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439 "They call it a Royale with cheese"


About pheelf

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  1. I couldn't have said it better myself, looking at the tactic you have the baseline settings of an attacking mentality (very wide width, very high tempo, very high defensive line, very high LoE, hard pressing, high roaming and more), then you have 14 team instructions layered on top of that. It's going to be very difficult for anyone to decipher what the problem is let alone try and help fix it. My advice is to simplify the tactic as much as possible without compromising the style of play you want to implement (that includes roles and duties too). A tactic with a very good team doesn't need to be overly complicated. The more refined a style of play you try to implement in a tactic the more sensitive it becomes to how the opposition plays against you. That is why you are seeing such wide variation in performances and results. I think watching your games in more detail could help. Try to ignore statistics as they can prove misleading and be interpreted in a load of different ways. Focus more on how your players are positioning themselves when attacking and whether they have space, that is the key ingredient to creating quality chances to score goals. If your players don't have space because the opposition is packing an area with players and not leaving any then considering both teams start with 11 men then there must be areas of the pitch where there is an abundance of space which you can exploit. You want the defending team to have to defend as much of the pitch as possible which means having good DEPTH in addition to having good width to your attacks. The tactic you posted suffers from a lack of depth, improve that aspect of it and I think that would dramatically improve your ability to score goals. Best of luck
  2. I've never really understood why so many players use the mezzala role when posting a tactic with this formation. In my mind, one of the greatest strengths of the 4-1-2-3 Wide is the natural width that it offers with 2 players on each flank. Therefore why do you need another player drifting wide from central midfield? Another issue is who you expect to open the channels for the Mezzala to operate in? In my view, a Mezzala is best suited to a system with only 1 wide player that runs wide to draw the attention of the opposition fullbacks to open the channel for the Mezzala to run into. I wouldn't play one with a striker that wants to run into the channels too like you have here. Yes, it can lead to overloads in a particular channel but it can also lead to them getting in each others way and being ineffective. The choice of the Mezzala alone could be a huge factor in why you are struggle to score. The Support duty player in your midfield is a critical component of your system. His job is to link together your DM and attack duty CM. As you are playing with Shorter Passing therefore he needs to be in close proximity to both, in your setup his job is to drift wide which runs against what you need him to consistently do. I also think that playing with 2 attacking wingbacks is a huge risk especially if you aren't overwhelming favourites in your games. I'd change the DR to a fullback on support to add a little more stability and cover for the two attack duty players infront of him (AP & IF). Additionally, why play with a stopper duty central defender when you have a defend duty defensive midfielder infront of him? Doing so creates another line of defence which is also very risky when combined with a high defensive line. If your stopper comes charging forward and doesn't win the ball then that creates space behind him which only your other deeper central defender can attempt to cover. Additionally, as you have staggered your defensive line, the use of a sweeper keeper becomes problematic. There are also a few TIs which don't really make much sense to me. Shorter Passing - This feeds into what you are saying that you observe that you don't like. The mentality of your players is going to be attacking (your attack duty players are going to be very attacking), therefore if there are no passing options available to them in close proximity they are still going to look to progress the ball forward. If they can't do that by making a pass then they will attempt to do that by dribbling the ball. Similarly with the crossing, if there are no close options to progress the attack they will attempt to cross. Also, why play wider and make the spacing between your players even bigger? Pass Into Space - This works in contradiction to the shorter passing. You want your players looking for safe short passes while simultaneously all looking to take risks with their passing. Additionally, all the players looking to run into space to receive those risky passes are out wide and your AF but given the shorter passing you are unlikely to see players launching balls over the top for him to chase from deep which means effectively it's just your wide players. So even though you have instructed the team to play through the middle the ball will naturally gravitate out wide which has the knock on effect of generating a lot of crosses. If there is no space for your wide AMs to cut into they will resort to crossing the ball or dribbling into dead ends. Overlap Right - I don't know how you expect your DR to do this consistently with an attack duty player in the AMR position ahead of him. Underlap Left - If you want underlaps then you shouldn't be using a wingback and also why do want your DL cutting inside anyway considering he is the only real width on your left flank? How does that movement help support the IW or Mezzala ahead of him? Prevent Short GK Distribution - Why do you want this and how do you expect a lone striker to perform this task anyway? He goes and closes down one central defender, the other is completely open therefore he can't prevent the GK distributing it short. Besides you want the GK distributing it short to make your high and hard pressing game work. If the GK is constantly pumping the ball long over your press it severely reduces its effectiveness. I hope what I've written is helpful to you Best Regards
  3. Linfield F.C. SEASON 2061 / 2062 Winning the Champions League last season was a huge milestone in the development of the club and with the expansion to Windsor Park for this season the process of building for the future has begun. I sense it will be very difficult to retain old Big ears but that will be the ambition this season along with trying to become world champions and maintaining our domestic dominance. League Table - It looked like we might be having a title challenge from Glenavon up until around December but strong and consistent form enabled us to establish an unassailable lead to clinch our 4th title in a row. It was a strange season for Glentoran who spent the majority of the season in 3rd but a late season collapse from Glenavon opened the door for them to sneak into 2nd and claim the other Champions League qualification spot. Elsewhere in the DBP, Portadown triumphed over Cliftonville 2-0 in the Europa Conference League playoff final to claim a place in Europe. Dungannon Swifts stayed up thanks to a 3-1 aggregate win over Institute in the relegation playoff and Donegal Celtic bounced back to the top flight after comfortably winning the Championship title. Overall, a satisfactory season and I'm glad to see Glentoran claim 2nd place and a spot in the Champions League, they badly need it given their financial status has deteriorated to just 'Okay'. UEFA Champions League - I went into the campaign rather pessimistically thinking that we didn't have much of a chance of retaining our crown but what I didn't account for was that we would continue to show the same dogged resistance from last season of not accepting defeat and overcoming the odds. I was especially surprised with the outcome considering how poorly our group stage campaign went with us only qualifying on the final day. We had to rely on a final day favour from RB Leipzig who beat Lyon to allow us to sneak through on the head to head record. I was actually rather pleased with our draw in the 1st Knockout Round as I felt they were the weakest opponent we could have drawn. Then of course Kobrowski DR suffered a terrible injury meaning I had to play a makeshift right back which contributed to a poor first leg performance giving us a mountain to climb in France. Well, I fully expected to be knocked out but the difference between the 2 legs was night and day. A remarkable recovery and our reward, a tricky tie against Juventus in the quarter final. Going into the quarter final once again we suffered a terrible injury, this time to our goalkeeper Ortega who fractured his lower leg meaning he'd be out for the rest of the season (at least that's what I thought at the time). As a result, I had to field a youth GK which had me worried that his inexperience would cost us. After our first leg loss at home I was pretty much resigned to accepting that we would get knocked out but then that fighting spirit came out as we pulled off an incredible victory in Turin which saw us into the semi final on away goals which had me delighted with the team. Then we faced perennial winners Real Madrid in the semi-final and once again suffered an injury to a big player for us in Pitts MC meaning we would have to face them severely weakened without our first choice GK, DR and defend duty MC. Therefore I was astounded when we went to the Bernabeu and pulled off a creditable draw putting us in the driving seat for the 2nd leg. I knew the job wasn't done and we would need another strong performance at home and my players duly delivered. It did get a bit dicey towards the end when they pulled the game back to 3-2 with 10 minutes left on the clock as another goal would see them through but resolute defending and a few tactical tweaks enabled us to hold on and saw us through to our 2nd consecutive final. The final itself presented a quandary for me with regards to who to start. Although Kobrowski DR had recovered from his injury neither Ortega GK nor Schmitt ST (suffered an injury in training) had fully recovered and Pitts MC would miss the final entirely. I was left with the difficult choice whether to play a fully fit youth player or a goalkeeper still not fully recovered from a serious injury. In the end, I took a chance and started Ortega and put Schmitt on the bench. It proved to be the right choice as Ortega had a good game and by keeping a clean sheet helped us to retain the trophy. I think we were more deserving of this win than last season as I don't think luck worked in our favour this time with all the injuries which makes this achievement all the more special. The question now is whether we can make it a hat-trick? Given our new found resilience, with a few additions to the squad, why not? FIFA World Club Cup - I have to say that I'm not a great fan of the new format for this competition. It comes at a difficult time in the year when you can have players missing on international duty and it interferes with pre-season. It's also too many games which adds to an already overloaded fixture schedule. I also think that the integrity of the competition is somewhat degraded when you don't even need to win your continental competition to take part which means that you can have a champion of the world which isn't even champion of their continent. Anyway, that's enough moaning about it, unsurprisingly, we failed to become world champions. I feel a bit gutted to have gained the advantage in the shootout only for my players to let it go but hey it happens. At least with our Champions League win we've already qualified for the next tournament in 4 years time where hopefully we can do a bit better. UEFA Super Cup - Not the most polished of performances from us but a win is a win. A nice pickup for us going into the season which showed we could compete with the better teams in Europe and that our Champions League win the previous season wasn't a fluke. Domestic Cups - Won a couple of cups but not the greatest of seasons. I would like to go far in all the cups next season and hopefully help out some of the smaller clubs with gate receipts if possible. Reserves - Superb season from the backup players which is great to see considering the squad looks quite a bit weaker than in previous seasons. Under 18s - Whereas the first team managed to qualify from their Champions League group with an identical record (3 wins and 3 losses) the youth team didn't which was a shame. At least they can comfort themselves with the NIFL Academy League title and look back fondly at their 9-0 trouncing of Besiktas in Turkey. Squad - The squad was trimmed over the two transfer windows and I think we have the core of a squad which can compete into the later stages of the Champions League for years to come. That's not to say there aren't areas which need to be addressed. I think we need to look for another HG goalkeeper to prevent what happened this season and having to resort to playing youth players in the Champions League. I'm also aware of the fact that Millar DC can't go on forever and will need replacing preferably with another HG player. I also think we may have reached the end of the line with players like Radovanovic ST and Dertwinkel MC who have fallen down the pecking order. Ideally, next season I'd quite like to bring in a goalkeeper, right back, central defender, central midfielder (support) and deep lying forward (support). If we could do that I think we will be in a strong position to retain the Champions League. Transfers - An interesting pair of windows for sure which saw the club generate a good profit while also trimming down a bloated squad. My only signing of the summer window was to bring in Pitts MC on a free who had an excellent debut campaign for us, it was a shame he missed the final of the Champions League through injury but his overall contribution during the season was impressive. I sent out a lot of players on loan but overall the summer window was rather quiet in terms of ins and outs, although it didn't have to be considering the amount of offers I fielded but I was pleased to see my players commit to the club and nobody tried to force a move. The January window was a different ball game altogether though. I really didn't want to let Uander DC go given how much he developed for us but when he wanted to get his contract renewed earlier in the season his agent insisted on a release clause which ultimately was met by Barcelona and once that happened there was nothing I could do to stop him leaving. As a result, I targeted two players to bring in to replace. The first of which was Reinaldo DC who on closer inspection (attributes profile and PPMs) looks far more competent as an attacking left back than a central defender which enabled me to put out an unhappy Dridi DL on loan while playing the new signing there. The actual replacement was Gomez DC who looks a excellent young talent whose signing was partly funded by the sales of Hooper ST and Papadopolous MR. Hooper ST wasn't getting enough game time and I wanted to develop Tula ST while the offer for Papadopolous MR was too good to turn down given it smashed our previous record. As I had Grlic MR and Canestrelli MR I didn't feel the need to bring in a replacement for Papadopolous either. Larmour MC, a backup player is the player cut off the screenshot who went on loan to Bangor. Lloyd Reeves - ST Average Rating: 7.66 Even though his natural position isn't as an out an out striker his output over the last couple of seasons has been impressive. A goal a game is the best return of any striker I've had for a long while, I'm hoping that with a little healthy competition from Tula ST we might see him continuing to excel going forward. Raul Tula - ST Average Rating: 7.20 He is not quite at the same strike rate as Reeves but I think Hooper's departure was the best thing that could have happened to him. Given Reeves is fully developed and he is only just shy of his productivity I'm interested to see what he will be capable of in future given how much room he has to further grow as a player. Finances - We are flushed with cash and even though this screenshot was taken before the money was taken out for the facilities upgrades we are very comfortable financially. I didn't expect this to be the situation given we had to suffer a season at a much smaller ground and lost a lot of revenue because of that but this balance gives the ability to improve the squad and simultaneously continue to build the club. Facilities - I can't wait to get back to the newly expanded Windsor Park and it'll be interesting to see how consistently we are able to fill the new ground. Anticipating a massive drop in our average attendance during our season of exile I was rather surprised that we managed to eek out a slight increase which bodes well for the future. £7.25M was spent on upgrading the youth and training facilities and it looks like we are getting closer to having state of the art facilities across the board which will allow me to redirect funds to other areas. I think it's going to be a while before we have the ability to start thinking about a new ground but at least the first stage on that journey is complete by expanding Windsor Park to its maximum potential capacity. Youth Intake - We actually got someone decent come through for once in Acebal DL who with the right guidance might be capable of playing in the first team. I signed everyone but I don't expect anyone else to make an impact, unfortunately. League Reputation - No real changes except now we have to look over our shoulder as both the Republic of Ireland and Portugal start to threaten our position in the coefficient table. We really need a strong season from the other N. Irish clubs next season to see off the threat. Club Domestic Reputation - Up to 5* reputation which is great, hopefully, that will help us with attracting new players. Club European Reputation - Perhaps not as much progress up the table as I was hoping to see but a rise is always welcome. Pleased to see Glentoran still holding on with a top 30 spot, I'm hoping that will help them with getting seeded in the Champions League qualifiers. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season: Glentoran - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Aberdeen 4-2 on aggregate - This was a poor result, more so for the fact they lost to a team from Scotland which we are directly competing with for coefficient points in the nation coefficient table. Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Knockout Round by Glasgow Celtic 1-0 on aggregate - Another N. Irish team falling to Scottish opposition which isn't good. Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by Vfl Wolfsburg 2-1 on aggregate - A respectable result against strong German opposition. Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Feyenoord 5-1 on aggregate - Another season, another 4 goal trouncing at the same round. Portadown - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Shakhter Soligorsk 2-1 on aggregate - I thought they would have a better chance of qualifying for the group stage against much weaker opposition after last seasons nightmarish draw, guess I was wrong. Llanrhaeadr watch - They made it back to the top flight but made a right meal of it in all honesty. They looked comfortable going into the latter part of the season with a 11 point lead but little slip ups here and there reduced their lead to 4 points going into the final 4 games which had me thinking they were going to bottle it. Thankfully, they recovered at the right time and got it over the line. They've turned pro again, hopefully, next season they can make a better fist of trying to stay up than last time when they finished rock bottom.
  4. That result would be consistent with what I've been saying. Against Barcelona (ECU) they probably felt they would be able to compete with you so played more attacking which gave your team more space when attacking them in their final third. You can tell they were being more attacking by the fact that they played a less defensively minded formation against you. In the game you played against the Wanderers on the other hand they had 1 striker and 0 attacking midfielders, against Barcelona (ECU) they had 2 strikers and 1 AM. Against Deportivo Maldonado they played a more attacking looking formation with a 4-2-3-1 DM but they played on the defensive mentality against you. What it shows is that your tactic is very good at exploiting space which opposing teams leave for you but is much less effective against teams which set up more cautiously and don't give you as much space.
  5. Yes, it's not the sole reason but when combined with other factors it certainly contributes. I base this on the fact that a lot of the time when these sort of complaints come up about 1 on 1s and having loads of shots and failing to score it's often the case that the player is using a tactic which is playing on the attacking mentality. It works as a strategy when teams underestimate you and give your players space to attack but begins to lose effectiveness as teams begin to respect your team and compress the space that your players want to use. I definitely agree with the sentiment often expressed around here that mentalities need to be altered in the way they operate. Playing a higher mentality may encourage a more expansive brand of football by creating more width and tempo to your attacks but it also compresses depth which works against you, especially if you have a lot of attack duty players in the formation. To be effective in an attacking sense, your players need space and time to be effective. Whether that be space gifted to you by the opposition or space which your players create with their movement it is a vital requirement. All the best
  6. As regular as clockwork, threads like these. Context is important, the one thing which hasn't been posted is the tactics used or the players expected to perform the tactical instructions. A player having 20 finishing doesn't mean they are good at taking 1 on 1 opportunities. There are far more factors which go into how likely a 1 on 1 is likely to be converted. - Is there a defender nearby exerting pressure? - Is the player shooting with their stronger foot and what is their angle of approach to the goal? - How much angle do they have to work with when attempting to shoot / head the ball? - How close is the GK and how much have they closed the angle available down? - Is the player composed or are they displaying negative body language? - How far out from goal are they? - Does the player have a good first touch and are they able to set the position of the ball well enough to get off a good strike? - Has the player expected to take the chance had a good game? - Is it a high pressure game and are your players good at handling pressure? If something is happening consistently in your save which doesn't happen as much in other peoples saves then I don't think it's reasonable to rule out management style and/or tactical decisions as contributors to the issue. Yes, there are deficiencies in the ME but laying all of the blame on it for what you're observing doesn't help to alleviate the problems given the ME for FM20 is in its final build. I have to ask, when you see your team having all these shots and not scoring what changes do you make? IF you sit idly by while your team struggles to score that's not effective management in my book. You need to react to what is happening and make changes based on what you are seeing. Your striker is having a poor game, sub him off. Players don't have much space in the final 3rd, introduce more depth and width into your attacks. Opposition defence easily telegraphing your attacks, change things up and add some unpredictability. There are loads of tools at your disposal which the AI doesn't have the capability to use effectively, don't just accept that your team isn't going to score and actively try and influence things to change that outcome. For a long time this game has been 'plug and play' tactically which has gotten players used to the notion that once you have a decent tactic and are a competent squad builder (two areas where the AI is woefully inadequate) you can just sit back press continue and win until you get bored. Now there is more of a requirement to engage in a match it's leading to a lot of frustration with players. When you set up a tactic to produce a lot of 1 on 1 opportunities and that is no longer effective you need to have a plan B. People can complain as much as they like but seeing as this is a public forum, people should expect that others are going to voice their opinions too, some of which they may disagree with but that's fine, nothing wrong with a healthy debate. Unfortunately, the current climate seems to be so polarized. The ME is either the worst thing ever or as close to perfect as it's possible to make which has made people lose sight of the massive space that lies in between the two extremes. It seems that anybody not wanting to subscribe to either extreme camp is fair game to be ridiculed which isn't right when in reality they are the vast majority and the extremes are a small but vocal minority. As I've said previously on these forums, these sorts of lop-sided statistics tend to be produced when playing on higher mentalities and more aggressively but then again this is not unique to FM20 and has been the case for many years. The only difference being that in previous years (FM18 and before) a lot more of those shots were going into the back of the net. The problem being that the amount of goals being scored with older versions wasn't particularly realistic either. SI have the difficult task of finding a way to deliver a fulfilling ME that also roughly coincides with reality otherwise it's not much of a simulation. The issue a lot of users have with this approach is that the more the game veers towards trying to emulate reality more closely the less 'fun' it becomes. Real life management is stressful and not all that 'fun' even if you happen to be lucky enough to be managing a team that is being successful. Having said that it's very possible to create a tactic in this version of the game that regularly scores loads of goals which should be the objective not having a lot of shots. I use a basic 4-4-2 and score plenty of 1 on 1s but then again I very seldom use mentalities higher than Positive (if I do it's only for a short period in a game and I never start with them) so maybe that's why my experience with the ME differs from others. Best Regards
  7. That has entirely missed the point of what I wrote. The high pressing that worked against Barcelona was because when they had the ball they had attacking intentions and came forward (especially their fullbacks who both had terrible games) leaving space for Bayern to attack once they successfully counter pressed. That is entirely different to a team which is hoping to see out a 0-0 draw that has no attacking intent what so ever. I've just given an example of how I go about constructing a tactic (and others have done so too) that makes it possible for me to dominate possession against such defensive teams and also as a consequence prevent them from endlessly playing the ball around at the back. If you choose to ignore that then I don't know how this discussion actually moves forward.
  8. I've found the way to counter this is to be less aggressive off the ball against defensive opposition. What I've done in my 4-1-2-3 Wide is that instead of running down the opposition defenders at the first opportunity I set up a pressing trap. I make my front 3 tightly man mark the defenders in their 'zone' (STC - DCR or DCL, AMR - DL, AML - DR) which usually leaves a man spare for them. That spare man usually gets the ball and then he is given 2 choices. 1 - He can try and play it to a marked man in his defence greatly increasing the risk we can intercept and win possession. If the attempted pass does reach the marked defender then we are able to exert pressure on him having a player in close proximity. OR 2- Failing that the spare man can attempt a long pass where I have an aggressive pair of central midfielders which are set to close down more to compete for it or if it's a longer pass my defenders can compete for it. Either option usually results in my team turning over possession and leads to 70%+ possession against teams that are set up defensively. I think you have also made an error in only considering the off the ball instructions when attempting to construct a 'possession' based tactic. Just as important is what you do with the ball once you recover it. Both the tactics you posted aren't designed to keep possession in my opinion and very likely what is happening is that on winning back possession you are gifting the ball back to the opposition which is inflating their possession statistics. You are playing an attacking mentality which is a do or die brand of football in my view which I personally wouldn't choose when trying to create a possession based style. If I'm trying to get my players to recycle the ball and opt for the safer pass to keep possession then I don't want them having a hell for leather mentality. You then compound this further by playing a whole bunch of players in roles which are designed to take risks with their passing while also using the 'Pass Into Space' TI which instructs everyone to take risks with their passing. In my save game, I'm pretty much facing parked buses all the time. I know the temptation is to get into their faces but actually that can prove counter productive. Finally, why would you use the Bayern - Barcelona game as an example? Even though the scoreline would suggest otherwise both teams are actually fairly evenly matched and it's not an example of a team set up defensively against a high pressing opponent. If it were say Atletico Madrid playing against Bayern, do you think they would have attempted to play out from the back in the same way that Barcelona did?
  9. This reminds me of the situation when your team has a corner. When you instruct some of your players to stay back they will straddle the half way line as they know that the opposition can't be offside in their own half. Now this can often run in contradiction when you setup a deeper defensive line but it makes perfect sense not to grant space to the opposition unnecessarily. If the players you keep back were to sit deeper then in a sense you are conceding ground without any benefit for doing so by giving the opposition more of the pitch to counter you. Applying that principle to the situation with the winger. By standing wider you are conceding ground to your opposition for no reason. The winger is already wider than the widest of the opposition fullbacks so is doing his job. Let's go through the scenario where the winger hugs the touchline, The fullback on that side isn't going to chase him as that goes against how a defensive team plays (holding shape, not pressing etc). So therefore the most likely outcome is he will have a lot of space out wide. Now, say the ball is played to him by the touchline. What the winger then wants to do is to progress the attack and bring the ball closer to goal by either dribbling or crossing the ball. If he crosses the ball when hugging the touchline the cross is going to have a long fly time which makes it much easier to deal with for the central defenders especially in a system with nobody looking to run in behind and with a DLF(A) who isn't that strong in the air. That's why you don't see many goals scored from corners among the elite teams and why they tend to play a lot of corners short. Crosses from far away give the opposition defenders time to react, whereas cut backs from the byline are very difficult to handle. You could then counter that by saying, well, he could always dribble the ball forward but then that is precisely my point. By sitting narrower in the first place he already has the best scenario at that stage of the attack. If he instead hugs the touchline at that stage then he has to work to get into that position.
  10. So which of the following is true? Either: - No one is threatening to run in behind - Only the striker is going to be getting on the end of things It isn't an either/or question as you state. Both statements are valid. There isn't anyone threatening to consistently run in behind the defensive line. Whilst it is also true that the DLF(A) is most likely to be on the end of attacking moves given he is the most advanced player in the team. and so you should: - ask your striker to drop deeper and become more of a link player - ask your striker to look for more runs in behind and become more of a runner Again both are valid approaches and it comes down to personal preferences. I suggested that he should try and make runs in behind when I take into consideration the type of player he is and the fact that the tactic doesn't have any other players looking to do that. Equally, you could have him drop off the front and be a link player provided you have players which are seeking to run from deeper positions ahead of him and in behind. First of all, wingers have stay wider regardless of duty. Second, if you look at mister.cool40's previous replies, they clearly say that the PI Hold Position was added precisely because the winger wasn't staying close to the touchline before. Except that when all wide attacking midfielders approach the opposition penalty box they come narrow which you will see when watching matches. Perhaps that's not what you would want but in this instance it makes perfect sense. Say the AML in the screenshot was staying out wide and hugging the touchline as has been suggested he should, what advantage would that offer to the attack to have a spectator out on the flank? The opposition defence is staying narrow and compact. Positioning himself like that actually takes him further away from goal and less able to contribute to the attack and for what purpose? In fact it actually works into the hands of the opposition defence who are happily sacrificing the wide areas to his team and purposefully congesting the middle which offers the bigger threat to them. I'd say he's doing his job correctly as a winger here. He is outside the opposition fullback while adhering to the 'Hold Position' PI by trying to stay in between the oppositions midfield and defensive lines. Hugging the touchline in this particular instance wouldn't be a good idea in my view.
  11. This is where watching your games and knowing how to analyze them comes into play. Look at this screenshot more closely: - If you look at the front 3 there is nobody threatening to run in behind, all 3 are in a line infront of the opposition defensive line. When I said in my first post there is very little penetration through the middle this is what I was referring to. Your players appear advanced because the opposition defensive line is very deep because they are playing on a lower mentality. The attack is quite mature given the position of your fullbacks. This is very comfortable for the defending team, as long as they hold their defensive line they can nullify your attack. All the players you expect to get into the final 3rd all want to use the space infront of the defensive line but look at how the opposition have compressed that space. - The reason why I previously highlighted the DLF(A) is because if you look at this screenshot he is double marked. He would need to beat both central defenders to get an opportunity to have a shot at goal. Dulce is an exceptional player but if the ball is fed to him in the air which is the kind of service which a DLF(A) wants, given his jumping reach I would favour the central defenders to win the aerial battle. I also think the 'Likes To Beat Man Repeatedly' and 'Runs With Ball Often' PPMs don't help him given how little space he has to operate in. Personally, I'd play him as an attack duty winger to take advantage of his blistering pace, exceptional dribbling and intelligent running. If you wanted to keep him as your lone striker I would definitely consider switching to a role which seeks to run in behind more such as a Pressing Forward, Advanced Forward or a Poacher. He doesn't need to be dropping deep in your system and creating for others. You desperately need someone looking to regularly run in behind given you haven't got that movement coming from anywhere else in your team. - You ask why the winger isn't positioned wider, well you haven't given him the duty to do that and you have told him to 'Hold Position'. He is outside the opposition fullback as a winger should be and infront of him as you have instructed. Contrast the width of your winger and wingback. You have to consider that everything is relative when it comes to mentality. Yes, his individual mentality is attacking but that is within a framework where all your players have elevated mentalities too. In my view, thinking about individual mentalities isn't needed to create a cohesive tactic. It's leading you down a path where instead of looking at what your players are actually doing on the pitch you are thinking about what you think they should be doing based on their individual mentality which doesn't help you to understand how your tactic works. I agree that the tactical creator should be a lot more transparent, this has been a failing of the game for a long time. You really should know exactly how your team is going to play before starting a match. As it stands, you have to actually watch your matches in detail to see how your tactic is being translated into the ME which can lead to issues if you haven't a firm idea of what you expect to see from your players. In summary, have a plan for defensive teams, keep things simple, watch and analyze your matches, identify issues and make alterations based on what you are seeing. If you do that I think you will very quickly get to a situation where you can confidently break these sort of teams down on a consistent basis. All the best
  12. @Xenophobic Bean - I'll address your points in the order in which you raised them. This looks like a great tactic. In fact, I won the Europa League with Steaua Bucuresti and the Serie A with Fiorentina respectively with a tactic quite similar to yours. However, and I think you will agree, this is very much a fast attacking tactic, rather than a possession oriented tactic. Obviously, in certain games, you could get quite high possession numbers with this tactic, but a possession oriented tactic this is not. In case I wasn't clear in my OP, I am not just looking for any effective tactic that could create chances from open play, but a possession oriented tactic that is more deliberate in building attacks, and that is a bit slower in tempo. I don't doubt the effectiveness of your tactic, but it is not really something I am looking for. On the other hand, please let me know if you think it's impossible to make an effective tactic for a top side that plays on a standard tempo. With the greatest of respect have you actually tried playing the tactic before coming to the conclusion that it isn't possession oriented? I trialed it for 5 games (all of which I won) in my save where I usually play a 4-4-2. I'm in a similar situation with my team to where Man City are in your save, dominant domestically and face mainly defensive teams. In the two games before the change, I managed 49% and 44% possession respectively which is unsurprising given that my 4-4-2 isn't designed to dominate possession. My statistics for the next 5 games after switching to the tactic are as follows: 1st game - 70% possession, 39 shots, 20 shots on target, 3-0 win 2nd game - 71% possession, 28 shots, 12 shots on target, 3-1 win 3rd game - 70% possession, 23 shots, 8 on target, 1-0 win (a much tougher opponent) 4th game - 70% possession, 32 shots, 19 on target, 3-0 win 5th game - 76% possession , 26 shots, 15 on target 3-0 win If that isn't possession oriented then I don't really know what is to be honest. This is all done with a squad which wasn't assembled with this system in mind so I had to play a few players in roles which they weren't comfortable with and some completely out of position. I also didn't have tactical familiarity and was missing my teams 'De Bruyne' for the first 3 out of 5 games played. Now that he has regained fitness we are becoming even more dominant in possession as the tactical familiarity also increases. More importantly, when watching the games we were creating bucket loads of chances from open play but as I said my squad isn't optimized to play this system so unfortunately we squandered a lot of opportunities, I sense that would improve with more 'fitting' players and more time for my squad to get familiar with the tactic. Tempo has little to do with whether a system is possession based or not. Instead it determines the speed of thought of your players and how quickly they perform actions. Playing at a lower tempo only serves to make it harder for your team to exploit any space created with your off the ball movement patterns especially when playing with shorter passing enabled (which if I'm not mistaken reduces tempo and reduces width). It's possible to make a tactic with standard tempo but it won't be as effective for the reasons which I just highlighted. Playing as a top side and mainly facing defensive opposition you are playing right into their hands by playing slower. I agree with your observation. I have since used played my RB as a WB(A) instead of a WB(S). The hardcoded Cross More Often and Dribble More PIs for the WB(A) is not as bad as a thought it might, but it is certainly unnecessary. I also don't want to play true, orthodox wingers since: 1. I don't like how crossing heavy it is, and 2. how one dimensional it is. In fact, training some of my AML/R to have the PPM Hugs Line and telling them to Stay Wide have helped me maintain my attacking width without having to play them as true wingers. You don't necessarily have to play with an orthodox winger as long as the role you choose stays out wide and creates width for your central players to exploit. I chose the role not because I want the player to be crossing a lot but because I want them staying wide and running wide to create space in the central areas. I find that with my DLP(S), IWB(S) and my HB(D), my team is quite good at recycling possession and I have no issues with this particular aspect of my play. Depth isn't all about what you do behind the ball it's also what happens in front of it. There is no consistent threat of someone running in behind centrally so all the opposition manager would need to do to nullify your team (not that it ever will because it's not capable of that sort of thought) is push up the defensive line. That compresses the space you have instructed your team to attack and thus would seriously damage your attacking strength (Arsenal vs Man City being the perfect example of a team denying space to an opponent). I don't really want to defend my tactic (because it's bad) and the thought behind my tactical choices, but I think you might be wrong about the lack of running in behind. If I am not mistaken, I think you are most unsatisfied with the support duty of my Inside Forward. Whilst playing him on an attack duty would certainly encourage more runs in behind, I fail to believe that Sterling, with 20 Off the Ball, 18 Anticipation, PPMs Gets Into Opposition Area and Likes to Beat Offside Trap (which I trained), and an Very Attacking individual mentality, would not run in behind when the space is there, even when I play him on a support duty. Am I not mistaken to think that the only difference between an attack duty and support duty Inside Forward is their starting position, as well as how likely they are going to shoot themselves or square the ball for another player; and that when my team is camping outside the opposition box, the Inside Forward, regardless of duty, would still be pressing against the opposition defensive line? After all, the description of the role in game is, "With a Support duty the Inside Forward will cut diagonally into the space behind the defence..." Of course, what I just mentioned could all be theoretical and that what truly happens in game is wildly different from what I have just said. The reason why I opted for a support duty is largely because I read somewhere around the forums that mezzala can work nicely with any wide forward role as long as they are on different duties. Since I wanted to have my Mezzala on attack, I thought it would be best if I play my Inside Forward on support. Anyways, just my two cents. A fair point, I didn't know that Sterling had those PPMs and I'm glad to see that you are considering them when creating a system, it's a very good practice which can get overlooked. I'm not saying that it won't happen and a player won't run in behind but it's about whether they do that consistently which matters. Correct me if I am wrong about this, but I am under the impression that everyone is already doing quite different things. The DLF(A) will drop deep and link up with the midfield, and when he gets the ball he will try to fashion chances for himself. The IF(S) will look for runs in behind the opposition defenders, while the IW(S) will either look to feed the DLF(A) and the IF(S) with through balls, or dribble past defenders. The MEZ(A) will drift wide and operate in the half space as my needle player, and the DLP(S) will be my primary playmaker, and at the same time providing cover for my marauding WB(A). Of course, the difference is less pronounced than let's say between a BWM and a AP, or a WTM and a Trequartista, but to me at least, each player is doing different things. Please do correct me if I am not mistaken. With regards to movement when your players receive the ball: The IWB (S), IF(S) & IW(S) all want to cut inside with the ball. The IF(S) wants to cut into the channel, the DLF(A) wants to operate in the channels, the IW(S) wants to cut into the channel, the MEZ(A) wants to move into the channel. So everyone is looking to operate in the channels but there isn't anyone opening those channels up for them to operate in by providing any width. Allowing your wingback to come forward more by giving him an attack duty helps this but I feel you need more width. With regards to passing tendencies when your players receive the ball: The SK(S) is taking more risks, so does the BPD(D), the DLP(S), the MEZ(A), the IF(S) and the DLF(A). That leaves only 1 player that you expect to regularly attack that isn't actually doing that (the IW(S)). You make this worse by playing Bernardo Silva in the role who you could argue is probably the most creative player in your front three. I already stated I think playing De Bruyne in a DLP(S) role is a waste of his talent. Wanting to provide cover for the WB(A) doesn't change my view on this. You are giving up having one of your best midfielders attacking the final third so that you can have a bit of extra cover for your right back which is a poor compromise in my view. As you have a defensive midfielder in the tactic you can afford to make the support duty in midfield more adventurous. That is why I put a BWM(S) on the side of my attacking fullback, he offers more security than the CM(A) but isn't always locked in the central midfield area. Therefore the DLP(D) in DM becomes my focal point for recycling possession. I totally agree with you. But whilst football teams IRL could be successful playing all sorts of tempo with the right setup and players, it seems higher tempo systems are disproportionately more successful in FM20 regardless of opposition and player choice, for me at least. I would love to know how to play a slower/standard tempo tactic. Isn't that reflective of football teams IRL though, teams which play at a higher tempo that move the ball more quickly tend to be more successful. Do you think Man City would have won the treble the season before last playing slowly and allowing teams to bunker up against them? It was the relentless quick movements off the ball and rapid short passes which eventually wears out the opposition defenders. Having to chase the ball all game long is hard work. It's very difficult to sustain an accurate defence when the ball is constantly being shifted all over the place and you have players constantly moving into space. By playing slower, you give the opposition time to recover their defensive positions. Welp I guess luck is important for creating chances. In all fairness, please don't take anything I said above as an attack on your help. In fact, I very much appreciate it and I hope giving my two cents on what I think about your suggestions could help me be learn more about the game. So if there's anything you feel I am wrong about, I would love to hear about it. I'm not presenting myself as some sort of tactical guru (there are others here much more tactically adept) so I haven't taken your comments as an attack on what I'm saying. I'm not afraid of being wrong as that is a learning opportunity and in a sense I'm still learning about the game too. I just try to offer you what I've seen in the game in the hope it can help. Best Regards
  13. Sometimes it feels like I'm playing a completely different game. Yes, there are issues with the ME but even at their worst they have never prevented me from being able to consistently beat teams who set up defensively especially if they are much weaker than my team. That's not to say I don't get the odd freak result against an underdog team but that really is a once in a blue moon event. I'm no expert so if I can do it then I see no reason why others can't. Looking at the tactic itself, there are a few things lacking in my view. - Very little penetration through the middle. - Apart from your winger, wingback, central defender and defensive midfielder, the remaining 7 players are all playmaker types which knocks the system out of balance in my view. - I don't like the DLF(A) as a lone striker as for me a deep lying forward needs someone ahead of him to play the ball to even on the attack duty. In your system there is nobody ahead of him or looking to run in behind centrally so he isn't able to contribute in the way he should. Unless you have an exceptional player who can beat 2 or 3 men every time he gets the ball and can create his own goals against defensive opposition then he is going to have a rough time of it. You have a lot of creative players behind him, why does he need to be in a role which also is designed to create? What was the reason behind getting your left winger to Hold Position? Why would playing a high press restrict the space of your players? Maybe it might be better if you don't keep changing things hoping to stumble upon something which works and instead base your changes on what you are observing. Cheers
  14. I'd probably go with something like the following for Man City. F9 (S) IW (A) W (S) BWM (S) CM (A) DLP (D) WB (A) CD (D) CD (D) FB (S) SK (D) I'd drop the mentality to Balanced to encourage my players to take a less aggressive stance. If looking for a more patient nuanced approach I think it's necessary to temper some of the attack duties within the tactic. I want them to be more aggressive than the support duty players but I want them moving more in step with the support duties around them. On a higher team mentality like positive, the individual mentalities of the attack duty players are very attacking which doesn't really match a patient approach. I'd get my IW (A) and W(S) swapping position throughout the game and add the PI to Roam from Position for both and also the F9 (S). That adds unpredictability to the attack which is a vital component of breaking down defensively minded teams. I'd get my GK to Distribute To The Fullbacks but would take off both Play Out Of Defence and Work Ball into Box. Both of the latter will happen naturally anyway much like I wouldn't need to tell my LB overlap as the way I've set up the tactic should mean he does that anyway. I'd continue to play with Shorter Passing but add Much Higher Tempo as I think Man City have a lot of players with great first touch so could control the ball quickly and move it on without having to hesitate. You also need to be able to move the ball quickly from one area to another (where the space is) and if you insist on playing shorter passes the only way to achieve that is to move the ball faster and spend less time on the ball unless attempting to dribble. I'd push up to a Higher Defensive Line and Use Offside Trap. I would get my front 3 to man mark instead of pressing hard as I would want to encourage the opposition out of defence with the ball. Doing that should force them to play it into midfield or risk it being intercepted by one of the front 3 if they want to try and play the ball around at the back. By setting up a pressing trap the aim is to attempt to force a turnover in the central midfield area instead and quickly exploit the space left as they moved out of position. The IW(A) would man mark the RB, the W(S) would man mark the LB and the F9(S) would man mark either the DCL or DCR (whichever is better at passing the ball). If the opposition field a back 3 then I would have the F9 (S) man mark the middle central defender, the IW(A) the DCR and the W(S) the DCL. That configuration always leaves one man spare to have the ball but as all his close options are marked that forces him to either attempt to dribble the ball forward or punt it long into midfield. Where I'd want my CM (A) pressing as aggressively as my BWM (S) so would give him that PI. My thinking is that my front 2 would be the F9 (S) and IW (A). The F9 (S) would drop off the front drawing the defensive line forward. That combined with the IW (A) looking to run into the channel and in behind from deep would provide the push-pull I referred to earlier. The width would be provided by the WB(A) and W(S) and force the opposition to have to defend over the full width of the pitch. I also like that the arrival of width is staggered. The winger provides it early and then later in the attacking move the wingback provides it. I've intentionally set up a more aggressive left flank although this could of course be inverted (a more aggressive right flank instead). The Ball Winning Midfielder (Support) is the aggressor who is there to break up play and force a turnover of possession in the midfield. He is also less aggressive with his forward movements to provide a bit more security for the left flank. His job being to delay opposition counter attacks and give time for the wingback to recover his defensive position should possession be lost high up the field. He is also the link man between the defensive pivot and attacking pivot. I would want the CM (A) to be the main attacking pivot (De Bruyne) whose job is to run from deep, get into that golden zone and be creative. As such I would give him the PI to Take More Risks with his passing. He should be regularly getting close enough to the F9 (S) that he can link up and reduce his isolation. Those runs should be easier given the winger to his right who by providing early width opens up the channel in between the DL and DCL for him and the IW (A) who should provide early distraction runs off the ball and pull defenders to their right to deal with him. He should also be looking to run beyond the F9 (S) regularly so that both the channels between the opposition DR, DCR and DL, DCL are being exploited. The DLP (D) is the defensive pivot who I expect to keep it simple and come deep to transition the ball from the defence into midfield. As a consequence, I've put both the DCs on the central defender (defend) role and given the Sweeper Keeper a defend duty. This is to mitigate them from constantly trying to play risky passes with the aim of getting them to regularly play it through the DM. I've left the Sweeper Keeper as I don't want to entirely stop him from attempting the occasional long pass if it's beneficial while I still want the sweeping aspect of the role. Finally, possession is not entirely a function of how you instruct your team to play. I use a 4-4-2 and I often dominate the ball but that's because the majority of teams I play against are defensive against us. The key ingredients to creating better attacks from open play are. - Good width Force the opposition to have to defend the whole width of the pitch, that was lacking in your first tactic. - Good depth Give yourself the opportunity to recycle possession and keep the pressure on. This is important as if your path to goal is blocked then you need to be able to restart and try again. Given the gaps between your players that would have been difficult to achieve. There was also nobody looking to run in behind with regularity as everything was played in front of the opposition defensive line. - Variety This is vitally important to keep the opposition defenders guessing. You want to set up situations where they are constantly forced to make decisions with either option being detrimental to their defensive shape in some way. For e.g. with the F9 (S), they can either follow him when he drops deep which then creates space for your CM (A) and IW (A) to run in behind or let him drop into space in the most dangerous area of the pitch for them to defend. In your tactic everyone was doing very similar things. Run centrally but the only players creating space in the middle by running into the wide areas were your right back and mezzala who given your mentality may not have the opportunity to even contribute that given that one of them has to arrive from deep and the other starts in a central position. - Good tempo This is to ensure you can quickly exploit the space that your movement patterns are creating. Good luck
  15. 1. Is the DLP(S) too conservative as a role? Should I be using a RPM or an AP(S) so that my playmaker is closer to the final third? But wouldn't that mean I have no one covering in my midfield? For De Bruyne, I think that playing him in that role is a waste of his talent. You want him making runs into the golden zone and influencing play in the final third. He doesn't necessarily have to be in a playmaking role though but if you wish to play him in one then either of the two you suggested would be fine. If you play him as a roaming playmaker I'd think about whether I would want to continue instructing your players to 'Be More Expressive', a degree of roaming is okay but he still needs to be disciplined positionally to some extent. The cover for your midfield is your DM which I think you should be playing as a defensive midfielder or deep lying playmaker on defend. A half back doesn't really suit Rodri or Fernandinho. Taking inspiration from how Man City play in real life, the DM is usually positioned in your golden zone where his job is to disrupt and block off passing lanes through the central areas. Fernandinho is probably one of the finest protagonists of this in modern football who when in possession keeps it simple and plays it to the more creative players in front of him. 2. Is the IWB(S) on the left a poor choice? My thinking was that the MEZ(A) would be the player providing the width in the final third, while my IF(S) cut inside to provide a goal threat and my IWB (S) would be the player covering for the MEZ(A). But should I be using a role like a WB(S) to provide width on the left flank? I think the IWB isn't a great choice in your system and doesn't really suit the left footed Zinchenko at all. I think you should always utilize players in ways which they are most comfortable with. You could try to substitute having a marauding fullback with a mezzala but is that mezzala going to be as good at performing that role of running down the flank, creating width by overlapping, crossing the ball and creating overloads with the player ahead of him as the fullback? At 34 years old, do you really want David Silva attempting to play as a winger? To be honest I think that whole flank could be revised. Sterling is more of an inverted winger (attack) so a wingback (support) behind him would make a lot of sense. I'd change the mezzala (attack) to central midfielder (attack) so that he could then take advantage of the space created in the central areas by the width. 3. Is the DLF(A) too isolated from the rest of the team? Yet I am afraid that if I use a F9 or a DLF(S), the team would lack attacking penetration as a result. Potentially the DLF (A) is likely to get isolated owing to your team instructions. Aguero isn't a DLF type of player either and is more like a poacher. A F9 or DLF(S) could work better but only if you change the roles of your wide players so they can take advantage of the sort of movement that type of striker brings to the table. You need a push-pull on the opposition defensive line. As it stands, you have a pulling effect on the back line with your choice of roles drawing the defensive line forward but not a pushing effect as you haven't any players looking to consistently get in behind in central areas. 4. Should I be using a more aggressive press to win the ball higher up the pitch? I know how effective this could be from my experience playing a high tempo, high pressing system, but I am not sure the players I have can pull off a more aggressive press. You could be more aggressive with your pressing but you have to ask yourself the question of what you are hoping to achieve by doing that. You also have to consider whether the rest of the tactic is setup in accordance with that strategy. In my view, it isn't. 5. Generally speaking, I don't know whether or not my players are even capable of playing such a style. If so, what players would be suitable? The style of play you are trying to get your players looks rather cautious to my eyes given your instructions. Shorter passing is a risk reduction instruction which I don't feel you need playing as Man City. Just because you don't select that particular instruction doesn't mean your team won't dominate possession and that your players won't play short passes if they feel it is the best option. I also feel that instruction makes it much more difficult for your wide players and your front 3 to link up effectively owing to the large natural gaps between them because of the formation. You either have to bring your players much closer together with roles, duties and instructions when your team has the ball to make that style work, change to a formation where they aren't spread as much over the pitch or remove the instruction, in my opinion. Play out of defence is another of those instructions which slows down your attacks which given you are playing a sweeper keeper (support) seems an odd choice. Ederson is known for his excellent long range passes to launch counter attacks, why would you want to prevent him from doing this? It can be an excpetionally powerful tool given the amount of defensively minded teams you will face as Man City. On the occasions when the opposition ventures forward and he makes a save and has the ball that becomes the perfect opportunity to launch it long and take advantage of any space they leave in behind. The work the ball into box also will make your players more ponderous in the final third giving the opposition vital time to recover their defensive positions and given the shorter passing you can't even try a quick switch of play to attempt to open up space. You'll find that a lot of the time top teams get their goals when they manage to quickly exploit gaps in the opposition shape as a result of errors or pulling players out of position. Very few goals are scored with methodical, intricate passing as there likely isn't the space to make that happen consistently against defensive opposition. A recent example of this is Arsenal's win over Man City in the FA Cup semi final where Arsenal suffocated the space in the final third. Given the squad at your disposal and the money available, you could probably play any style you want but you need to also define that style more clearly I feel. At the moment, some of your choices for roles and duties don't match with the players you have and also don't suit some of the way you have instructed your team to play. Hope that has been of help to you Cheers
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