So I'm a relatively long-time player of FM (since around FM08) but if I'm truly honest, the only save I've had large amounts of success in was one where I used a downloaded tactic. I've recently purchased FM18 and trying to create my own success and tactics this time round, and I'm really suffering the steep learning curve. I've read all the guides and threads I could find about my issues (including an embarrassingly large amount of the www.guidetofootballmanager.com guide) and I still can't nail it. With that in mind, I would appreciate any tactical feedback you can provide me.
I've started out with my supported team, Chelsea, and wanted to try and play possession attacking football, mostly because I like the style, because Sarri is known for a style similar to this in real life, and because, well, Abramovich specifically asked for it in my meeting at the start of the season. After some tinkering, this is what I've settled on, followed by the results it has achieved:
From these results what seems immediately obvious to me is the tactic seems to be very successful against better teams (I actually tinkered with it a bit for the City game, so ignore that as an outlier). We have beaten Monaco and Barcelona twice each, as well as Arsenal in the league. It's obvious that the tactic struggles (sometimes desperately) against lower (and probably more defensive) teams. I tried to counter any teams that I thought might park the bus with a similar tactic that aimed to open as much of the pitch space as possible (sitting very deep, playing very wide, etc) to attempt to get Hazard, Pedro, William and Morata in more space to play up front:
This worked for one game against Watford, and even that wasn't a breezy affair. However against Southampton, as you can see, it was business as usual, and we got fairly hammered. Southampton created 5 clear cut chances, whereas I created zero, and we lost 2-0 having VERY few of the highlights in the game.
I've tried to cut down on long shots since we scored absolutely none of them, so I added Work Ball into Box, and when that failed, I had to individually add a player instruction (PI) to every attacker and midfielder telling them to Shoot Less Often. Other than that, I haven't assigned too many PIs to the players. I've told Pedro to mark tighter and tackle harder to try to get him to track back when we lose the ball since Fabregas is in an attacking role and we'd be outnumbered on the right hand side otherwise.
As for the frustrating part of this post, I have no idea why we aren't creating chances, or why we're conceding so many against lower teams. I've tried (believe me I've tried) watching the full games, and I just can't seem to put my finger on what's going wrong, other than we're getting fairly smacked all over the pitch (possession, shots, chances, you name it). I would LOVE any feedback from this community to help me diagnose what's going on here and how I can improve my tactics to start winning games regularly and consistently.
Thanks for all responses! If you need any more screenshots or samples from me, please do not hesitate to ask.