyway, especially the left back, who is probably my most prolific crosser. In the interest of a tighter defense, might I want Close Down Less? A Much Deeper Defensive Line? Stay on Feet? Be More Disciplined? Sorry for the length of this post, and thank you in advance for any help.