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Cleon

The Full 90 Minutes - What I Do

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I posted this elsewhere but it's kinda gone un-noticed so I thought I'd put it here for the wider audience.

The first 15 Minutes

For me one of the most important aspects of the game is the first fifteen minutes as this is the time I change the tactic and decide how I’ll play. Most of the changes I do are actually done in this period of time, I still change things throughout the game if I feel its need but the actual way I’ll set up and play is done in the first fifteen minutes.

Why?

Well why not? It’s no good doing all the prep for a game before the actual kick off as all your preparation could be all for nothing as the opposition might not play how you envisaged. Or other factors might play a part. The only way you can tell how you need to play and set up is from viewing the game itself. Anyone who says different is simply wrong in my opinion. If you don’t watch games then how the hell do you know what’s going on?

Hopefully this part of the thread will give you a little insight into how I approach the game and change stuff based on what I see happening. A lot of people might be a little disappointed in my approach as it’s probably not as extreme as some of you may be expecting. While this approach seems daunting and a lot of fiddling about, this isn’t really the case it’s not as hard as you think.

So here goes.

This is how the screen looks (It’s nothing special though);

Overview.png

I know it looks a bit messy but I can still see all the important play that happens on the field. The things I have selected are my own side’s motivation widget, detailed match stats and the assistant feedback widgets.

It’s important that I know how my players feel during the game at all times. If you don’t play close attention to this widget then it can prove costly or you might not understand why a certain player made a mistake etc.

The detailed stats widget is also used so I can track all the little tedious stats and know exactly what’s going on in the game.

The assistant’s feedback is also shown on the screen although it’s minimized for now. That’s because the assistant only offers feedback in 15 minute intervals. So he’ll update what he’s saying every 15 mins iirc. That’s the reason it’s minimized for now. It’s also worth pointing out I don’t always listen to him or do any of the changes he recommends. I just like to see what he thinks even if I don’t react to what he says.

That’s really it for how I set up the widgets for the opening 15 minutes. If I was watching the full game then this would differ and I’d also track the opposition’s motivation widget so I could just keep an eye on things. Then if someone is playing nervous I might target them through opposition instructions if it’s an important defensive player or attacker. But I don’t find this useful for me in the opening minutes. Although some will dispute that and I guess that’s fair enough. But I don’t want to deviate away from my own game plan this early on as it could have a negative effect for me.

Once the game starts I keep randomly pausing the game in different scenarios to have a look at the player’s positions and to check the opposition’s positions as well.

first%20screen.png

In the above screenshot you can see my right back as lost the ball so this is something to keep an eye on and see if it is a regular occurrence. If it is then it could be useful to restrict him running with the ball as often. But I won’t change that yet as it could just be a one off.

The yellow line for me represents a dangerous area of the pitch. From the position of where the ball currently is there is no immediate danger but there could be as the play unfolds.

The plus side is my defence are all in a line and Aston Villa don’t have many people making any kind of runs. My side seem to be positioned well and should be able to deal with this situation with ease.

In the end Villa knock the ball backwards as there is nowhere for them to go forward really. I’m pleased with how the defence kept its shape for this particular move although it is still only 33 seconds into the game.

second%20screen.png

That screenshot shows me after winning the ball back and beginning to start an attacking move. The circled players are all in space and could be classed as potential passing options. But due to how the player is facing a certain way and is already moving then his only real genuine passing options are those represented by arrows. He has 3 genuine passing options available to him.

That is a positive sign as it shows that my players are finding space already and I have good options available for trying to retain the ball. Due to this I decide to time waste a little bit more. Why? Well I’m already having quite a bit of time on the ball so if I can slow the play down even more then I believe this will be an advantage for me. It will also mean the Aston Villa players will be chasing the ball more and could get tired a lot quicker than normal.

third%20screen.png

The next screenshot shows Aston Villa clearing the ball up front. It’s important that I paused the game when this happened so I could check how many people Villa had high up and I could also check my player’s positions again in a defensive situation. My players are positioned well enough to deal with this situation especially as I have the numbers back too. Even if by some fluke the Villa player wins the header he doesn’t have anyone advanced over the line I drew meaning my players should be able to pick up any lose balls.

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Don’t be scared to pause the game and rewind clips to get a better understanding of things. I do this often as you don’t always notice things the first time around. I’ll watch the same clip ten times if I feel something isn’t right or working. You don’t lose anything by rewinding and making sure you have everything covered.

Screenshot%20four.png

After 5 minutes it’s always worthwhile getting the assistants feedback on how you are passing etc. He’ll not mention the tactical side of the game until around 15 minutes but he’ll give you some kind of feedback about other areas early on.

On that screenshot he tells me we are comfortable in possession and showing we want it more than Aston Villa and dominating the tackling department. I got this feeling anyway while watching the game but it’s always good to hear it from someone else.

He also says our short passes are connecting well and I should encourage the team to play a short passing game. Well I’m already set up to play a short passing game and I don’t want to go any shorter really. So I’ll stick to how I’ve set up for now.

screenshot%20five.png

It’s important that I track the individual stats still so I always pause and go and check them out. In the screenshot you can see what the assistant meant when he said we were dominating tackling the department and out passes were connecting. The screenshot also shows that my right back Angel is doing most of the tackling so Villa’s play must be coming down the left. It also shows that his condition is getting low already after just 5 minutes game time played.

I’m quite happy with the way the game is going and those stats. The average ratings seem reasonable too and no-one is under performing as of yet.

screenshot%20six.png

My striker is circled here over on the right wing. Normally I’d be happy that he is dragging out wide but for this game I think he’d be more effective staying central and playing in the areas where the yellow circle is. So what I do is go into the tactic and change his settings. I change the wide play individual instruction for him from moves into channels to just normal. This way he’ll become the outlet up top and allow players to play off him.

Eight minutes into the game and its clear I’m dominating early on. I am seeing a lot of possession and just probing around the Villa defence looking for any gaps to appear and then possibly try to exploit them. I’ve only had 1 shot up to now but I don’t mind as the tactic is playing exactly how I want it to.

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I decide to pause the game yet again and just watch back a few more incidents from what’s happened so far. There’s no real reason for doing this other than just to check I’ve not missed anything.

screenshot%20seven.png

Set pieces are vital especially attacking corners. It’s always a good idea to stop the game and have a look around at your players positioned who have stayed back. You need to make sure you have numbers back and that the opposition don’t outnumber you. I noticed in the above screenshot that I only have 2 players back. While this is enough to mark the lone striker of Aston Villa, it’s not really suitable for quick counter attacks. The two players back are my fullback’s so I decide to ask my defensive midfielder to stay back at all times as well. Just so I can be prepared for quick counter attacks. Some might deem this to be cautious but it happens often. If you don’t have numbers back it’s not unusual for the opposition to break from a corner you had and score.

Basically this is all I do during the first 15 minutes. I know it’s probably a letdown for some of you as you were expecting something a little more. But I honestly don’t do any more than this. Sure I might have different issues from time to time but all the basics of what I look out for are all highlighted in the above posts. Game to game I just rinse and repeat.

I managed to win this game as you are aware
:)

The approach I use is quite simplistic really when you think about it. It’s just common sense and not as much messing around or as complicated as people first assume when you mention you watch the opening 15 minutes. People think ‘whoa that must take a lot of time’, but in all honesty it takes a few minutes more maximum.

Just keep an eye out for anything that you consider to be a fault. Keep an eye of the players passing, if someone is missing a lot of passes just look at why it’s happening and see what you can do to fix it.

I don’t know what else to put in all honesty or expand on as I don’t do anything different than I’ve already highlighted
:)

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The other 75 Minutes

People seem to get the idea that after the first 15 minutes that I don’t change anything else tactically, this isn’t true at all. It’s just that in the first 15 minutes I change any major flaws I might see. In other words I assess my strengths and weaknesses against the team I am currently playing. This is why I watch the first 15 minutes on full. But once those 15 minutes have finished it doesn’t mean I neglect the rest of the 75 minutes, far from it.

It’s just after the initial 15 minutes I only use shouts to alter the tactic while keeping a very close eye on the stats of the match along with the individual player stats. I’ll only adjust things with the use of Touchline Shouts. Unless I spot a massive flaw but if you do the preparation right when you watch the opening of the match this should be very rare, unless the opposition makes a major change to the way it plays i.e. changes actual shape.

From what I can see around the forums on here not a lot of you actually create a group of shouts or use any of them. If you use the TC and don’t use shouts then you are only using 50% of what’s intended for you to use and you are missing a massive part of the game. The use of shouts can change those defeats into wins. So hopefully here I’ll be able to talk about the shouts a bit more and show you that they aren’t as daunting or as complicated to understand as you might think they are.

shouts.png

As you can see you can make a combination of shouts from this screen. It also tells you what category the shouts come under.

So let’s take a look at what each shout does;

Defensive Distribution

Play Out of Defence –It will instruct any player with a defensive duty (midfield and defence) to play shorter passes. So it reduces passing. It’s worth using this if you find that these players are just hoofing the ball forward and giving possession away cheaply.

Pump Ball Into Box – This is great to use when you are chasing a goal late in a game. It instructs players to pass longer and play through the middle. It tells your defenders (and defensive midfielders) to try less through balls. If you use wide players it will ask them (and fullbacks) to hold up the ball rather than trying to play down the channels and instruct fullbacks to cross more (so make sure they are set to cross from deep). Your strikers will be told to run from deep more often.

It’s also great to use this is you have big target men type forwards who tower over the defenders and are good in the air. You can score quite a few goals by using this shout I’ve found out.

Clear Ball to Flanks - This shout instructs players to pass long, to play wider and focus play down the wings. It also tells defenders (and defensive midfielders) to play less through balls. I generally use this if teams play narrower (the narrow Man City 4231) than me. It’s also good for counter attacking if the opposition are playing through the middle.

Defensive Line

Push Higher Up - Self explanatory this one. You instruct the defence to move high up the pitch and increases closing down. Ideal for using if you are facing slow strikers (you need intelligent defenders though), a team who are very defensive or if you want to reduce the space that the opposition is playing in.

Drop Deeper – Again explains itself but it tells the players to drop back deeper and reduces closing down. Times to use this are if you play against a team who pushes high up themselves and you are struggling to find any kind of space. Dropping deeper could see you create a bit more space. It’s also good to employ against fast strikers.

Tackling

Get Stuck In - This tells the team to tackle hard. Useful if the motivation widget tells you if the opposition are playing nervous or if a team has low bravery. Use this if you get the sense of your team been to0 soft and you think they could be winning the ball back quicker. Note though that you need the correct attributes from your own players to time the challenge right or you could pick up extra bookings and sending off’s.

Stay On Feet – Everyone (unless you use a BWM) will be instructed to easy tackle. This is useful if you feel challenges are been miss-timed or if you are just been reckless. Also good to use if your players are lack the tackling attribute. Using this also helps the team keep its defensive shape, especially against technically fast sides.

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Passing

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.

Width

Play Wider – Instructs the players to play wider and to focus passing down both flanks. If the opposition are playing narrow it can be used to try and stretch them wider. Extremely useful if the midfield is cramped and you are outnumbered.

Play Narrower - You focus passing through the centre and decrease width. I find it best used when the opposition are outnumbered and leaving holes through the centre. It’s also useful if you want to pack the midfield and become more solid to get through.

Attacking

Run At Defence - Instructs all attacking players to run with the ball often. This does not include MC’s on attacking duty, only attacking midfielders. This is best used when the opposition allows your attacking players time on the ball .i.e. not closing you down. It can be a great shout to use if the opposition is standing off you. It can be equally effective if the oppositions defence are bad at tackling as well.

Play Through Defence – Tells the players to run with the ball rarely. This only works for attacking midfielders (AML/AMR too) and strikers. The rest of the players will still be as you’ve instructed them to play; this includes MC’s who have an attacking duty. This can be a great shout to use if you feel the opposition are defending well and winning the ball too much from your attacking players. So use this when you are struggling to break down the oppositions defence.

Shooting

Shoot On Sight – Increases the long shots for your team. Can be used against sides that are deemed to park the bus in front of the goal. Advisable to use if your attacking players have a good long shot attribute.

Work Ball Into Box – This tells players to use long shots rarely. This is useful if you think your players are shooting too often. Or if you find you want to keep possession and be more probing.

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Wing Play

Hit Early Crosses – Tells fullback, wingbacks, wide midfielders and wingers to cross the ball early. It puts run with ball on rarely and cross from on mixed. This can be used against sides that play with a high defensive line. This can also be used if you have a fast striker who can break defences with his pace and acceleration.

Look For Overlap – Your fullbacks or wingbacks will be given a more attacking mentality, run from deep often, cross ball often and be asked to cross from byline. While your wingers will be given a more defensive mentality, run from deep rarely and hold up the ball. It’s great to use against defensive sides who don’t really pose an attacking threat. Can also be used against narrow formations that lack wide players.

Take A Breather - Decreases forward runs and tempo. You should use this is you don’t have players with good stamina or if condition is getting a bit low. It’s useful to use in games where you might have a few close games in succession. Can also be used to help maintain a good lead.

Possession

Retain Possession – Shortens passing length and slows the tempo down for your players. I use this shout a lot, it helps pass the ball around and not give possession away easily. Some people enjoy dominating possession as they believe if the opposition don’t have the ball they can’t score. Which is true but it’s also a good tool to use when you want to close a game out and hold onto the current result. Rather than go defensive and invite un-needed pressure I believe this to be a lot less risky and just as effective;

Get Ball Forward – Increases both passing length and tempo for the side. If you feel you are having a lot of possession but not really doing anything with it, then you’ll want to use this touchline shout. Also good to use this if you are chasing a game.

Pressing

Stand-Off Opponents – Changes marking to loose zonal, reduces closing down drastically and decreases tempo. When you play a technically superior side and don’t want players to get skinned you’d use this shout to ensure you keep your defensive shape and don’t allow gaps to appear which the opposition could exploit.

Hassle Opponents – Increases the tempo, tells the team to tight man mark and also increases the closing down for your side. Use this if you want to reduce space and time that you allow the opposition to have. Works good with a very attacking strategy and against teams who are a lot weaker than yours.

Midfield Distribution

Exploit The Flanks – It gives the fullback/wingbacks and wingers more attacking and focuses the play down both flanks. It also tells them to run from deep and cross the ball more often. If you use central midfielders then it’ll tell them to hold up the ball. You should use this if you find the middle over crowded or if you have good wide players who can cross.

Exploit The Middle – None defensive players will have their run from deep increased too often. Tells your team to focus their passing through the middle and any defenders and defensive midfielders will have their mentality changed to a more attacking one and be told to do through balls often. If you don’t use wide players then you should use this shout. It’s also great against teams who leave big gaping holes through the centre. I find it really effective against the 4231 (the CM one and not the DM) as the gap in the middle is huge.

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this but there are actually two more shouts that can only be used when you use either contain or overload strategy. They are;

Play Even Safer - This shout is for the contain strategy only. It decreases all (except for strikers) run from deep and through balls to rarely. It also tells all the players except wingers to run with the ball rarely. You should use this if you don’t want your players to be adventurous and get pulled out of position. This is ideal for late in the game and protecting a lead.

Take More Risks – This shout if for the overload strategy only. Sets run from deep to often for all players on a support duty. Increases through balls to often and run with the ball for all players. Best used when you want to grab that equaliser or score that eluding goal at all costs.

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Let’s have a look at some scenarios and talk about how I use a combination of shouts to work with my formations. Remember there is more combinations you can use but these are just the ones I make and use. So they will probably vary compared to what someone else uses.

You can make all these from the ‘shouts’ tab in the ‘Tactic’ overview screen.

Possession Shout’s

Winning Possession

We all have games where the opposition is having a lot of possession and you can’t get a hold of the ball. So if you face this scenario then the shouts I would use are;

Push higher up; get stuck in, Hassle opponents.

By pushing higher up you would be reducing the space available to the opposition in which they can pass around in. The get stuck in shout will help be more aggressive and can unsettle the calmness of the opposition players on the ball, in instructs them to tackle harder. And by using hassle opponents shout you’ll be changing to man marking and instructing players to closedown higher up

Retaining Possession

Some people enjoy dominating possession as they believe if the opposition don’t have the ball they can’t score. Which is true but it’s also a good tool to use when you want to close a game out and hold onto the current result. Rather than go defensive and invite un-needed pressure I believe this to be a lot less risky and just as effective;

Retain possession, pass to feet and drop deeper.

By using these shouts you’ll be asking the players to drop deeper and close down less. This will help retain the natural shape of the formation you use. Plus you’ll be using shorter passes and playing at a slower tempo while doing more through balls.

The above 2 shouts are what I end up using the most of from the various game’s I’ve got on the go.

Taking Advantage of Positional Weakness

The next shout might surprise a few of you as I’ve not seen many users post about this combination of shouts.

Sometimes we face formations that are vulnerable in the middle of the pitch. Yet our own formation might have good wingers and good central midfielders. So when I want to stretch the opponent I use these;

Exploit the middle and play wider.

This allows my players to play wider than normal but due to me normally outnumbering the opposition’s midfield it allows my central players more space on the ball. The opposition’s central players will also be stretched and this can create bit gaps to exploit. Obviously using this shout will depend on your own formation and how capable you are of actually playing through the middle. I like using this against 4231’s, 442’s and any other formation with just 2 central midfielders and no defensive midfielders.

You can also do the opposite and use;

Exploit the Flanks and play narrower.

I find this useful sometimes when the opposition out number me in the middle and I want to stay as compact as I can. Yet at the same time cause them problems down the wings. This is great to use against teams who don’t use wide players. I know this is a rare occurrence but sometimes you will face a team who don’t use wingers or wide attacking midfielders. This isn’t a shout I use often but I’ve used it a few times throughout the season.

Then we also have the normal approach many of you will no-doubt use at times.

Exploit the middle and play narrower.

I like using this combination if you yourself lack wide players and have a much stronger central midfield compared to the opposition. Plus if you don’t have wide players then all your play will be centrally, so makes sense to use this.

You might also find yourself;

Play wider and exploit the flanks.

This is useful for when you have stronger wide play than the opposition. Also useful if the opposition is all in the middle and you want to stretch them and don’t mind been wider in your own play.

Basically these are the only ones I really use often and it’s not a complete list, just a list of the shouts I happen to use currently.

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Take a bow son!!!

Thank you sir!!!

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Lets not turn this into a thread about my gender again please, it gets boring fast.

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I can imagine that it does get boring.

Lets focus on Cleon's fantastic work in this thread and work as a mod (except the infraction I was given :p)

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The trouble I have with watching the first 15 minutes is that I then watch the last 75 minutes too.............

Mind, it's paying off this season. I am doing really well and following your initially 442 counter tactic from the SI thread, I have found that a lot of my knowledge has come together and I am playing some great football.

One key thing I learnt from watch the game last week, was how to deal with a team that is playing a 'pass to feet' game. I was struggling to get possession and even with the closing down shouts you have, I couldn't regain it and I was getting torn apart at the back by an average team.

Through watching the first 15 minutes I have learnt to recognize a 'pass to feet' game and when this happens I will switch from a zonal and closing down game to a man mark and default closing down. This destroys their possession (normally) and couple with a bit of hard tackling thrown it, does wonders :)

Though, be wary, hard tackling on a team that pass to feet can result in a number of yellow cards.... something to do with being tackled from behind :)

Watching the game is absolutely key to understanding why you are or are not successful....... sure you can be great at the game without knowing......... but for me, knowing why it happening is all the more rewarding.

I don't understand how you can use shouts effectively if you are not watching a game. It's pure guess work.

Regards

LAM

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The trouble I have with watching the first 15 minutes is that I then watch the last 75 minutes too.............

Mind, it's paying off this season. I am doing really well and following your initially 442 counter tactic from the SI thread, I have found that a lot of my knowledge has come together and I am playing some great football.

One key thing I learnt from watch the game last week, was how to deal with a team that is playing a 'pass to feet' game. I was struggling to get possession and even with the closing down shouts you have, I couldn't regain it and I was getting torn apart at the back by an average team.

Through watching the first 15 minutes I have learnt to recognize a 'pass to feet' game and when this happens I will switch from a zonal and closing down game to a man mark and default closing down. This destroys their possession (normally) and couple with a bit of hard tackling thrown it, does wonders :)

Though, be wary, hard tackling on a team that pass to feet can result in a number of yellow cards.... something to do with being tackled from behind :)

Watching the game is absolutely key to understanding why you are or are not successful....... sure you can be great at the game without knowing......... but for me, knowing why it happening is all the more rewarding.

I don't understand how you can use shouts effectively if you are not watching a game. It's pure guess work.

Regards

LAM

I've noticed in a few posts you've done over the last few weeks that you seem to be playing different to how you used to. Or atleast its coming across like that :)

And I totally agree with your last sentence too.

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I have changed it a lot.

Your 442 has enabled me to look at so many other aspects of the game. Somehow, after starting from a well explained base, I can now interpret information from the game much better. Which isn't bad going for a rugby player ;)

Don't get me wrong.... I still get opened up a fair amount. But it tends to be a little bit of brilliance on their part.

Despite owning Man City in my recent game (I am no.1 they are no.2) I could not score and they scored two incredible, off the post, long shots............. can't account for that. (well, you probably can, but I haven't got to those).

What will be interesting is to look at a lower level team soon. I'd imagine three more seasons in and this game will become way to easy.

Regards.

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I have changed it a lot.

Your 442 has enabled me to look at so many other aspects of the game. Somehow, after starting from a well explained base, I can now interpret information from the game much better. Which isn't bad going for a rugby player ;)

Don't get me wrong.... I still get opened up a fair amount. But it tends to be a little bit of brilliance on their part.

Despite owning Man City in my recent game (I am no.1 they are no.2) I could not score and they scored two incredible, off the post, long shots............. can't account for that. (well, you probably can, but I haven't got to those).

What will be interesting is to look at a lower level team soon. I'd imagine three more seasons in and this game will become way to easy.

Regards.

When you go lower league, don't stary away from what you do now. It still works at low level. People always presume you have to play a certain way, it's not true at all and all the same principles still stand.

And yeah sometimes there isn't anything you can do no matter how you try to stop a certain player from playing. If it's his day, it's his day simple as.

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I feel for the people who are new to FM. Of course they won't know the importance of training, tactics, shouts, etc. I myself realized shouts were a major addition to the series, and that it was quite intuitive (in that you are shouting at your team, not going into some editor and moving sliders around). One of my best finds has been to switch to a counter style, and 'get the ball forward'. Its very straightforward, but whats the point in playing a countering style if you are going to patiently build up the attack? Getting the ball forward quickly is EXACTLY what you want when launching a blitzkrieg counter.

There is so much information available, but you have to know what you are looking for, and how to interpret it, as well. For example, you see that your team is getting a lot of shots, but they are long shots. Well, that would tell me that I should consider (in future games, or in the current one) playing a little more patiently, so either a more conservative mentality, or I will slow the tempo down a little (as a long-term adjustment to my tactic). Too many fouls called on your team? Players could be a little out of position relative to the opposition's formation, or the ref could just be biased against you.

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After the initial 15 mins, how do you watch the rest of the game? Key or extended highlights? Perhaps full match all the way?

When watching the game on highlights, you cannot see that easily what's going wrong so you can't be sure what to do. That leads me to conclusion you basically have to watch most of the match on "full match" setting.

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After the initial 15 mins, how do you watch the rest of the game? Key or extended highlights? Perhaps full match all the way?

When watching the game on highlights, you cannot see that easily what's going wrong so you can't be sure what to do. That leads me to conclusion you basically have to watch most of the match on "full match" setting.

Just key highlights for me.

After a while you know what's happening and why based on the stats and I don't mean the game stats overview. I mean by using the analysis tabe and so on to keep a track of what's actually happening. The more you do it the easier it becomes to spot what's going on and why. But if you feel something is wrong in your own game then watching the game on full is advisable.

You don't have to watch them and pay as much attention as I do. But if you don't you'll have to accept that at times you'll get caught out and your results might yo-yo. It can be the difference between a unbeaten run of 10 games or not a win in 10 games.

The more you put into FM the more you get out if it imo.

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After the initial 15 mins, how do you watch the rest of the game? Key or extended highlights? Perhaps full match all the way?

When watching the game on highlights, you cannot see that easily what's going wrong so you can't be sure what to do. That leads me to conclusion you basically have to watch most of the match on "full match" setting.

This is the problem I have. I can't help but watch the whole game. If I am winning hands down - ie 2-0 and in full control then I'll go to extended viewing. Cleon is right though. If you can recognise and fix what is wrong in the first 15 minutes then you are practically there. It's just a case of studying it well.

A picture paints a thousand words. There have been some good threads on here recently that have made me think that use pictures.

As ATV said, I agree, I do feel for new players. I can't imagine there are many new purchasers out there that will want to sit through nearly full games.... most, I'd imagine, will want to get 4/5 season over with asap!

That said. I think the TC is great for those chaps(ettes) as you can make it work without all of this..... its just less rewarding.

Regards

LAM

ps. The other trouble with watching in full is that you tend to tweak a lot more.

I've been playing around with pass completion rates and trying to open up the defense a little more. The assistant manager always comments that a certain type of passing is working well and this got me to thinking that why not push it more..... if you want that is :)

I' aiming for a pass ratio over 85%, which funnily enough, for me at the moment is relatively easy to obtain. However, if I get this, I will then either try for more through balls...... OR.... my new thing :) I will increase the tempo.

Increased tempo on a high pass completion rate with a medium mentality and a quality passing team (I am no.1 in the league for this with a relatively default setup) makes for some lovely football......

Interestingly, this is still possible without watching anything.... but as Cleon and SFraser(GBHS) often say.... it's about producing quality football.... and you just gotta watch that when it happens..... though I am sure I will get bored soon and move on.

Another thing, and there have been a few posts about this..... I use the scout reports intensively. I look at their standard formations, then look at their squad tab to see who is short on fitness, who is unhappy, who is banned, who is injured. Then I look at who is giving the assists, where they normally play, then I look at the assists picture to see where the assists come from. Once you have this information you can tweak your team a little.

There isnt a game that goes by where one of my FB's are set to WB and the other as FVB defence. It nearly always happens that they have a stronger side....... and I'll defend that a little better. The scout reports are a fantastic addition this year. And..... in line wit this thread.... you can see it unfold in game.

It's great to watch their no.1 striker get frustrated and start spamming the long shots........

*edit*

was supposed to be a short post!

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I could care less about getting through seasons quickly. My team has been assembled, the promising youth are already in the ranks, and I'm not the type to splash $60m for a player just because he might improve my squad slightly, I would rather develop a youth who I KNOW will be a solid player for the club, a couple years down the line. So really, the season is when the magic happens, when players improve, when new tactics are thought up...

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This is the problem I have. I can't help but watch the whole game. If I am winning hands down - ie 2-0 and in full control then I'll go to extended viewing. Cleon is right though. If you can recognise and fix what is wrong in the first 15 minutes then you are practically there. It's just a case of studying it well.

A picture paints a thousand words. There have been some good threads on here recently that have made me think that use pictures.

As ATV said, I agree, I do feel for new players. I can't imagine there are many new purchasers out there that will want to sit through nearly full games.... most, I'd imagine, will want to get 4/5 season over with asap!

That said. I think the TC is great for those chaps(ettes) as you can make it work without all of this..... its just less rewarding.

Regards

LAM

ps. The other trouble with watching in full is that you tend to tweak a lot more.

I've been playing around with pass completion rates and trying to open up the defense a little more. The assistant manager always comments that a certain type of passing is working well and this got me to thinking that why not push it more..... if you want that is :)

I' aiming for a pass ratio over 85%, which funnily enough, for me at the moment is relatively easy to obtain. However, if I get this, I will then either try for more through balls...... OR.... my new thing :) I will increase the tempo.

Increased tempo on a high pass completion rate with a medium mentality and a quality passing team (I am no.1 in the league for this with a relatively default setup) makes for some lovely football......

Interestingly, this is still possible without watching anything.... but as Cleon and SFraser(GBHS) often say.... it's about producing quality football.... and you just gotta watch that when it happens..... though I am sure I will get bored soon and move on.

Another thing, and there have been a few posts about this..... I use the scout reports intensively. I look at their standard formations, then look at their squad tab to see who is short on fitness, who is unhappy, who is banned, who is injured. Then I look at who is giving the assists, where they normally play, then I look at the assists picture to see where the assists come from. Once you have this information you can tweak your team a little.

There isnt a game that goes by where one of my FB's are set to WB and the other as FVB defence. It nearly always happens that they have a stronger side....... and I'll defend that a little better. The scout reports are a fantastic addition this year. And..... in line wit this thread.... you can see it unfold in game.

It's great to watch their no.1 striker get frustrated and start spamming the long shots........

*edit*

was supposed to be a short post!

You are sounding more and more like a mini me, that's what I end up doing especially if I'm not writing a thread and I am actually playing the game for enjoyment :D

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I could care less about getting through seasons quickly. My team has been assembled, the promising youth are already in the ranks, and I'm not the type to splash $60m for a player just because he might improve my squad slightly, I would rather develop a youth who I KNOW will be a solid player for the club, a couple years down the line. So really, the season is when the magic happens, when players improve, when new tactics are thought up...

That's what I've done. I'm now in 2021 and the full squad is made up of players who came through the ranks or who I paid 200k for at the age of 15. Although I still have Ganso and Neymar due to me been Santos.

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Any time I hear someone say FM is too easy I wonder where have they set the bar for themselves? I want to manage a dynasty, winning one CL or one league title hardly figures in my reckoning. So its all about having a great first team, but also having quality coming up through the ranks, that will allow for a smooth transition when the old guard need to finally step down. Then I try to break records, or at least equal my previous achievements. But team records are more important than individual records.

There's nothing like prepping for that big game, second-guessing everything, the line up, the tactics, the pre-match talk, instructions... And then going on to record an epic win!

I always make sure to give myself credit for my choices, team selection, tactics, change in approach, etc. I figure it keeps me experimenting. Although the time I sold my back-up LW for 32m and the day before the transfer my 1st choice LW did his hip in... Is not as proud a moment!

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You are sounding more and more like a mini me, that's what I end up doing especially if I'm not writing a thread and I am actually playing the game for enjoyment :D

All I need now is the power to close threads...... mwahahahaha

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Any time I hear someone say FM is too easy I wonder where have they set the bar for themselves?

The biggest thing for me here is to stop using genie....... I have backed way way off, but just cant resist when my youths come through..... the annoying thing..... my coaches hvae always been right so far :(

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For sure, back when I played FM 10 I couldn't resist the temptation to 'ensure' that my promising youth would be world beaters. I was attached to them, and wanted them to come good. But at that time you don't realize that a player with 150 CA can be as good as a player with 180 CA, but badly distributed, bad personality, low consistency, etc. Now I would never alter a player's potential, or even look it up. But I have to confess, a Samuel Eto'o-esque player for my side broke his foot, a week or so after my top winger did his hip in, and I sold the backup LW (obviously arranged the transfer before the injuries!). Well, lets just say I am letting the winger heal on his own, but the striker was sent to another kind of specialist, and he only missed a handful of games. :D

Last season I had 10 players injured at the same time (very early in the season), just saw it through by utilizing the squad's depth, but to see if I could prevent it recurring I took charge of my teams preseason this year. I had noticed the players who got injured were squad players or first teamers who didn't get as many friendlies in during pre-season, so their conditioning and match fitness when they were slotted into the first team wasn't what it could or should have been.

The biggest thing for me here is to stop using genie....... I have backed way way off, but just cant resist when my youths come through..... the annoying thing..... my coaches hvae always been right so far :(

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Well, lets just say I am letting the winger heal on his own, but the striker was sent to another kind of specialist, and he only missed a handful of games. :D

Tut Tut.... and I was only talking about Genie not FMRTE :)

This season, after about 14 games or so and a handful of European games I lost Bale for 4 months, a week later I lost MOdric for two months and a few days later I lost Ekotto for two months. My entire left side of my team!

Oddly enough, Bale still holds the highest number of assists even though he has missed roughly half the Euro games.

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Ever since I started taking an approach similar to this, I've enjoyed the game more as it feels like I have more of an affect on how my team plays and thus the final result of the match.

I just beat man city 5-1 on aggregate in the semi final of the carling cup. I beat them 4-1 at home and then 1-0 away.

In the first leg there were a few periods in the match where city controlled play, but I managed to turn that around. Going into the last 10 minutes of the match, I was leading 2-1. I like to think the changes I made late in the match are the reason I scored 2 goals in the last 5 minutes :D

And in the second leg, City had the edge in the first 10 or so minutes but that was it. I shut them down. The had 6 shots with only 1 on target and I left the Etihad with a 1-0 victory and I'll be facing chelsea in the final again.

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No kidding, that is a very rough set of injuries. Broken feet and ACL tears to my favorite players is not what I play the game for. An important player, the best player on my team, sure, but not the kids I play the game to manage. Any injury up to 2 months I don't care at all, and see it as an opportunity, but because my team is built on pace I just cringe and am stressed when pacy players are out for long periods of time (as the attributes enter freefall!) :D

I want to attach an image but am having some trouble. Is there a size limit I am unaware of?

Tut Tut.... and I was only talking about Genie not FMRTE :)

This season, after about 14 games or so and a handful of European games I lost Bale for 4 months, a week later I lost MOdric for two months and a few days later I lost Ekotto for two months. My entire left side of my team!

Oddly enough, Bale still holds the highest number of assists even though he has missed roughly half the Euro games.

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Its nice info, but I couldn't play like that... It would be 2015 by the time I finish the season if I paused, replayed and fiddled with everything.

And yet I bet I play at a lot faster speed than you do :D

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I want to attach an image but am having some trouble. Is there a size limit I am unaware of?

Not that I'm aware of. I always use these guys and the use the 17" monitor option:

http://tinypic.com/

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Retaining Possession

Retain possession, pass to feet and drop deeper.

By using these shouts you’ll be asking the players to drop deeper and close down less. This will help retain the natural shape of the formation you use. Plus you’ll be using shorter passes and playing at a slower tempo while doing more through balls.

Regarding this: By dropping deeper do you not create a larger gap between the lines (def-mid-att) which combined with the shorter passing style may lead to more balls hoofed up field since no short options are available to the defender? Also, by dropping deeper are you not inviting the opponents on to you, which is kind of what you want to prevent?

Not saying I disagree with you, just playing the devil's advocate to understand better what exactly happens when these shouts are deployed together. Personally I probably would make the team play wider rather than drop deeper in order to achieve the effect of creating more space. I might actually push up in order to keep the ball as far away from the goalkeeper as possible. Thoughts?

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Regarding this: By dropping deeper do you not create a larger gap between the lines (def-mid-att) which combined with the shorter passing style may lead to more balls hoofed up field since no short options are available to the defender? Also, by dropping deeper are you not inviting the opponents on to you, which is kind of what you want to prevent?

Not saying I disagree with you, just playing the devil's advocate to understand better what exactly happens when these shouts are deployed together. Personally I probably would make the team play wider rather than drop deeper in order to achieve the effect of creating more space. I might actually push up in order to keep the ball as far away from the goalkeeper as possible. Thoughts?

Yeah your right, but dropping deeper will stop your defenders getting closed down as much as they will be further away from the opposition midifeld, reducing the mentality of your midfielders will also pull them closer. Pushing higher up will restrict space but leaves you open to ball over the top. Thats how I see it :)

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Regarding this: By dropping deeper do you not create a larger gap between the lines (def-mid-att) which combined with the shorter passing style may lead to more balls hoofed up field since no short options are available to the defender? Also, by dropping deeper are you not inviting the opponents on to you, which is kind of what you want to prevent?

Why wouldn't there be any options available for the defence? I think you seem to be confused and are taking these shouts to far too extreme levels to what they actually do.

Depends on how you've set up with the formation you use. If you have no DMC's or defensive minded MC's then yes of course the defence will be slightly deeper than the midfield. But remember I was talking about what I use for my team and the way I've set up. Plus they play slightly shorter passing that what they started the match with. That doesn't mean balls will be hoofed at all.

If I dropped mentality I'd be inviting the oppoistion onto me but I'm not, all I'd have done is reduced the defensive line and closing down. Meaning I actually keep the shape better and when the opposition become more advanced in their approach they actually leave gaps to exploit. Plus it gives the defence a little bit more space and time to think about what they are doing.

I think you are missing the point though. It's a group of shouts to retain possession nothing more. I'm doing it to retain the ball and not take any chances with players been caught out of position by closing down too heavy. It's much easier to keep possession when you keep your shape.

Not saying I disagree with you, just playing the devil's advocate to understand better what exactly happens when these shouts are deployed together. Personally I probably would make the team play wider rather than drop deeper in order to achieve the effect of creating more space. I might actually push up in order to keep the ball as far away from the goalkeeper as possible. Thoughts?

You are deffo confused though because I'm not trying to create space. I'm trying to retain the ball, they are completley different.

And by pushing up I'd be more prone to long balls over the top and counterattacks from the AI. And by going wider you'd make it more vulnerable as the players would be spaced wider meaning you've not kept the shape and make it harder to retain the ball due to it been easier for the opposition to pick up on any mistakes your players would make.

From what you've posted though you have confused 2 completley different things. Retaining the ball and creating space. Both are different and would be approached as such.

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Right, here's my story, related to this post.

It took me 6 years to take Vauxhall Motors from BSN to PL, using my 41212 tactic, created in classic mode. It has served me well as you can see, but now in PL I'm facing much better opponents. I'm currently in my 6th season in PL, after finishing 10th, 8th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd. I have a really good team, very capable of challenging for pretty much everything, but it didn't help.

The problem has been dropping points against small teams occasionally and, more so, getting battered by the likes of Man Utd, Man City or Spurs on a regular basis.

Naturally, I grew frustrated and decided to change my approach, i.e. take more time to see what's going wrong.

I took some time to read Cleon's Sports Centre, but this part about "The Full 90 Minutes" caught my attention in particular. I created a new narrow 41212 via TC and started using Cleon's advice/approach.

Long story short:

4q0xmp.png

Now, I would probably have won matches against Sunderland, Besiktas, Everton and Newcastle with the old tactic (albeit not that convincingly), but matches against Spurs and City really made me think it is worth the time and effort.

Usually, they would stomp me, even if I had the lead...They would always either dominate from the word go or turn things around in the 2nd half.

This time, I paid more attention. In the Spurs match, I noticed early on that they pressed me high up the pitch (using 442 flat) and that my players misplace their tackles all the time, especially fullbacks.

My defenders would pass the ball among themselves before hoofing it up. What I did first was to turn my two BWMs into DLPs on support role, so that they drop deeper and offer passing options to my defenders. It immediately showed results as they started to move the ball around fluidly.

The second thing I did was using "Stay on Feet" shout, which also showed immediate results. The players were calmer and more cautious, tackling only when really necessary, which helped me keep the defensive cohesion.

Also, I changed fullbacks to "Defend" instead of "Automatic" to prevent them getting skinned constantly (later on I found that's really a must if I want to be able to defend flank attacks).

All that made my defence and midfield more organized and controlled, but the problem was that now AMC (attack), AF(attack) and Poacher(attack) were effectively cut off. I then switched the AMC to Support, as well as turn both forwards into DLFs.

The result was 5-0 stuffing. :)

The game against Man City, now that was more challenging. They were all over me in the first 10 mins, keeping possession with ease (70-30 in their favour most of the time). I tried all kinds of things, retain possession-pass to feet, stuck in-hassle opponents etc, but nothing worked until I did the same thing like in Spurs game. Made my central mids drop deeper(DLP) to offer passing options, stay on feet shout to stop all of them flying into tackles, made AMC support, and turned the forwards into DLFs. By the 20th minute, I managed to control and contain them, possession now being 50-50. However, I was very sterile up front so I turned my forwards back to AFs with attack duties, while leaving my AMC on support. Since Man City played 4231, he had lots of space to create chances for the strikers, resulting in 2 goals (3rd came after a corner).

Cleon, most of the "guides" around here involve using teams like Man Utd, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. It's easy to be smart when you have world class players and staff at your disposal. However, you showed everyone how to win the PL with Swansea in the first season, and that's exactly why I took your approach under serious consideration.

I guess my point is: thank you, ma'am. :applause:

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Why wouldn't there be any options available for the defence? I think you seem to be confused and are taking these shouts to far too extreme levels to what they actually do.

...........[lots of text]................

From what you've posted though you have confused 2 completley different things. Retaining the ball and creating space. Both are different and would be approached as such.

Thanks for your reply. I think the different passing options confuses me the most, as there are posts stating that direct vs short limit where a player passes (e.g. with a short setting but no short options - player hoofs the ball) the ball and posts claiming that direct vs short prioritizes what pass to make (e.g. no short options - player will look at the next nearest option). I still do not really get why you drop deeper though. I thought you did this to create space/time for your defenders. (I probably sound like a complete idiot now :-D and have probably figured out why the Serbian cup has been my only trophy so far!)

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Thanks for your reply. I think the different passing options confuses me the most, as there are posts stating that direct vs short limit where a player passes (e.g. with a short setting but no short options - player hoofs the ball) the ball and posts claiming that direct vs short prioritizes what pass to make (e.g. no short options - player will look at the next nearest option). I still do not really get why you drop deeper though. I thought you did this to create space/time for your defenders. (I probably sound like a complete idiot now :-D and have probably figured out why the Serbian cup has been my only trophy so far!)

You are partly right, I do it to create time for the players and not space :)

Think of it like this;

When you want to build a possession game you need to make sure a player doesn't get rushed with his decision making and that he can have time on the ball while not under constant pressure. By dropping deeper this allows my defender to have a little longer to think about what they are going to do and assess their options. If I didn't drop deeper and they were rushed by the AI been too close to them and not allowing them time on the ball, then this could cause panic and mistakes from the defenders. By dropping deeper I'm ensuring that they don't make panicky passes instead I'm tryint to help them to choose the best option.

Of course it's not always that simple but that's the best way to describe it to you.

As for the passing you was on about, the shout just alters whatever default passing you have set and makes that shorter. So for example if I had someone on the first notch of direct and used a shout that shortened the passing length, then they'd be on mixed passing. Do you understand what I'm getting at?

:)

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I like my team to drop deep if I am ahead (2 goals usually) and the opposition's biggest threat is pace. It instantly takes their biggest weapon away, as they can still use their pace man, but he won't be through on goal, 1 v 1 with the goalie, he will have men marking him and affecting his shot. AND... It opens up my teams biggest weapon, which also happens to be pace! So once I am ahead in some games it can be VERY tough to play against my team, because by coming forward en masse you leave yourself exposed to my teams counterattack! I love a midfielder who can both tackle and pass, and the counterattack is where that really comes out.

I recently had a game against Inter (as Juventus, in Milan) where they scored twice in I think 20 or 30 minutes, to start the match. The first was a tracer bullet from 30 yards, the (world class) defender somehow left the near side corner for the forward to shoot at! The second was a header from a corner, goalie should have had it, AND the midfielder should have won the header. I changed the mentality to control from attack, as we had already conceded twice with that mentality and my thinking is that if its allowed 2 and scored 0, its probably not going to be the way we get back into the match!

They played a 4-1-2-1-2 and to compensate I dropped one of my 3 MCs into DMc land at the start of the game, still as DLP, but I decided I needed him to manmark the oppositions AMC (probably their best player, but 32), and since he would probably not have space, don't hold up the ball... Well, after 30 minutes I knew I was NOT playing any where near good enough! I was all over the AMC, but there seemed to be way too much space for the other mids when they advanced (to get long shots in). I decided "You know what, even with his manmarking assignment I still need my DLP to hold up the ball, because our possession right now is BS!"

I raged at the players at half time, saying I needed to see major improvements (because I did!). Well, 48th minute my captain, a very hard-working physical midfielder takes it upon himself, receives on the edge of the box, holds off the defender, and rifles into the roof of the net! He scores only in big games, I guess. Then in the 66th minute he popped up again, similar position, same result! That is what personality and determination can, given the right impetus! It went into overtime, where the defender who had played a shocker (and been screamed at, at 90 min.) popped up with a header goal, 60 seconds into overtime. The game ended 5-4 in our favor!

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Got it! Was making things overly complicated :)

No worries, if you need owt else just ask :)

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I like my team to drop deep if I am ahead (2 goals usually) and the opposition's biggest threat is pace. It instantly takes their biggest weapon away, as they can still use their pace man, but he won't be through on goal, 1 v 1 with the goalie, he will have men marking him and affecting his shot. AND... It opens up my teams biggest weapon, which also happens to be pace! So once I am ahead in some games it can be VERY tough to play against my team, because by coming forward en masse you leave yourself exposed to my teams counterattack! I love a midfielder who can both tackle and pass, and the counterattack is where that really comes out.

I recently had a game against Inter (as Juventus, in Milan) where they scored twice in I think 20 or 30 minutes, to start the match. The first was a tracer bullet from 30 yards, the (world class) defender somehow left the near side corner for the forward to shoot at! The second was a header from a corner, goalie should have had it, AND the midfielder should have won the header. I changed the mentality to control from attack, as we had already conceded twice with that mentality and my thinking is that if its allowed 2 and scored 0, its probably not going to be the way we get back into the match!

They played a 4-1-2-1-2 and to compensate I dropped one of my 3 MCs into DMc land at the start of the game, still as DLP, but I decided I needed him to manmark the oppositions AMC (probably their best player, but 32), and since he would probably not have space, don't hold up the ball... Well, after 30 minutes I knew I was NOT playing any where near good enough! I was all over the AMC, but there seemed to be way too much space for the other mids when they advanced (to get long shots in). I decided "You know what, even with his manmarking assignment I still need my DLP to hold up the ball, because our possession right now is BS!"

I raged at the players at half time, saying I needed to see major improvements (because I did!). Well, 48th minute my captain, a very hard-working physical midfielder takes it upon himself, receives on the edge of the box, holds off the defender, and rifles into the roof of the net! He scores only in big games, I guess. Then in the 66th minute he popped up again, similar position, same result! That is what personality and determination can, given the right impetus! It went into overtime, where the defender who had played a shocker (and been screamed at, at 90 min.) popped up with a header goal, 60 seconds into overtime. The game ended 5-4 in our favor!

Nice post on how the deepline can be effective :)

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LOL, I hear you there. Thats a big part of the reason that I started managing a 2nd club as a 'feeder' club! I wanted to develop more youths at one time, and that was the best way I could come up with!

Oh probably ;). I control everything on my games and put waaaaaaaay too much of my time into hunting youth players... Even when I shouldn't!

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Right, here's my story, related to this post.

It took me 6 years to take Vauxhall Motors from BSN to PL, using my 41212 tactic, created in classic mode. It has served me well as you can see, but now in PL I'm facing much better opponents. I'm currently in my 6th season in PL, after finishing 10th, 8th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd. I have a really good team, very capable of challenging for pretty much everything, but it didn't help.

The problem has been dropping points against small teams occasionally and, more so, getting battered by the likes of Man Utd, Man City or Spurs on a regular basis.

Naturally, I grew frustrated and decided to change my approach, i.e. take more time to see what's going wrong.

I took some time to read Cleon's Sports Centre, but this part about "The Full 90 Minutes" caught my attention in particular. I created a new narrow 41212 via TC and started using Cleon's advice/approach.

Long story short:

4q0xmp.png

Now, I would probably have won matches against Sunderland, Besiktas, Everton and Newcastle with the old tactic (albeit not that convincingly), but matches against Spurs and City really made me think it is worth the time and effort.

Usually, they would stomp me, even if I had the lead...They would always either dominate from the word go or turn things around in the 2nd half.

This time, I paid more attention. In the Spurs match, I noticed early on that they pressed me high up the pitch (using 442 flat) and that my players misplace their tackles all the time, especially fullbacks.

My defenders would pass the ball among themselves before hoofing it up. What I did first was to turn my two BWMs into DLPs on support role, so that they drop deeper and offer passing options to my defenders. It immediately showed results as they started to move the ball around fluidly.

The second thing I did was using "Stay on Feet" shout, which also showed immediate results. The players were calmer and more cautious, tackling only when really necessary, which helped me keep the defensive cohesion.

Also, I changed fullbacks to "Defend" instead of "Automatic" to prevent them getting skinned constantly (later on I found that's really a must if I want to be able to defend flank attacks).

All that made my defence and midfield more organized and controlled, but the problem was that now AMC (attack), AF(attack) and Poacher(attack) were effectively cut off. I then switched the AMC to Support, as well as turn both forwards into DLFs.

The result was 5-0 stuffing. :)

The game against Man City, now that was more challenging. They were all over me in the first 10 mins, keeping possession with ease (70-30 in their favour most of the time). I tried all kinds of things, retain possession-pass to feet, stuck in-hassle opponents etc, but nothing worked until I did the same thing like in Spurs game. Made my central mids drop deeper(DLP) to offer passing options, stay on feet shout to stop all of them flying into tackles, made AMC support, and turned the forwards into DLFs. By the 20th minute, I managed to control and contain them, possession now being 50-50. However, I was very sterile up front so I turned my forwards back to AFs with attack duties, while leaving my AMC on support. Since Man City played 4231, he had lots of space to create chances for the strikers, resulting in 2 goals (3rd came after a corner).

Cleon, most of the "guides" around here involve using teams like Man Utd, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. It's easy to be smart when you have world class players and staff at your disposal. However, you showed everyone how to win the PL with Swansea in the first season, and that's exactly why I took your approach under serious consideration.

I guess my point is: thank you, ma'am. :applause:

10 games to go I was 9 points short of Man Utd. Thanks to the new approach of watching the games carefully and acting accordingly, I managed to turned it around and win the title on goal difference.

I also won CL, beating Barcelona, Man City and Man Utd on the way.

Reading this thread turned my game upside down. :)

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10 games to go I was 9 points short of Man Utd. Thanks to the new approach of watching the games carefully and acting accordingly, I managed to turned it around and win the title on goal difference.

I also won CL, beating Barcelona, Man City and Man Utd on the way.

Reading this thread turned my game upside down. :)

Wo that's a real impressive achievement, well done :)

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One of the things I find most interesting now, which kind of ties into one of my other recent posts, is the ability to still get a result from your so-called 'second team'.

My biggest problem is still dealing with the throughballs. Man United are the king of these in my view and I hate it when Rooney and Berbatov are playing.... which leads me to another interesting story (at least from my view :)).

I managed to beat Man United 2-0 in the Champions Cup final, though the last goal came very late, so in reality I was happy with a 1-0 win. despite dominating play, I found it very hard to break them down enough to score decent goals.

Both teams had their 'defence breaking' players out of the game. I was Bale and Willians (my outstanding AML/R turned Poacher) down and .... drum roll.... Man U were down Rooney......

Neither team did well at breaking the defences down. Dzeko was struggling upfront and I could tell that I was missing some pace, even though Cavani is blessed with some. In the end I brought Dos Santos on and he scored about 5 minutes later............

I love being able to read the game better now, but nothing is more rewarding when you make a substitute and he goes and scores the exact way you thought he would :)

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