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SuperBiggles

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  1. (So, just to preface I wanna clarify that by no means do I feel like I'm any kind of tactical wizard in the least, so feel free to just tell me I'm an idiot or stupid for not understanding basic principles or something. Enjoying football is something that came late in life to me (lived in Australia in my teens, at the time it wasn't really a popular sport there), so most of my fun and enjoyment of the sport has come from watching it and playing video games. So, I've had no "schooling" as it were by playing any real life football) So, I was fiddling around wanting to try something new as a tactical set-up for myself for a new save. Thinking of using a 4-1-4-1 style formation, thinking it could be super adaptable and fluid to make changes with in games as they progress. With doing it I started thinking about the Inverted types of roles in the game, specifically an Inverted Winger. From what I remember reading or seeing, I seem to be under the impression that; If your player is playing as an Inverted role, you want them to have the opposite footedness to the flank they're on. So, right footed player on the left, left footed player on the right. Right? So they can cut inside and comfortably pass/shoot on their stronger foot centrally. Now I'm just wondering as to why... like, I can understand it as a principle for an Inside Forward who will want to cut inside and shoot on his stronger foot. Say, your Robben style player. But to me an IF is basically a striker on the pitch more or less, his job is to get in on goal in some way whatsoever. How does the footedness preference affect a role like an Inverted Winger in a flat midfield 4 set-up? The reason why I'm thinking it is I wanted to try something like this; Ignore the lack of anything really there instruction wise, I'm more focusing on the idea of the shape here and theoretically how they would interact and work before adding anything else. Really, the focus I just want is on the left side, everything else is more or less adaptable for the time being. What I'm trying to work out is how these players will interact here; Now with this shape, what I would like to be happening tactically is this; - On that left hand side I want the IW(s) to run and cut inside, occupying the space in front of the DLP(s). A player who, from what I understand, is going to hold his position, per his role instructions. This means that the space ahead of him is not going to be doubled up on, and the IW will have a little pocket to go into. - This then allows the WB(a) to have freedom to basically bomb up and down on that left channel all by himself. He's a creative player, good passer and crosser, and good physical attributes. So it's something that I was thinking for an outlet. More or less wanting him to be a key creative outlet for the side. Now... why does this affect the footedness of the IW at all you probably ask? Well... again. Sorry for the super rough diagram, but it's just for illustrative purposes at this point. The way I would want to envision this tactic is it working like this in the beginning of play; So, as we can see... just a rough idea of the way I would like some of the players to go forward. The thinking being, that when we're in comfortable possession it would ideally switch into something very, very roughly illustrated like this; Again, ignore the bulk of it, and just focus on that left side. I know a HB probably won't operate that way, there's swathes of space left behind the WB, that's not how the right wing would work, etc... I just want to focus on the interaction between that IW(s) and the WB(a) What I want is the WB(a) to be an outlet. So, the IW(s) cutting inside is still gonna be wanting to use the WB as a passing option, and a way to influence the game. So, naturally he should be wanting to pass to him with his stronger foot towards the player, no? Just because he's occupying a more central position when in attack doesn't mean I want him with blinkers on and not able to utilise a pass to the WB. I think I'm trying to be using the same logic that a lot of people say with CB pairings, with how for a left sided CB in a pairing you want a strong left foot, so he doesn't have to check across himself to comfortably pass onto the left hand side of the pitch. It's what I'm wanting for my IW(s). I don't necessarily want him making that pass through the centre, I just want him occupying that space and spraying out a pass to the WB(a), and that the option to take it out wide is something he can just do without having to turn or rearrange his body in any way shape or form to get a decent pass off as I imagine he might end up doing if he was strictly right footed playing on the left as an IW (as I've otherwise been told) Or is it all moot and pointless and I've wasted my time writing this? Does it really not matter too much what preference you have with an Inverted role? If I just ask for the Overlap is it something that will just naturally happen as a passing option, regardless of foot preference on that IW? Cheers for anyone who bothers to indulge me with an answer!
  2. I was watching the game on extended highlights, but next time I’ll watch further. For the instructions I removed pretty much most of the instructions, almost a default mode, so I could make changes on the fly as I was watching the game. After the first goal went in I decided to try a Higher LoE, because Everton just constantly dinged the ball around the back and split me open. So, I thought press further up, stop the passing from the back? Shortly after the daft second goal, I changed back to both lines being Higher. We responded with a goal. Also, Everton scored and focus on their wings... so I reverted back to trying to force everything through the middle, trying again to force things to be played out there were I thought I would win out. Sadly my players had other idea and decided to play as wazzocks to a man. Either that or my tweaks were wrong and daft? it was only one game, but I find every now and then I have these games were my players and their ratings are just all atrocious, and nothing I do seems to get them out of their funk, they just resign themselves to having a stinker. And always the opposition performs massively in these games. I dunno, just a bad game? I’ll start the next few games with the “blank slate” style you kinda suggested, and as to what I can change as the game goes on depending on what I see. Odd time to ask, but is there any way to get an in-match display for a positional heat map style thing? FM 20 had it and I loved it, cos it let me have a much better idea of how high or low to press depending on how the game goes. Now for the life of me I can’t figure out how to get that display during a match, so my favourite tool is just gone EDIT: Like, man... am I just the unluckiest player or what? This is getting beyond frustrating and unreal. Just played another game now that I'm free, started with more of a clean slate type thing, seeing how the game goes, and; West Brom had one meaningful highlight. ONE! And scored. And their GK? Saved a pen, got a 9.2. Me with an xG of 1.92, can't score for crap. I'm pulling my hair out at this point over this. Like, I can't understand if it's just absolutely horrific luck, or is it just something wrong that I'm doing? Sorry, this needs to be a bit of a vent/ranty edit
  3. I don't feel like I'm fundamentally changing that much that the familiarity struggles for. for the most part I've settled on a formation, and now just fiddling with player roles to try and figure out the issues in it. For the entirety of this new season, including all pre-season friendlies, I played the formation I put up recently were I was complaining about conversion rate. So for about 18 games or so we've been settled, barring the odd instruction removed/added here and there in an attempt to fix my problem. Cheers, most helpful! Wasn't aware (clearly) of how the underlaps/overlaps properly worked
  4. I tried a game making use of some of the suggestions you gave, and it's hard to say whether or not I was FM'd, or if it's just ... I dunno. A bad day at the office, as the game likes to tell me. This is what it looked like after a few changes here and there. Dropped instructions in and out of possession, changed the MEZ to attack; Then this was the preceding result; I'm not sure if it was just one of those catastrophic days were none of my players turned up again, as seems to just happen every 7-8 games, or what. But it was just stupid. The thing I kept noticing until I changed things on the fly after there second goal were; - Lowered lines resulted in what happened before I was using the previous instructions - ie, they just constantly played out from the back, I surrendered way too much space, and they just passed the ball around way, way too neatly. And none of my players seem to do sod all about it. Nobody engaged early enough, we just let them have it, to our detriment... my hope was that we'd conversely get more space to operate ourselves, but all we did was shoot ourselves in the foot and lose to their high press. - Vandevoordt is an absolute moron/liability/I hate him. This is why previously I tried to funnel and force everything into one area were I could maybe rely on everyone being in an around the same area to force the issue for my benefit, and rely on the quality of my entire team to do things. Vandevoordt faced three shots and let all of them in... despite the fact that he's "this good"; I know defending is done as a team, I get that. I totally understand it's down to everyone. But when I'm paying this plonker to do one job when called upon, and he always fluffs it, it leads me to never want to rely on him. He's such a donkey. I get that this was just one result, but I just wanted to show the immediate impact of the changes
  5. I can see what you mean. The gameplan I envisioned/wanted was to force everyone into the centre like the tactic does. Defensively I was sick of always seeming to be hit on the counter on the wings, which now is a thing that no longer happens, 'cos as you said, I've literally forced everyone into the one area of the pitch. Defensively I think it kinda works for me, but I can understand what you mean about not being able to then make use of that domination by turning it into anything meaningful, 'cos the areas to crowded. In my head I thought I can force everything into one area, then allow the quality of my players (who make up the bulk of the media best 11, so some of the best players in the league) to shine through and let us get the ball into the net effectively through individual quality. Guessing I'm not giving everyone enough breathing room to operate. Is there a way to fix this while remaining kind of as how it is? I did contemplate wanting to player Wider, thinking it'd open more space for everyone. But when I tried it the defensive side of it went out the window, and there was more space for the opposition to exploit as well The Work Ball Into Box was only a new addition, because naively I thought it'd make the team at least try to pass backwards here and there instead of just thinking "sod it, nothing's opening up, I'll smash it at the goal". I'm guessing that's not how it works then. I just stupidly thought it meant in as direct a way as possible it'd generate more shots on target. I'll 100% admit that I am in no way shape or form someone who is a tactical mastermind, I'm more of a happy accident. One of my bugbears with FM, which is otherwise a pretty solid game, is how vague some of the instructions are for how they play out. Like overlaps I thought it meant "if it's there, make use of it", but is it more "always look for an overlap, only play football that way!". In terms of the underlap. It's something that I was experimenting with, and also the first thing that gets switched off if after 15 minutes or so I haven't had a decent shot yet. In my head I thought it meant that play would happen in this way; - WB wins the ball back - BBM starts making a run centrally, bombing forward - WB spots the BBM running forward (what I thought was an underlapping run?), and passes forward for him. Also thought the same would be true with the wide IW and AP spotting the midfielders running forward from centrally as they win the ball back wider. I thought there could be some chain reaction of ball being won back wide, then progressively forcing a forward, central run as the preference for how it was going But as I said, it's not something I'll even claim to understand, so I'm more than happy to get rid of it. Sometimes it seems to work, but I'm thinking as per my results, it tends to happen when I play the better teams for some reason? In terms of crossing. Would playing out in attack wider and asking for early crosses/asking the WB's to cross more often result in more crosses for Ramirez? The simple goals I was expected was from patient, but high tempo passing (via the Work into Box) were the opponent gets lazy, and Ramirez breaks free, finds a yard of space and just pops a shot off for a goal. But I can understand why that's hard to come by, 'cos like you said, I'm forcing way too much to happen in one area of the pitch, and congesting it to basically restrict me as much as the opponent. In your opinion what would help me? Do I need to not press as high and give myself more space to run into? Do I need to attack wider, create more space for myself for passing options? I did briefly try both, but panicked a bit too early I think when we then started letting the opponent have too much of the ball. My supposed world class GK scares the crap out of me for how easy he is to beat, so I basically tried to make it so he never has to be challenged in a game, by forcing us to play the game in one area of the pitch, and let my teams quality win out. Would really appreciate any suggested ways to improve
  6. So, looking for some help with this again. I've edited the title, so hopefully some people can have a look again and help. Overall I've settled for what I had going in one of my last posts, with something like this; (Ignore the fact that Rashford is on the wing playing as an AP, that was just a mistake from me) It's working well. Changes I made from the last one was swapping the CM(a) to a MEZ. This was because things were getting too crowded in midfield, what with playing narrower, asking for underlaps, and asking the AP on the right to sit narrower. I at first thought it'd make things more overload-y in a good way, but it was just way, way too congested. I know this means that both the BBM and MEZ are liable to roam in the midfield, but the AP seems to always sit quite nicely in his position to act as an effective pivot for a lot of things. It's the first time in ages were I've even had an AP get great consistent ratings (depending on the player) The only other change that I can recall was asking for players to tackle harder. For the most part this stopped the issue of us not being able to stop teams who play out from the back, and so far I've not seen too many yellows or red cards to hinder it. My problem that I seem to be having with this tactic now is how wasteful we seem to be. I tend to watch on Extended Highlights when I'm trying a new tactic as well, to see if I can spot any problem areas myself, but so far from what I can see when we get a shot/highlight is my players just fluffing the chance. Either they just try a pot shot somewhere (despite there being options to pass back, recycle, or attempt a forward thinking pass), or just hitting the woodwork, hitting slightly wide, etc... the opportunities feel like they can be there, just not the conversion? Unless I'm massively missing something. I will concede that our Clear Cut Chances always seems remarkably low, but not the xG? We're doing well overall, here's a screenshot of my schedule to show the results; Barring an atrocious game against Fulham in the cup (embarrassingly crashing out in the first round), we've done well defensively (for the first time in my career in my save), and while we restrict the opposition in a great manner, in terms of attack... well, here's some results; Here's one of our best results; We still won handily, but the shot on/off target ratio is horrible by my standards. 43 shots, but only 18 on? Granted their keeper got a 7.7 (that seems to be a bit of a theme, too) Here's the bore 0-0 against a newly promoted Blackburn (trying to tell myself I didn't purposefully tank this game as irl Rovers fan) I mean, again.. opposition keeper on a 7.7 ... and we had 26 shots, but only 2 on target. 2!!! Atrocious. Here's a screenshot of our shot map, which I find a bit confusing and baffling to analyse; Then against Wolves... I mean, it's a lot better, and I'm reliably closer to my xG. But going again against a Leicester side who were mid-table; Even when they had an absolute 'mare of a day, I could barely break through. I had to change the tactic up at the 75th minute to a 4-4-2 just to generate a few more shots on target, which luckily worked out as we won. But Christ on a bike, before that again we had like 18 shots, but only 2 on target. The first goal was even classed as an OG, so we didn't even generate a shot on target for that. So, is there some glaring issue with my tactic that makes us so wasteful? I've put Work Into Box on to try and get us to create more clear chances, but it doesn't seem to work at all. For further reference, this is my main/key striker who I'm relying on the most; I mean, he's pretty good, right? He’s scoring a decent amount, but a lot of them still seem to be set-piece headers, a penalty I think so far this season, and the an outrageous long shot. So he does score, it’s just a lack of thOse “simple” goals. The only PI I’ve got on him as well is Dribble More, to make use of that 19 dribbling Unless I'm missing something and over-estimating him. I don't know whether it's him or just bad luck, but the amount of times he hits the woodwork as well is beyond silly. Do I need to give him a Player Trait for Placing Shots or something to help his conversion rate? Cheers for anymore help
  7. So, for anyone to give some further feedback (positive and negative both welcome), after much fiddling around again I've gone for something like this with my 4-3-3; A few changes to the last one, for sure. To go through it a bit; Attack Starting with the front 3... I dropped the F9. It was just ... eh. Very ineffective. No goals, no assists from open play (a few from set-pieces)... very little influence, which was annoying. Switching him to a PF(a) at least seems to provide some kind of momentum and forward oomph for the team as a whole, instead of having no focal point at all up front. I also dropped the RMD. It was just super, super inconsistent. I understand that the role itself is all about being in the right place, right time, making the most of intelligent movement/play over anything else... and when it works, it works great! But I found it was either a 7.4 rated game with a goal/assist, or a 6.0. As shown; Either great! Or crap. Sorry for the cropped screenshot, just trying to keep this easier to look at. After fiddling around, I just stuck Juan Martin Sancho (my godly left winger) in at IW(a) again. He's one of those bizarre players who just over-performs for what he is so much, and again, he's bailing me out a lot. On the right side I went for the experiment of the AP(s). I also added the instruction to sit narrower. My thinking for this is to work along with the instructions to look for the underlap, plus play through the middle, being super narrow. In the 2 games I've tried it, this was that players output; Pretty nicely influential. As a preface to just say, I'm one of those types of players who will click on things and really not quite understand what I'm 100% doing. My management style can pretty much be described as 'happy accident'. So, in my head, I'm thinking that the focus through the middle and underlap is basically allowing the AP (who sits narrow) to have a great influence in the game. Midfield Midfield I just changed the MEZ to a BBM. This was essentially just to facilitate the notion of wanting to focus through the middle. I didn't want that player drifting wide anymore, so simple change. Defence Changed my FB's to WB's after that basically being the key suggestion. Also dropped the overlap instruction. Seems to be working well. The defender on cover still helps massively with the counter. in terms of other things... I dropped the Lower Tempo, and went High again. In some games the players were just way too sluggish and not making great choices across the board... at the time as well I thought a Lower Tempo would aid the RMD, allow him the time to get into better positions, but now that I’ve dropped that role it didn’t seem important enough. So, yeah. Other than that, I've fairly confident in this formation now this time. Especially after the result against Barcelona, which was as follows; At half-time it felt a bit unreal; This is a Barcelona side that have won every single La Liga in my save (it's now the 30/31 season) since I started, and show no signs of ever slowing. So, they're pretty much one of the best teams in the world. They did eventually score a goal in the game, but that came from a late set-piece were one of their players blasted an absolute thunderbolt into the net. So, hopefully I can maybe think I'm a bit more settled with this tactic. The only thing I still seem to kind of struggle with with this shape in general is dealing with teams who play out from the back, since I don't Counter-Press. I don't know, sometimes I find I get games were a highlight starts, and it's the opposition endlessly knocking it around a the back, none of my players really engaging, and it can result in a near chance/or even a goal. Something I'm not too sure how to deal with. To be fair, I haven't seen that in the two games since I swapped out the RMD and other roles, so maybe I've become a bit more ... "engaging" up front. Cheers for any further feedback and advice! Feel free to point out anything glaringly stupid that I've done that I'm too stupid to see.
  8. I did contemplate running an AP on the right, 'cos I bought this guy who's a natural in that position; It's not something I'm familiar with at all doing though, so I'm unsure if it's something feasible or advised at all? I don't recall seeing or reading anyone using AP on the wings to any real effect. The idea intrigues me, but like I said, I've no idea how it'd work, or any real confidence that it could. Or maybe a Treq?
  9. Fair point, I’ll have a look at it. My thinking was that I still want some width, some outlet out there. From my understanding, a FB will not be as willing to bomb high up the pitch like a WB would. I still want them to go high somewhat, I don’t want like a rigid back 4 or anything, but by the same token I don’t want them so high that we’re vulnerable on the wings on the counter. That was my thinking anyway... that the FB will still go forward, but not as frequently and intensely as a WB But I’m more than happy to be proved wrong. And the overlap was there as I noticed in both games with this tactic change... originally I wanted to play through the centre, but the team was just running into inroads way too often. Asking for the overlap, usually the FB will be there by himself, with no opposition player near him. Him receiving the ball on the overlap would draw out attackers to him, freeing it up centrally a bit it seemed. And the Winger in the right as well is the role I’m unsure of, to be frank. I’m kind of enjoying the overload it makes down there, but at the same time I’m happy to have suggestions on what to do with it. I also thought that the CM(a) going forward... if I had an IW on that right side, wouldn’t he always be running into the same positions as the CM(a)? Would they not try to occupy the same space too much? At the minute squad wise, I’ve got 2 very strong, traditional right footed wingers who are in the squad from previous tactics I had, so my hands are tied with how they have to be put into the team for now.
  10. I think the overall tactic was just one of those hodge-podge messes created out of sheer frustration, were I just thought 'sod it, go for it lads'. Looking back at it now with the cold light of morning, a lot of the pieces of it are all chopped and changed and leftovers/changes that I kept making while trying to to figure out what the hell I was doing Not at all, if anything I don't like this tactic at all myself. If I'm honest, I think I was trying to modify WorkTheSpace's Nottingham tactic he's using in his Park to Prem save on YouTube... while trying to play to at least some of the strengths of my team. But it just feels like a mess looking at it. Now that you point it out to me, and the frustration has disappeared with a nights sleep, I can understand everything you're saying here. I think my thinking with it was that... well, in defence we should keep this shape. 4 at the back, holding midfielder, 2 in front, look to work it forward with speed when we win the ball back. When that happens I expected basically the BBM and the MEZ to join the attack and sit behind the Striker, providing options for him, blah... blah... It kinda worked, but it just always seemed a fluke. I have changed it now this morning while trying to re-assess what the actual playing style I wanted was, and came out with this; I'm thinking it's more balanced? But if there's anything else you can suggest, I'm all ears. The HB is a role I love anyway, so I thought I'd dump him in... I've gone FB's over WB's because I prefer how they aren't quite as gung-ho getting forward. I have set individual instructions for them both to go wider though, just so we have some width in attack. Having one BPD on Cover has stopped, for the two games I've played at least, being hit on the counter as hard. Midfield... I've put the MEZ in to compensate on the side with the Raumdeuter. I'm thinking his tackling and desire to drift wider will compensate in that area of the pitch? CM(at) is there to get forward and sit behind the attacker a bit more. The Raumdeuter is there as basically a goal threat. I find that IF's this year are just inconsistent at best, and it's a role that I tend to struggle with for some reason. Besides, my team is littered with a good couple of players who fill out the RMD role perfectly, with great Work Rate/Off the Ball, etc... The False 9 is there to basically link up. I ask the GK to distribute to him as well, as he's a great aerial presence is Ramirez. Other than that... gone a lot Higher with the lines. Basically attempting to pin the opponent back. I got rid of the Counter-Press, because all it seems to do for my team is over-commit players to running around like headless chickens. I've found that having just More Urgent pressing in general makes the player nearest to the opposition player who has the ball press effectively, while not destroying my team's shape and dragging players all over the shop. I've also gone for a Lower Tempo, as it's something that I always use to use in my 3-4-1-2 that I felt worked much better than a Higher Tempo... I dunno, I just get the feeling it allows the players more time and opportunity to pick a better pass, rather than rushing it and fluffing it. I also got rid of Run at Defence, and instead have just given individual instructions of Dribble More (where it wasn't already selected) to the players in my team with great dribbling. So far I've had 2 games with this tactic, very riskily trying it in a Cup Final no less... and the results were; Initially I'm just utterly surprised by how well the RMD has done. In the past when I've tried it, it's always been a mess that has never performed for me. In the first game I had Sancho as the RMD (not -the- Sancho, he's a regen) and he's not the best finisher, so understandably struggled. Next game I had Lobos there, who is a great finisher, and he got two goals as the RMD. I subbed on Salazar to go into the RMD role late on, switching Lobos to the F9, and lo and behold, Salazar scored on the counter in the RMD role too. I think I'm falling in love... Cheers for the initial feedback, and now wondering if there's anything I can do to improve my changes? (sorry for the ranty bad language as well)
  11. So, as the title says. I feel like I'm going absolutely out of my mind with rage at this point in my current FM save, because I seem to have magically reached that point again were; either I'm having bad luck and reacting too early and making too many changes... or something has changed with the games reaction to me or something, and I can't figure it out. As reference, I'm managing Southampton in my current save. It's the 30/31 season. And the last 3 seasons I've more than handily won the Premier League. Add into that a Champions League win, an FA Cup and 2 Community Shields. So, an established silverware winning side. We're good. This season however, good God... 27 games in, and I've somehow lost a staggering 8 games. In all my 3 title winning seasons I only lost 6-7 games at most, and some of them came towards the end when giving a couple of young players some games when the title was all wrapped up. Couple this with a resurgent Liverpool and United who refuse to drop points, and I feel I'm pretty much out of this title race completely. But with those games, I have no idea how to analyse the data properly and figure out what the hell went wrong. It just baffles me. I'm using a combination of 3 tactics that I've been flitting between. It used to predominately be a 3-4-1-2, but with the winter update, that tactic kinda stopped working at all. It used to be somewhat effective against 4-3-3 DM teams, but then all of a sudden it just isn't... I can't explain it. Then I switched to a bland 4-4-2, which won me my Champions League and last Premier League title... but then, I'm not sure if the game updated again or something, but upon coming back to the game last week after a month or so away, just to finish off a season, it just suddenly stopped being effective as well. Like, every game was a struggle for a shot on target. I felt like I only won the league that year 'cos with 8 games to go, I'd managed to build a comfortable 12 point gap, but I basically tanked out of every other competition embarrassingly. But, for the past while now I've tried to adapt and been sticking to something like this; It's been working well, as you can see; But every now and then I'll just have a game where NOTHING goes right for my team AT ALL. And I don't understand at all. Is this just a new quirk of the ME at this stage? That your team will just suddenly not turn up for a game en masse? Is the opposition just gunning for me more now that I'm established as a good team? It took them long enough, since I've been dominant for 3 years now (even before that, my previous 2 seasons in the Premier had me finishing 2nd) Tactically, the areas that I can't figure out or make any sense of anymore are basically - How wide to play, how wide to defend - Do I pass into space? - My lines of engagement, I used to always be Higher, but then seemed to constantly be hit by pacy strikers on the counter... so I lowered it, but the issue isn't fixed at all it feels like, barring me now just allowing opposition teams to play out from the back even more - Do I bother with the Counter-press? - Having tight marking always on? - Facing 4-2-3-1, which always seems to score goals from all across the front 4 somehow Addressing some of the issues... In the 2-1 loss to Leeds, they seemed to just play a ridiculously wide game. Everything seemed to happen for them out wide. At the time I think I was experimenting with forcing the opposition wide (thinking I could deal with them basically having to lump the ball in from a cross), but all that happened was my players ran around like headless chickens chasing opposition players, allowing areas of the pitch to be open. Somehow as well, despite me playing a 4-3-3 against their 4-2-3-1, they seemed to just always have a man in the centre of the pitch free for a pass, and my guys just stood nowhere near them. Like, no desire to stand anywhere near their men at all. So, naturally I tried to play a bit wider myself, asked my players to play more standard defensive width. But NOTHING changed in game... they kept having the exact same kind of chances, and my players just refused to adapt and or listen to me. They kept standing in bizarre positions, and allowing the opposition to just hold the ball. Passing into space... I used to it... but then started questioning who I was passing too, especially when playing higher LoE. I can't make my mind up on it. When I lowered my LoE to standard and tried to use it, it seemed to barely function as a way to play either way. I dunno anymore about passing into space, the team seems to just do whatever at this point. Counter-pressing and tight marking... in the past it felt like a given to have these always on if you were a great team, but so far all I see when I try and have both on is opposition players having mad dribbling games... talking like an AMR player dribbling all the way from the right wing, infield, and finding himself on the left wing, all the while dragging my LB along for the ride 'cos he was trying to mark him. I've seen that happen a dozen times when trying to play this way, so I gave up. I'm not contemplating just giving up Counter-pressing in general, but doesn't it still work? All my players have great Teamwork/Work rate, so... Every now and then I get results like the Leeds 1-2 loss, the recent shocking 1-4 Tottenham result, the 1-3 against Arsenal the 0-2 against Man City (who in my save at the time were sitting in 15th, managerless and winless in 8 games, go figure). In this games I have literally no idea what I've done different, and can't figure out what the opposition does different, but I end up barely getting a sniff on goal. In my previous seasons I at least always felt competitive in games, like I had a chance regardless of the quality of the opposition. Now, I just seem to get games (again, against a baffling array of opposition quality, they can 3rd place Liverpool, or 15th place Leeds, it doesn't seem to matter) were nothing I do seems to matter. My players are gonna have a stinker, not implement any change in gameplan, and the opposition will have the best games of their lives. What tends to happen, almost without fail in these scenarios is; - Game starts - Opposition just gets about 5-7 shots within the first 20-30 minutes or so - I get none, like, literally nothing seems to happen, I can't make any inroads whatsoever. Doesn't matter if I try a slower tempo passing game, working it into the box, doesn't matter if I pass into space and go direct, nothing seems to go for my team. - They inevitably score. My team literally seems incapable of doing anything, regardless of any shift in instructions I give. They refuse to turn up - I panic and switch formation to a 4-4-2 or something, opposition considers it job done and sits back a bit - My shooting stats get inflated because of this. - I lose embarrassingly, with my players not getting above a 6.7 across the board Like, I don't get what I'm meant to do in these types of games. Am I just meant to resign myself to the fact that the opponent has turned up massively, and all their players are motivated/playing out their skin, and my players just refuse to turn up and perform? It's like consistently the most obvious thing I can see, and I have no idea how to fix that during a match... it just seems every now and then this kinda crap just happens, despite none of my players being inconsistent (refuse to buy any player that has that for this very reason), or 'hating big matches' or any of that. They just seem to refuse to turn up in some games. Watching the most recent loss, the stupid 4-1 loss to Tottenham... this is the overall ratings for both teams at the end; This is even a light example of my issue. I've had games were my midfielders have all seemingly got 6.1 - 6.4's, while the opposition across the board have 7.0+ in every position . And again, I have literally no idea why my otherwise solid tactics have all gone out the window. Granted, this Tottenham game was just a freak fluke anyway, it feels like. They had a pen, and their last two goals were direct from set-pieces. But still. Compare that to when I played Juve in the cup... exact same tactic from me, but; I mean... night and day difference. I literally don't know how to figure out how I go from only allowing 1 off shot target against one of the best sides in Europe, to getting utterly humiliated by a bang average Tottenham side. I was raging so hard in that Tottenham game, it was unreal. 'cos it's felt like all 8 losses I've had this season have come in this exact same way. My players just refuse to turn up sometimes. Especially my brain dead GK Lastly, in my rant/request for help... 4-2-3-1 This formation is literally the only thing I seem to face at this point. EVERY TEAM in the game uses it now it seems, and I can't ... figure out how to deal with it at all it seems at times. If I press high, their lone striker with pace kills me on the counter, if I don't press high, their wide attackers seem to link up magically and decimate me. Their AM is just a mercurial something or other, despite me trying to play with a DM to compensate. I try and play from the back, but can't seem to do it without being pressed, when I see highlights with the opposition having the ball and playing from the back, literally none of my players are pressing their backline barring my lone solo striker, who wanders around doing nothing. It's just too bad at this point. I don't even feel like I'm exaggerating in saying it, but literally every team uses it now in my save game. It's borderline being OP with how effective Liverpool and Man United are using it to just walk the league again. Aaaand breathe. Thanks for any tips/advice. Soz for the long post
  12. So, was wondering if this is just in my save, or if anyone else has had it. I started my current save when the full release of FM21 came out, with the intention to be doing a kind of Journeyman save, but wanting to try and manage/win in other leagues across Europe. I've just come to the end of the 27/28 season and finally won the Premier League for the first time. So, started casting my eyes over other leagues to see if there's any spicy jobs going. And bugger me, nobodies moved. Like, nearly at all. As an example, here's the Spanish League; Arguably the only teams I'm looking at are the kind of top three. Athletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona (I've done the whole long term project with Southampton and winning the Prem, I just kinda want easier challenges in the rest of Europe before we get nothing but regens). And all of those teams have kept the same managers from the start point of the game. Ronald Koeman to be fair deserves his job. Barcelona have won La Liga every year that this save game has been going. But Zidane and Simeone are somehow keeping their jobs, despite being relatively terrible (comparative to the team they're managing). Case in point, here's Simeone's "milestones"; Dude has literally won nothing in this save of mine. Not a single thing. I mean... are Athleti happy to just be a top four team? Granted, it's what they've achieved every year I've played, but still. Then Zidane himself; Yeah, he's won a fair bit. But nothing since 2026. And he's constantly finished second to Barcelona in the league; Surely at some point the owners of Real Madrid would find this unacceptable? Anyone else encountered this, or is it just me? Is it 'cos I've been playing on the same save since the full release? I think I'm right in saying that initially in FM21 saves teams are reluctant to do much of any business 'cos of the games version of COVID type stuff, but still. I'm many, many years down the line now and there's a distinct lack of top team jobs that some to become available. I mean, Klopp's only just been sacked now for finishing 3rd in the last season. He's won 5 of the others I've played through, but the Liverpool board found it unacceptable that he didn't get at least 2nd place. But Real Madrid are happy to let Zidane just constantly finish 2nd? Looking into Serie A as well... the teams I'd be inclined to want to manage and their managerial history; Good Lord, can somebody get sacked please! Très bizarre.
  13. I did try him on GK Defend, but his performance was even worse somehow. He's just ... I don't even know anymore. Half the time now I go into a game, and any time I see the opposition having a highlight I'm expecting us to concede. It's almost to the point now were when he concedes a goal I have just stare at the screen with a bemused smile, thinking "yep, classic Hornicek... living his best life, forgetting to do what we pay him to ****ing do". In terms of tactic and things, and how it relates to the GK and how much he has to do... this is like a classic example of Hornicek just doing ... ****ing Hornicek things. Ignore how the rest of the game is panning out at this stage, and don't pay too close to my team from midfield and above. Was experimenting with a few different roles and stuff ended up winning the game 3-2 in the dead, Watford were in 18th, we're 2nd. We just took a while to get going. Branthwaite and Harwood-Bellis are doing great, Basila is going a bit ... meh. And Hornicek is doing his thing. We've faced 3 shots, 2 on target at this point. Hornicek let one of those shots in. It was from a set-piece... Not the best example, as set-pieces are a bit fickle of a thing at times. But it's a good example of his total lack of commitment in deciding what to do in the moment. It panned out like this; Ball is whipped in, their striker loses his defender (bad work from the defender there, granted). But Hornicek is more or less still within his 6-yard box. Just on the edge. As their striker runs onto the ball and decides to take a few touches to settle it before taking his shot, Hornicek decides to do this; ) He kind of ... half comes out a step. Doesn't rush out quickly enough. Doesn't make himself big. Doesn't stay back and make his best attempt. Or something, or just anything. He just gets himself into this awkward none-zone were he's easier to beat. And their striker just bends it around him. The harder way as well. Classic Hornicek. In terms of his report card as well, he doesn't have any real negatives apart from one-footedness. Isn't inconsistent or anything, doesn't feel strongly either way about big games. He's just a dithering moron. I am starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I expect too much of him. He is a player I signed back when I took over Southampton when they'd just been relegated into the Championship. And I kind of kept faith in. My staff tell me he's a "good Premier League player. And he is, apparently, over-performing quite a bit in terms of some league average statistics. But I do think it's time to improve him. He is prone to just utterly stupid, questionable moments were he just seems to stop to re-think his life mid-save. EDIT: just needed to share this... So, playing the final game of the season now in this save against, games against Leeds. It's a pretty dead rubber of a game. Barring a 20 odd goal swing, we'll finish 2nd, Leeds are safe from relegation and have nothing to play for. Before the game starts I read somewhere that Leeds are the lowest scoring team in the league at this point. Game starts. Within 28 minutes I'm 2-0, playing well. Yet cometh the minute, cometh the absolute donkey. 31st minute Leeds score. Panning out like this; They hit us the counter, Kinlan receives the ball and just runs, but finds himself running into this position. Nearing the edge of the box . My defender comes across, Kinlan is being closed down harder now, so he just attempts a shot. This is the exact moment he hits it. Aaaand he scores. What the **** is Hornicek doing? That was their second shot on target in the game. So far, their xG stands at 0.35... Hornicek just dropped to a 6.8 rating. Again, this is the lowest scoring team in the league. Classic Hornicek
  14. I forgot to like... preface this as well with another point. In as much as, I know how integral it is to have key players who are amazeballs in all positions, that goes without saying. But if you’re one of those teams trying to slowly establish yourself as a top dog in the league, season by season, due to only being able to make a few good signings a year... ... how big a priority is getting that amazing GK for your side? Is it the last priority? Medium level?
  15. So, wondering about this at the minute. How pivotal and important to a team is a world-class Goalkeeper in terms of actually bringing home trophies and the like? How much would you willingly want to spend on a truly spectacular Goalie for your team? The reason that's prompted me to thinking about it is because of what's been happening in my current Journeyman save. It's currently the 26/27 season, I'm managing Southampton, and managing to turn them into a top four side using my weird and wonderful tactical set-up. In my first season in the Prem using my bizarro system I ended up finishing 2nd in the league, 1 point behind the eventual winners Liverpool. I also managed to win the FA Cup in a final against Chelsea, after penalties. Overall very much an overachievement considering the squad only just got promoted from the Championship, but hey ho. It was fun, the tactic was great, and it was all a good laugh. Second season in charge with Southampton in the Premier League. Oh man, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster. I've had to contend with the Champions League as well, and the squad definitely struggled with that. We crashed out of that rather embarrassingly; Some of the games were just kinda... ridonkulous. And that's not just me being hyperbolic and salty. The 2-6 loss to Milan was one of those games were my Goalie came away with a 5.9 rating He only had to face 7 shots, and he allowed 6 of them to go in. It was dire. Most recently in the season as well I managed to get myself to the Carabao Cup Final, and the Semi-Final of the FA Cup this season... only for this spectacular mess to occur. A 0-1 loss in the Carabao Final, 2-1 loss to Man United in the FA Cup... followed by another ridiculous 1-4 loss to Liverpool. The Carabao Cup Final... Arsenal only had the one chance, my Goalie was in no-man's for it and let it slip in The 1-2 loss to Man United... again, or both goals the 'keeper made clangers. First was by fluffing an absolute non-chance and letting it bounce back in off one of my own defenders, the second was just a pathetic attempt at catching a ball from a corner. Less said about the Liverpool game the better. Other than to say he just completely lost his head and disappeared in the second half. The recurring theme that seems to separate me from the opposition in all those vital cup games just seems to come down to the Goalkeepers. In as much as mine performs well below, and the opposition team has outstanding games in goal. Without wanting to make a barrage of screenshots, this is the match ratings for the opposition after each game; So looking at all the ratings for opposition GK's there, all great. Taking into account the xG from each match as well. Man, what a kick in the teeth for me. Even the Liverpool game. Penalties generally bump up the xG by roughly about 1.0 (I think?), and we both got one... so kind of similar xG for the game. But my man? He goes and lets in 5, while Allison for them was unbeatable (yet again) My GK's rating across all three games? A nice, boring 6.7. He just really doesn't cut the mustard when I need him to. I don't want to post too many screenshots and show the Goalkeepers I've come up against, but I'm reliably being told that all of them for Arsenal (who as well are currently a 10th place team, by the way), United and Liverpool are all solid 4 star minimum 'keepers. And well all know how amazing Allison is. Whereas this is my guy that I'm relying upon to handle affairs between the sticks; He looks alright, but man... he makes so many clangers. That might be harsh, but the amount of simple shots he lets in is just atrocious. As you can see, he's conceded 150 in 120 apps for me. That's awful. I mean, it could be my tactical set-up, there's definitely some vulnerabilities there. I ask him to play as a Sweeper Keeper on Support, and his Rushing Out is awful, as is his Agility. I do notice a chunk of his goals he concedes are him dithering and either being too late or too slow to come out and sweep. But , having said that, just his reflexes, positioning and anticipation just leave him flat-footed a lot, too... I never feel confident about him. Earlier in my season clean sheets were impossible to come by, and a lot of it was down to this guy I felt. So many water bottles thrown at him... I only really have a couple of young prospects who can step in for him, and both of them have severely let me down, too. But this isn't really about criticising my Hornicek. What I'm thinking now is that to take my team that next step forward, and to really try and go on and develop a silverware winning squad, I feel I need to spend a good chunk of my next transfer budget on a truly great Goalkeeper. ... or do I? That's what I'm kinda asking. In FM20 I was doing a similar Journeyman save were I ended up at Inter. While there I splurged about £70 million on Alex Meret. For one of many reasons. Namely, he was an amazing 'Keeper at the time, Inter when I took over didn't have a good Goalie and Napoli were at the time the best team in Italy, so poaching their star keeper inherently weakened them. I always still feel that spending huge sums on GK's is ridiculous. I still remember the days before the whole Ederson, Kepa and Allison fees when GK's were one of the cheapest positions to fill out. Now they're just as expensive as the rest. Especially considering how you usually want an older 25+ as a semi-developed, reliable one. Having said that though, Liverpool went from not winning anything before they had Allison, to ... well, winning a tonne as soon as they got that amazing GK to come in. So there is a logic to it, I think. What's everyone else do? What's the thoughts on it all?
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