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  1. Excellent - I am glad you saw some better play from your changes. Well done. Remember you'll need to adapt regularly to see fairly dramatic changes like you just have. If I were you I'd watch games to see what is happening when your CWBs go forward - make sure you're not left too exposed. If you continue to do well and progress through the various Brazilian leagues you'll naturally become less of a favourite in matches so you'll need to make changes as a result and it is likely better teams will highlight your formation's weaknesses more effectively. Keep us informed!
  2. I think part of the issue here is that people don't realise that everything set affects the way you play. I get the feeling that when people set 'attacking' or whatever they think it doesn't mean anything. I've been guilty in the past of recklessly setting instructions just because i think they may add something when they don't.
  3. I love using three at the back and agree in that it is a good set up, in the main, at intercepting long passes. A very enjoyable tactic to work with! Firstly, I'd say you have a lot of specialist roles in your starting 11 so using 'Fluid' probably isn't the best choice. I'd recommend dropping that down to Rigid. With that Fluid setting you essentially water down the specific instructions roles like Regista and F9 have - asking them to adhere to a more universal instruction. They are both roles I love using and it is a shame to not let them perform as the role asks. You say that your F9 isn't dropping into midfield as you like and that is down to your 'attacking' instruction. Try dropping that down to Balanced to give yourself room to assess the situation. An attacking mentality, alongside 'higher tempo' 'push higher up' will mean that you're team are fairly urgent on the ball and will look to get forward very quickly, disregarding whether that is actually best for your team effort. All those settings coupled with 'retain possession' and 'look for overlap' mean you're being slightly contradictory. I like 'retain possession' but it is fairly extreme - sidewards passes are common and ball retention is prioritised (that isn't to say it can't be used in a quick transition type set up - it can also mean careful passing if that makes sense). Retaining possession and looking for overlap (players in wide positions will hold the ball up waiting for someone to run past them) means that your team is receiving mixed messages. Push high up, very very quickly, focus on attacking but whoa lads take it slowly at the same time, keep the ball and wait for someone to overlap you. I imagine it creates a mixed bag of performances as you've said. Your wings will be exposed because the CWB is very attacking (however does put a shift in defence if settings are right) and this with your attacking mentality and push higher up will leave them completely exposed. Try being a bit more careful in allocating attacking roles out wide. For example, try one on CWB and one on WB(s). On the side that you have your CWB try putting a central midfielder on a more defensive duty to cover for their attacking wanderings and, conversely, on the side you have your more defensive wing back you can probably afford to be more attacking with your central midfielder. This, with a drop in mentality and some changes in TI, should sure up your flanks. You won't keep possession for various reasons but as I've said above you're pushing your team too high up too fast to retain possession. Try building from the back if that is how you want to play - drop deeper, open space up with instructions like play wider, ask them to retain possession as you're saying and ensure you have a good balance of attacking/support and defensive duties. Having an F9 is really good for this type of set up. He is a creative player and will look to play that killer ball once in space. I tried using Kaka there in my recent Brazil save and he had some decent performances. A good combination for keep possession up front would be to have movement between the lines (as you already do) with your front two. Your F9 will drop deep into midfield, so ensure he has runners ahead of him to pass to. Try putting the F9 on the side that the CWB is on. The CWB will get more involved in attacking play than a WB(a), cut inside and can chip in with a good amount of goals (Cleon is annoyingly good at getting CWB to do that) so having a creative player on that side of the pitch will mean that they both can be used well. You're probably not keeping possession because of your PIs. I'll go through them one by one: CWB Don't ask them to stay wider. One of the main strengths of that role is their ability to cut inside and get into the box to have a go at goal directly. If you want them to stay wide, change the role/duty to a WB(a). Regista Why have you asked him to shoot less often? He will barely shoot at all in my experience. Not to say he won't at all but the Regista's role isn't to get forward and help with goals - it is to provide creative support from the back and an outlet for possession if attacking moves break down. Also, don't restrict him to running wide. It is a role with a good amount of creative freedom, if the player is well suited to being a Regista, they'll be intelligent enough to find space and move into it - with or without the ball. He is probably just getting in the way of your CWBs. BBM More risky passes here is probably a reason why you're not keeping possession. If keeping possession is a priority then why do you need him to make riskier passes? CM(a) I'd remove the instructions here. You're asking a lot of your players. F9 F9 gives a lot of movement anyway - you're asking a lot again. There is a lot to address here - I don't want to get into any more detail. Hopefully this is helpful!
  4. Firstly, thanks for all the info about your choice of tactic. It really helps if people want to give advice to have all that! I'd say that, as you've already recognised, the most glaring problem is that gap in central midfield. Formations can work when that gap is there but given the roles you've got I can understand why you're becoming stuck. Firstly, your formation is fairly narrow going forward. In these types of set ups you'd expect support on the flanks for your full backs. You can have this without sacrificing defensive stability. I'd suggest looking at a more attacking outlook especially if you are wanting to keep the narrow nature of your midfield. The roles for your two DMs are both fairly reckless - probably too strong a word. A BWM will close down without much regard for their defensive positioning and can leave your defence quite exposed. Likewise, a DM on support will move forward to join attacks and again isn't as defensively disciplined as an Anchor Man or similar - I imagine you're being overloaded through the middle for this reason or at the least your DMs aren't really offering positional support to your CBs? The Control mentality will have an affect too. I understand your logic however if the opposition are parking three buses and packing the box then having that slightly more aggressive attacking mentality that Control brings won't really do much to open space. Often, the best way to open up a defence is to increase the playing area. Try dropping deeper (or just not pushing up), remove 'run at defence' because if you're just running into a packed box I can't imagine much coming from that (I use this shout if I know there will be space to move into), play wider too to ensure the opposition defence is stretched to open space up in the middle and perhaps lower the tempo. It seems to me your team are amongst the best in the league so let them dominate. Give them time on the ball to work the best pass, from the back, and maintain possession. It isn't less attacking just a different way of attacking. Main points I'd look at: * Give your team some attacking strength from the flanks; * Use a more balanced formation with perhaps players in a better spread of positions - a narrow diamond 41212 is a good shout here with your FBs on WB(s)/(a) or CWB even; * Open the pitch up and give your team time on the ball. Slow the game down to give your team time to assert their dominance (drop deeper, lower mentality (balanced)) Increase the playing area by playing wider using your wing backs here. Make sure you have at least one wide presence in attack to stretch the opposition defence. If I was a lower-ranked team against you I'd just pack the middle of my box. Three CBs, one WBL, DM and WBR would be more than enough to handle your attack; and * Assign 'roles' to your DM partnership (if you decide to keep two DMs). Think Xabi Alonso and Mascherano for Liverpool - one destroyer, one creator. Perhaps one Anchor Man who is disciplined and one DM(s) or DLP(s) or Regista to be your creative player.
  5. I agree with what you're saying (especially about Arsenal - hate that label they have managed to get themselves. Sorry Arsenal fans ). I have managed to get my teams to play out of possession in such a way that means not pressing as high up the pitch as Guardiola etc just in our own half.
  6. Further to the above post, the match finished with these stats: I didn't change from Defensive once. This idea that you can't replicate certain styles of play in the game is nonsense. No, I'm not so good as to be able to play like this against every single team I face but you have to realise that Guardiola/any other top manager isn't so stupid as to think that either. They will have to make sacrifices to win games at times.
  7. The first image was taken from my Brazil save. A quick search among Bayern's fixture list and I saw a 0-1 loss to Wolfsburg. I thought that'd be a good place to start and as you can see they have 63% possession and a 75% pass completion rate - as those are the two stats this discussion is focused on I will just quote those. The second image are the match statistics taken from Bayern's 1-0 loss to Augsburg in real life, match 29 (5th April) of the 2013/14 season. As you can see, the possession stat is actually lower by 5% however the pass completion is higher by a good 11%. Stats are fantastic - I absolutely love them - but without context and understanding they mean nothing. In my eyes, possession is a more accurate representation of a game's general ebb and flow than pass completion. As such, a drop in 5% in possession is, for me, as significant as a rise of 11% in pass completion. The original question was about what I think of Guardiola's Bayern's stats in game. I think they are an accurate reflection of how his team plays in real life. As demonstrated above. The original-original point was that you can't play possession football when set to Counter: "The possession drops in the Counter mentality because of the lack of pressing, not because of the quality of the play when we're in-possession. " As I said at the time, that is nonsense. I am currently playing a friendly against Paraguay with a defensive mentality and the stats are, at the moment, as follows: That is with a defensive mentality. You can't then say that some how those stats aren't down to the quality of my play when in possession? That is the only reason we have those stats in our favour. In this instance we play a very attractive style of football - smooth interchange of positions being key (a move just broke down where my LB was in an advanced position and as such one of my CMs covered).
  8. Haven't had a chance to catch up with other people's contributions here or in fact write up my own as I have been and will be very busy unfortunately! I know that you're all waiting on the edge of your seats.... cough.... but rest assured I have got past the World Cup in my Brazil save and I do have an interesting tournament to report back on! Bare with me:thup:
  9. It isn't your players becoming abysmal it is the tactics countering that are more effective at stopping you playing your game. Think about it logically; there are a finite number of variables in play each of which will have different degrees of impact on the final result. The biggest variable, in my eyes, is the opposition's approach and the one that carries most weight with regard to the final result. Morale is delicate and two/three key player's morale can drop from the supposed mistreatment of another key player so it is down to the manager to handle that situation effectively. A poor run of form can be handled by keeping pressure off your players and instill your belief into them. Perhaps challenging your top performers (who you know react well to that sort of approach) to get their A-game out for the next fixture might lead them to stepping up to the plate. Keep a note of their reactions to certain approaches in their notes pages - it may help you win a big game in the future.
  10. Take a look at a recent example: Swansea City, in their first season in the premier league, averaged 58% possession which at the time was third best in the league. Rodgers led them to 11th in their first season - by any standards: fairly impressive. As an established premier league team playing against any newly promoted side, regardless of what you think you know about them, you don't expect them to dominate possession. This could lead to a large number of outcomes but probably most common was that teams were frustrated and moved out of position to deal with this unexpected passing game and as a result space opened up. Rodgers left Swansea at the end of that season and joined Liverpool (at which point their possession stats dropped from Rodgers' Swansea's benchmark of 58% which is interesting as you'd expect the opposite as players are more capable) where Laudrup took over. Despite Rodgers' Swansea managing possession well they also player fairly directly. Ashley Williams epitomises this; of all of his passes in Swansea's 2011-12 season, 56% were forwards whereas under Laudrup that dropped to 38% and 35% in respective seasons. Now, it may just be managerial preference but Laudrup played a less risky approach than Rodgers. Personally, I think that this is down to the fact that teams were now aware of Swansea and their ability to control possession from the back using Britton as the deep lying playmaker. Laudrup moved play to the wings and had more success in crossing than Rodgers which is fairly far from Rodgers' initial 'vision' for Swansea. Regardless of what Laudrup did differently, it worked: Swansea finished 9th in his first season in charge (two places better off than Rodgers due to again - in my opinion - a change in style taking opponents by surprise). Laudrup was sacked after a poor run of form (despite winning the league cup) and perhaps there was more than meets the eye at work under his sacking but, linked to your situation, teams probably found Swansea easier to deal with and were more cautious and informed of their game plan which would account for their poor run in form.
  11. But your ability to retain possession is independent from your ability to win it back. Counter as a setting has different implications when in possession and when out of possession surely. If, while using counter as a setting,you win possession (in whatever which way) then you're ability to keep that is just that. I understand what you're saying in that a lack of urgency in winning the ball back won't help your ability to win possession therefore maybe indirectly affection percentages but it is possible to dominate possession using counter.
  12. I couldn't comment without seeing your match/screen shots to be honest however if a team goes down to 10 my finger gets itchy to push forward more. This certainly isn't the right approach in some cases but it seems almost instinctive - perhaps the same applies to the AI. 10 men is obviously a disadvantage but the right tactical approach can give you a strong fighting chance - as you demonstrated well.
  13. Clearly you haven't tried it all. FM has too many variables for you to have tried it all. You've tried a lot of different options but clearly not the right combination - lets not be arrogant and assume our individual efforts represent the limits of FM tactics. A simple test is the following: Does Guardiola, in his FM entity, play the style of football (or as close to as possible) 'real life' Guardiola does? If the answer is yes (which in my opinion it is) then it is possible for us to replicate. Instead of ranting and raving, start a thread explaining where you're at presently with the tactics, your vision of where you want to be and the team at your disposal so that people can help you achieve that aim.
  14. Bravery is putting their body on the line (John Terry diving in to stop a shot with his head); aggression is being forceful in the way they play (I see this as Yaya Toure bursting forward and aggressively keeping the ball and imposing himself - FM disagrees with this as an example of aggression as I believe Yaya's aggression is relatively low?). Put simply of course
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