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Sneaky Pete

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56 "Houston, we have a problem"

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  1. You are correct. The problem isn't WBs' hard-coded instructions, it's that you can't recreate the off-the-ball movement (which you do want) of e.g. a CWBa or WBa without also getting the mindless crossing. I'd love to be able to recreate a Jordi Alba/Dani Alves-type fullback that absolutely legs it up the pitch like a mob is chasing them and is constantly looking to get to the byline, but currently FM simply will not let me do that without also tying me to the utterly cancerous "cross more" hardcoded instruction. Yes, this has been a gripe of mine for several FM editions. The WM roles are fantastic, but they sit too low in the defensive phase for some pressing systems. Adding more or less exactly the WM role in the AM strata would be huge for the game - if for no other reason than finally giving us an AML/AMR role without "dribble more" that isn't also a weird specialty role like AP or WTM.
  2. You're kind of burying the lede here, though. @guttea makes a very reasonable point that IMO points to a huge flaw in the available FB/WB roles in FM21 - there is no fullback role that comes high and wide, dribbles aggressively, but isn't mindlessly looking to cross at the first opportunity. Your best bet at recreating Dani Alves/Jordi Alba is probably a WBs with "Cross Less", but that still won't necessarily get as high and wide as quickly as it should. IMO "cross more" as a hardcoded instruction needs to be removed from the game entirely. It should remain as a toggleable option, absolutely - sometimes you do just want your winger to ping in 400 crosses for your target man - but it has no business whatsoever being a hardcoded instruction for any role in the game. That just doesn't reflect modern football. This is particularly problematic because of the recurring issues with wide forwards sitting very narrow in the attacking phase - it's genuinely very difficult to create width like Man City/Liverpool/etc do in real life without it resulting in a crossing fiesta.
  3. I think he's likely to be much better as a CMa than any other role in your current setup, yes. He's basically tailor-made for the role, if you ask me. 15 str, 15 bravery, 17 aggression, 17 OtB, and 16 anticipation; Zaniolo was born to attack the box and get on the end of crosses and pullbacks. IMO the reason he's putting in mediocre-to-awful performances in your current system is that the IFa is an individualist that needs to be able to trounce his man in a 1v1, and Zaniolo just doesn't have the raw pace and trickiness to consistently do that against top-level defenders. Someone like Leon Bailey would be the archetypical player in that role for me, rather than a brawny but intelligent plodder like Zaniolo, even though Zaniolo is undoubtedly the better footballer overall. In general you have to remember that "attributes across the board" are nowhere near as important as "attributes required to fulfill specific role in my system".
  4. Do they, though? IMO he lacks one completely critical attribute - acceleration, which is frankly outright bad for a title-challenging team at a mere 13 - to play a goal-seeking role on the wing. For me Zaniolo has to be a central player or a primarily creative player. In my experience FM's ME really punishes wide players - particularly ones with attacking roles - for lacking pace. They need that burst to slip past the CB/FB, and at 13 acceleration and 15 pace Zaniolo is actually slower than many defenders in the league.
  5. I have to strongly disagree here. If you look at how Ronaldo actually moves on a football pitch, he drops off or moves into the channels quite often when his team has possession in the final third. He's not just sitting centrally on the shoulder of a CB, and he's willing to take on players or make risky passes that the poacher role in FM will absolutely not try. CFa is probably the most accurate role - it will drop off at times but won't come deep during buildup like a CFs.
  6. This is fine advice but simply doesn't work in recent iterations of FM if your team is a big enough favourite. Your opposition will simply sit in their own half with 10 men all game, making 800 sideways and backwards passes. You cannot counter if your opposition never comes forward, and if you are a big enough favourite the opposition will not come forward ever. You have to be able to create goals against a team with no ambitions other than 0-0.
  7. As an addition to the rest of the excellent advice given in this thread, there is another fairly counterintuitive thing you can try - dropping your double pivot into the DM strata. This can be particularly effective against the cursed 1 DM, 2 CM teams that you see all the time in Italy, but should work against any deep block, as it stretches play vertically by forcing the opposing team to step forwards and engage your DMs higher up the pitch.
  8. While Parma technically speaking has the right players for a 4-4-2, that formation is very suspect as an underdog in Italy. A lot of the better teams either play 3-4-1-2 or 4-2-3-1. A regular 4-4-2 is going to give them a ton of space in the hole, lose the midfield battle every game, and your CBs will have to match up to strikers like Lukaku and Immobilé man to man. I would look at something like a 4-1-4-1 or 4-4-1-1 (2 DM) if you're dead set on changing formations. I would also caution that this Parma team cannot realistically play possession-based football initially - your players are frankly pretty crap, tbh. As for your current formation, I think it can work (and is a good choice for underdogs) but would make some major changes. Some of your roles make zero sense when the player is taken into account, and some of your roles are way too conservative: 1. Drop the high line and drop "distribute to CBs". Every single one of your CBs is a mediocre ball-player at best, and most are downright bad. They're also slow and turn like WW1 battleships. 2. Rework your 3 forward roles: TM-S or PF-S (Cornelius/Pelle - Pelle probably can't play PF), PF/AF-A (Man/Inglese) up top, SS-A (Gauld/Kurtic). Cornelius in particular is an absolute physical monster, but is completely wasted as an AF because he's got terrible acceleration. 3. Drop your CMs into the DM strata, and go with a DM-S (Tousart/Hernani) beside an SV-S (Grassi/Brugman). In harder games you can set the DM-S to "Hold Position" and the SV to a BWM-S, but in most games you really don't need a holding role with 3 CBs. Against significantly worse teams you can make the SV-S an SV-A. 4. Make your WB on the same side as the DM-S a WB-A. Against significantly worse teams you can have a WB-A on both sides.
  9. Ironically in my experience it kind of works the opposite way in FM21, assuming you use the correct OIs. The 4-3-3/4-1-4-1/etc effectively has a free man on each flank vs. the 3-4-1-2. If you man-mark the WBs with your wingers (who obviously need to have decent workrate) and take away the keeper's ability to distribute short, you can pretty consistently take even excellent WBs like Atalanta's Gosens/Hateboer duo out of the game completely. 3ATB teams can still be incredibly hard nuts to crack defensively, but you can completely neuter them offensively by exploiting your man advantage. What really kills you against 3-4-1-2 and similar formations is not having a DM - that makes it far too easy to exploit the space in front of your defense since the 3-4-1-2 will inherently have a numerical advantage centrally against basically any formation that isn't a mirror matchup. Unfortunately the real IRL counter to formations with a single wide man doesn't really work in FM21 - 3ATB CBs tend to literally just stand around quite narrowly in their own half, so quick counters into the space behind the WBs tends not to really work very well unless you counter with A LOT of players.
  10. He has awful Bravery and pretty mediocre Agility, on top of being quite slow. I don't really think you can play him in the AM strata against sides that have a DM - he's going to get marked and tackled out of the game. My inclination would honestly be to play him as a WP-S on the left, or even DLP with a hard-working partner to cover for his nonexistent defensive contribution. If you can get his Anticipation up he has the stats to play Hollywood passes all day. I would also get rid of the Gets Into Opposition Area PM immediately if at all possible. It just doesn't jive with the rest of his toolkit.
  11. That certainly helps to some extent, but to the best of my knowledge there is still a significant difference in the movement of e.g. an IF-S with GFF and an out-and-out IF-A.
  12. He might want the attacking movement. Unfortunately risk-taking is very much a binary question in FM. You can't really say "I want super-aggressive attacking movement to stretch the defense, but conservative decisions on the ball", even though e.g. Pep's wingers will make super aggressive off-the-ball runs IRL without going for speculative crosses or bone-headed shots/dribbles - barring a few specifically designed roles like the Raumdeuter or Poacher that kind of fill this niche.
  13. This is a known problem with FM21, yes. Frankly, you will still score a reasonable amount of goals - wide players have far too much space and therefore far more crossing opportunities than they would IRL, so their absolutely godawful success rate balances it out - but it can be unwatchable at times, especially if you play on Comprehensive.
  14. FM17 certainly had its flaws, particularly in buildup play and in how teams (didn't) defend, but there's a reason people bring it up as "the last time the ME didn't suck". It's the last time most elements of attacking play worked at the same time. I mean, look at what followed: FM18 - Long shots hit corner flag more often than goal. FM19 - Central play broken. FM20 - Central play still broken. FM21 - Central play mostly fixed, but wide defending and crossing are a complete mess as evidenced by multiple posts in this very thread. FM17 had issues, but at least it mostly felt like football. FM21 is fantastic until the final third, then turns into "bang it off the defender's shins" simulator if you are a top team. Frankly if there's a lesson to be learned from FM21, it's that the game is completely different for players managing top sides and players managing mid-table or even LL teams. The game needs to work for both, and right now it's pretty painful viewing for the former group, even when we win most of our games comfortably.
  15. Players that suit the APa role are generally (ofc not always) terrible defensively, while the BWM role tends to chase the ball around like a headless chicken, and on support will press quite far up the pitch. The net result is a midfield with no structural integrity. Your CBs basically have to do all of the defensive work on their own.
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