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  1. Ok, that puts my mind at ease. On one hand, this makes me happy because my intuition has not been proved wrong. On the other hand, this makes me a little sad because I do want for this game to work properly. It's such an amazing game, with so much depht and realism. Football manager DOES get better with each new year. It's unfortunate that the ME is ruined by this bug, which I repeat is my only concern with the game. In my mind, all it needs is some balancing: more central play, less "great" chances created but higher conversion rate for those and that's it, the rest is about little details that in now way ruin the overall experience. Well, I say that as if it was easy, I can only imagine how hard it is to adjust such a complex match engine.
  2. If you've only been playing in Italy for 3 matches then all those stats might have been "simulated", as I said earlier, before your arrival . When you have the time and if you remember about it, try to see if you can view the older matches of the league before you jumped in. If you can, I stand corrected. Otherwise, you'll soon notice the trend I mentioned with most assists coming from wingbacks and fullbacks I'm really curious, so let me know!
  3. Aaah, there it is. It was too weird to be true, I'd be going insane if that wasn't the case
  4. Never mind that, I see now you're managing Roma. This is mind-boggling. So it's just my save? For three years in a row?
  5. Are you actually managing in Serie A, or is it simulated in background? You can check this easily if you try to view a match. In the latter case you won't be able to. I'm asking you this because I've noticed that in my save, the top assist-men list in the Bundesliga is realistic-looking like yours (Havertz is often at the top of the list), but it's been simulated so no real match has been actually played by the ME. Maybe when the ME is not directly involved the game returns more realistic results with more variety. P.S. In which year are you playing, dude?? They're all regens! Or did you start a new game without real players?
  6. Since I've been quoted... I don't think anymore it's about width. It's about depht. Through balls are rare by default, but If the opponents are defending deep you can absolutely forget about them. The ME registers there's not enough space behind the defense - even though, visually, there is - and that's it. This has been confirmed for me by @Zemahh's gifs. Look here: And here: The opponent's defense is playing very high in both examples, that leaves space behind it to exploit. But once the opponents perceive you as a dangerous opponent they'll never defend that high again. They'll park the bus. And that's when the struggle begins. That's when this behaviour start to appear: In this GIF you can see my AMC having not one, but TWO perfect chances to play a through ball... but he does not, both times he passes the ball backwards. This one especially: There's NO reason why 28Blue should not make a through ball for 7blue. But he does not. What's the big difference? The defense's depht. In this instance they're defending deep, so for the ME there's no chance to play a through ball. I'm quite convinced this is the problem. Don't take it the wrong way, @Zemahh, but this doesn't really prove what you're trying to prove. The analysis of my team's assist look exactly the same. Apparently, I'm scoring a lot from through balls too, right? But that's actually wrong, I can't exactly explain why but this doesn't correspond to the truth at all. My AMC especially (in 4-3-1-2) has been performing poorly for 3 years in a row. What does the game register as "through ball" I can't say (maybe free kicks? long passes? I don't know), but what I "SEE" is quite different from what I read in this analysis. What I SEE in most of my games, is this: Very few passes from the middle to the center of the box (in this case, there are NONE). Even though I've instructed my players to play through the centre. I think the last picture makes it painfully evident that there's a problem with central play. What's more, there's really a much simpler evidence. Just check the top assist-men list of the league in your current save, do it right now - they'll all be wingers and fullbacks, with almost no exception. Then compare it with the one in the real world - in Serie A most players in that list are AMC or even CC. This is enough proof that this problem affects every single A.I. team too. It's a real problem, one we need SI to aknowledge because the game's illusion of realism suffers quite a lot from it.
  7. Guys, I've created a topic in the bug/ME section of the forums to discuss the problem about the lack of central play. Made lots of test and decided to share my "findings", in the hope they could prove useful for the devs, even if a little. If anyone wants to contribute or add any other insights and/or ideas on how to solve this, that'd be great
  8. Hello, I've made various "tests" on this matter on my own, and I thought I'd share them here in the hope that they could help the devs to figure this out. I've seen another post about this subject in the forums, and I would have added all this info there but it got blocked. Let's start with saying that the "lack of central play" problem can be exacerbated by tactics, but I'm pretty sure it's code-based and it affects AI's teams as well as the player's team. All you need to do to confirm this is to consult the top assist-men of the league in your current save, and you'll notice they're all wingers and fullbacks. My opinion is that the ME somehow prevents the AMC (and other players, too) from doing killer passes in the central area of the final third of the pitch (the area Guardiola called the "10 zone"). After three years of my save, I had yet to see one of such passes even though all this time I've been playing with a slow, short passes style that tries to exploit the middle. I decided to do some tests. I played a match from my save (PKM Empoli tikitaka – Cittadella wide) while managing both teams. For Empoli I used a simple 4312 tactic consisting in short passes, low tempo, through the middle, attacking mentality. For Cittadella, I used a basic 442 with only these instructions: play wide, very high line of defense/very high line of pressing, defend wide, balanced mentality. My intent was to force Cittadella to strecth to see if I could finally exploit the middle. And yes, it happened, once. Zaza scored like this: This is a fine example of the possession style of football, based on short passes and slow tempo focusing on the middle of the pitch. Unfortunately this kind of play is too rare. I replayed the same match with the same tactics, and this kind of goal happened in 2-3 matches out of ten, even though the opponent should be defending wide and generally be "weak" to central play. What happens normally? In this play the AMC has not one, but TWO perfect chances to try a through ball, and yet he recycles the ball back. What happens if the opponents play defending deep and narrow: As you can see, it's still possible to create chances through the middle – the 14 red player moves out to press 3 blue, that opens space for a pass to the AMC, 28 blue.. but he prefers to shoot from outside the box even though he has the instructions to shoot less and try more risky passes. MY INSIGHTS So, I could be wrong, because who knows how many variables and functions are involved in the AMC's decision NOT to play through passes, but I think the problem lies there. Yes, strikers' off-the-ball movement isn't always ideal, but the AMC has many chances during a game to play through passes... and he never takes them. Players in that position should try those passes more often, especially in a tiki-taka setup. They don't have to be perfect through balls all the time (his aim can be off more often then not) but he should at least TRY to make those passes, like so: But, if we want to talk about the Strikers' movements, there's one thing that could help central play massively: one-twos. As in this gif: Zaza receives the ball on his feet, passes to the AMC then sprints inside the box to receive the return pass. This, too, is very rare. If forwards did this more often that would lead to even more chances created in the central area of the field. Frankly, one-twos are so important in nowadays football I think they should be integrated in the tactics menu and not only be players' preferred moves (I guess that's too much to ask for a patch to the current game, but maybe think about it for future editions?) Anyway, I think that central play is the ONLY "major" problem in this year's edition, as the rest of the game is spectacular in every regard. I hope that this analysys will be of help, even if only a little. If a future patch could fix this and give back a bit of realistic performances from number tens (who are a VERY important part of football for many people) I'd be glad to be back spending hundreds of hours of my life playing this game. Empoli tikitaka - Cittadella deep and narrow.pkm Empoli tikitaka - Cittadella wide.pkm Empoli tikitaka - Cittadella wide2.pkm Empoli tikitaka - Cittadella wide3.pkm Empoli tikitaka - Cittadella wide4.pkm
  9. I don't know if you were talking to me specifically, but that was actually my point, I agree with you. A deep and narrow defense should defend well against through balls, it's true, but they shouldn't be able to NULLIFY that threat completely for 90 minutes. Especially if their defensive side is weaker than your offensive side. Ahah that's exactly right! How I love such a play! That's a very interesting point, Rashidi, and it really helped me to better understand how it works. I said earlier that defensive width doesn't matter, but that might not be completely true, I guess it's a combination of the widht and defensive line values. The thing is that, whatever the tactical instructions of the opponent, if you win the possession battle you'll eventually cage your opponents in their half, and then the players positions look exactly the same, wether they're defending narrow or wide, deep or high. Visually the difference is minimum, the space behind the defenders it's still there, but probably the ME is calculating that there's no such space and it stops the creative players from even trying that option. Which brings me to another gripe I have with the game: the visual in-game feedback. If I tell my player to try more risky passes, he should do that. And that's it. Now, if there's no space behind the defense, I should see all this through balls being intercepted by the keeper or the defenders. Instead I see my players not even trying that option, because the ME's calculations say it ain't possible, and then they pass on the flank and my tactics gives birth to the crossing game even though I wanted the exact opposite. For another example , that's true for short passes from your defenders, too: if they can't see a free teammate in front of them, they hooff the ball forward. Instead they should make a short pass and fail it. This kind of feedback would feel "fair", because the players are evidently making mistakes based on your instructions, and it would also let you see with extreme clarity what is wrong with your tactics. ... Now let me add that okay, I'm being very critical, but that's what this post is for, right? In the end I quite love the game, having lots of fun with it, I'm here specifically because I love it so much and I see the potential for it to be even better.
  10. Guys, I've made a test. I've also saved the pkm for this test, and I'll make a more comprehensive post in the bug/ME section of the forum, in the hope that it can help the devs to figure this out. For now, I'll just say I played a match while controlling both teams, one on the offensive, focusing play in the middle of the pitch, the other one defending high and wide. And voila: This is a fine example of the possession style of football, based on short passes and slow tempo. This is what some of us want our teams to do consistently. Players patiently pass the ball to each other until one of the creative players find the chance for a beautiful killing pass. I said "consistently" because that's the problem here. This kind of play is too rare. I've played two seasons and I've never seen it ONCE. I had to simulate a game against a wide, high defense for this to finally happen. And then the AMC, who's always struggled to get a decent rating until now, is finally making decisive passes and creating chances. My forward with good off-the-ball movements and finishing skills finally puts them to good use. But let's watch the gif carefully, everybody... Does it seem to you like the red team is defending wide, or particularly high..? It really doesn't. It's congested in the middle and getting very defensive. That's the whole point of this kind of possession style, you WANT to "cage" the opponents inside their half ot the field, because that's when this kind of magic can happen. And yet the ME calculates that their defense is high because of the tactics settings, calculates that there's space behind the defense and then it decides that such a play is possible, and it happens. Unfortunately this NEVER happens if the opponents's tactic is to sit deep. (It doesn't have anything to do with width, as I've made another test with the same team defending high and narrow, and this kind of play still happened). The problem is that when a team is defending too deep, the ME calculates that there's no space behind them, that such a play isn't possible. Hence the players shoot from distance, or pass to the wingers, or lose the ball altogether. Hence why central creative player struggle to perform, while the best assist-men in the league are wingers and fullbacks. Devs just need to find a way to make this calculations more in favour of through balls, so that yeah, a team defending deep is stronger against them, but cannot and will not totally prevent them. This kind of perfect defense isn't real. In reality, when a team is pressured inside their own half for a whole match, they eventually tire, lose focus and/or make a mistake. That's in the description of the "tiki-taka" style, too. The problem lies in this sentence: "waiting for space to open up as opponents lose focus". It simply never happens.
  11. I've just bought the in-game editor, fiddling with it now... are you more experienced with it? Is there a way to, for example, reduce by 5 the sitting back and width stats for ALL managers in-game without doing it manually for each one of them?
  12. Anyway, I concur stars may be misleading. I want to focus on the lack of central play, though. I've got to a point I'd like to edit the preset tactics of all the AI managers so they don't always sit deep and narrow that much (can it be done?)
  13. I think the stars represent the player's abilities compared to your GOAL for the current season. If your goal is to escape relegation and your players have 5 stars, it means he's very good for THAT, not that he's among the best players in the league. So, for example, in my save I manage Empoli in Serie A, and my striker Zaza has 4 stars. He'd have at least a star less if I was managing Juve
  14. If you need proof for the lack of central play, look no further than this: Only a few games left before the end of the season, this is the list of the top assist-men of the league. They're all wingbacks and wingers, those who play on the side of the field. There's no single AMC player in that list, or even central midfielder for that matter, except for Stulac (but he's my player and I know he made those assists with set pieces). The list of the top assist-men in the current Serie A season is quite different, As shown here. Luis Alberto, Gomez, Pellegrini, Kulusevski, Bentancur, most assistmen play in the center of the field, almost all of them play as AMC in real life, and much of these assists are short through pass from just outside the box. I'm enjoying the game but I think the current ME is failing to represent realistic central play because defenses sitting deep and narrow seems impossible to break with a central through pass, while it shouldn't be THAT difficult. Besides, you can see it's not a "it's your tactic" problem, as it affects all the teams of the league, mine and AI's. [EDIT] Another thing that it's breaking the game's realism for me, is... (and this will unsettle most players, I'm sure) ... tactics matter too much. There, I've said it. I'm managing Empoli in Serie A, freshly promoted... And I'm third after 34 games, I know I'm good but I shouldn't be THAT good, my players skills shouldn't allow us to be up there (and trash all bigger italian teams) even if Pep Guardiola himself was the coach instead of me. I expected a challenge to survive relegation, not to play in the Champions League the next year...
  15. Thank you, everyone, for your input! I've tried various things in the meanwhile. @Piperita your suggestion to use an AMC with the "hold position" instructions really made things better. A little. Problem is, I'm not using the 4231 wide formation, as I don't have the players for that. @herne79 you're right, I didn't post my tactic because I was actually looking for some examples of this strategy done right (and mine wasn't ). Anyway, I've attached my current tactic here. It's a 442 diamond. I've read somewhere this is the hardest formation to setup in FM2019, but I don't really have any other choice with this roster. I've put both my WB on defend, so they can give support to the midfield but they won't run down the flanks. My two tops, a forward and a poacher, will give the chance to try some direct passes to them, if the opponents leave any space behind their defense, as they both will attack that space. With an attacking mentality, this works quite well. As you can imagine, I'm having lots of possession with this tactic. But it's pretty much sterile, especially when the opponents are parking the bus. We'll close them in their half of the pitch, but we rarely find the chance for a defense splitting through ball. Any suggestion? How could I change this tactic? Or is it completely off, and I should recosinder everything from scratch..? Thanks again, guys!
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