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Cleon, what's your input on narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation? Do you think it would be possible to win PL with Swansea using that shape all the way (for example)?

You said you can make any formation work, but I noticed it's very difficult to compensate for the lack of width, especially against really good teams.

Sure, the central midfielders usually do help the fullbacks by going wide, but they are often either late or consequently stretched out which tears you apart with a single pass by the opponent.

Also, a fullback often goes for the winger in front of him and then a striker goes into the space behind the fullback and you can imagine what's happening next - a through ball for the striker, the fullback out of play, a centre-back desperately trying to cover, i.e. leaving his spot and thus opening your defence even more.

Problems can also arise going forward, if the opposition parks the bus and crowds the midfield, you're stuck. You can't really focus on the flanks because you don't have enough bodies there.

What are other people's experiences with this particular formation, especially at the top level? I found that it it's easier cover up its flaws and problematic areas in lower leagues since intelligent+pacey players are scarce there.

The diamond 4-1-2-1-2 is great and can take you all the way. But first you'd have to understand how a narrow formation would work. I'd advise you to read these threads;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/278013-The-4222-Box-Blurring-the-Strata

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/189194-Uncle-Sam-s-Brazilian-4-4-2-(4-2-2-2)-*not-a-plug-and-play*-tactics-set

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/247257-Brazilian-Tactics-Discussion-Thread

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/293315-FM-2012-4-4-2-Box-Midfield-Project?daysprune=-1

Everything mentioned in those is relevant to the 4-1-2-1-2 and majoriy of it applies to that shape as well as the 4-2-2-2

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Cleon, I have a question about playing against stronger teams. IM playing as Montepellier in Ligue 1, second season. I easily outplay the majority of the teams in the league but to win the league I need to be winning/drawing against the bigger sides i.e Lille, Lyon, Marseille and I can never seem to get anything for them home or away. I switch between a 4-1-2-2-1 and a 4-2-3-1 (with a DMR and a MCL rather than the standard 4-2-3-1)

Rigid strategy but with lots of roaming and CF in attack. MIxed passing high closing down, easy tackling, drilled crosses, relatively high line with a Sweeper Keeper. A few tweaks to individual instructions - Long shots rarely, Full backs hug touchline.

How would you set up? Or what would you tweak to give a chance, Im thinking maybe pack the midfield to stop them passing it around, narrow and high line to restrict space, im not worried about the ball over the top because my players can handle that.

Thoughts?

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Cleon, I have a question about playing against stronger teams. IM playing as Montepellier in Ligue 1, second season. I easily outplay the majority of the teams in the league but to win the league I need to be winning/drawing against the bigger sides i.e Lille, Lyon, Marseille and I can never seem to get anything for them home or away. I switch between a 4-1-2-2-1 and a 4-2-3-1 (with a DMR and a MCL rather than the standard 4-2-3-1)

Rigid strategy but with lots of roaming and CF in attack. MIxed passing high closing down, easy tackling, drilled crosses, relatively high line with a Sweeper Keeper. A few tweaks to individual instructions - Long shots rarely, Full backs hug touchline.

How would you set up? Or what would you tweak to give a chance, Im thinking maybe pack the midfield to stop them passing it around, narrow and high line to restrict space, im not worried about the ball over the top because my players can handle that.

Thoughts?

I don't think you can get a universal advice suitable for every game against better opposition. Each game is different and you have to watch the first 15-20 mins in full, determine what's the problem and then counter-act.

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Cleon, I have a question about playing against stronger teams. IM playing as Montepellier in Ligue 1, second season. I easily outplay the majority of the teams in the league but to win the league I need to be winning/drawing against the bigger sides i.e Lille, Lyon, Marseille and I can never seem to get anything for them home or away. I switch between a 4-1-2-2-1 and a 4-2-3-1 (with a DMR and a MCL rather than the standard 4-2-3-1)

Rigid strategy but with lots of roaming and CF in attack. MIxed passing high closing down, easy tackling, drilled crosses, relatively high line with a Sweeper Keeper. A few tweaks to individual instructions - Long shots rarely, Full backs hug touchline.

How would you set up? Or what would you tweak to give a chance, Im thinking maybe pack the midfield to stop them passing it around, narrow and high line to restrict space, im not worried about the ball over the top because my players can handle that.

Thoughts?

You do realise this is an unaswerable question don't you?

There are too many factors to take into consideration as each game is different.

Although you've mentioned you might need to alter the tactic, this tells me that the one you use is flawed to begin with then. As you feel you have to adapt to suit their game.

Basically you'll just have to watch the games against the big sides and see how you've lost the games you've already played and make a note of it. Then when you play them again and they use the same formation then you can look see if the same things are happening.

Go over the games you've played already and find out exactly how you lost and why.

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You do realise this is an unaswerable question don't you?

There are too many factors to take into consideration as each game is different.

Although you've mentioned you might need to alter the tactic, this tells me that the one you use is flawed to begin with then. As you feel you have to adapt to suit their game.

Basically you'll just have to watch the games against the big sides and see how you've lost the games you've already played and make a note of it. Then when you play them again and they use the same formation then you can look see if the same things are happening.

Go over the games you've played already and find out exactly how you lost and why.

Yeah I know what your saying about not being able to give advice to such a general question. Just wondering if there was anything you did different say on your Swansea save playing against United City. I have confidence in my tactic against all times apart from the top ones, I think it just needs somethinf different.

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Yeah I know what your saying about not being able to give advice to such a general question. Just wondering if there was anything you did different say on your Swansea save playing against United City. I have confidence in my tactic against all times apart from the top ones, I think it just needs somethinf different.

So you don't have confidence in your tactic then:p

Well I seem to play and approach games differently to you so my advice would be a lot different and probably no use for the way you seem to play. I'd watch the game like I explained in the First 15 Minutes post and approach it like any other game. The changes I make are always based on events that are happening in a game currently. For me that is the only way you can give yourself the advantage for every game you play and give you the chance of winning every single game.

I'm a tinkerer, reactive manager etc, everything I do or change is due to what I see happening as it happens.

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Forgot to ask, did you watch the game back against the stronger teams and study the stats?

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So you don't have confidence in your tactic then:p

Well I seem to play and approach games differently to you so my advice would be a lot different and probably no use for the way you seem to play. I'd watch the game like I explained in the First 15 Minutes post and approach it like any other game. The changes I make are always based on events that are happening in a game currently. For me that is the only way you can give yourself the advantage for every game you play and give you the chance of winning every single game.

I'm a tinkerer, reactive manager etc, everything I do or change is due to what I see happening as it happens.

Right ok I hate my tactic ;) I just use it because I can :p

I do watch the game and react like I said was looking at how you start the game, but it seems you start every game the same and do any major tinkering in first 15 mins, after that change what you see fit. Am I right?

I didnt watch the match back no, but I used the analysis tab. Seemed a lot of missed tackles, wild shots and misplaced passes. Whereas against a lesser/ mid table its the complete opposite.

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tmdN3.png

any suggestions?

First impressions:

Your Wbs are going to run into your wingers

Your AP is going to close down the space of your Trequartista

You will be exposed down the sides of your defence

Its pretty though

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First impressions:

Your Wbs are going to run into your wingers

Your AP is going to close down the space of your Trequartista

You will be exposed down the sides of your defence

Its pretty though

thanks for the feedback, i made some changes, about the WBs is exactly what i want them to do, since i train my wingers to hugs the line sometimes my poacher fails to head the ball and it goes for the left/right sides of the field and there is where my WBs they appear

im having some questions about the DLP, i dont know if i keep him as a MCE or i place him as a DMC or even if i need a DLP, i think that a DLP too close of my Playmaker would be useless

rvBr.jpg

edit: the tackling on aggressive instance wasn't on purpose

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Right ok I hate my tactic ;) I just use it because I can :p

I do watch the game and react like I said was looking at how you start the game, but it seems you start every game the same and do any major tinkering in first 15 mins, after that change what you see fit. Am I right?

I didnt watch the match back no, but I used the analysis tab. Seemed a lot of missed tackles, wild shots and misplaced passes. Whereas against a lesser/ mid table its the complete opposite.

You should deffo watch the match back as you might spot an obvious weakness and see a pattern emerge to how the AI played against you which you might not spot from the analysis alone :)

And yeah I always start a game the exact same way.

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You should deffo watch the match back as you might spot an obvious weakness and see a pattern emerge to how the AI played against you which you might not spot from the analysis alone :)

And yeah I always start a game the exact same way.

Yeah Ill try that tonight, watch back over it and see what I think.

I played Lyon last night, still got beat 2-1 but was a lot happier with the performance. Watched first 15 minutes made changes and seemed to play better. Will watch the match over again tonight.

Thanks Cleon :)

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Hi Cleon. I want to hear your professional opinion.:)

How can I fill the space between the midfield and the defensive line? Only if you put back a anchorman? I also thought that box to box midfielder will help me to solve this problem but so far it does not work. Thanks

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Hi Cleon. I want to hear your professional opinion.:)

How can I fill the space between the midfield and the defensive line? Only if you put back a anchorman? I also thought that box to box midfielder will help me to solve this problem but so far it does not work. Thanks

What formation are you using? With my 4-2-3-1 I make sure that my 2 CMs are not too attacking, so their forward runs are set to rarely. This way they form a nice defensive box with your 2 CBs. What I personally use is a Deep lying playmaker (support) - Central Midfielder (defend) combination.

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Cleon, just thought Id update you on the problem I was having. Started the game with my standard formation, tweaks to make it a tad more defensive and to stop what I though was there strong points. Started game watched first 15 minutes made any drastic changes, beat Lyon 2-1 away from home was 2-0 up inside 25 minutes. Then drew 2-2 with my closest title rival Lille which give me a 3 point lead at the top. Reactivity is the most important thing, thanks again Cleon, your genius prevails once more :p

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Cleon, just thought Id update you on the problem I was having. Started the game with my standard formation, tweaks to make it a tad more defensive and to stop what I though was there strong points. Started game watched first 15 minutes made any drastic changes, beat Lyon 2-1 away from home was 2-0 up inside 25 minutes. Then drew 2-2 with my closest title rival Lille which give me a 3 point lead at the top. Reactivity is the most important thing, thanks again Cleon, your genius prevails once more :p

Just remember despite what people think or say, we always have the advantage over the AI. Now if you capitalise on that fact is another matter. If you respond to in game events and any system changes the AI does then you will always have the advantage. If you don't then you throw away that aspect and that's why so many people are inconsistent :)

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Hi Cleon. I want to hear your professional opinion.:)

How can I fill the space between the midfield and the defensive line? Only if you put back a anchorman? I also thought that box to box midfielder will help me to solve this problem but so far it does not work. Thanks

Are you playing a flat 442?

If so, then give this a go.

If I am up against another formation that does not use the AM positions, then I stick with my MC combination of AP(S) and BWM(D). If, however, I am up against an AMC or two, then I will make my BWM a DLP and remove this through balls. The DLP has a far lower mentality, which means he will sit even deeper. Now, you must remember that his closing down will be lower, but I find when I'm up against an AMC, I don't really want him running around to much, I'd rather he either track the AMC (Man Mark specifically) or just sit there in front of the DC's.

Also, adjusting the DL will change the gap between Defence and Midfield, whcih is why it can so often work when up against a heavy AM line (AML/R/C), however just be careful of throughballs and flank attacks.

LAM

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That really sucks. Your work is exceptional though, and thanks to it I've won the league title with Tenerife with a couple of games to spare and a dodgy linesman's offside call ultimately prevented me from getting into the semi's of the Champions League. So thank you :)

EDIT:- Final league table. Not quite as good as your Swansea league finish and with me having better players but I'm pleased with the season.

k322j.png

How the hell are you doing this ? What are you doing different to most other people?

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How the hell are you doing this ? What are you doing different to most other people?
Simply following the advice that is available on here. I was fortunate that the next best team only had 83 points. In every other year the best AI team had at least 90.

Also I paid very close attention to each match and made changes that turned losses to draws and draws to wins. I work with a balanced tactic instead of going excessively attacking and I guess just playing to my teams strengths where possible. I did get fortunate at times during the season, winning games that I probably shouldn't have and having a squad that for once stayed fit for the most of the season.

But there is no AI breaking tactic, no exceptional players, no magical set up. Once you learn how to adapt depending on what you see, you should win most matches. The content from both SFraser and Cleon will definitely give you the tools to do something along the lines to what I've done, probably better too. Sure Cleon winning the title in the first season with Swansea is a far better achievement than mine. Her squad is probably inferior to mine and in a stronger league too. So it's nothing too special from me, although I am quite proud of it :)

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Simply following the advice that is available on here. I was fortunate that the next best team only had 83 points. In every other year the best AI team had at least 90.

Also I paid very close attention to each match and made changes that turned losses to draws and draws to wins. I work with a balanced tactic instead of going excessively attacking and I guess just playing to my teams strengths where possible. I did get fortunate at times during the season, winning games that I probably shouldn't have and having a squad that for once stayed fit for the most of the season.

But there is no AI breaking tactic, no exceptional players, no magical set up. Once you learn how to adapt depending on what you see, you should win most matches. The content from both SFraser and Cleon will definitely give you the tools to do something along the lines to what I've done, probably better too. Sure Cleon winning the title in the first season with Swansea is a far better achievement than mine. Her squad is probably inferior to mine and in a stronger league too. So it's nothing too special from me, although I am quite proud of it :)

What articles do you recommend I read to get to your level ?

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The two top stickied threads at the top of the forum, the SI Sports Centre Thread and the thread containing all of SFrasers threads are a good place to start. Also there is plenty of information on this thread too :)

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I guess with this game its a constant learning curve- Im nowhere near as good as some of the folk on here but Im picking up little nuggets of advice here and there trying to experiment with a few settings. I still have my weaknesses (games away from home against big teams can be a nightmare) but Ive certainly learnt a lot more about the game :thup:.

Im just going to have to keep tinkering with my 4-2-3-1 until I understand it better and how to effectively implement it against other formations. Cleons thread is a really good read and has certainly helped me more specifically on the shouts aspect of the game which I tended to avoid.

One thing I do wonder about is whether people tend to mix the rigid and fluid settings about depending on who they are playing, or whether it is better to stick to one setting- (eg switch to fluid when I am looking to close the gap between my midfield and defence to avoid an AMC exploiting this weakness)?

My Problem with the game is my impatience and the fact that sometimes my tweaks dont achieve what I would like them to resulting in multiple CC chances for the opposition or a goal drought up front through lack of supply. I would say thats down to me of course but sometimes my brain fries playing this :eek:

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I guess with this game its a constant learning curve- Im nowhere near as good as some of the folk on here but Im picking up little nuggets of advice here and there trying to experiment with a few settings. I still have my weaknesses (games away from home against big teams can be a nightmare) but Ive certainly learnt a lot more about the game :thup:.

Im just going to have to keep tinkering with my 4-2-3-1 until I understand it better and how to effectively implement it against other formations. Cleons thread is a really good read and has certainly helped me more specifically on the shouts aspect of the game which I tended to avoid.

One thing I do wonder about is whether people tend to mix the rigid and fluid settings about depending on who they are playing, or whether it is better to stick to one setting- (eg switch to fluid when I am looking to close the gap between my midfield and defence to avoid an AMC exploiting this weakness)?

My Problem with the game is my impatience and the fact that sometimes my tweaks dont achieve what I would like them to resulting in multiple CC chances for the opposition or a goal drought up front through lack of supply. I would say thats down to me of course but sometimes my brain fries playing this :eek:

I think you should stick to the same mentalities, strategy is the one to tinker game to game and in-game.

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In the scheme 4-1-2-1-2 in what role it is best of all to use attacking midfielder?

In attack I use the pure forward and trequartist (Neymar) tactics automatically defines it as playmeyker it isn't bad? or to appoint a playmeyker of the attacking midfielder? Whether it is possible to use two trequartist?

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My experience with attacking mids is that they don't ever play quite as well as I would like them to. Regardless of role, I am always thinking they should always be in more space, and getting deeper with their runs. Basically I am impossible to please, I guess! So I had the world's best attacking mid on my team, developed him from a youth, he had fantastic attributes, 20 passing, 15 creativity, 18 determination, 18 decisions, 18+ pace...

Could dribble. Finishing 16, but didn't score that many from AMc! Well, I tried to train him as a striker, as he was accomplished at it already, but he never became a natural. So I just played him there any way, figuring his pace would then at least get him behind the defensive line. Well, its 200 goals for the club later (over 5 or so seasons), its worked a treat.

So yeah, if you want your attacking mid to sit just outside the box and hit throughballs and spread the play, you are in good luck, but if you want your AMc to 'do it all' then you will likely be disappointed, from my experience.

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I had trouble setting up my AMC too (in a 4-2-3-1). He would often be too close to the striker and they would get in each others way. So I fiddled with the different setups and ended up with a CF/DLF (attack) - Trequartista combo. I manually adjusted the closing down for the AMC because I want him to work a bit harder and put pressure on the opposition DMC/CBs.

For me at least it was important to use an AMC with forward runs set to rare, which is how the Trequartista is set up, and a Striker with FWR set to mixed or often. This prevents them from getting too close to eachother.

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I've never managed to get the best out of AMC in any formation so I just gave up on them. DLFs or IFs work just fine to occupy that space.

I remember in the old days of Championship Manager, the AMC position was absolutely vital. Stick a world class player there and watch him win trophies for you single-handedly.

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I've just started a new test save to help my understanding and ability to identify team settings by watching the 3d or 2d match engine. The first aspect I looked at was defensive line, where I would alternate from playing the deepest defensive line to the highest defensive line so I could see the differences in the match engine. I was hoping I would then be better at identifying opposition’s defensive line settings so I could adapt my tactics appropriately.

To my surprise I found very little difference. During opposition teams goal kicks my back line would be set at about 15 yards inside my own half on both settings. When the opposition were building an attack, so progressing up the pitch, my backline would play around 15 yards deeper than the position of the ball. When my own team had possession of the ball I saw a similar thing where there position would be the same whether on the highest or lowest backline setting.

The only time I felt I could see a difference is once we had either cleared the ball or the opposition played the ball backwards. A higher defensive line meant my team would push out earlier and quicker on a high backline setting, compared to the deep setting where my team would only move out from the edge of my box once the ball was past the halfway line.

I'm just wondering if others have found this. I suppose I was expecting it to affect more during the game, maybe others don't see it this way and my interpretation is wrong. I have watched 3 matches now in full match mode switching the settings around every 30 mins so I feel I have a good grasp of what the setting now does. However if anybody has any other views on the setting I'd love to hear them because I'm not exactly a genius on this game. Even though I've played football for the past 16 years to a high standard I certainly have difficulty translating my tactical ideas into FM with any success.

Thanks,

Kewel72003.

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I've just started a new test save to help my understanding and ability to identify team settings by watching the 3d or 2d match engine. The first aspect I looked at was defensive line, where I would alternate from playing the deepest defensive line to the highest defensive line so I could see the differences in the match engine. I was hoping I would then be better at identifying opposition’s defensive line settings so I could adapt my tactics appropriately.

To my surprise I found very little difference. During opposition teams goal kicks my back line would be set at about 15 yards inside my own half on both settings. When the opposition were building an attack, so progressing up the pitch, my backline would play around 15 yards deeper than the position of the ball. When my own team had possession of the ball I saw a similar thing where there position would be the same whether on the highest or lowest backline setting.

It's easier to spot the difference when you actually kick off or the opposition does. Naturally for goalkicks the team will be slightly higher than they tend to be for the rest of the game due to no 'immediate threat'

The only time I felt I could see a difference is once we had either cleared the ball or the opposition played the ball backwards. A higher defensive line meant my team would push out earlier and quicker on a high backline setting, compared to the deep setting where my team would only move out from the edge of my box once the ball was past the halfway line.

The Defensive Line slider positions your deepest line of defence on the pitch. It affects the position the players take up both with and without possession. The slider is set from Deep to Push Up, and the further right the bar is set, the closer to the halfway line the defensive unit will advance when in possession. If your team is using a defensive mentality, a defensive setting on the slider will ensure they stay deep when the rest of your team attacks. If your team uses an attacking philosophy, the effect of the slider is lessened and players will advance – although a deeper line will see them err on the side of caution a little more.

When your team is not in possession the same applies, but in terms of nullifying the opposition. As soon as your team loses the ball, the defensive line will adopt the approach you have told them to and either drop deeper or push up. You may want to take the qualities of the opposition’s attackers into consideration before each match before deciding on your defensive line approach, as quicker players can get in behind an advanced line, and deeper lines can be exposed by direct play and a big target man up front.

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The way you describe it is exactly how I would expect it to work, but from what I've seen I barely notice a difference at all between the 2 extreme settings. Whenever my team are in possession of the ball in the oppositions half my team will push up to the half way line whether playing deep or a high line. I realise that this is to be expected to an extent but i'm talking even if we are only 10 yards inside the oppositions half.

My idea is to look at closing down, tempo and width further down the line so I will be able to identify how the opposition are playing. Once I can do this I should be able to adapt my tactics better to counter them.

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The way you describe it is exactly how I would expect it to work, but from what I've seen I barely notice a difference at all between the 2 extreme settings. Whenever my team are in possession of the ball in the oppositions half my team will push up to the half way line whether playing deep or a high line. I realise that this is to be expected to an extent but i'm talking even if we are only 10 yards inside the oppositions half.

My idea is to look at closing down, tempo and width further down the line so I will be able to identify how the opposition are playing. Once I can do this I should be able to adapt my tactics better to counter them.

You must be looking at the wrong things then, as its the easiest thing to spot in action.

Are you sure you are manually overriding it? And not just changing strategy? and when your deep not set to very high closing down? and that you've not got an attacking strategy?

You should notice the back 4 take up different positions when set to deeper, normal and high.

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Yeah I'm sure. I've just loaded up a standard 4-4-2 and standard starting strategy. Ill keep watching the games to see if I can see the difference but in my opinion there is very little.

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Yeah I'm sure. I've just loaded up a standard 4-4-2 and standard starting strategy. Ill keep watching the games to see if I can see the difference but in my opinion there is very little.

Well it's not a major difference but it's very noticeable one.

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Just out of interest, how would you play against a team who defend deep against you? If you've got the available players would you suggest playing wide with wingers crossing into a big strong centre forward. Another idea I would have would be to play the slow build up, mainly passes to feet as the space should be infront of the opposition backline with them playing deep.

I'm sure both could work but do you feel one is a stronger approach than the other?

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Just out of interest, how would you play against a team who defend deep against you? If you've got the available players would you suggest playing wide with wingers crossing into a big strong centre forward. Another idea I would have would be to play the slow build up, mainly passes to feet as the space should be infront of the opposition backline with them playing deep.

I'm sure both could work but do you feel one is a stronger approach than the other?

Well I'd judge it on what's happening in game. Some teams who defend deep aren't always compact depending on what shape they use and yourself.

I'm guessing if their deep against you though then your striker would be isolated? So what use would be putting crosses into the box?

What I would do is try and create space by having the front men drop deeper or wider to drag their marker with them. This should then create space for the support players to run into.

Another point is I wouldn't pass to feet either, as you make it even easier for a defence to defend against as the players movement is predictable. What I would do is pass into space so you actually have runners trying to get onto the ball in areas that pulls the opposition out of position and make it create gaps to try and exploit.

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I play a 4-4-2 with advanced wingers, high pressing game by my front four with both CM's run from deep set to rare. They both tend to sit back and are often available to pass to for all the team. However I tend to come unstuck when playing against teams who play with an AM, usually a 4-2-3-1 with wingers or 4-4-1-1 ie Spurs.. The AM for the opposition is often free to pass to and causes me problems. I have tried to use the shouts play narrower, exploit the flanks in order to restrict him space but what else could I do? Any help would be much appreciated

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Well I'd judge it on what's happening in game. Some teams who defend deep aren't always compact depending on what shape they use and yourself.

I'm guessing if their deep against you though then your striker would be isolated? So what use would be putting crosses into the box?

What I would do is try and create space by having the front men drop deeper or wider to drag their marker with them. This should then create space for the support players to run into.

Another point is I wouldn't pass to feet either, as you make it even easier for a defence to defend against as the players movement is predictable. What I would do is pass into space so you actually have runners trying to get onto the ball in areas that pulls the opposition out of position and make it create gaps to try and exploit.

Thanks for the tips. My thoughts would usually be if a team are playing deep and possibly also narrow, then crosses would be a good option firstly because there would be space on the flanks and secondly by playing deep back post crosses, you are putting the ball in the danger area, which if lofted can only be blocked by a full back or actually challenged for in the area by the defence.

My logic would think playing through balls or passes into space would be difficult against deep backlines as there would be limited space in behind meaning the weight of the pass would need to be perfect. Also with defensive, deep sitting teams there would be more players positioned to intercept these types of passes, which again would lead me to think a crossing style of attack may be more successful approach.

I will try your suggestions though as I can say my success in this game doesn't come close to yours Cleon. Thanks again for the advice!

Cheers

Kewel72003.

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Thanks for the tips. My thoughts would usually be if a team are playing deep and possibly also narrow, then crosses would be a good option firstly because there would be space on the flanks and secondly by playing deep back post crosses, you are putting the ball in the danger area, which if lofted can only be blocked by a full back or actually challenged for in the area by the defence.

But the space on the wings wont matter to the opposition due to them been narrow. While it is easy to make crosses due to the space your wide players have the problem would still exist which is they are hard to break down due to been narrow. Your players would be out numbered so any crosses to the back post would most likely be dealt with quiet easily.

This way of playing is easy to defend against for majority of a game. Think about where the problem actually lies. It's breaking the opposition down in the central areas. So ideally you'd need to drag the central players wide to create any gaps.

You might get lucky in some games with the crosses but for the most part they'll not b effective at all.

My logic would think playing through balls or passes into space would be difficult against deep backlines as there would be limited space in behind meaning the weight of the pass would need to be perfect. Also with defensive, deep sitting teams there would be more players positioned to intercept these types of passes, which again would lead me to think a crossing style of attack may be more successful approach.

I honestly think you are thinking about this the wrong way around. By passing to someones feet the same problems are still there. You'll still not have broke them down and will make it easier for the oppoistion to mark you. The key to breaking any defensive side down is to create space.

Pass Into Space - This is one of my favourite shouts to use especially if I am struggling to break down the opposition. It increases through balls so the players pass the ball in front of the receiver so he can run onto the ball. It’s great for creating space and forcing the opposition’s players to try and make a tackle.

Pass Into Feet – Reduces through ball’s for the players. This is good to use if you feel too many passes are been intercepted by the opposition or you feel too many passes are been misplaced. If you have slow players this is the type of passing you want rather than the pass into space one above.

Even though you might think the space is limited against defensive deep sides there is still a lot of space to be exploited and the through balls don't have to be weighted perfect as the idea is to force the oppositions players to commit men to cover the ball and in the hope you create a gap for someone supporting to run into. If you drag just 1 player out of his position then this can create all sorts of problems for the AI.

The problem with a crossing game to break the opposition down is you'll never create a good amount of accurate crosses that you're players will be able to get on the end of. And even the ones you do manage to get on the end of, you'll not have any players close enough to get onto the balls the striker would win at the back post.

That way of playing really is the easiest thing to defend against.

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Even though you might think the space is limited against defensive deep sides there is still a lot of space to be exploited and the through balls don't have to be weighted perfect as the idea is to force the oppositions players to commit men to cover the ball and in the hope you create a gap for someone supporting to run into. If you drag just 1 player out of his position then this can create all sorts of problems for the AI.

.

This part has certainly made me change my thinking. I've always thought of through balls as purely being a way to exploit space but not really create space. I've always thought you first need to create the space through setting up players runs and roaming to create the space for the through balls to be played into.

However from your explanation in the above post I can see how the through ball itself will cause the opposition defence to react to the pass and have to change shape to cover the pass.

You've now convinced me to use through balls to break down deep sitting defences, which is an achievement because I can be rather stubborn in my thinking even when I can see I'm not being successful!

I remember a quote Zidane made once in a UEFA Training video on how to break down defences. He said lateral movement creates space and passing lanes, vertical movement exploits space. Pretty simple stuff when I think about it, but I don't know how much I've really tried to implement this into FM. I'm going to now have a lot closer look at players roaming from position and wideplay instructions to further help create space!

Thanks for bearing with me Cleon!

Kewe72003

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No worries, keep me updated and if you have any more questions I'm happy to give you my opinions if needed :)

Have you read all the main thread? The bits with Ganso and Neymar working together is about creating space and might be worth a re-read for you. There is also some other threads on the forum about creating space and exploiting it, I'll try and find the links for you.

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I'll be adding new stuff to the thread over the next few days that you might find interesting.

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I've added just a little snippet of what direction the thread will be going in and will be building on what I've just posted over the coming week. Hope you enjoy it :)

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I have just finished reading through the main thread and wow, there is a lot of use information in there. For one, how to use the analysis tab effectively. I never used it much before but I just went through all the stats on there in a game vs Hoffenheim away where I was down 0-2 at Half time and managed to get a draw. I saw that my team had made 16 uncompleted crosses and they scored 2 goals from 7 cross attempts.

Anyway, when I get home tonight, I intend to start a new save and try to set up an effective tactic with Dortmund. I want to go with something similar to what you have with Newcastle but with MC's, not DM's. I just have to work out how to create space behind the opposition defence for the poacher. Previously I thought that setting both wide players as Winger-Attack would have them hug the touchline and pull the opposing full-backs wide and stretch the defence so the poacher would have gaps to run into )with an Advanced Playmaker - Support feeding him from deeper) between CB and FB but I did not consider creating space behind them as a lot of teams just sat deep and my poacher got poor ratings and did not do much.

I also am definitely going to keep stopping matches at certain moments to see how my defence might be exploited and maybe watch a match in full every now and then, when necessary.

Cheers Cleon! :)

Regards

Shiraz

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Dear Cleon,

First of all, many thanks for your tactics analyses and always good feedback and comments at others. Learned so much from it!

I am trying to implement your Santos 343 tactic with Chelsea. Since my team is gelled I did not loose a single game, but unfortunatly there were some draws that weren't supposed to happen. In all games my asst. manager says I controlled the match and that we should be winning. In some games my strikers were stunning (for example 3-0 vs. Milan and 3-0 vs Leverkussen away), but in other games I struggle and get countered away. I read that you use the shout pass into space and that my striker should drop deeper, so I'm trying to do that. But is this usefull for Drogba, with only passing 9 but with such strong psychics? I'm switching him from AF (a), to DLF (a/s) and TM (s). On the flanks i've Torres (IF left) and Willan (W/IF right). How do you decide when to play them as support or attacking, as I can't see much difference yet. What whould you advise with the three strikers I mentioned?

Also, as a 343 in my opionion relies on narrow defending, do you advice to play more wide when not scoring and thus be vulnerable to counterattacked? And with teams parking the bus, quick or slow tempo?

Thanks in advance and keep up the good work. Sorry about missing things in previous posts, I've read so much the last week that I can't remember all information anymore :)

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Guys what threads should i take a look to learn how to make my own tactic?

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