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wwfan

Real World Tactical Approaches

Do real world managers ...  

972 members have voted

  1. 1. Do real world managers ...

    • Always play exactly the same tactic, no matter the opposition or scoreline?
      195
    • Change tactics for home and away matches?
      99
    • Change tactics for every opponent?
      70
    • Change tactic for every situation (opponent and scoreline)?
      145
    • Change tactics for opponent, scoreline and how their own team is playing?
      463


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I'd just like to do a little research on opinions forum users have on real world football management. Please take a few seconds to choose an answer to the poll.

I'm also interested in any discussion, debate on or examples that might back up your opinion.

Thanks for taking part.

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They change tactics for opponent, scoreline and how their own team is playing. However, the majority of FM users are used to the Diablo tactic from yesteryear. Seems like they just want to buy players and go from there. Hopefully, SI does not cater to them and continues to improve on the sophisticated engine.

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I would say it depends on which manager. If you have a tactitian then yes they'd be tweaking home, away and in-game and also opponents threats and weaknesses. If they are more a motivator then they might focus on getting the players mentally ready for matches and then have a general playing philosophy.

I think the "problem" with FM is that from the time it actually had the wibble/wobble the managers options have been "limited" in a way where the game now has more control then the actual user. What I mean is the reason why some people struggle is because they've relied on wacky formations or extreme settings to play the game in a way where they feel they have a nice balance between players and tactics.

Now that the user is kind of "forced" to play the way the game allows, whereas previous versions you could get left backs to play as right wingers in attack by dragging arrows. Yes it's unrealistic but if it worked and people liked the way it balanced their way of playing the game then who am I to complain?

I've never had a problem playing the tactics game realisticly but for an "average" user I think they struggle far too much to get any enjoyment out of it due to a lot of micromanagement. Let's face it there is a lot to consider when you actually think about it and yes there is a great sense of achievement when you do it on your own tactical nouse but would it be so bad that some users would like to have a overall balanced tactic they could play around with? I'm not talking about a diablo but more a tactic(s) for casual gamers.

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I like the tactical side of FM10 much more than previous versions. I only use the Tactics Creator and shouts and find it very realistic. I've never had that much trouble with tactics before, but now it's easier for me to know and understand what I need to change in order to get what I want from my tactics.

I believe that all managers, even those managing the top teams, have different tactical plans for home and away games. Then with shouts during the match they make adjustments as the things unfold before their eyes.

As an example I will use my favorite Barca. Many people think they play the same way regardless of whom and where. Wrong. At home, Barcelona under Pep clearly uses more fluid philosophy with more creative freedom, more roaming, more width, quicker tempo, higher D-line. Now, they could play more balanced at home against the top clubs in Europe like Chelsea, Man U, Real M,etc. Away from home, Barca use more rigid philosophy with lower D-line, slower tempo, shorter passing, less roaming,etc. Defenders focus on defending and wing forwards help more in midfield. One thing that stays the same is they always seek majority of the possession. Sometimes even too much without creating any scoring chances - as in the game at Rubin Kazan in the second half.

What do you think?

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I think it's more of a "home and away" tactic really. I don't think managers like to change too much from their original idea. A team like Arsenal for example would never stop playing their game at home, maybe a bit more "safe" against other top sides. Away from home they have the same idea but a bit more defensive approach. A smaller team like Stoke, you see this even more clear. At home they are a "in your face" kind of team, making them very solid at their ground. Away they are a whole other side, a lot more defensive and cautious. Obviously there are some tewaking going on, like closing down key players, using the flanks if the other team plays more centrally, being more defensive to protect a lead or a point etc. But the basic tactic will more or less always stay the same.

But I wouldn't go as far as to say they change much for every team they play. Like I said, I don't think managers like to stray to far of their original idea.

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I think it depends on the manager as say Arsene Wenger sticks pretty much to one philosphy and never changes the shape of his tactic. Alex Ferguson tends to employ 4-4-2 and occasionally change to 4-6-0 away. And Ancellotti sticks to his diamond formation never straying from it.

But if your asking so what do people want in this game i think the majority would like to just have a tactic and play that all the time. I myself don't like changing my tactics or style of play that much although i do like to see the tactical side of the game being worked on so your able to do more. I just don't want to see it going in such a direction whereas i feel like i have to make all the decisions and constantly tweek and tinker to get the 3 points. As afterall once the players are on the pitch it is really up to them to get the job done

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I am going to use arsenal as my example as i know them the best, The back 4 always the same doesn't matter who is playing, Using fm terms they make changes in attack depending on who is playing: for instance when diaby is playing in cm he is a box-box player whilst denilson is i suppose a cm in support, and nasri or rosicky are more equal to Fabregas. And up top arshavin will play like an inside forward and eboue as a winger or bendnter who plays like a wide target man. Also they do it on oppenents like last year we swapped from a 4-4-2 to i suppose a 4-3-3. Smaller teams will obviously if they score against arsenal will then go and park the bus.

In fm though imo the players take too long to get use to for instance i change the role alongside Fabregas from box-box to centre midfielder and then during the next match they dont play aswell.

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"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes" - The great, late Sir Brian Clough.

I've been a CM/FM player since day one of the series, and before that Football Manager on the Spectrum. I've also played football for as long as I remember and I pride myself at having at least an ounce knowledge about the game of football. Whilst the points made here are all valid and I agree with some of them, in essence football is simple.

The reason I quoted the great, late Sir Brian Clough is because I agree with his statement. Football is over complicated (or should I say people try and over complicate it)...in essence it isn't. 'Old Big ead' knew that and before him, Shankly knew that. To quote Bill Shankly "Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple." Another statement I agree with and if those two managed on those philosophies...it can't be far wrong.

It's a tough question/poll to answer and has many variables. As Justified wrote...it depends on what manager, it also depends on what team. Ferguson rarely changes from his preferred formation, with only an exception in tough games i.e. the Chelsea game a few weeks ago where he chose to go with a 4-5-1. Wenger is another manager who also sticks with his preferred formation, only making a few tweaks here and there. Generally though, as saberhagen83 wrote, I wouldn't go as far as to say they change much for every team they play. I don't think managers like to stray too far from their original idea.

What annoys me is people who try to over-complicate a perfectly simple game by banging on about formations and tactics; holding midfielders, players in the hole, striding wing-backs blah, blah, blah, in a bid to make out they’re more clever than everyone else. Of course, without formations and plans there would be no football, but it’s wrong to believe football is merely the sum of its tactical parts. Tactics are an integral part of the sport, but they are only one part.

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"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes" - The great, late Sir Brian Clough.

I've been a CM/FM player since day one of the series, and before that Football Manager on the Spectrum. I've also played football for as long as I remember and I pride myself at having at least an ounce knowledge about the game of football. Whilst the points made here are all valid and I agree with some of them, in essence football is simple.

The reason I quoted the great, late Sir Brian Clough is because I agree with his statement. Football is over complicated (or should I say people try and over complicate it)...in essence it isn't. 'Old Big ead' knew that and before him, Shankly knew that. To quote Bill Shankly "Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple." Another statement I agree with and if those two managed on those philosophies...it can't be far wrong.

It's a tough question/poll to answer and has many variables. As Justified wrote...it depends on what manager, it also depends on what team. Ferguson rarely changes from his preferred formation, with only an exception in tough games i.e. the Chelsea game a few weeks ago where he chose to go with a 4-5-1. Wenger is another manager who also sticks with his preferred formation, only making a few tweaks here and there. Generally though, as saberhagen83 wrote, I wouldn't go as far as to say they change much for every team they play. I don't think managers like to stray too far from their original idea.

What annoys me is people who try to over-complicate a perfectly simple game by banging on about formations and tactics; holding midfielders, players in the hole, striding wing-backs blah, blah, blah, in a bid to make out they’re more clever than everyone else. Of course, without formations and plans there would be no football, but it’s wrong to believe football is merely the sum of its tactical parts. Tactics are an integral part of the sport, but they are only one part.

I completley agree with you on this mate. I have tried to say this aswell. I feel as though on this game i have to make changes every minute to ensure a win when in reality football just isn't like that mangers themselves have said in the past once they done the team talk picked the side there is little else for them to do than watch and hope it all goes to plan

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Football is simple, but the hardest thing is to play simple!

A tactic is a way to organize a bunch of players and their talents into a team. What makes the top teams so good is the tactical organization. For example, look at Chelsea with Scolari and with Hiddink - a million miles of difference. To me though, Chelsea will never be better or more organized than when they had Mourinho as a manager. I can't imagine Man United without Sir Alex...or Arsenal without Wenger. One of the many reasons why I support Barca is because the club has a playing style that is integrated into every age group. And they wont hire a manager that doesn't implement attacking - possession based style.

Yes, players win games. But you need to have good tactical organization in order to allow the most talented of players to succeed. Take France for example. They missed the World Cup in 1994 and that gave them the chance to rebuild the team. Cantona and Ginola were fighting - gone. Papin - gone. There comes a new talented player with magic in his feet - Zinedine Zidane. And what do the French do - they build the team around him. The rest is history. Zizou is in the same group of elite players as Pele, Maradona, Cruiff, etc.

So I say you need both equally - players and tactics - to have success.

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I Always play exactly the same tactic, no matter the opposition or scoreline?

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Now that the user is kind of "forced" to play the way the game allows, whereas previous versions you could get left backs to play as right wingers in attack by dragging arrows.

That. Was. Not. What. Arrows. Did.

None of the above, as I don't think the answers are precise enough.

I think, to start with, most managers have an idea of how they want the team to play. They'll spend pre-season drilling certain moves into players. This will go on throughout the season, but less intensely. These are the foundations. If there's something wrong, the side is basically doomed. If City's game plan was to aim high balls at SWP, they wouldn't win.

On top of that, the manager will have a plan for every player depending on position. For example, Benitez may want Riera the left winger to get to the byline and cross, but he could want Benayoun the left winger to drift inside and support Gerrard. On top of that, Benayoun the attacking midfielder could have more responsibilities bursting forward, or pulling his marker wide, that Benayoun the left winger wouldn't have. I don't know how much of that would be the manager's decision or the player's though.

You've then got to consider what impact the choice of Riera or Benayoun would have on Torres. With a traditional winger, he'd need to get into space to get his head on the cross. With Benayoun coming inside, he'd need to make diagonal runs to stretch his marker, try and get one on one, but stay onside.

Home and away, I feel, means less nowadays due to the improvements in facilities and such, so the trip is less likely to be a drag and the away dressing room has running water ;). The only thing I would say is that home fans don't like to see their side sat back and defending, so managers will tell the players to push on a bit more to stop the fans getting on their backs.

There will be times, however, when changes are made that don't just involve the personnel. For example, when playing against a side who are a bit rougher, a Wimbledon or Blackburn. Even more obvious, when playing against a far better side, especially away from home, teams will get behind the ball.

Other than that, the main changes during the season will be, in FM terms, opposition instructions. "Everything goes through the right winger- close him down and show him inside". "They always kick it to the big guy- one of you mark him tightly, the other drop off to get the knock down". "The left back is in poor form, get it out there, and try to overrun him." "Smith in midfield does loads of damage- sit deeper this week and stay on his touch." A few may be in "player instructions" terms, like the last two, but primarily OIs would be the way forward.

During a match, men will be thrown forward if chasing a goal, and held back if holding on. This is were I don't like FM. Often the opposition simply won't be able to build a proper attack any more IRL, so the entire game plan doesn't need changing. All that is likely to change is that midfielders may sit a bit more (often via a substitute) and the full backs won't get forward as much. In FM10, to defend a two goal lead you need to have 7 or 8 behind the ball and try to retain possession.

If the tactical approach isn't working, it will be changed. However, you won't see Fulham play a different tactic for their matches against Birmingham and Stoke, other than perhaps OIs, and defence of set pieces.

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That. Was. Not. What. Arrows. Did.

That was just an extreme example. I would of thought most people would of caught on to that. I guess you're part of the minority. :rolleyes:

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There are some issues that some seem to have a hard time understanding. As much as I would love my players to run around on the screen doing what they should do as in real life, I still have to take somethings into consideration:

This is a Game, the more 'control' we have the more it is a game. The less control us 'gamers' have actually means what?... Could it mean that we have to rely on Game Coders to make them work for us? Is that really an option? I mean, we seriously have to take some of these things into consideration otherwise we might as well tell the Coders exactly how we want them to code this for us...

What type of game this actually is will be dependant on the form of control that a gamer has. If it is not a stratagy game then what is it? If you look on the market there are three types of games:

1: action games that require skill. You will always have a periode of 'learning' how to use the controls and can be extremely frustrating when we get shot (for example) or get scored on all the time to start with. We crack our skulls untill we are very good at it, but thankfully we will always have a competative opponent somewhere in the world.

2: strategy games that require skill. You will always have difficulty in understanding how the game works, so again we crack our skulls untill we can build a city/fortress/army/tactic that can compete with the others. Again there is a learning periode and again we will always encounter a competative opponent.

3: fun games. These usually have weak mechanisms, are easy accessible and easy to beat because the game 'machanics' are in the hands of the Game Coders that make us feel like we are having fun. There are plenty of games out there that have these preferances yet we still don't want to play them because we all know it will be binned sooner than later.

So, this is basically how the games add up. Choice is yours...

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That. Was. Not. What. Arrows. Did.

None of the above, as I don't think the answers are precise enough.

I think, to start with, most managers have an idea of how they want the team to play. They'll spend pre-season drilling certain moves into players. This will go on throughout the season, but less intensely. These are the foundations. If there's something wrong, the side is basically doomed. If City's game plan was to aim high balls at SWP, they wouldn't win.

On top of that, the manager will have a plan for every player depending on position. For example, Benitez may want Riera the left winger to get to the byline and cross, but he could want Benayoun the left winger to drift inside and support Gerrard. On top of that, Benayoun the attacking midfielder could have more responsibilities bursting forward, or pulling his marker wide, that Benayoun the left winger wouldn't have. I don't know how much of that would be the manager's decision or the player's though.

You've then got to consider what impact the choice of Riera or Benayoun would have on Torres. With a traditional winger, he'd need to get into space to get his head on the cross. With Benayoun coming inside, he'd need to make diagonal runs to stretch his marker, try and get one on one, but stay onside.

Home and away, I feel, means less nowadays due to the improvements in facilities and such, so the trip is less likely to be a drag and the away dressing room has running water ;). The only thing I would say is that home fans don't like to see their side sat back and defending, so managers will tell the players to push on a bit more to stop the fans getting on their backs.

There will be times, however, when changes are made that don't just involve the personnel. For example, when playing against a side who are a bit rougher, a Wimbledon or Blackburn. Even more obvious, when playing against a far better side, especially away from home, teams will get behind the ball.

Other than that, the main changes during the season will be, in FM terms, opposition instructions. "Everything goes through the right winger- close him down and show him inside". "They always kick it to the big guy- one of you mark him tightly, the other drop off to get the knock down". "The left back is in poor form, get it out there, and try to overrun him." "Smith in midfield does loads of damage- sit deeper this week and stay on his touch." A few may be in "player instructions" terms, like the last two, but primarily OIs would be the way forward.

During a match, men will be thrown forward if chasing a goal, and held back if holding on. This is were I don't like FM. Often the opposition simply won't be able to build a proper attack any more IRL, so the entire game plan doesn't need changing. All that is likely to change is that midfielders may sit a bit more (often via a substitute) and the full backs won't get forward as much. In FM10, to defend a two goal lead you need to have 7 or 8 behind the ball and try to retain possession.

If the tactical approach isn't working, it will be changed. However, you won't see Fulham play a different tactic for their matches against Birmingham and Stoke, other than perhaps OIs, and defence of set pieces.

Good post mate. I think the new touchline shouts are causing a lot of problems with the games as well as the dodgy match engine. I feel we are having to do way to much to try and ensure a win or a draw in games by constantly needing to tweek the tactics during matches when in all reality this simply doesn't happen like that in real life. players know when to push or control the play and begin to defend ect.. However i do think the new tactics wizard and the shouts are a good advancement of the game, just they need to be worked on more and have a lot more help with them too for people

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As some others mentioned in this thread, I believe most managers will have a set way they want their players to play, including formation and tactics. However, these will be mildly tweaked using OI's or player instructions as opposed to overhauling their principles.

There may be the occasional change in formation between home and away (e.g. 1 or 2 up top) or maybe if there are injuries (much like Everton atm) but I believe that for the most part a managers tactical philosphy will stay more or less the same. For example Wenger isnt going to start Arsenal playing long ball and Moyes will probably never start a match 4-4-2 ;P.

I think its important to remember that this is a game and while it is vital to make sure it is as real to life as possible, the player must also enjoy that experience and constant needs to tweak every last detail depending on the opponent, players, pitch size, continent, weather will reduce the fun of the game. The odd adjustment to tactics, OI's and the odd in game shout are about right for me.

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I'm very interested in hearing some extra information from those who selected the 'always play exactly the same' option.

Does this mean you believe that Man Utd, for example, play equally aggressively at home to Hull as they would do away to Barcelona? Do you also believe that they will not target opposing weaknesses or try to contain their strengths? Or, as some others have mentioned, are you actually talking about basic tactical principles (i.e. Man Utd always line up 4-4-2, spread play to the flanks, aggressively contest the centre of the pitch, look to counter at pace)?

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Obviously in real life, a manager spends dozens of hours preparing for just one game, going over things with his players, getting to know the opponent. This would make for a pretty awful computer game though.

But most managers use the same formation for most games, and I imagine the tweaks they do are more like touchline instructions and opponent instructions than changing stuff for each player individually throughout the game.

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I think it depends on the manager at the time but most managers have a basic philosophy that they stick to.

Alot of the criticism that Benitez recieves from fans is based on the fact that he insists on playing two defensive midfielders and one up front even at home against Stoke, Birmingham etc. He has a safety first don't concede outlook, fans understand him playing this way against Chelsea and Man U away but expect more of an attacking approach at home.

Keegan at Newcastle for example would tell his players to go out and play attacking flowing football that used wingers and attacking full backs and looked to take the game to their opponents, this would be at home to West Ham or away to Liverpool, his philosophy was attack.

Martin O'Neill has played the same way since his Leicester days with a 433/451 fromation that relies on counter attacking and pace on the wings and a target man/physical presence up front who can hold up the ball and bring other players into play.

These examples have a philosophy in place and they may just change their players depending on who they are playing but their philosophy remains the same. Managers tend to then buy players that will fit their system or style.

One of the notable things for me with FM2010 (and FM2009) in my opinion is that the standard of player has almost become irrelevant to your chances of success on the pitch. You could have eleven world class players out there but if you decide to go for control instead of attack you will probably lose the game.

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Depends on the manager I think.

Some managers are known for their inability to play anything but plan A, while others have a fluid approach, depending on opposition and their own players.

Watched Bolton-Blackburn on the telly yesterday, and Megson kept his team playing direct with diagonal passes from the back for the entire game, despite this being easily dealt with by Backburn's strong defenders. When the subs came on in form of Klasnic and the young Korean who's name alludes me, they still kept up with plan A, despite not having the players on the pitch to execute it.

Blackburn on the other hand started the game quite direct, but in the second half they slowed down, passing the ball sideways and keeping good possession, and looked a threat this way aswell.

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I voted Change tactics for opponent, scoreline and how their own team is playing.

As an example i was lucky enough to get a ticket to Man U v Everton last weekend. Everton started with Saha upfront on his own, and went in at half time 1-0 down. At half time Moyes brought on Yakubu for Gosling and played two upfront. Fellaini then started playing as a pushed up winger on the left hand side.

Feguson brought off Rafael (right back) for scholes. Fletcher moved to right back (i expect as rafael was not tall enough to mark Fellaini) and Scholes played in midfield. After the second or third united goal rooney came off for obertan- and united played 1 striker with 5 midfielders (two wingers still pushing up though).

This, in my opinion, showed both managers changing tactic (and formation) based on the opposition, scoreline, and how their team were playing.

Of course every manager is different and I am sure there are examples which you could use to justify other options for this poll.

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I agree pretty much with what SCIAG said:

"None of the above."

And yet at the same time, all of the above! :)

In the real-world, I don't think you can neatly package up everything involved in a manager's approach to a game in a single box labelled "tactics".

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Real Managers definitely tweak their tactics for all situations however in FM, I enjoy fulfilling just the Man Management side of things and use one or two tactics for the entire season.

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I'm actually astounded that 18.63% of people voted for managers always using the same tactic, no matter the opposition or scoreline. They must watch different games to me! :p As I said previously, there's too much emphasise on the importance of tactics/formations but nevertheless, they're still an integral part of football. I wonder if people are confusing tactics with formations :confused:

I think SCIAG summed it up on what managers do (if you can sum it up in a nutshell as there's so much they do do).

If we're talking about FM though, then maybe this is why people are voting for the 1st option? This is a game and at the end of the day, people want to enjoy a game not tinker around for hours on end finding the right tactic. People want to play, enjoy and win. But do we sacrifice that for realism?

The poll a few weeks regarding do people want a diablo tactic? produced some interesting results which brings me to the reasoning of the high percentage of people voting for always using the same tactic.

I personally prefer realism.

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I'm actually astounded that 18.63% of people voted for managers always using the same tactic, no matter the opposition or scoreline.

Don't be astounded.

a) This is the internet. Need I say more? :)

b) That 18.63% currently equates to 30 people. Not really a large enough sample to draw any accurate conclusions about the entire FM userbase.

c) If there had been an option that said "Look at me! I'm a great big pink fluffy hippopotamus!", then at least 25% of people would have picked that option.

d) The word "tactic" can encapsulate many aspects of a real-life manager's ideas and methods. Perhaps there indeed are some of these that managers do not - or rarely - change.

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I'd say they play the same tactical frame most of the time but adapt it quite a bit according to the opponent and the progression of the match.

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I'm actually astounded that 18.63% of people voted for managers always using the same tactic, no matter the opposition or scoreline. They must watch different games to me! :p As I said previously, there's too much emphasise on the importance of tactics/formations but nevertheless, they're still an integral part of football. I wonder if people are confusing tactics with formations :confused:

Sadly they do mix them up and I feel that's whats happened here.

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Don't be astounded.

a) This is the internet. Need I say more? :)

b) That 18.63% currently equates to 30 people. Not really a large enough sample to draw any accurate conclusions about the entire FM userbase.

c) If there had been an option that said "Look at me! I'm a great big pink fluffy hippopotamus!", then at least 25% of people would have picked that option.

d) The word "tactic" can encapsulate many aspects of a real-life manager's ideas and methods. Perhaps there indeed are some of these that managers do not - or rarely - change.

a) True.

b) Yes I saw that the 18% (now 19%) equated for 30 people, but out of 181 people who voted, it's still a lot. I agree, it's not enough to draw any accurate conclusions just yet but still...at this early stage, 19% is a hell of a percentage.

c) So you're saying that the poll is a waste of time as people just vote to 'mess up' the result?

d) It can. Tactics cover a wide spectrum, from OI's, to motivation, to philosophy, to...as you say, they encapsulate many aspects. Speaking from my experience there are things that managers do and don't change.

Sadly they do mix them up and I feel that's whats happened here.

I have to agree with you. For people to vote for the option of managers always using the same tactic, it has to be the reason.

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I'm trying to work out how this could all be best applied to FM. I think the different approaches offered in the wizard are roughly what a mid-table side will use (overload, attack, control, normal, counter, defend, contain). Overload and contain will very rarely be used from the start, and some teams won't have the players to play control or counter.

Traditionally, I've used three main tactics, and these are what I give to people who ask me for my tactics. Because of my footballing education, my "normal" tactic is more like an "attack" tactic. I then have an "overload" tactic and a "contain" tactic. I use these when appropriate. Some tactics are naturally more defensive than others, but I would only switch between them due to personell shortages.

The balance between "diablo" and "too much tweaking" is a fine line. I think few would have a problem with sticking to one main tactic (depending on the manager'sown personal views as to whether defend/counter/normal/control/attack is 'best'), adjusting it according to personell (i.e. no cloggers taking long shots) and changing at the end of a match if looking for a win or holding on. Of course, there would also need to be changes when playing teams at the extreme ends of major European tables (less so in "lesser" leagues) to "defend" against or "attack" them- if you yourself were at the other end, you'd probably go to the extreme...

I digress.

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c) So you're saying that the poll is a waste of time as people just vote to 'mess up' the result?

I wouldn't necessarily go that far, but I personally wouldn't be surprised at the results being skewed to at least some degree by mischievousness. :)

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In regards to your poll, I do agree with what Squirmy mentioned above.

And just a bit about tactics... I'm an assistant coach for a team of 12-14 year olds in a recreation league, and I also play in a non-profit Sunday league with a bunch of other out of shape 20-somethings (whom I also captain). The way that I've been taught to approach the game (which is also the way I try to coach and captain) is that we need to stick to our gameplan. Through practice and routine, the goal is that we can become better at playing our game than they are at defending/attacking against it or even forming their own game. I try to manage this same way in Football Manager, but of course you have to change certain things based on the situation. The one thing we change the most IRL are the matchups (for instance, if our defenders are getting bullied, we'll play someone more aggressive in that position).

The one thing I never change is how useful a counter attack and a deep lying forward can be.

Does anyone have any experience with tactics or coaching that they bring into FM? And how do you feel it gets played out in the game as opposed to real life? The biggest difference I notice is that I can't yell at team mates and tell them to get their fingers out of their asses.

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I completley agree with you on this mate. I have tried to say this aswell. I feel as though on this game i have to make changes every minute to ensure a win when in reality football just isn't like that mangers themselves have said in the past once they done the team talk picked the side there is little else for them to do than watch and hope it all goes to plan

As I'm having the very same debate with Millie and WWfan on the thread above I thought I'd throw my oar in on this one too.

I agree that in reality managers will make changes according to scoreline and performance - though less so in terms of opposition. I think Man Utd, for instance, would start the game in pretty much exactly the same way against every team except possibly the top four and big teams in Europe.

I think good teams change their tactics (instructions and formation) less often because they are the best side with the best players and the opposition should be worrying about them not the other way round.

Of course against a Barcelona you might try to man mark Messi out of a game or close down Gerrard quicker but you wouldn't adjust your width or creative freedom to counter Wigan or Bolton's tactic.

If your winning the game you might play more defensively, or play slower but these you would tackle through shouts NOT by changing tactics.

When all is said and done the game is a game - meant to be played for enjoyment not to get an FA coaching badge. There's realism and there's ridiculous micro-management and I feel the game now places too much emphasis on tactical tweaks and not enough on the players.

Man Utd might drop to fourth with an appalling manager and Portsmouth might get to lower mid-table with an exceptional manager but the teams with the best players win - we all know that.

Does FM "feel" like that's the case? Not for me. Whether I play as Arsenal, Man Utd, Wigan or Grimsby I feel the game punishes me hard if my sliders aren't perfectly placed to counter the opposition rather than giving my players and philososphy, a framework, the odd individual instruction and let them go out and play.

I wouldn't mind if I had to put a bit of time and effort into analysing the opponents and changing tactics half a dozen big games a season but it seems like you have to do it week in week out regardless of who you are playing.

Is that more realism or is it pandering to the tactical "geeks"?

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As I'm having the very same debate with Millie and WWfan on the thread above I thought I'd throw my oar in on this one too.

I agree that in reality managers will make changes according to scoreline and performance - though less so in terms of opposition. I think Man Utd, for instance, would start the game in pretty much exactly the same way against every team except possibly the top four and big teams in Europe.

I think good teams change their tactics (instructions and formation) less often because they are the best side with the best players and the opposition should be worrying about them not the other way round.

Of course against a Barcelona you might try to man mark Messi out of a game or close down Gerrard quicker but you wouldn't adjust your width or creative freedom to counter Wigan or Bolton's tactic.

If your winning the game you might play more defensively, or play slower but these you would tackle through shouts NOT by changing tactics.

When all is said and done the game is a game - meant to be played for enjoyment not to get an FA coaching badge. There's realism and there's ridiculous micro-management and I feel the game now places too much emphasis on tactical tweaks and not enough on the players.

Man Utd might drop to fourth with an appalling manager and Portsmouth might get to lower mid-table with an exceptional manager but the teams with the best players win - we all know that.

Does FM "feel" like that's the case? Not for me. Whether I play as Arsenal, Man Utd, Wigan or Grimsby I feel the game punishes me hard if my sliders aren't perfectly placed to counter the opposition rather than giving my players and philososphy, a framework, the odd individual instruction and let them go out and play.

I wouldn't mind if I had to put a bit of time and effort into analysing the opponents and changing tactics half a dozen big games a season but it seems like you have to do it week in week out regardless of who you are playing.

Is that more realism or is it pandering to the tactical "geeks"?

If you don't have control over Width, Creative Freedom and all that other 'boring' stuff then what do we have control over to make this a Game? You are not taking into consideration that without these types of 'control' then we are just sitting back and watching a 'visual', so please forgive me, I seriously doubt that this will appeal to the Gaming Public. There are a few people projecting this lately and I simply can't understand that they even want to just sit back and say "I got Gerrard, now I just have to sit back and enjoy because good ol' Gerrard knows what he is doing" (as if the AI Gerrard is a real person...:rolleyes:), it's way out there man...

Shouts are changing tactics, I don't know where your idea of it not being has emerged from. Still the myth of the 'magical combinations' that make your tactic work prevails, but removing the elements of making a 'sound' tactic because some don't understand how to make them is not an option. This game is not pandering to 'tactical geeks' but to a those who want to play a Game and not watch a 'visual' unfold in front of their very eyes...

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Surely it depends on which team the manager is in charge of.

Barcelona don't seem to change for anybody. They have a deeply set philosophy about how the game should be played, and they stick to it at all levels of the club, against any opposition.

Bolton not so much.

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I think people are confusing tactical principles with match strategy. Completely different things.

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If you don't have control over Width, Creative Freedom and all that other 'boring' stuff then what do we have control over to make this a Game? You are not taking into consideration that without these types of 'control' then we are just sitting back and watching a 'visual', so please forgive me, I seriously doubt that this will appeal to the Gaming Public. There are a few people projecting this lately and I simply can't understand that they even want to just sit back and say "I got Gerrard, now I just have to sit back and enjoy because good ol' Gerrard knows what he is doing" (as if the AI Gerrard is a real person...:rolleyes:), it's way out there man...

Shouts are changing tactics, I don't know where your idea of it not being has emerged from. Still the myth of the 'magical combinations' that make your tactic work prevails, but removing the elements of making a 'sound' tactic because some don't understand how to make them is not an option. This game is not pandering to 'tactical geeks' but to a those who want to play a Game and not watch a 'visual' unfold in front of their very eyes...

I thought I had made a distinction between tactics BEFORE a game needing tweaking and IN GAME shouts. If I didn't I apologie.

Perhaps I should make my point clearer. I'm not saying the control over any aspect of the game should be REMOVED. Not at all. Not did I suggest that I want to sit back and just watch a game.

Why is it with this debate everyone is so black and white. There is a middle ground between tweaking every slider by one or two notches in order to counter the threat of Wigan's left back (!!) and doing nothing you know!

I'm simply saying that once you've found a tactic you are happy with you shouldn't need to tweak it for EVERY game. It doesn't even make sense anyway.

If Man Utd are playing Wigan they wouldn't bother. Even in FM if the AI has the same "tools and ME" as the human players (and we are constantly reminded they have) then Wigan will have tweaked their tactical approach to counter you anyway so you are tweaking yours to respond to a tactic they've already changed anyway!

I'm not advocating a lack of control for tactics, or a diablo style plug and play. I'm just saying that in my experience the game requires you to change your approach for every game regardless of how good your players, how poor the opposition and then gives you naff all feedback about why.

It's not a question of all or nothing. It's a question of balance....and keeping some fun and enjoyment for those of us who don't want an FA coaching badge in order to play the game.

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If you don't have control over Width, Creative Freedom and all that other 'boring' stuff then what do we have control over to make this a Game? You are not taking into consideration that without these types of 'control' then we are just sitting back and watching a 'visual', so please forgive me, I seriously doubt that this will appeal to the Gaming Public. There are a few people projecting this lately and I simply can't understand that they even want to just sit back and say "I got Gerrard, now I just have to sit back and enjoy because good ol' Gerrard knows what he is doing" (as if the AI Gerrard is a real person...:rolleyes:), it's way out there man...

Shouts are changing tactics, I don't know where your idea of it not being has emerged from. Still the myth of the 'magical combinations' that make your tactic work prevails, but removing the elements of making a 'sound' tactic because some don't understand how to make them is not an option. This game is not pandering to 'tactical geeks' but to a those who want to play a Game and not watch a 'visual' unfold in front of their very eyes...

It's not a case of we want the sliders removed far from it but we shouldn't have to constantly through out a match have to tweek everything to ensure wins this is taking it all a bit to far. the game should still allow you to sit back enjoy the game and only need to make the changes when you feel they are necessary as in real life. I think the tactics wizard will be a good invention as the touchline shouts once they are mastered a bit more as it's only the first year it's been out it needs more developing i feel and once the new patch is out (please hurry the F up with it) and it solves some more match engine problems hopefully it will all work a lot better to

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I really don't think people should get uptight about the sliders. One click on your right back's creative freedom slider will not turn your side from hopeless to world beaters. The sliders should be placed in general areas. This is what the wizard does, except, as it is a computer system, it uses exactly the same area each time. So it isn't necessary to tweak before every match. Indeed, I'm not sure you could make a useful tweak before every match.

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I really don't think people should get uptight about the sliders. One click on your right back's creative freedom slider will not turn your side from hopeless to world beaters. The sliders should be placed in general areas. This is what the wizard does, except, as it is a computer system, it uses exactly the same area each time. So it isn't necessary to tweak before every match. Indeed, I'm not sure you could make a useful tweak before every match.

So why does your assistant manager tell you that the side your about to play do/don't perform well against teams who play wide/narrow, deep/high up defensive line and slow/normal/fast tempo??

I assumed his advice was to enable you to tweak your tactics to take advantage of their weaknesses. Seems to me when I ignore him I don't do well.

If he is to be believed then I should be changing my width, def line, tempo and sometimes passing sliders for virtually every game.

Are we just supposed to ignore his advice? If so what's the point of it if not to get you to adjust your approach/tactics?

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I think people are confusing tactical principles with match strategy. Completely different things.

The way i see it though is that every manager has a specific style of play say a 4-4-2 with short passing counter attack ect.. and he will always 9/10 stick to that philosphy the only thing he may change is how deep his defence sits how quick he has the tempo played and the width of play and weather to attack/contain or defend from the off other than that he can't really do much else. As I have stated prevous a manager/coach can spend hours on the training pitch drilling his ideas and styles of play and how he wants his team to play in the upcoming match but once he picks his team and sends them onto the pitch the rest is very much up to the players to do the job and he can only make minimal change from the dugout and dressing room. Unfortunatley this game seems to be putting more emphasis on the manger to get everything right rather to secure points than they players which i don't think is quite right.

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I agree with cruyff14 “players know when to push or control the play and begin to defend ect..” . I like adjusting my in game tactics (while the system/formation stays pretty much the same).

Players (especially the more experienced/influential ones) should have an effect on tactics in terms of when to “push or control the play and begin to defend ect”. I hate the fact that I have to spoon feed very good players (I do not mean cristiano ronaldo types, but players like for instance John Terry).

Now I do not mean that these players should be able to set all the sliders for people. But in certain moments during matches, tactics (mentality, defensive line, tempo, closing down, RFD, passing) within a formation need to be changed by maybe just 1-4 slider values. An example would be, leading by 2 goals with 20 minutes to go. At the present moment I have to tell my whole team to play more controlled football. While as we all know teams who have organisers in them will do this automatically, especially late in games. Sometimes a real life manager will just empathise this more or initiate the above example earlier or even tell the team to not change their current tactics.

I imagine it will be hard to implement, but would make it easier if properly implemented.

(I have not voted as the wording and initial staring post made it unclear what was meant. As some people have already mentioned, “tactic approaches” could mean formation, philosophy to some. For others it could mean tactic approaches within a certain formation.)

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So why does your assistant manager tell you that the side your about to play do/don't perform well against teams who play wide/narrow, deep/high up defensive line and slow/normal/fast tempo??

I assumed his advice was to enable you to tweak your tactics to take advantage of their weaknesses. Seems to me when I ignore him I don't do well.

If he is to be believed then I should be changing my width, def line, tempo and sometimes passing sliders for virtually every game.

Are we just supposed to ignore his advice? If so what's the point of it if not to get you to adjust your approach/tactics?

It doesn't have a point, much like most of the new advice features. A few of them can have uses, particularly the ones related to defensive line, but most of the time he comes out with "X struggle against teams who play a normal defensive line", which is of little use. Anytime he says "normal", personally I completely ignore it. Defensive line, I adjust depending on my assessment of the opposition strikers (not the coaches'). That is the exception that proves the rule. Indeed, often when I do change tempo, passing, and things they affect, it just results in my players being confused and needing to gel.

That really wasn't the point of my post though- I was talking more about single clicks to the left and right.

Back to the topic...

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I'd just like to do a little research on opinions forum users have on real world football management. Please take a few seconds to choose an answer to the poll.

I'm also interested in any discussion, debate on or examples that might back up your opinion.

Thanks for taking part.

Hard to take tactical decisions in isolation for this wwfan. Most major tactical changes within a match are also accompanied by a substitution or two to reinforce the change.

The minor tactical changes aren't always orchestrated by the manager; senior players (or just loud ones) will try to orchestrate them (and individual players will often make the decision for themselves - eg Lee Dixon said on a recent BBC blog that if he was having difficulty dealing with a touchline hugging winger then he'd tell Tony Adams that Adams would have to look after himself as Dixon would be going tight with the winger rather than marking 'space'), as well as other staff on the sidelines instructing players.

But if the general thrust of the question is whether or not a professional football team remains without any change whatsoever throughout a match, let alone from match to match, then the answer is no; unless at least one of the managers is totally incompetent or you're watching Sky where everyone plays 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 without any attempt to describe just what is going on. :p

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Players (especially the more experienced/influential ones) should have an effect on tactics in terms of when to “push or control the play and begin to defend ect”. I hate the fact that I have to spoon feed very good players
The minor tactical changes aren't always orchestrated by the manager; senior players (or just loud ones) will try to orchestrate them (and individual players will often make the decision for themselves - eg Lee Dixon said on a recent BBC blog that if he was having difficulty dealing with a touchline hugging winger then he'd tell Tony Adams that Adams would have to look after himself as Dixon would be going tight with the winger rather than marking 'space'), as well as other staff on the sidelines instructing players.

That is exactly what I was talking about in the other topic.

The ability, intelligence and influence of higher quality players should have a LOT more effect in the game than it currently does. Glad I'm not the only one on this.

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That is exactly what I was talking about in the other topic.

The ability, intelligence and influence of higher quality players should have a LOT more effect in the game than it currently does. Glad I'm not the only one on this.

I'm afraid that kind of AI behaviour remains in the realm of Science Fiction at the moment. My point was solely concerned with real-life tactics. Trying to implement such things in game when so many users cannot even provide a framework for those kind of behaviours to occur within, even were it to be possible, would be putting the cart before the horse in any case.

edit: To take the Lee Dixon example and to try and explain what I mean about putting the cart before the horse, a decision to mark eg Barnes tightly on the sideline had a number of consequences which disrupted the overall gameplan. At the most simple level, the other three defenders would have to slide across the pitch to reduce the space between Dixon and Adams, or the defensively minded midfielder (eg Parlour) would have to drop deeper and slightly wider to cover that area. This then will result in the whole shape of the team altering as everyone has to move to compensate, and if one or two or three or four of those players fail to adapt, then space is created for the opposition to take advantage of - even should the manager have consciously and deliberately set his team up to negate those very same things. Throw in what happens when say, Barnes starts on the wing and then moves himself and Dixon ten yards inside so the fullback overlaps or what the player level response of the opposition is to utilise the changed circumstances and you'll see just how much AI will have to be developed, how much computing power would be necessary in order to do it to a realistic level of simulation etc etc. Implementing it in game would most certainly cause a lot of complaints about the game being 'broken' unless the average level of tactical ability was brought up for players to recognise what was happening.

The stories of managers who relied solely on motivational techniques and sending out the best XI they had in a 4-4-2 to play the beautiful game are broadly true. What is overlooked however is that those who were successful often had an able tactician doing that side of things sat besides them on the bench who would do the training and/or the tactical work with the team during the week. The game is getting there on that side of things, with the introduction of AM feedback and further development of it, so I can at some stage see it being possible to have great success just by relying on a world-class AM. As it is, you can have moderate success by deciphering the AM feedback and implementing it.

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I went with the home and away option.

We know most managers have a formation that they stick to 4-4-2, 4-5-1 etc but what i find differs are tactics employed home and away. This way players become familiar with each other and begin to know where a teammate will be rather than constantly swapping shape positions.

One simple example is at home the full backs will be asked to support and the wingers hug the touchline. While away the full backs may never cross the halfway line and the wingers tuck in.

Also teams are going to play with less people breaking forward away and more breaking forward at home.

Sometimes the personnel will change but their job is the same. This could be a 6,2 full back instead of a 5,10 full back to combat a big striker on the wing.

This i find is the most simple approach as the players are aware of what is exspected of them rather than micro managing game after game.

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"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes" - The great, late Sir Brian Clough.

To quote Bill Shankly "Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple."

I completely agree with Bill Shankly. Football is about passing the ball. The question is how can one make himself available to receive a pass and penetrate the opposition. That's where tactics come in (among other things).

I think it's fair to say that every team will approach a game with a set of gameplan (tactics). Some managers have better tactical awareness than others and tend to tweak their team as they see fit. Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink are examples of great modern tacticians. Guus Hiddink sets up his team in anticipation of what his opposition will play. Sometimes he plays with three at the back, sometimes with a flat four. In the game between Australia and Uruguay, Guus switched from a 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2 (or 4-2-3-1, cant remember) formation. he replaced Popovic, a central defender with Harry Kewell after only thirty minutes. He is no stranger to tweaking his team during the match, to great effects too!

Other managers, like Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger, stay true to their value and how they think football should be played. Their teams tend to play by and large the same way against every opponent, weak or strong.

Football is a simple game, as Bill Shankly said. Though it's NOT THAT simple (it's easy for him to say that cos he is Bill Shankly). "making yourself available to receive a pass" can be quite difficult especially with a lot more focus on defensive play these days by managers. This is why tactics are important. there is no coincidence that some players happen to be at the right place at the right time (and do the right thing!). How managers approach the games really depends on the managers and their philosophy. Some managers are more pro-active than others. Some pay more attention to the strengths and weaknesses of their team and the opponents. Some are better at reading the game and threfore better at making the right changes in the game.

But then, like Brian Clough said, it's the players who win you games. You need the right players, with the right mentality and attitude, to execute the tactics!

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oh btw, i didnt vote cos as i said above, it really depends on the managers. Sorry for double posting

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