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  1. Long story short - I've ripped up my tactics for a new season and gone back to drawing board. Probably 25% turnover in starting 18 (first team plus subs) since last season. The tactic isn't doing what I want it to do. The players aren't making the runs or playing the passes I want to see. To what extent can I put this down to unfamiliarity? At what point do I consider wholesale changes needed? Familiarity bar probs about 55% full. Thanks
  2. Update - it works! Or at least I think it does. I've played three games (screenshots of match stats attached) and in each we looked much better as an attacking unit than we had previously. Crucially we're getting more shots on target and completing more crosses, which I always take as a positive sign of a functioning attacking unit. Ok so we actually lost the first one - but it was one of our hardest games of the season away to Leipzig, and we were arguably unlucky to lose. More importantly we had far fewer long shots, and generally looked much more cohesive - the passing network was so much more positive. We then absolutely battered an admittedly awful Dynamo Kiev team 5-0 away with a second string, before dispatching FC Koeln 3-0 at home, exactly the sort of game we struggled with before. Admittedly of our three goals in that game one was direct from a corner and one was a long shot, but we looked better. Freitas (Treq) has three assists in two games (matching his tally from the entirety of last season), and the first goal against Koeln was a textbook passing move resulting in Goretzka making a classic Segundo Volante late run and blistering finish. I still have some concerns: - One of the goals against Leipzig came down that right flank where my FB(R) was left completely isolated by the AM(R) - I've changed the D(C) to cover as per @PinkSpeedos suggestion to try and rectify that to an extent. It's perhaps exacerbated by the fact I moved the SV over to that side, but I felt that when he was on the opposite side my AM(R) was too isolated. - Still not entirely convinced by the striker role, though my stand in striker got two goals v Kiev. Will give it some time before changing though. I now have Leverkusen away, who are champions. Probably my hardest game of the year, so am thinking I'll lower base mentality to cautious but play a lot higher and press more aggressively, whilst trying to stay compact and narrow. Let's see how I get on.
  3. Thanks for all the tips, much appreciated. Answering some Qs/specific comments: @Snorks the Gegenpress set up was what was the model I initially used but have gradually moved away from it - the fact that there are still some surviving TIs I guess shows that my tactical thinking has't been very joined up. In terms of pressing I tend to press better teams and those that look to play out of the back much more aggressively and higher up the pitch, the more defensive teams I want to hold my shape and generally let them hoof the ball away. I like your suggestion of a PF(A) - Sewell though isn't great at it (see screenshot) - but nevertheless it's change I'm definitely not ruling out. @PinkSpeedos thanks - I think you're right insofar as a lot of my players end up occupying the same space (BBM & IF, AM & AP). I think that's really borne out by the third screenshot above - hopefully my new iteration below will resolve some of those issues. @Ugeinethanks - you're absolutely right I do get jammed up in the middle. I've adopted your suggestion to drop build through the middle as part of a general attempt to be more direct and less predictable in attacking. @Experienced Defender - I've attached some key attacking players profiles for info (Goretzka is Leon Goretzka, come home after all these years). Have adopted some of your suggestions below. @CARRERAFully agree with your comments - hopefully below has rectified that to an extent, interested in your thoughts. Based on the above (and from reading Cleon's 4231 article OH GOD WHERE IS CLEON COME BACK GUIDE ME THROUGH THE WILDERNESS...), I have tweaked it to the below system. This is also influenced by the fact that I bought a new AM(R) who is a very direct player and lacks subtlety. Notes: I'm hoping that changing my AM(C) to Trequarista will enable Freitas to make use of his excellent off the ball movement and allow him to be more penetrative and a less static presence in my attack. Spann comes in as a winger on attack - I want him to stretch defences and use his superb pace/dribbling to drag men away from central areas, freeing up space for others. I've decided against moving up a mentality setting as I feel that the changes in mentality in my players has already made my set up more aggressive and I'm concerned that the underlying mentality increase will stop my attacking player contriubting defensively, but I've increased tempo to prevent defensive teams from being able to settle - decision making across the board is sufficiently high that we shouldn't lose the ball too often. Out of possession/pressing settings will largely depend on opposition/match situation. Will report back...
  4. Hello I have what I suspect is a not uncommon tactical problem, and despite endless fiddling have frustratingly been unable to self-diagnose and fix the issues sufficiently well to sort it out. I play as Schalke, one of the bigger teams in Germany who go into most matches as favourites playing against teams playing relatively conservatively. I attach a picture of my tactical set up. The idea is that we build up through the middle, with both centre backs reasonable on the ball and technically gifted midfielders. We play a relatively low tempo, and look to hold possession and finally for penetration from the midfield runner, the IF and the WB(A) overlapping. The other screenshot shows what actually happens. We boss possession and do very little with it. This game was particularly frustrating (their equaliser came when their centre half hoofed the ball up the field and our CB and GK left it for each other) but a lot of games follow a not dissimliar pattern. We usually manage to win, but we score a lot of long shots and set pieces - I think last year we finished 4th and were 13th in chances created. Looking at the analysis tab it seems painfully clear that we're over-congested in central areas, and I suspect the tactic has a lack of runners which means those central players end up running out of options and firing off long shots. But how do I remedy that without sacrificing control? On a higher mentality the players seem painfully isolated and our build play is incoherent. The roles I'm particularly uncertain of are: The striker - my aim in making him a DLF(A) is that he leads the line as an active part of build up play but is also sufficiently attacking to be the 'pointy end' of crosses coming from the wing back and through balls coming from the playmakers. However he's peripheral in matches, doesn't really get on the end of through balls (probably not helped by the fact that teams usually play deep against us) and really doesn't carry much of an attacking threat. The AM(C). He's technically my best player but he misplaces a lot of passes, and a lot of games seem to pass him by. It might be because he's young, but I do wonder whether making him more aggressive might help. I want him to be involved in build play though. I suspect however that with their being two playmakers around him he needs to be more of a direct player. the AM(R) - does having two playmakers make us too pedestrian? The guy I have here is on paper better than my alternatives at AM(R) but they're more direct players - would I be better served with a winger with a good cross on support duty sitting a little narrower, or an IF cutting inside? Some squad limitations: my D(R) is very good but I don't have a really good attacking D(L), I don't have have a really top drawer advanced forward or right winger. Any help very welcome. Thanks
  5. This. I’ve even gone so far as designing an Excel spreadsheet into which I enter each players values for the necessary technical mental and physical attributes and then having a fins column with averages of those attributes to create a ‘Universality score’ - aiming to get my entire team to >14. The CBs’ off the ball and vision let me down slightly at the moment...
  6. @herne79 - thanks for the feedback - I have certainly identified the gap between defence and midfield as an issue. The stopper duty was an attempt to ameliorate that, getting him to step out into that space and dominate it with good physicals and aggression. The answer is probably to play the DLP with a defend duty - covering off your first issue and hopefully getting him to plug that gap. My CBs aren't massively aggressive - 9, 13, and 15 for the starters. Thanks for the tip on the AMC - suspect he might be the key to this tactic.
  7. Hello I'm desperately looking for help to help me regain my CB mojo - my tactics aren't working and I don't know why. I'm playing as Bolton year s and years in the future (2034). Whilst you couldn't really say things are going badly (we've won the Champions League two out of the last three seasons), I've never won the league and now I'm starting to really struggle domestically. Starting from last season and continuing into this we have just really struggled to break down teams that play narrow and deep against us, and now in a new season we're really struggling to perform at the level we should be at. We have the highest ratings in the league for teamwork, pace, determination, stamina and near highest for passing and first touch. Almost all of my players are tactically astute. As such I play a very fluid system, pushing the line right up and pressing the opposition. I therefore set us up in an asymetric 352 as per the screen shot. I have left most duties on support and roles fairly generic given the fluidity of the system. I have put hte shape on standard as I want to maintain a high and agressive line, but I also don't want to jeopardise our compactness by going to attacking and having the players spread out. Squad My strengths are definitely in defense and midfield - I have very good CBs and CMs. The formation is designed to bring the best out of htem and keep matches narrow My forwards are young - both very quick, but lacking a bit of technical finesse. I have signed a world class striker to come in January but he's also of the creative/technical type rather than an out and out goalscorer. They're also rubbihs in the air (although have decent strength) so I try to keep it on the ground and whip crosses in for them to use their anticipation to get on the end of, together with the AM with a arrives in box PPM. The problem is, to put it bluntly, the system doesn't work. Results I have attached screen shots showing our first four results of the season. I can point to mitigating factors - we should have at least drawn against Everton, Swansea got an early penalty and clung on, and Man City scored a thunderbolt from 25 yards and a free kick in the first 8 minutes - it's still far from impressive, and despite creating a reasonable number of chances we just don't look like scoring. We throw a lot of crosses in but because teams are so deep and compact they tend to have numbers in the box to deal with them. Questions 1. What are the obvious problems in the tactic? 2. What would you change to create better qualtiy chances? I'm particularly conscious of the number of crosses we fling in the box - we don't seem to score enough from them, despite leading the league in cross completion ratio so far. 3. I suspect part of the answer is generating width and more running from deep but I'm not quite sure how to do that - the WM(L) has a get further forward PPI M and between him, the AM(C) and the AF(C) I would have hoped we had enough 'runners'. How do Any advice/help much appreciated. At the moment I'm thinking of shamelessly ripping off the Arrigo Sacchi 442 from O-zils thread but christ it would be nice to come up with something myself for once.
  8. I can only vaguely remember FM07 so can't really give detailed advice on what might be going on in the match engine. However I always think the key stats for a pure goal scorer are anticipation composite and off the ball, and given his stats for those (combined with finishing) you're probably entitled to be a bit nonplussed. Especially if, as i assume to be the case if you're Man U, you win a lot. How does his goals per game ratio compare to your other strikers. Would also note that his international strike rate isn't great, albeit its also not bad for Armenia.
  9. Thanks @jorgvandervloed - I agree that whatever role I find for him he'll be primarily a creator rather than a goal scorer. I need to decide whether to retrain him as an AM or ST. @herne79 thanks for your input - I agree completely part of the reason why I'm getting views is that he's so rounded im really not sure where I'll be the best out of him. Appreciate the comments re his PA/CA - I don't use any sort of editor so don't know how much he has left - scout reckons he's 4-4.5 star CA and 4.5-5 PA so think there is some room for him to improve but I am wary of diluting his skills by ie trying to retrain him first as an AM and a ST. At work at the moment so can't see full report so don't know if anything worrying on there. I take your point re why I want to sign him in the first place and I think it needs some context - I manage Bolton and although we have a much higher stature in the game than Bolton are IRL we can't compete financially with Chelsea Manchester teams Liverpoool or Southampton (tycoon takeover). Therefore I don't often get the opportunity to sign a world class talent before one of them scoop them up (or before they're of sufficient stature that I can't afford them). I've been 'grooming' this lad for a while and priaising him etc to the pint that he says his preferred move is to us above Real or Southampton and due to his transfer request should be able get him for c35m, which although a lot I can scrape together. Put simply he's better than my players and I'm not so wedded to my tactics that I'm not prepared to try and find a role for him. I also think you make my case for me to an extent - his skills are so universal that I didn't have any real doubt he could be retrained and incorporated somewhere. I'd have been a lot more reluctant had he been a one dimensional pace merchant.
  10. Thanks @roggiotis - I think I'd be happy for him to play as a WB in that system against weaker teams where his poorer defensive stats won't be as much of an issue, but I'd be nervous against top teams as I feel like he might be a liability defensively. I'd probably be reluctant to have him focus on marking and tackling just because I feel like he's always going to be primarily an offensive player and would rather focus on his attacking stats than his defensive ones.
  11. Interesting I'll give that a go. In terms of roles and duties would you have the winger on attack? Worry about him getting isolated
  12. Thanks @lemeuresnew - hadn't though of playing him as a striker but now you mention it i can see him as a False 9 linking midfield and attack in that 532. It's that (relatively) poor off the ball that worries me slightly with that option though. I think along with whatever positional retraining I go for I'll work on his OTB. The asymetric 4312 is also a really interesting idea - any particular rationale though for putting him in the AM slot rather than the winger's AM(L) slot? Presumably you're suggesting sacrificing a striker? Going to have a play with this idea and see if I can get it working
  13. I need some advice on how to integrate a player into my team who doesn't on the face of it fit into my tactics. I've got the chance to sign a left winger (below) who is absolutely world class and still only 21: The problem is I don't play a left winger. I tend to play two tactical systems; a 532 DM and a 4312: Neither of which on the face it have a space for Jullich. There are two options that I can envision: 1. Play him as a CWB(A) on the left. MY concern here is that although he's actually better defensively than most wingers, it doesn't feel like the best use of his attacking abilities given that naturally much of his time will be taken up defending. I've also had problems tactically integrating an attacking wing back into this system - with an attacking duty they tend to rampage up the flank and get very isolated from their midfield support (I've had this problem with the right WB). 2. Given his passing and vision, I can also seem him in the AM(C) slot in the 4312 (he's not trained at all for this). I'm not quite sure what role would suit him best given his dribbling and passing skills but (relatively) weaker off the ball, first touch & decisions. I'm also slightly nervous about this as I feel that he probably has only a limited amounted of PA left and don't want to use up training time focusing on training him in a new position. Any advice on how to integrate him welcome. Or do you think it's not worth the hassle, and no player is worth shaking up your tactical plans for?
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