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  1. It's a matter of you making some choices which I wouldn't have such as: - Selecting Shorter Passing - Putting the DLP(D) on the side of the FB(S) and not the FB(A) - Using a Carrilero - Playing with 2 #10s (IF & AP) and 2 #9s (AF & IW) - Selecting Low Crosses - Using 5 playmaker type roles (SK, BPD, DLP, AP, IF) in the same system - Opting to defend narrower You may well have valid reasons why you have made those choices but for me when you combine those things together it makes the system fairly unbalanced, in my view. All the best
  2. The more important question is why do you want him to have more touches of the ball? If it's because want your lone striker to be contributing more to the build up play then an Advanced Forward is probably the worst role you could choose to achieve that. From my perspective, the AF is a more technically gifted Poacher who will sit the highest up the pitch of all the striker roles. Much like a Poacher, his job isn't to create for others but to position himself in good positions to enable him to get off a good shot with minimal touches of the ball. As you are managing AC Milan which are one of the better sides in Italy and would be considered favourites against a team such as APOEL, the opposition have most likely setup their tactic more defensively and are playing on a lower mentality. This brings a problem for you as the space the AF wants to operate in (behind the oppositions defensive line and in the channels) is exactly the space which is being compressed by the opposition. It is also possible that he is being marked out of the game (which is easy to do with the 2 central defenders). I agree with @robot_skeleton's suggestion of having some runs coming from the middle of the park. The aim being to provide distraction runs from deep which pull the defensive line forward by occupying the space which they are ceding to you (in front of their deeper defensive line). Hopefully, the deep runners draw the attention of the players defending the middle which enables the AF to find space in behind. It also wouldn't hurt to provide some early width to open up the channels a bit for him by pulling the opposition fullbacks wider. Your fullbacks are providing width but it's later width so by the time they get forward the opposition are largely set in their defensive shape and thus less likely to be drawn out of it. There are some others issues with the tactic but I'll just stick with that unless you would like me to elaborate. Best Regards
  3. I hear what you say but I'm not convinced (not in FM terms anyway). The IF(A) role has 'More Risky Passes' hardcoded and is a more creative role than you are giving it credit for. I'd say Sterling is the archetype Inverted Winger whose purpose is to start out wide, take players on with dribbles and make diagonal runs in behind when off the ball. Then again if you were to play Sterling as an IF(A) then you wouldn't get that creative aspect out of him even though it is part of the role and his behaviour would look exactly like a #9 rather than a False 10. I'd agree that playing a classical #10 with a #9 is sensible but can't agree that a False 10 behind a False 9 is unworkable as they would occupy the same space. The whole premise behind that is the False 9's movement in front of the ball should create space for the False 10 by dragging defenders out of position (well at least that is how is supposed to work). I think it would be really helpful if someone more in the know could compile a list with all the different roles which are #9's, #10's, False 9's and False 10's. That would clear a lot of the confusion and provide a reference point for players to come to when trying to decide how to setup their strike partnerships. Best Regards
  4. I'll try and answer your questions in the order you posed them. With respect to: - Using Counter TI I agree that the sensible thing to do is to view the context when deciding whether to use the TI or not. If you see the opposition committing a lot of men forward then use it, if not then leave it out. - GK Distribution If you don't think your defenders are capable of playing out from the back then get the GK to distribute it longer. If the opposition presses high and you still want to play it from the back then get the GK to distribute it to the place where you outnumber them. For e.g. If the opposition fields a lone striker then distribute it to the central defenders (2 vs 1), if the opposition fields 2 strikers then distribute it to the full backs (1 vs 0). - Line of Engagement Yes, if you increase the height of the LoE and win the ball higher up the pitch you will have less space for your attackers to move into. - Roles with More Risky Passes You can simply add the PI to a role. Overall, it sounds to me like you are doing pretty well beating two Serie A teams in the cup. You may not be overly impressed with the way the team is playing but you're never going to get the end goal straight away and you will need time to mould the squad in the way you need to play the sort of football you want. Lastly, with respect to getting the wide AMs to tightly mark. Do they have the type of attributes which suit working hard off the ball and tracking runners back? Good luck
  5. I'm not having a pop at you btw...just making an observation of the limitations of the ME which struggles to adequately deal with such setups, thought I'd clear that up before I respond. 1. While simultaneously pressing the opposition characterized by the gegenpress? You can't remain narrow and compact when you have players constantly vacating their positions to close opposition players down. 2. Simply instructing them to regroup doesn't mean much if the overall defensive shape is weak. Besides, even if they do manage to recover their defensive shape you are left with a midfield consisting of only 2 players which a competent AI should be capable of overwhelming. The point was that they struggle to do that. 3. If you are referring to the PI which asks players to sit narrower then that is an in possession instruction and has limited impact on what they will do when the opposition has the ball. 4. I made no comment on how you setup your central defenders which in my view is okay. 5. My point was that any manager worth his salt would spot this aggressive pressing straight away and instruct their players to play over the press into the midfield where you are outnumbered. Unfortunately, managers thinking you have the beating of them wouldn't react this way and would stay on the low mentality making their players pass the ball slowly and cautiously and when pressed lump the ball forward leading to a cheap turnover of possession. 6. It may be balanced but the point is that the formation dictates how the team sets up defend. Once the ball bypasses your front 3 then you are basically defending with 7 outfield players, at times when your central midfielders and wingbacks get caught forward you could be left with as few as your 3 central defenders. You asked the question what are the negatives of using this setup, I responded saying that any negatives that do exist the AI isn't capable of exploiting properly which in other words means there are none. I say the tactic is 'ludicrously attacking' because it has 3 attack duty strikers, no defend duty in midfield, wingbacks playing in the WB positions and a high mentality given by the gegenpress. All of which will result in your team pushing all but your three central defenders forward which is very attacking in view.
  6. The negatives SHOULD be that you get torn apart game after game playing such a ludicrously attacking tactic with the opposition tearing through your midfield like a knife through butter. Given the way the ME is though and the overwhelming power of reputation to render AI managers impotent when it comes to reacting to opposition tactics, I suspect the result will be that you will score a bucket load of goals every game by brute forcing your way through and suffer very little consequences defensively. I'll be curious to see how it works out for you. All the best
  7. I'm glad to see that you have an idea of how you would like the team to play as that is a good starting point when trying to build a tactic. I'll try and offer some advice based around my personal preferences but would urge you to watch some matches in detail and see if the theory of how you want the team to play is coming to life. If it isn't, you need to decide whether it's a personnel issue or a tactical issue. If you are still stuck then posting some .pkms on here with some information about what you want to see at particular points in the game should help. With regards to: Mentality - I don't know whether I'd use the word neutral to describe it necessarily as the Balanced mentality still comes with a load of hard coded instructions, the only difference being they are all in the middle setting. As the team is expected to finish in mid-table you will face a variety of different approaches from the AI. When facing teams near the bottom of the table they might refuse to be drawn out so you are going to have to formulate a plan B for when this happens. In possession instructions - Everything should be done with a purpose and sound reasoning behind it. For e.g. Playing with more width in an attempt to pull the defending fullbacks wider so that space is opened in the channels, in the middle or on the opposite flank. Having good width is a means to an end not the end goal in of itself. In transition instructions - If an opposition over commits men forward and you turnover possession you will trigger a counter attack anyway without needing to select the TI. By selecting the TI you have instructed the team to try and counter every single time you win possession even when it isn't really on. Try the TI out but I can see it becoming problematic should you start to do well in the league. As for your instruction to tell the GK to take short kicks, if your defenders aren't comfortable in playing out from the back then why would you want the GK playing the ball to them? None of your midfielders are going to drop deep enough to be a viable passing option so the ball will be passed to the defenders. Out of possession instructions - In addition to the intensity of the press you also need to decide when and where you would like the team to attempt to win the ball back. Roles and duties GK and Central Defenders - Nothing out of the ordinary there. FB (A) - As you have identified this player as the one to provide width on your left flank you need to observe him in match to see whether he is regularly getting forward, how he links up with the IW in front of him and if he is supplying crosses into the box. FB (S) - You didn't provide any detail about what you expect from him but he has an important role to play in the team too. He is the main provider of width on your right flank which your more advanced players need. Central Midfield - Personally, I like to have all three duties covered in a defensive triangle. The DM is the holding player on defend duty and is the defensive pivot, the CM on support duty is the link man between my pivots and the other CM on the attack duty is the offensive pivot. You can set it up in a multitude of different ways, all that is required is that the three main responsibilities are covered. Holding (to create depth to your attacks and delay opposition counter attacks), creating (it needn't be a playmaker though, just a player willing to attempt riskier passes) and running (to provide mobility and link your attacking trio to your midfield). As you have three players you don't have to double purpose players and each role can focus on a particular responsibility. I'm not overly convinced a Carrilero is the best role to use in this sort of a formation as in my view they tend to suit systems without players in the wide midfield / attacking midfield positions such as narrow diamonds but try it out and see if it works for you. IW (S) - You are correct in your assessment that he needs to create space for the overlapping fullback. Ideally, you want them both to create space for each other. When the IW cuts inside you want to see him drag the fullback narrower to open up space for the fullback out wide and when the fullback has the ball you want to see him pulling the opposition fullback wider to open up space for the IW to use. IF (A) - A False 10 role which should have a complimentary False 9 role. You expect him to be your main goalscorer so you need to assess what he needs to make that work. He starts out wide when you have possession and on receiving the ball will attempt to dribble the ball inside into the box and shoot, think about how you can create space for him do that. PF (S) - He is a #10 which means that I don't think he is necessarily the best role to choose. A far better alternative would be a False 9 as he has exactly the kind of movement which will allow your IF(A) to thrive and he doesn't run into channels. Bear in mind that a False 9 / False 10 partnership requires a certain quality of player to work effectively relative to the opposition. Do you have the sort of centre forward at Salernitana that has good off the ball movement? Do you have the type of player you expect to play in the IF(A) role that can take on and dribble past players while also having the composure to finish off chances? If the answer is no then maybe you should think about playing a standard #9 / #10 partnership instead. Finally, why do you want your wide AMs tightly marking? You didn't provide a reason for selecting that. The theory has been taken care of, now it's time for the practical. Watch some matches in detail and report back with your findings. All the best
  8. Looking at the attributes, the one thing that stands out is his terrible determination. As he is a real player they have given him the personality of 'Balanced' (to avoid legal issues) but I suspect that if he was a newgen he would be considered 'Slack' which would explain why he trains so poorly and tends to have a high opinion of his performances. I don't think chastising him will work as he will just switch off as you have seen. Aside from mentoring which is unlikely to work I can't see anything else that would improve his performances. If it were my player I'd be looking to move him on A.S.A.P. and would be willing to use a lower ability player with a better personality until I could find a replacement. You may find that despite having a lower ability the worse player puts in better performances. After all, A 100 CA player playing to 75% of their ability 80% of the time will on average trump a 125 CA player playing to 75% of their ability 20% of the time. Best Regards
  9. Thanks, I'd like to see something along those lines too as those two topics appear to be real sources of struggle for a lot of players. I guess the only problem with codifying it is that the solution to both can be rather subjective. Presenting objective truths about the methodology of a team which parks the bus however could be very helpful. Cheers Good one @Svenc, I used to be guilty of the shot count / possession one, nowadays it doesn't bother me in the slightest whether I'm behind in those stats provided I'm ahead in the scoreline. It's very easy to fall into that trap if you don't watch your games properly (only commentary or key highlights), that is why I always suggest that players watch their games in full to gain a greater understanding of how their tactic works (its weaknesses and strengths alongside how to react to specific threats posed by the opposition) then once they have done that they can go back to speeding through. Best Regards
  10. Cheers, I don't think there is a 'best' combination that I can provide you with. I could end up making a suggestion to you that is completely wrong for your setup as the choice depends on a number of different factors. I would advise that you try out different combinations and watch your matches to see if the players are giving you what you are looking for. In effect what you want is a pair of hardworking players off the ball that have the ability to maintain a hard press for the whole game. In this instance, the profile of the player may be a more important factor than the role that you play them in. You could play them in a 'perfect' role for the tactical style but if they aren't physically fit and don't work hard enough you won't get the best out of them. All the best
  11. Thanks for commenting. I don't doubt that has been your experience with the game in that you can play without a dedicated holding player and still be successful. I wasn't trying to make the point that it couldn't work, instead my view was that what the game presents to you as something which should be better in reality shouldn't be. Playing without a dedicated holding midfielder in a 2 man central midfield shouldn't be stronger than playing with one. I know of no team IRL that starts games without a central midfielder which sits when the team attacks. I think the fact it works in FM probably says more about the state of the ME than it does about the validity of the approach. A competent AI would see the lack of cover for your central defenders and allow you to commit your central midfielders forward, win the ball and counter you through the middle. It seems the AI is incapable of punishing such setups which is quite worrying. Mind you, the ability to pull off such a risky strategy depends on the overall approach of the tactic and the quality of player you have in comparison with the opposition which can in effect mask issues. Best Regards
  12. Can I ask you to post a screenshot of the tactic you are using along with a profile of the player in question? I agree with the thrust of what you wrote but I think it highlights an issue with interpretation of the information the game presents. I don't read complacency as meaning that the player isn't putting a shift in or lacking in concentration. Rather I think complacency indicates a player has an over inflated view of his performance which doesn't necessarily correlate with him lacking effort. A lack of concentration I think would be indicated by a lack of focus in his body language. As for your question about the difference between his reaction to touchline shouts and dressing room conversations, well, ask yourself this question. If you were a player would you prefer to be told off in front of a stadium of people or privately in the confines of a dressing room? Personally, I would only give an individual touchline shout if a player was really under performing and for me that would be a sub 6.0 match rating. Maybe you need to drop him from the starting 11 for a while. A player will have a complacent attitude if he knows that he is guaranteed a spot in the team and as you have no alternatives he is justified in his thinking. All the best
  13. Thanks @sporadicsmiles that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. I think I perhaps worded that one incorrectly and will revisit it. I was trying to shine a light on the situations where I see tactics which have the highest mentality settings and the majority of the players attacking the central areas with no width or depth to the attacks. I see it as flawed as that plays into the hands of the opposition which if set out to defend will pack those areas with players which leads to a lack of space for your team to operate in given that they will hardly move out of their defensive positions. I agree with what you wrote that overloads with a purpose in the right areas can create space and force the opposition to break its defensive shape. I use them all the time and they can work very well. I think you may have also hit upon another couple of common misconceptions in your post. The first being that changes made to a tactic during a match should be based on nothing but blind hope and speculation rather than actual observations. I watch YouTubers and I see some of them when in losing positions respond by just whacking the mentality up to Very Attacking. There doesn't appear to be any logical reasoning behind it and appears to be a conditioned response rather than being based on what is actually happening in the game. The difference in what you did was that you spotted something about how Norwich was playing and reacted with a well thought out response to it which worked a treat. Another misconception is that you must have a set amount of a certain duty for a particular mentality which is a fallacy encouraged by some of the pre-game tactical advice from assistants. There has to be a degree of fluidity in the approach and an ability to adjust to the circumstances a player finds themselves in during a match. For e.g. there are times when I'm trying to protect a lead late in the game and will change the duty of my fullback from attack to defend to react to a change in formation from the opposition to 3 up front. If you have any more suggestions please feel free to post. Cheers
  14. I thought I'd share with the community some of the issues that I've encountered myself while trying to learn how to improve my understanding of the tactical side of the game. I've composed a list of some of the most commonly held ideas which regularly show up in some guise or another when members post seeking help with tactics. The list is most definitely not exhaustive and I would appreciate if others more experienced and knowledgeable than me contributed to create a more comprehensive list as well as perhaps mentioning details I've overlooked that I could add to the ones already posted. #1 The names of mentalities denote precisely the type of football that a team will play Attacking mentality =/= Attacking football, instead I think it's better to view mentalities as styles of play. Mentality is shaped by the following factors: tempo, passing risk, roaming, width, pressing intensity, defensive line height, line of engagement, frequency of forward runs. Generally, it determines the amount of risks your players will be willing to take. Therefore it's perfectly possible to be good defensively on a higher mentality and vice versa. #2 The more TIs and PIs you use within a tactic the more 'advanced' it is This is one which I see very often and is usually symbolized by an overkill of instructions within a tactic. In my view, if you are having to select a lot of instructions then the base tactic isn't right. Another issue is what happens when you get into difficulty? How do you begin to unravel what is the cause with so many different variables? You should be able to get close to a desired style of play without the need for a whole bunch of instructions with the formation, mentality and player roles and duties able to define the tactic. #3 Selecting 'X' instruction guarantees my team perform 'X' The best example I can give of this is when teams want to play out of defence and think that simply selecting the TI will make them play that way. There is a lot more that goes into fulfilling an instruction than just selecting it. You need to have the right players and to have the correct base (formation, mentality, roles and duties) to consistently perform the action. For e.g. If trying to play out from the back you need midfielders which position themselves deep enough to transition the ball from defence into the midfield. #4 The descriptions given for the roles should be taken at face value The problem with doing that is that there is no context given which can be misleading. For e.g. A Poacher in a system with a cautious team mentality is going to behave very differently than one in a positive team mentality. Also, a lone Poacher is again going to behave completely different than one flanked with a Target Man. This is where watching matches in detail from time to time can be very helpful as instead of judging a player on what you think they should be doing you are actually assessing what they are doing. #5 Player role and positional familiarity dictates how I should utilize a player The familiarity a player has in a role can be a useful bit of knowledge to have but it also must be contextualized. A favoured role of a player might not necessarily fit into the approach you want your team to play and can actually disrupt it if it's completely wrong. Football is a team game, you'll get far more out of player in a role which they aren't particularly suited to that fits the tactic than trying to play a player in a favoured role which doesn't suit the tactic. #6 The analysis tab on the tactic always gives correct information Another one of those issues where the tactical creator itself presents misleading information. For e.g. I'm playing a 4-4-2, I have my central midfield pair setup with one on the defend duty and the other on the support duty. According to the analysis you will see an orange patch in front of the central midfielder on the defend duty. Now if I change his duty to support that patch will become green which logically will bring the conclusion that is a better way to setup the tactic. That is completely wrong as it would mean you have no holding midfielder and much like many other aspects of tactical analysis offered by the game lacks any form of context. #7 Formation should be an after thought when it comes to deciding on a style of play This sort of thinking is perhaps encouraged by the preset tactical styles which have a set of 3 formations you can use for each. The way I see it the formation you choose is the single most important decision you will make when deciding how you want your team to play as it defines the starting point for the majority of your attacks and sets the base for where and how your team defends. For e.g. You decide you want to play a short passing possession based style but then you pick a formation which has players spread all over the pitch, the two won't work well with each other. #8 The way to get around defences is to pile players forward I'm not sure where this idea originates from but is deeply flawed. To break down a defence you need good width, good depth and good movement in front of the ball in order to create space for your attacking players by pulling the oppositions defenders out of position. That is why I don't understand why so many tactics seek to flood the central areas and compress the pitch as that works entirely contrary to what you need. #9 The profile of players is irrelevant when deciding how I want the team to play Once you have decided on a style of play you must also ensure that the players you have can actually pull it off. For e.g. Playing a gegenpressing style with lazy players is a recipe for disaster. Sometimes you have to be willing to compromise in the present until you can reshape the team and have it playing the way you want in the future. #10 The match stats are in my favour so therefore I must be dominating the other team Don't allow yourself to be fooled by statistics as they can be very misleading. The only statistic that matters is the scoreline and if you are under performing in that respect that should be the only vector which you use to determine whether you are dominating the opposition or not. The other aspect of statistics is that any context behind them is lost. Yeah, you might be peppering the opposition goal with shots but how many of them are of genuine quality? #11 The only contradictions that exist are ones where TIs conflict so aren't select-able It is very easy to believe this but in reality isn't correct. Sometimes the contradiction that exists doesn't even need to be one based on a particular TI. For e.g. Trying to play out of defence while on the Very Attacking mentality in itself is a contradiction. Another is trying to prevent the GK from distributing the ball short with a lone striker in a flat 4-1-4-1 for example. #12 TIs and PIs override existing instructions All TIs and PIs are additive to the base settings of mentality. This can be problematic to deal with as everything in the tactical creator tends to be kind of vague. For e.g. instructions telling players to play a higher tempo than they would on the Positive mentality but what does that actually mean? That's why I think it's better to avoid that minefield altogether by selecting minimal TIs. #13 Any difficulty I encounter with my teams performances must be a result of a tactical issue This is where sometimes players can become stuck and get frustrated and end up in a vicious circle of constantly making tactical changes in the hope it improves things when it doesn't. There is more to a teams performances on the pitch than tactics. Squad management has to be good, playing the right players in the right roles is also important. Also there are some occasions where you can't tactic your way out of a situation which is actually fairly realistic when you think about it. #14 Using theory alone will allow me to build good tactics It's always a good thing when players seek to increase their knowledge of the game by reading guides and watching videos but you also need to know when to stop. Otherwise, you can end up with information overload and actually end up being unable to assimilate all the knowledge you have gained. Once you've read or seen something which you want to try, go into the game and test it out, that way you can see if you have fully understood the concepts. #15 You need to use 'exploit' tactics to consistently overachieve Nope, it is perfectly possible to overachieve with basic but balanced tactics. Improving other aspects of your game such as squad building and man management can have as powerful an impact. There is no doubt that there will always be some exploitable area of the ME which you can use to gain an advantage but you don't need to use it to do well. #16 I can ignore hidden attributes and PPMs as their impact is minimal This couldn't be further from the truth as the impact of PPMs especially has dramatic impacts on the way your players perform the roles you set for them. I learnt this the hard way as I was left wondering why my team could perform so well domestically but regularly capitulated in Europe. The answer was that a lot of my players dreaded playing in big matches. Once I moved a lot of those players on and brought in players more comfortable playing in big matches I saw a dramatic improvement. #17 I should always take my assistants advice I don't trust my assistants advice at all and don't allow him to select a team without perusing it myself. I see a lot of players going with the assistants advice on oppositions instructions which again is a very risky ploy. My advice would be to look at what your assistant is telling you but always make the final decision and base it on what you are seeing. #18 The only players which can be playmakers are designated playmakers The truth is that any player can perform the act of creating plays for their team mates. When deciding to utilize a playmaker it should always be done considering how funneling play though a particular player impacts your attacks. It's also very important to give your playmakers options when they receive the ball. You also need to ensure you have the right sort of player in the role. #19 The only attributes I should consider for a role are the ones which are highlighted as being key There is where context becomes important. For e.g. You have decided to play a gegenpress 4-4-2 and have a Target Man and Poacher partnership upfront. If you were to go solely on what the game tells you then attributes such as work rate and stamina aren't considered important. However, it's very important in a gegenpress for them to have these attributes to be able to consistently press hard and high up the pitch. Therefore you need to look at how you have set your team up as a whole when deciding what attributes you need from your players. #20 All the aspects of creating tactics should be considered disparate If there is anything which provides the biggest stumbling block for a lot of players it is this and is something which I've also struggled with in the past. Viewing things in isolation is never a good thing and while it can be difficult to coalesce a bunch of different concepts to form a coherent whole it is a fundamental building block of creating solid tactics. Everything in a tactic should harmonize and work together. The formation, the mentality, the player roles and duties, the TIs and PIs, the OIs and the players themselves should be geared towards the vision of how you want your team to play. Having any of those aspects working against that vision will cause problems so it's vital that it's done right. I think I'll leave it there for now, hopefully, what I've written helps other players of the game to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls I've experienced while playing FM and at least gives them some pause for thought when it comes to how they go about designing tactics. If I've done that then I'll consider it a job well done. All the best
  15. It's a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Is the player training poorly as a consequence of you digging him out all the time or was he training poorly from the very first training session? I've found a players morale has a huge impact on the ratings they get for training which makes sense. You aren't going to get someone to run through a brick wall for you when you are constantly being hyper critical of them. From my perspective, getting a 6.4 rating isn't bad enough to warrant singling him out and telling him you're not happy with his performance. A 6.4 rating is above average and that's why he probably got stressed out. Besides, what exactly are you expecting from him as a fullback? He is not going to score many goals, provide many assists (usually fullbacks that low down in the footballing pyramid aren't very good attacking wise that's if you even have him attacking) or make many goal saving tackles which would increase his rating. As long as he puts in decent performances and does his job, I don't see the problem. I also don't see the merits of mentoring a player that will probably leave if you get promoted anyway as he is unlikely to be able to make the step up. As he is only decent for the level you are currently at it's doubtful he could develop enough to match the new level. I'd advise to lay off him for a bit and see if he improves and if he does to be as strong with the praise as you have been with the criticism. What personality does he have? Best Regards
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