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  1. Hello, Since yesterday afternoon, I can no longer access the forum when at home. I keep getting the following error: I tried a different browser, cleared my cache, cookies and all the settings and restarted the modem, but the issue continues. What can I do to fix it? Thanks! Edit: The issue has now been fixed by itself.
  2. AML/AMR Winger vs. ML/MR Winger. Same PIs, same attribute requirements. What is the actual difference? I guess AM strata starts pressing sooner in defensive phase, but is that all? Might sound stupid, but I struggle to pin-point differences between 4-4-2 and 4-2-4, for example, since roles can be virtually the same...
  3. Okay, after the above formation failing miserably, I went back to the drawing board. I will share my progress here, in case anyone else finds it useful for their own 4-2-4. Problem #1 - Right Flank The main problem I had was the mentality combined with duties I chose, particularly on the right flank. Originally I went with Positive, which set my Wingers' individual mentalities as Positive. Behind the right Winger, I went with FB-de, in an attempt to somewhat mitigate defensive vulnerability of the formation and cover for the BBM's late runs into the box. What ended up happening, is that due to a big gap in individual mentalities on that flank (Winger-su = Positive | FB-de = Cautious), plus FB's PIs such as Hold Position and Cross From Deep, he struggled to connect his passes immensely; Winger in front of him ran off early, and BBM could either be marked in the congested central midfield or already too far up the pitch for an easy pass. FB ended up having majority of his passes intercepted, which cost us a lot of possession and, in a top-heavy formation like 4-2-4, every ball lost early in the attacking transition can be deadly. Problem #2 - Target Man I admit, initially I chose the role without much thinking, simply because I have a striker that excels in it. I started building the formation with the same mindset I'd have in a direct 4-4-2, which obviously was a mistake. Since majority of the teams we face use a cautious approach, quick attacking transitions that Target Man encourages make no sense; teams will always leave enough men behind the ball, meaning there's no real space for counter-attacking. Majority of direct balls to the Target Man ended up being intercepted, which means not only we struggled to create any meaningful chances, we also kept losing the ball needlessly and getting counter-attacked ourselves. Problem #3 - Wasteful in Possession The above issues already touch on that, but add to FB's intercepted passes and TM's lost duels, the Positive mentality. Originally I chose it because wide forwards on Positive individual mentality just sound too good, plus I wanted to encourage runs behind the TM as often as possible. Turns out not only did TM not make too much sense against defensive opposition, Positive mentality also made us needlessly wasteful and defensively too irresponsible for a vulnerable formation like 4-2-4. Although I made sure both of my CMs were natural destroyers (Positioning, Anticipation, Bravery, Tackling), one counter-attack after another turned out to be too much. Besides that, Positive mentality gave the DLP-de Cautious and BBM Positive individual mentalities, meaning neither of them were particularly defensively oriented to begin with. Rethinking the 4-2-4 Balanced mentality to encourage lower risk-taking. Due to 4-2-4's low numbers at the back, every counter-attack can be incredibly costly. Play Out Of Defence instead of hoofing it forward and get counter-attacked. Besides that, playing from the back can help us create space in attack, as the opposition is forced to step up and close down or give us all the time in the world to find an opening. Much Higher Defensive Line + Line of Engagement to give the opposition no time on the ball. While I'm usually not a fan of such aggressive approaches that can pin the opposition back and choke potential space to attack, I think the 4-2-4 warrants it. Four numbers in advanced areas mean we could struggle to defend once the opposition progresses too far up the pitch. Wingers, as wide forwards, will only track back a certain distance, even on Support duty. I could set up man/positional marking to combat that, but at that point I might as well switch to a regular 4-4-2 instead. With instructing the front four to Close Down More, we are using a split defensive block. I find that being a somewhat safer choice than increasing all players' pressing urgency with the team instruction. If either of the CMs get pulled out of position our midfield will be exposed completely, which is why I don't want them being overly aggressive. I also chose Stay On Feet for this reason; diving into tackles and missing can be deadly when there is no cover behind. Offside Trap instructs defenders to occasionally step up and compress the space, rather than drop off and let the opposition progress further up the pitch. With my defenders having pretty decent mental attributes and quickness, I'm confident they won't mistime the trap too often. Focus Play Down The Right was chosen mainly to increase right WB's individual mentality and bring it closer to the Winger in front. As I have learned above, having too big of a gap between individual mentalities can create problems when it comes to passing. While that might be less of an issue in direct systems with enough cover at the back, I can't afford losing possession too often in a 4-2-4. Individual Mentalities I can't stress enough how important it is to know your tactic's individual mentalities. They are the sum of your team mentality, duties and certain instructions, and ultimately dictate how players play. To demonstrate, imagine how much of a difference different individual mentalities make in playmakers. One with Cautious individual mentality will play completely different than one with a Positive one, despite the roles and duties being the same; one will only look for safe passes and recycle the ball, while other one might look to unlock defences the moment he gets the ball—and that could be the difference between your team winning 3-0, or not creating any chances at all. The same goes for all positions, including your goalkeeper; he will hardly look to distribute ball into counter-attacking opportunities on Defensive individual mentality, but he might actually give us another way of attacking on Balanced or Positive. To achieve that, you have to either change his duty, or/and play around with various combinations of team mentality and, in the case of goalkeepers, central defenders and midfielders, Focus Play Through Middle instruction. Hopefully, in future iterations individual mentalities are easier to see. They are far too important to be hidden in the personal instructions menu; many frustrated posts would be prevented if players noticed their whole front three is on Very Attacking individual mentality more easily, and maybe that's why I keep seeing all those God darn rushed long shots, instead of the beautiful Tiki-taka play I imagined! Opposition Instructions As a final touch, I have also set up some positional opposition instructions. Those can be used to either target individual players, or supplement your tactic and/or mitigate its weaknesses. With instructing my players to always close down goalkeeper and central defenders, I'm making my defensive split block more aggressive. Essentially, I don't want to give the opposition any time to either run down the clock, or build play from the back. I have left wide defenders out to prevent my CMs rushing out from their defensive position, if they manage to bypass my wide forwards. The Results We have turned our form around and are looking good. While I'm still not completely happy with the squad at my disposal, we're having no trouble winning matches. We could grab another clean sheet or two if I bothered making changes after scoring, but at this point I'm on auto-pilot mode, rushing to the end of the season. However, these are the changes I make once we're a goal up (if I remember ): Standard -> Cautious WB-at -> WB-su W-at -> W-su Remove Focus Play Down The Right I will post updates for any changes I make. For now, I'm enjoying the 4-2-4 a lot, it's quite a change from the usual better balanced 4-1-2-3 or 4-4-2 I tend to use. I like living on the edge, knowing that I rely on two central midfielders to keep us alive. Cue early yellow card that forces either of them to delay their tackles and allow the opposition high up the pitch, and it all goes down the drain instantly.
  4. I never used 4-2-4 before, but recently found myself in the situation where it would probably make the most sense. Firstly, I'm predicted to finish 2nd in the league, so offensive setup makes sense. Secondly, AML and AMR Wingers are my best players and I have a 35 y/o Jamie Mackie, who is an exceptional Target Man for my level. This is my current setup: However, that's about it. I've never used 4-2-4 and have no idea what are some general instructions that would fit in. Firstly, how do the AML/AMR Wingers differ from the ML/MR ones? Their mentality appears to be the same, but I imagine the game still perceives them as wide forwards, rather than wide midfielders? If true, what would this then mean; would it make sense to go for a more conservative mentality, since I'm essentially already playing with 4 forwards and might otherwise have issues defensively, or would a Positive/Attacking mentality I'd normally use in a direct 4-4-2 still make sense? Also, in terms of attacking patterns, is this the kind of setup where Work Ball Into Box/patient probing style of play would make sense, since I have plenty of bodies in and around the opposition's box, or should I still look towards quicker transitions, as I would in a classic 4-4-2? I imagine, since 4-2-4 is a top-heavy system, it's vastly different than a bottom-heavy 4-4-2, despite the roles being essentially the same? And my final question, how would you go about mitigating defensive issues of such system? Both of my CMs are solid defensively, when it comes to attributes, but what about instructions? High defensive line, to make the system more compact, or a standard/low one, to prevent players being caught too high up the pitch? Press aggressively, due to plenty of bodies up front, or drop off, to prevent CMs getting dragged out of position and exposing the midfield completely? I imagine Counter-Press would be very risky in system with so little cover in midfield? Any tips will be greatly appreciated!
  5. First of all, thanks for a fantastic thread! Very interesting to read your reasoning for your tactical and player choices. This is also something I'd like to know more about. I found these tips especially interesting: This is my personal understanding of individual mentalities, please feel free to expand on it or correct me if I'm wrong: Possession systems: - Individual mentalities close together (e.g. plenty of Support duties), which means players will be positioned close to each other and play with similar amount of risk taking. This enables good short passing options. - Compact Line of Engagement and Defensive Line (e.g. Higher LoE+Much Higher D-Line), which not only makes press more effective, but also ensures your players start their attacking transitions positioned close to each other. Direct systems: - Individual mentalities more clearly defined (e.g. Very Attacking strikers, Positive/Balanced midfield, Defensive/Very Defensive defence), which means players will be positioned further apart. This enables faster attacking transitions. - Looser Line of Engagement and Defensive Line (e.g. Higher LoE+Standard D-Line), which ensures your advanced players stay positioned higher up the pitch, ready to accept a direct pass once the possession is won. Does this make sense?
  6. Is MEZ+Winger on the same side not a good combo? I always thought that with hugging the touchline, Winger creates a good pocket of space for MEZ to operate in (pulling the fullback wider and opening up space between him and CB for MEZ to run into). That said, I can also see where you're coming from, if Winger pulls defence to one side, maybe MEZ would be a better option on the other side, to attack that vacated space aggressively. However, would Winger not be too isolated in that case? What role would you use behind him in a 4123, for example, if MEZ isn't a good choice?
  7. Can you give me an example of when would you personally use Shove Onto Foot OI? If it doesn't delay the tackle at all, then what is the downside of it and why wouldn't one just shove everyone onto weaker foot? Surely opposition not being able to use their stronger foot can only benefit you? For example, tight marking and harder tackling have a downside of your player getting skinned/turned or committing a foul. Closing down has a downside of pulling your player out of position. I can't figure out the downside of shoving everyone onto weaker foot though, but I'm sure there's a reason why that shouldn't be done...
  8. Question about Shove Onto Foot opposition instruction: does using it delay the tackle (player will be focused on forcing the opposition onto a certain foot first and foremost)? I've never actually been sure how to use it, because in theory, why wouldn't you want to shove all wide players and strikers onto their weaker foot? What's the downside of it?
  9. I'm not pressuring anyone, in fact, the advice ED gives is perfectly sound and I enjoy reading it. I'm simply talking about creating a tactic that provides short pass assists through the middle, which is what OP seems to be asking about. I, too, usually only care about creating a successful tactic based on my team and expectations. However, if you for example want to replicate a very specific style which focuses on creating chances through the middle, well, good luck to you. You may still score goals and be successful, but those goals will be distributed in all kinds of ways (set pieces, crosses, etc.) and will VERY rarely actually come through the middle, regardless of your setup. Why is that so, I don't know, probably something to do with how FM obsesses about replicating real life stats as closely as possible, but there's definitely a problem there. Anyway, that's for another topic.
  10. It's been reported and well documented many times, so he probably shouldn't waste his time. In fact, I'd love to see you try and create a tactic that will produce short pass assists through the middle consistently (not just on forum, do it in game and post some passing combinations/assists). Theory and practice are two different things sadly.
  11. I guess it could be more of a problem with a lone striker that you expect to be the main scorer, since if he goes wide into a channel, there may be no one central to actually score (eg. no attacking midfielders). Meanwhile in 2-striker formations, it's hard to imagine both of them finding channels on their respective sides, I guess if one moves wide and gets the ball, the whole defence has to adjust to that (shift towards that side) and that would mean there would be no channel on the other side, so that striker would then naturally stay central (unless instructed to roam). At least that's how I picture it now that I think about it, perhaps I thought about Move Into Channels too much as Stay Wider, which is a whole another PI. I admit watching games is not one of my strong points, which is why I'm always grateful for amazing guides like yours, that explain the theory behind things.
  12. Quick question regarding striker partnerships... Is Move Into Channels in both strikers (4-4-2) problematic? For example, a DLF + AF pairing. Will both stay wider, or should that not be a problem in 2-striker systems, since if one drifts wide into a channel and makes defence shift to that side, the other one will stay central, since the channel on his side will naturally get closed? Hopefully that makes sense. I imagine if I were to use a Poacher instead of AF, winger on his side could get a bit isolated, since the Poacher will look to stay central? Thanks!
  13. What kind of system would a Trequartista fit in as striker (some examples)? Not sure I fully understand its movement, I know it's a ball magnet and has Ease Of Tackles locked in, but what are some other key characteristics of it? I have a striker that's great creator and am not sure whether to go with a DLF or Treq. I'm trying to play a patient possession style, with a top heavy formation.
  14. Alright, in the past two months our form has improved considerably, so I guess scoring a decent amount of goals is still possible. Not to use this thread as my personal blog or anything, just thought I'd give a quick update, since I gave finishing the trashing in my previous rants. We're currently 1st in the league in goals scored (44 in 23 matches). However, it's true that a lot of them tend to come from set pieces--which is quite surprising, because while I make sure I stay on top of my defensive set pieces, I simply can't be bothered with all the attacking routines, so I leave them on default. If that's enough to be 1st in the league in goals scored from indirect free-kicks (9 in 23 matches) and 4th in goals scored from corners (6 in 23 matches), fair enough. It can however feel like the match engine is simply giving you goals that you "deserve" one way or another though (ie. goals from set pieces feel "scripted" as a consequence of your tactical decisions). I'd prefer to see more goals from open-play, but I guess I'll take it.
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