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Stupid Questions Thread (Tactic and Training Questions Only)

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hi my friend. last time I try to train player new position is in fm 2008. that time I want christiano ronaldo (AMRL) to be AMRLC and FC.but failed. When he didnt train for amc anymore, he could me fc, but amrl,st . so I can only train position for him at 1 place

in fm 2015,my team lack of ball winner,so I got an idea to made use of my backup center back and right back as ball winner,since their attribute good enought to be ball winner. what is the best position I teach them? If they could be both MC and DM it would be good.. currently both are inefectual on that position

My team could play ball winner either atDM or MC as I cant tell the difference between those two..

DM will give you more defensive roles(bwm, halfback, anchor man and defensive midfielder) to train in while MC only give you 2(cmd and bwm)

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hello.. am playing llm and trying to play a 4-4-2 with pocher and a target man but cant find any good shouts to get the attack to work good? does anyone have any advice pls?

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How do you deal with players who are either 'exhausted and in need of a long rest' or 'tired in need of a rest'?

Is the holiday function a good idea, or just leave them out for a game or two?

The first one I will give them a holiday for a week or two (evaluate when they return). The second one is easier: a game or two off is usually enough. One thing to keep in mind is once they get to that state, they seem to get back to it pretty fast, even after rests, so you'll need to monitor them.

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isit a bug that training workload is very heavy for youth players even though i have set them to average

they are constantly complaining and i dont know what to do

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How can I get my players to play SHORT PASSING FOOTBALL.

And yes I have read all them 12 steps and pairs/combinations and the barcelona thread.

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How can I get my players to play SHORT PASSING FOOTBALL.

And yes I have read all them 12 steps and pairs/combinations and the barcelona thread.

Have you tried all the obvious stuff? Those guides tell you how to set up a functional and logical system. but they don't directly tell you how to play a possession game.

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Yes I have. With all them logical shouts they just hoof pointless long balls all over again.

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Yes I have. With all them logical shouts they just hoof pointless long balls all over again.

What logical stuff have you tried? What Mentality do you use? Do you use a Target Man?

It's almost worth creating a thread for this, because it's a common complaint but if you set things up right, it's easy to average 60+% possession on a regular basis, using a short passing game.

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Yes I have. With all them logical shouts they just hoof pointless long balls all over again.

If you have a defensive mentality set (contain, defend, counter), then your defenders will be by default set to more direct. Give them PIs to pass shorter.

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If you have a defensive mentality set (contain, defend, counter), then your defenders will be by default set to more direct. Give them PIs to pass shorter.

I thought "Play out of Defence" does that. And usually I play with Counter mentality.

And no target man.

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I thought "Play out of Defence" does that. And usually I play with Counter mentality.

And no target man.

Play out of defence will set their through balls to often, which might see them trying the ambitious, also they might just be getting pressed and panic hoofing

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Play out of defence will set their through balls to often, which might see them trying the ambitious, also they might just be getting pressed and panic hoofing

I don't think so - it sets Defend Duty players in Defence and Midfield to play Shorter passes. Can't recall it ever influencing through balls.

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I don't think so - it sets Defend Duty players in Defence and Midfield to play Shorter passes. Can't recall it ever influencing through balls.

I remember adjusting sliders to reduce through balls for central defenders when I used this shout in FM13, at least I'm sure I did, I wouldn't put the mortgage on it.

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I remember adjusting sliders to reduce through balls for central defenders when I used this shout in FM13, at least I'm sure I did, I wouldn't put the mortgage on it.

You could be right, I'm often wrong, but that's definitely not my understanding of its recent influence.

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You could be right, I'm often wrong, but that's definitely not my understanding of its recent influence.

Well I'd go with your interpretation RT if I was the original question asker.

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So I started a new save with Lyon. First match against some bunch of amateurs. 4-2 win, possession 49%. Shots 14-10.

4-3-3 with Rigid Counter. Short passing, retain possession.

----------------F9----------------

--IFa--------------------------IFa---

----------APs-------APa-----------

----------------HB-------------------

-CWB----DC--------DC---------CWB-

----------------GK---------------------

What am I doing wrong.

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Play out of defence will set their through balls to often, which might see them trying the ambitious, also they might just be getting pressed and panic hoofing

Nope its never done that :D

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I've always got the impression Play Out of Defence reduces passing range too much, limiting the safe, easy passing options of your defensive players who probably don't have the best vision and movement to begin with. Standard mentality + short passing team instruction has always been good enough to get the ball to my midfield players.

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So I started a new save with Lyon. First match against some bunch of amateurs. 4-2 win, possession 49%. Shots 14-10.

4-3-3 with Rigid Counter. Short passing, retain possession.

----------------F9----------------

--IFa--------------------------IFa---

----------APs-------APa-----------

----------------HB-------------------

-CWB----DC--------DC---------CWB-

----------------GK---------------------

What am I doing wrong.

Expecting to get a good impression of your tactics from the first friendly of pre-season.

Nothing glaringly wrong with the shape or approach.

edit: Maybe put a combative role in midfield instead of the second playmaker, since the half-back will drop deeper.

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Expecting to get a good impression of your tactics from the first friendly of pre-season.

Nothing glaringly wrong with the shape or approach.

edit: Maybe put a combative role in midfield instead of the second playmaker, since the half-back will drop deeper.

I'd second that, and just to stress, first friendly of pre-season the players are always hopeless - they haven't gelled/blended to each other or your tactics and are unfit. Typically the forwards can't hit the proverbial barn door.

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What are peoples thoughts on using - retain possession, pass into space and push higher up with an attacking or counter philosophy.

I tinkered and came up with a formation using two Roamdaughters (can never remember the real name) so my idea is to hold onto the ball until an opportunity arrives to play into space for the front three. Against Burnley with an attacking philosophy it worked beautifully and won 6-1 at home. Then I beat Arsenal away changing to counter but with the same formation and instructions yet I find myself 3-0 down away to West Brom in the next game again using the same way of playing I did against Arsenal!!!

I know some think retain possession and pass into space contradict each other and also attacking is pushing up anyway so why use higher up as well but after trying to delete those couple of TI's the team plays worse rather than better.

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The thing is that it's just never a case of "if it worked against them, why doesn't it work against this lot?"

The main variable is how the AI are playing. If you are doing OK then it is likely that whilst Arsenal played "their way" against you, West Brom might have been more aprehensive and maybe sat back and countered your counter. You need to try to gauge the way the AI is playing.

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Did a google search and couldn't find anything on this but does anyone know what the different levels of team cohesion are in the team talk feedback page? Mine is at "Strong understanding" and I just wondered if there was a list showing all the possibilities kicking about?

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What are peoples thoughts on using - retain possession, pass into space and push higher up

It's probably a roundabout way of asking for a lower tempo. Through balls and mentality etc. are one step forward, one step back.

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The thing is that it's just never a case of "if it worked against them, why doesn't it work against this lot?"

The main variable is how the AI are playing. If you are doing OK then it is likely that whilst Arsenal played "their way" against you, West Brom might have been more aprehensive and maybe sat back and countered your counter. You need to try to gauge the way the AI is playing.

Well that's the thing. West Brom were at home and battered me, I couldn't get out of my half. Yet Arsenal did the same thing and I played some great stuff. So it was a tad confusing considering the difference in quality of player.

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Well that's the thing. West Brom were at home and battered me, I couldn't get out of my half. Yet Arsenal did the same thing and I played some great stuff. So it was a tad confusing considering the difference in quality of player.

Maybe this post is relevant to you and might explain why http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term?p=10029579&viewfull=1#post10029579

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Thanks Cleon I'll take a look at that. This is the frustrating thing with FM and has been since the slider days. Had more consistency with the sliders whereas these days it can be baffling. To win 6-1 at home (and it should have been 10) it suggests you are doing something right, yet the next game can totally destroy you and consistency is tough to get. It seems like I have been tinkering for three years and never seem to finish the season with the same shape I started it!!

Typical example. Beat Everton away 4-2 at end of first season with a new tactic that I was trying. Very good pre season then didn't get a shot on goal on the first game of the new season! As I say, baffling.

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Thanks Cleon I'll take a look at that. This is the frustrating thing with FM and has been since the slider days. Had more consistency with the sliders whereas these days it can be baffling. To win 6-1 at home (and it should have been 10) it suggests you are doing something right, yet the next game can totally destroy you and consistency is tough to get. It seems like I have been tinkering for three years and never seem to finish the season with the same shape I started it!!

Typical example. Beat Everton away 4-2 at end of first season with a new tactic that I was trying. Very good pre season then didn't get a shot on goal on the first game of the new season! As I say, baffling.

With all respect I think you over-think things and always change too much. You have an idea or panic and do massive wholesale changes and never really get to the bottom of the issue that you was having. At least that's what I get from your posts over the last 3 or 4 years. Small changes work better. Plus you and a few others tend to think all opposition are the same, at least in the way you talk about them. Winning 6-1 at home doesn't really tell us much about anything other than that game. If the team is open and attacking you then it makes it easier for you to attack them because the opposition naturally create space for you. The harder more stubborn sides don't do this so then it falls onto your own tactics and relies on those for creating the space. This is the issue 90% of people who post on here suffer, they don't differentiate between the different types of issues against weaker and stronger sides.

The thread I linked explains more about this though.

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When should/should not the team instruction 'use tighter marking' be used?

For me, if the oppo forwards are quicker than my defenders I DON'T use it -'cos my boy's will be skinned. Conversely, if the oppo are slower it might work.

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When should/should not the team instruction 'use tighter marking' be used?

If you want an aggressive pressing system tight marking will give your players closer starting positions and deny the opposition passing options when you put them under pressure.

If you want to retain defensive shape, tight marking may see players dragged out of their zones as they stick with their men, leaving gaps.

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Set your youth team to a custom view that lets you see their match condition at a glance; that should be helpful. And yes, I would trim that squad down to no more than 2 per position, and honestly, I try to keep my U18s at 18 or less total players. Even then, you'll have a few of the weaker players struggle to get playing time. If you know that they will never get to your subs bench, ever, then clean some house :D

Dr. Hook, I have a question about this. I do believe that an overly large Under 18s squad was the cause of my excessive injuries via lack of match fitness.

When you say you keep your Under 18s at 18 or less players, does this include players who are in your Under 21 Squad who happen to be under 18 years old? When a player is under 18 but in the Under 21s squad, do they still play in Under 18s matches?

As you can tell, my youth squad management is a bit of a mess and I'm cleaning it up. Right now I have 35 youth in my Under 18s, and 8 in my Under 21s (plus some first team players working their way back from injury). The 35 youth is excessive at the moment because I just had a youth intake and the youth manager is letting everyone who wasn't offered a contract still train with the club, which is something I need to fix. I plan to clean out a significant amount of deadwood in my Under 18s but would like to know what my target squad size is for both the Under 18s and the Under 21s.

I do use Cleon's suggestion to have my better Under 21s be in the first team squad with a "Make available for Under 21s" so I can track their fitness and get them first team playing time when possible.

PS: I managed to score the most goals in the Premier League and concede the fewest, yet still come in second place, largely because other teams were parking the bus and I didn't realize until mid-season that I needed to be more aggressive. Stupid Manchester City was just unstoppable, they won everything leading up to the end of the season and won the league with 92 points (I "only" had 86). However, I did get the joy of beating Manchester City in the Champions Cup Final, so I guess winning the Champions League is better than the Premier League!

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I've been learning and applying the lessons in Cleon's post, and here's one observation from a newbie that might help you Sussex. I had a great counter attacking narrow-diamond tactic (downloaded from the Internet, sadly not developed by me) that worked really well for several years against all kinds of opposition. Two years ago I won the Premier League, and at the beginning of last year I found my trusty tactic was producing a lot of draws.

After reading Cleon's post, I started watching the first 15 minutes of each match from Main Stand view, and I started to realize that my tactic wasn't working as well because the AI teams were being very defensive so I wasn't getting a chance to get onto the counter-attack break. Also, sometimes teams would play with 2 DMs against my setup which was narrow and used "Exploit the Middle". Once I realized this, I started games against weaker opposition (especially in home matches) using Control rather than Counter, and I added Run at Defense. This usually resulted in me scoring a couple of goals early in the game, and then I would switch back to my Counter style (without Run at Defense) because the other team was now chasing the game and giving me counter attacking opportunities. Using this more responsive tactical approach I won quite a few games with scorelines like 5-0 or 6-1.

Against more aggressive teams, or bigger teams (like Manchester City which is pretty unstoppable in 2025 in my save), I started with Counter to absorb the pressure and maybe switched to Control after scoring a few (i.e., the opposite). You don't really know this unless you watch in a view that lets you see most of the pitch (like Main Stand, Elevated, or 2D... the director view is fun because its like watching TV but you can't really see what is going on globally), and unless you watch a big chunk of the game (first 15 minutes + comprehensive).

Another thing I picked up from watching the way Cleon suggests is I started to realize that my "Use Offside Trap" was causing major problems with certain of my fullbacks and goalkeeper (my main GK sadly has poor rushing out, I have not been able to recruit a better one for my team). So I turned "Use Offside Trap" off in my default tactic, and only turn it on if I'm confident it will work against the specific opposition in the specific context.

I really can't see all the things that other true experts on these forums can see, but I can tell you that being more aware of the specific context of the match (home, away, bigger opposition, weaker opposition, opposition that favors free-flowing attacking football, or opposition that will park the bus, etc) really makes a difference.

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With all respect I think you over-think things and always change too much. You have an idea or panic and do massive wholesale changes and never really get to the bottom of the issue that you was having. At least that's what I get from your posts over the last 3 or 4 years. Small changes work better. Plus you and a few others tend to think all opposition are the same, at least in the way you talk about them. Winning 6-1 at home doesn't really tell us much about anything other than that game. If the team is open and attacking you then it makes it easier for you to attack them because the opposition naturally create space for you. The harder more stubborn sides don't do this so then it falls onto your own tactics and relies on those for creating the space. This is the issue 90% of people who post on here suffer, they don't differentiate between the different types of issues against weaker and stronger sides.

The thread I linked explains more about this though.

Definitely fair points. I am trying to change the way I think. I am experimenting with a 433 shape but starting off with only one instruction (close down keeper), and will try and see how things go before adding any TI's. This way I am hoping to change as per what is happening in the game rather than starting with TI's straight off.

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Dr. Hook, I have a question about this . . .

Hi Mogget- okay, so no, I don't count U18s who are on the U21 or reserves and stay there full time as I am only concerned with squad sizes. I would play an U21 in an U18 match if I needed him to get match fitness, or to keep it. I also use Cleon's suggestion that youngsters who have promoted to my subs bench but don't get a lot of time be available for U21 matches.

So what is a target squad size? Well, I hate to equivocate, but so much in FM is variable mileage :), but it does really depend on how many good youths you have. I never sign crap intake players just to make a full squad. The grey players are fine for that unless you are one of those who has a thing for winning U18 or u21 trophies and cups. It is rare for me (and I think for most people except in a lucky, lucky year) to get more than 3 or 4 players per intake that are worth keeping, and sometimes there aren't any; this is how SI have designed them to work on average. At that rate, you should rarely end up with more than 17-18 players and that will include those few you have signed in from other clubs or on frees. My U18s are less than that at most times. If I have only 8 or 10 there, I am not fussed, as long as they are worth paying and are decent.

From there, my U21 follows the same logic. On average only a few of my youngsters get pro deals when the apprenticeship is over, so my U21 squad would be usually small. Like Cleon, I only sign them if I believe they are worth getting some first team time. So I will bring them on as subs or start against weaker teams to rotate the squad, but the squad as a whole is very small typically. I usually play in England lower leagues, so I don't even have a U21, but a Reserves, and that is where I park the U21 players, but only keep them if I can get them some first team experience. By 20, if they aren't making their way into my rotation, I kick them loose.

Hope this long-winded answer is helpful, but a basic rule of thumb is only keep as big a youth squad as you have players that have a shot at your first team (even as cover), or who you reckon you can sell on for a bit of cash.

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but so much in FM is variable mileage

Thanks, that is very helpful. I had a strange situation in that I got promoted from League 2 up to the Premier League and then won the Champions League a few years later and was totally flush with cash, but was unable to attract established stars due to lower club reputation and a very conservative Director of Football. I had a huge and highly effective Scouting network so I've been using a lot of cash to scoop up all the best youth talent from Eastern Europe and especially Brazil and Argentina. I have 4 players on the Argentinian national squad on my team. I accidentally purchased seven potential star strikers in the 15-17 age bracket, and even so I ended up last season with $40M transfer budget surplus and the board has had enough cash to upgrade the stadium and training/youth facilities every year for two years. I do need 2 key and 2 first strikers for my preferred rotation so maybe 7 potential star youth isn't as ridiculous as it might seem. I'm just awash with cash and young potential star talent but I really can't hope to find a spot for all those players so I will probably shift some out. My transfer spend last year was -$111M and +156M yet I still came in second in the PL and won the CL. It has gotten a bit ridiculous.

I really don't know what else to do with the cash. Maybe I'll try to purchase 1 established star player this year instead of scooping up all the potential star kids worldwide. I did just win the Champions League for the second time and the club is now #4 on worldwide club reputation list, so maybe a big name will agree to join :)

I have nearly all the top youth attributes and see the same thing you do, 0-3 keeper youth each year.

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I have a player who has spent two years being my Defensive Midfielder, with great success. The player is a "world-class" talent in both DM and MC (and a Natural in both positions), and I'd like to move him to MC to free up room for a hot youth prospect DM. The attributes and coach star ratings show that this player should be my best MC-BBM, but his actual in-game ratings are low for my team (6.9) and lower than his avg rating in the DM role (7.15). However, I have only played him in 4 games in MC. I realize my N in these statistics is low.

Do players need time to get acclimated in a new position even if they are a natural at it? And do the players in positions around him need time to get acclimated to a player in a new position, even if he's been on the team for years?

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Okay, have a slightly odd player development question here. I'm overthinking this as I'm stuck at work and can't actually play the game. Basically, debating between two GK prospects has me wondering about whether I should worry on a few points of PA.

I'm a mid-level Prem club with a solid GK. No need to immediately replace. But I always like to have a developmental keeper. I could just wait a season or two and find a top level regen, but its more fun to start ASAP. My target was going to be a GK I've had before on FM15 and FM14. EU national, good personality, solid starting level with no overt weaknesses (not Prem caliber off the start, though, and nothing too stand-out for strengths), and solid potential (150 to 160 range). I signed him in a previous FM15 save in a smaller league as a backup and he ended the season rotating with my previous starting GK, and had improved significantly.

What has me thinking about this is tha there is a very tempting first-day regen GK. He is 17 years old, non-EU, decent personality (would need tutoring), solid skills to start (a bit below the other keep, but similar in that there are no overt weaknesses and also no massive strengths), and a PA in the mid 180s. I can sign him for free but he won't arrive until January, and then I still need to sort out the Work Permit so he'll likely be loaned.

The PA difference is about 25 points. I realize that in this situation, the development arcs are going to be different, so I'm not looking for a recommendation in that direct sense. Plus there are always going to be a lot of variables in how the player develops - personality, starting skill, injuries, facilities, coaches, match time, etc. Those factors mean a player may never max their CA out to their PA. Besides which, a GK with good key attributes (reflexes, handling, position, agility, consistency) could perform at a very high level regardless of their CA. All that being said....

If everything between two keeper prospects was roughly equal beyond the PA, with one being 160 and one being 190, how much difference is there likely to be if they both developed to within 10-15 points of their PA? I imagine the 150 CA GK being really good, Prem caliber, while the 175-180 CA would be genuinely world class. I would solve this myself by looking in the editor or scouting tool to get a better idea using current top level keepers if I could, but....

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Basically, debating between two GK prospects has me wondering about whether I should worry on a few points of PA.

I will take a stab at answering this based on using GenieScout on two GKs in my current save. My primary GK has a CA/PA of 177/177. GenieScout shows his best rating as 75.11%. My backup GK has a CA/PA of 149/163. So my backup GK's CA is about where your "solid GK" will be eventually, and my primary GK's CA is about where your regen will be eventually. GenieScout shows my backup GK's best current rating as 71.82%. So we're talking about a 9.5% difference, which I'd say is a lot. In star ratings in my save and with my players, that's the difference between 3.5 stars (leading player for most Premier League sides) and 4.5 stars (star player for most Premier League sides).

The GenieScout potential and star ratings are only one set of data points, though. For example, my lower rated backup keeper is much better at Rushing Out and he'll soon get better average ratings in actual matches with my team using my preferred tactics (which use a Sweeper Keeper) than the primary keeper even though his CA will be lower. The general ratings systems don't really take into account how you'll be using the player and which attributes will matter more (and thus should be weighted higher) given your tactics and the interaction with other teammate strengths/weaknesses.

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No matter what, my CBS (Stone and Alderwireld) are always out of position and are never near the strikers. I've tried all sorts of different PIs but it's ALWAYS the same. Any help? :/

Infact - Any help/tips in terms of marking/keeping defensive shape in general? Lol, first FM i've played since 2012 so I've got a LOAD of catching up to do

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Any help/tips in terms of marking/keeping defensive shape in general?

Off the top of my head, and with the caveat that there are lots of people on these forums who are better experts than me, things that will make you lose defensive shape:

  • A more fluid team style
  • Opposition instructions which ask your defenders to close down or tightly mark a specific player (such as an opposing DM) thereby dragging them out of position
  • "Roam from Positions" TI
  • "Be more Expressive" TI
  • "Get Further Forward" PI on defenders
  • "Roam from Position" PI
  • "Mark Tighter" PI on defenders [see note 1]
  • Poor defense Pairs and Combos which mis-allocate defense responsibilities [see note 2]

Note 1 on Mark Tighter PI: your original message seems to say you want your defenders to mark the strikers tighter. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the "Mark Tighter" instruction will often have the opposite effect. For example, if your defender has slow Acceleration and/or Marking, and the opposing Striker has fast Acceleration and/or excellent Positioning, the "Mark Tighter" PI will cause your defender to move up to mark the Striker only to be "skinned" and left eating his dust. Similarly, depending on your team's formation and the opposing team's formation, your Mark Tighter instruction could cause a DC to mark an AMC, leaving a striker unmarked. (The other team might have 2 strikers and 1 AMC attacking your two defenders, so asking them to mark tighter will always leave an opposing man free unless you have a DM or nearby DL/DR to help.)

Note 2 on Pairs and Combos. See the Pairs and Combos sticky thread in this forum. If, for example, you have two DCs with the Stopper role, both will move up to break up plays, leaving lots of space for quick strikers to come in behind.

My recommendation, particularly if you are just learning and starting out with a new tactic, is to play with a "Rigid" mentality, remove all PIs off your DCs, avoid using the "Mark Tighter" team and Roam from Position TIs, make sure not to use any opposition instructions that might impact your DCs, and set both DC roles to simply "Defend". I think you'll see a world of difference where even lower quality defenders will hold a reasonable defensive shape. Once you've established that, start adding in things bit by bit to see what works, and what doesn't.

Just reading between the lines, I'd guess you are mistakenly using Mark Tighter thinking it will help even though it often has the opposite effect. You probably don't actually want your defenders to closely mark the Strikers; instead you want them to be positioned well to, using the Mentality Ladder post on these forums:

  • disrupt attacks
  • restrict space
  • divert attacking movement
  • contain attacking movement
  • slow attacking movement
  • block shots

My read is that tighter marking might help your defenders slow attacking movement and block shots at the expensive of less risky and better options higher up the ladder. My team let in the fewest goals in the Premier League in the last season, and my defenders never tightly marked the strikers: instead, they broke up most attacks by disrupting attacks (heading away danger, intercepting passes); and restricting space through their off-the-ball shape.

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Questions about FM 14:

Is it possible to instruct the team to not counter attack at all, while maintaining good defensive intensity? Basically: press aggressively, and then calm down once they win the ball. I've tried experimenting with mentalities and shouts, but can't seem to find a good formula. I'm asking because I sometimes think my team are too keen on bombing forward when winning the ball, when I'd rather they just slowed things down and kept the ball. Particularly when they're a goal up with a few minutes to go. :)

I'm not necessarily asking for a detailed recipe, by the way. Just wondering whether it's possible at all, or if this is perhaps too complicated for the match engine? Depending on player roles, perhaps?

Also, a similar question, related to goalkeepers: I usually instruct my GK to distribute to defenders. The problem is that he often is in a hurry to distribute the ball, for instance after saving a shot or catching a cross, meaning my defenders receive the pass/throw before they're in position to receive the ball and then end up hoofing it because they naturally get closed down immediately (because the opposition's forwards are just a few yards away from them when they receive the ball). Is this down to team mentality and tactical instructions, or is this something that will happen anyway?

One last thing: when a player suddenly clears the ball for no apparent reason, is this because there is a conflict between the player's mentality and instructions of team and player? I think I've read that before on the forum, but I haven't found out exactly how to avoid this yet.

Some hints and tips would be appreciated. I've been playing FM on and off for many years, but I still haven't really learned how to "read" the match engine and determine how x+y becomes z. :)

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Il Capitano - I'm not an expert (far from it) and am just trying to find my way around the tactics system myself and this is just my thoughts... In this instance, I would say the key lies in a combination of the tempo shouts, player roles.

Tempo shouts - slowing tempo down and 'take a breather' would (in my opinion) cause your team to play slower, and take their time to pick out the pass, rather than look to break with speed on the counter.

Player roles - I am currently trying to play a short passing game with a Vanarama South team, I had some initial success but then started struggling, when I was watching the full match highlights (for first 15 minutes anyway) I did notice that when my central defender's got the ball they were hoofing it long to my deep lying forward, or straight out of play. Their player roles were set as 'limited defenders', I changed this to 'central defender' with the same duties and all of sudden they were playing neat short passes to the midfield players. This could be what's causing your players to clear the ball as opposed to find a pass.

In terms of maintaining good defensive intensity, i would assume the 'press more' or 'press much more' instructions would make you hassle the opponents, along with the opposition instruction 'close down often'.

Just my thoughts though, would welcome other peoples views and feedback!

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On average only a few of my youngsters get pro deals when the apprenticeship is over, so my U21 squad would be usually small.

Dr. Hook, one more question. I know that it "depends" but I'm just trying to get a sense of what's reasonable. If I have a 16 year old with a pro deal and who would be a decent player at a Sky Bet 1 side (in England), should I have him in my Under 21s squad or my Under 18s squad.

Similarly, if I have an 18 year old who would be decent or better in the Premier League, is it okay for me to start playing him there regularly?

Put another way, should I promote from Under 18s to Under 21s to First Team only on ability, only on age, or on some combination of the two?

I don't want to burn my players out through injuries or discouraging them mentally through low performances. It seems like in his Ajax Story thread, Cleon keeps players playing youth games until about age 18-19, at which point he sells or promotes them to the first team, so it seems OK to give a superb 18 yr old regular playing time in the first team.

I think that Cleon's reserves squad is like yours, very small and mostly used for first team backup players. My problem is that with a reserves squad that is too small, the game seems to select my first team players to play in Under 21 matches to fill out the team (I have my assman managing the Reserve matches). I'd almost rather they use the better youngsters to play in the Under 21s than my first team players. I might have to take back the responsibility of team selection for Reserves and Under 18s matches.

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Il Capitano - I'm not an expert (far from it) and am just trying to find my way around the tactics system myself and this is just my thoughts... In this instance, I would say the key lies in a combination of the tempo shouts, player roles.

Tempo shouts - slowing tempo down and 'take a breather' would (in my opinion) cause your team to play slower, and take their time to pick out the pass, rather than look to break with speed on the counter.

Player roles - I am currently trying to play a short passing game with a Vanarama South team, I had some initial success but then started struggling, when I was watching the full match highlights (for first 15 minutes anyway) I did notice that when my central defender's got the ball they were hoofing it long to my deep lying forward, or straight out of play. Their player roles were set as 'limited defenders', I changed this to 'central defender' with the same duties and all of sudden they were playing neat short passes to the midfield players. This could be what's causing your players to clear the ball as opposed to find a pass.

In terms of maintaining good defensive intensity, i would assume the 'press more' or 'press much more' instructions would make you hassle the opponents, along with the opposition instruction 'close down often'.

Just my thoughts though, would welcome other peoples views and feedback!

Cheers for the input. It's not easy this, but that's what makes it so much fun.

Playing away against United as we speak, so I'm abandoning the pressing and experimenting a little bit. Trying to find out how to play a very controlled game; basically setting things up to keep the shape, and be patient and cautious in possession. Defensive mentality, very rigid, a lot of defensive roles in central areas. Also including the 'Pass into space' shout, as I'm guessing it makes them mix things up a little bit and look for balls over the top.

Then, after thirty seconds we win the ball in a semi-decent position and BAM!!: everyone except my goalkeeper and centre backs charging forward - and we lose the ball and give them a chance to counter on our counter attack. Precisely what I was trying to avoid. :lol:

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I will take a stab at answering this based on using GenieScout on two GKs in my current save. My primary GK has a CA/PA of 177/177. GenieScout shows his best rating as 75.11%. My backup GK has a CA/PA of 149/163. So my backup GK's CA is about where your "solid GK" will be eventually, and my primary GK's CA is about where your regen will be eventually. GenieScout shows my backup GK's best current rating as 71.82%. So we're talking about a 9.5% difference, which I'd say is a lot. In star ratings in my save and with my players, that's the difference between 3.5 stars (leading player for most Premier League sides) and 4.5 stars (star player for most Premier League sides).

The GenieScout potential and star ratings are only one set of data points, though. For example, my lower rated backup keeper is much better at Rushing Out and he'll soon get better average ratings in actual matches with my team using my preferred tactics (which use a Sweeper Keeper) than the primary keeper even though his CA will be lower. The general ratings systems don't really take into account how you'll be using the player and which attributes will matter more (and thus should be weighted higher) given your tactics and the interaction with other teammate strengths/weaknesses.

Thanks for the reply. It pretty much fits what I was thinking. I think my primary hesitation isn't so much that the "good not great" prospect only has a PA in that range, but rather that factor combined with his starting skills. Most of the important ones (for how I use a keeper) are in the 12-14 range. Which means that they are likely to end up in the 15-16 range when he develops. Maybe 16. But I can't really expect more than one or two to get into that 18-20 range that makes a keeper look/feel/be elite. But he will be a very very good keeper and that's probably more than sufficient.

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Where do I find a view that shows my average possession over all the games in one season?

The screen where the table is. Then click team stats, in the drop down menu. Not available in FMC though.

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When using the Roam From Positions team instruction, does giving individual players a Roam instruction as well make them roam more/further or is it redundant as roaming is a yes/no thing?

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