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Scout and Team reports and how I use them.

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I am really pleased to see that ahead of the release of FM2013 there are so many people that are trying to give the game a straight up try without all of the ‘cheats’ and downloadable instructions that are created by someone else.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with using cheats and downloaded tactics, in fact I used to do it myself, but it stops being a challenge after a while and leaves you wanting ‘more’ from the game, well…. at least it did for me and the more you play, the better you see what the game actually has to offer you.

Two things that I tend to reply with when answering questions to threads where I feel I can contribute something is to A) keep it simple and B) to use the information that is available in the game.

I’m going to write about information available to you in this thread (B) and that information is SCOUT REPORTS. Use them or not, they are an invaluable tool to help you set your team up ahead of the game. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to watch the game once it’s underway, but even if you don’t make too many changes prior to starting the match, then at least you will know the key things to look for during the game – you do WATCH the game don’t you???? :)

I tend to use the strategy below to put in place some changes to nullify key threats but will also keep an eye out for other things, after all, if you make too many changes you are then not really playing the way you want to play.

So, where does it start? Here:

2lclk4h.jpg

This is the standard scout report as it enters your ‘inbox’.

As you can see here, it shows you that you are playing away, if you don’t check your fixtures much, then this is always handy :), it tells you what the scout thinks you should be focusing your ‘match preparation’ on and finally it tells you some stats about winning or losing the game. I find the stats somewhat meaningless unless you are either at the end of the season OR plan on using the media to apply pressure.

You can see here, Blackburn, according to the scout have defensive vulnerabilities and could be susceptible to good attacking movement. Now, assuming your team have gelled and they understand the tactic/formation and attacking movement is not to contradictory to your usual style of play, then there is no reason not to change this. It also acts as a reminder to do so as you will get a scout report in every game; providing you have a scout set to get them.

I have no evidence to support this next statement but I tend to use a scout that has good ratings in the following categories: Tactical Knowledge, Judging Player Ability and Determination and I choose them in that order.

From here, I click the ‘Team Report’ button……. so…. Down the rabbit hole we go.

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Squad Depth

imqsee.jpg

I’ve cut a little of this page as normally it’s irrelevant unless the team you are playing have a major injury problem. It shows the third best person for the position.

This screen shows, in comparison to each other (not to you), how their team is rated. What I tend to look for here are strengths and weaknesses. If you have a player that is stand-out with 4/5 stars or with 2 stars then you have an opportunity to do something about it. If it’s a weakness, exploit it. If it’s strength, nullify it.

As you can see with Blackburn here, the whole team is pretty average when compared to eachother; however you can also see why the scout thought they were weak defensively. The Midfield and Forward players average 4.5 stars whereas the defence are 2.5/3. So, hopefully, you can see now how all the information starts to come together.

Other than noting that there defence is a little weak, there is not much else you can do here due mainly to the fact that they are a fairly balanced team. But we can still take something away from this; it tells us that you can’t really expect to nullify just one player and win the game.

The natural progression from this screen would be to the next tab which is ‘Positional Strength’. Now, if you know the formation they play, then this is a useful screen. But at this stage, we do not know their formation……yet!

Next Screen – Tactic Analysis.

30a8gvp.jpg

Let’s try and work out what formation they are likely to play. It is worth noting that this is not always definitive. They may very well play something different, especially so if you see lots of formations in this screen.

Some key things to look for is how many games they started with the formation and how many minutes they have used it for. As you can see in this case, they are very likely to line up with a 4-1-2-1-2. Now, there are so many differing formations out there, what does that tactic look like?

If you click on last match, which is a tab at the top, then there are other tabs which you can see their last formation and you can also click on their squad to ascertain the last played position for each player.

In this case, it so happens that this is a 442 narrow diamond.

The information on the right is available for all the formations listed on the left hand side, so if it is not really clear what they used, then be sure to have a check through a few of them. In the case of Blackburn here, I would only really bother checking the main tactic as they used it sixteen out of the last twenty games.

So, without summarising in to many words; against stronger teams, they didn’t fair to well. Scored none and conceded 3. Against similar teams, it was a pretty even affair and against weaker teams, they kicked some butt with it. Please note that the goals scored and conceded won’t always correlate to amount of games won or lost. They could score three and still lose, so do not look for it to tally.

20p1zqp.jpg

Staying with the Tactic Analysis we move to the ‘Tactics Faced’ tab.

Here, like the tab says, you can see how they performed against a variety of tactics and for how long they played against them. The information on the right is available for all the tactics. Right now I’ll just focus on the 442 as that is how I will set up against them.

Eight teams started with the 442 against them for an average of 85 minutes. So, in all likelihood, in a match or two the opposition switched tactics, but that is largely irrelevant for us at this stage.

Blackburn, despite their poor performance to date (see original scout report) fared pretty well against the 442, scoring eleven and conceding nine. Though, we are unsure of who they played and when they played them.

On the right, it shows that against weaker teams, they did very well against them. The weaker teams were clearly not capable of implementing the 442 well enough to cause any major concerns. In fact, Blackburn did very well against them. Therefore, if you were a weaker team using the 442 against them, then you may very well want to take this into account.

However, against similar rated teams, the 442 is proving to strong. Scoring just four but conceding a relative heavy seven. I’m playing as Spurs and we are a strong team, so this is looking good for us. If they had had some decent results against stronger teams using a 442, then we might want to worry, just a little.

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ASSIST LOCATIONS:

This is where it gets interesting for me….. so pay attention.

15q8djr.jpg

This is an invaluable screen for me. This tells me what I need to watch for and where I need to move.

A quick summary first and then more detail after.

Twenty nine of their goals had assists during this period, there were another three goals, but they did not have any assists. As you can see, the vast majority come from the left and right side of the field along with some passes from very deep, possibly in their own half. Earlier I mentioned their possible ability to counter attack, and you might see where these late goals come from…. nice deep passes.

Only a very small amount of goals come from central positions, three from Midfield and two from inside the box

This gives you a fair amount of information; If they are in your box, then they are either shooting or passing back out of it, so you don’t need to expect anything to intricate from them once they are there.

They are very unlikely to be passing through the middle of the pitch, however they are highly likely to be passing down the flanks.

Interestingly, these statistics would normally scream of team with very strong Wingers or with some decent Inside forwards. However we already know that their formation is a Narrow 442 Diamond. Therefore we have to assume that there is a lot of movement in this team. Expect roaming to be fairly high and you’ll also witness lots of moving around with the ball, likely from a central position.

From these stats I’d normally be looking at their wide players for assists and it is highly possible here that their Wingbacks might be doing well on assists, however, given the formation; we’ll need to keep an open mind.

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GOAL ANALYSIS:

214owlz.jpg

The above shows you how and when they scoretheir goals….. and also how you can score against them!

Used in conjunction with the assist location screen, you can start to paint a fairly accurate picture of how they might play against you but also what you can exploit.

GOAL TIMES:

Here I mainly gather information on whether they are attacking early, rallying at the end, losing concentration etc etc.

Here you can see that they have scored 19 goals in the first half of their games and 13 in the second half. This tells you that they are a little weaker coming out in the second half, so if you can go in with a lead, then it will be looking good for you.

However what is interesting is that they are relatively strong in the last 15 minutes of each half. This could be down to a few things; If you recall, they have played similar opposition and weaker opposition but not stronger, therefore, they make simply be taking advantage of their opposition becoming tired and pressing hard or they might be using counter attack.

Either way, look out for a push at the end of each half, especially so if you tend to make your own goals in these times. You might be vulnerable to the counter attack.

GOAL TYPES:

Here we can see what sort of goals that they are scoring against their opposition. Sadly, we cannot see ‘where’ they shoot from unless we go back through individual games and take a look at their goals.

Seventeen of their thirty two goals were placed shots. Therefore we can expect to see either crosses to feet inside the box or passes into the box. Most crosses result in a header or a volley.

Three were scored from powerful shots. If this was higher it might be an area of concern as it could reflect screamers from outside the box.

Other than three overhead kicks (go Blackburn go) the only other notable was nine headers, so we need to keep an eye on the crosses (coming next)

GOAL ASSISTS:

Now, this is where it gets very interesting. If you think about it, it’s kinda hard to stop a goal, unless you block a shot with a player or a keeper, therefore, really it’s about stopping the supply.

Here you see HOW they assist their goals, not where, as that is shown above, but how.

They are clearly not very dangerous from corners, so that is something that we do not really need to worry about, thus light tacking to deflect crosses could be a good option, rather than hard tackles to win the ball and missing it entirely.

Twelve assists were from passes and seven from crosses. What was interesting for me was that I normally get to this screen without confirming their formation, so here I was looking at a 41212, which I thought was wide and seeing a far higher percentage of goals scored from passes rather than crosses, yet the assists were coming from wide. So, again, as information starts coming together, if something doesn’t seem right… check it out.

Four assists were from hoofs in their own half, so that given their ability to score goals late in each half is something to watch for…. The counter attack.

GOAL ANALYSIS SUMMARY:

Blackburn clearly pose a thread down the flanks, however this can come from anywhere. Our wide players will need to be held back a little to deal with this threat. I tend to play with lots of Forward Runs on my wide players, but here I think I will be lowering them to mixed or even to Rare depending on who is providing the assists - my wingers if the assists are coming from their wingbacks or my own wingbacks if it's their wide players.

I don’t need to worry too much about their midfield causing to many problems, so I might be able to get some of my Central Midfielders to push forwards a little more than usual. I tend to play with a Deep Lying Playmaker and a Advance Playmaker Support, so my AP will likely keep the same role and instructions, but I will move his Run From Deep from mixed to often.

One in five of their goals were headers, so clearly this is something that we need to be aware of.

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Now, seeing as we have a decent understand of how and where they score and get their assists from, lets see if we can work out WHO is doing it.

Welcome to their Squad Screen:

1z1zclx.jpg

This is my selection screen setup for my own squad (other bits moved off), but for this purpose it works very nicely against opposition squads too. If you didn’t know you could change many of your screens… you do now! So go learn (no modding required).

I’ve highlight some key areas, so we’ll address those in no particular order.

Firstly, I have sorted by assists. As I mentioned before, trying to stop a goal is best done by stopping the assists, so this is the priority for me.

What you will probably notice from here is that the goals and assists do not match the numbers shown in the previous screens. That is because the scout reports take into account the last twenty games (I thought you could change that but am struggling to find it). And here the stats reflect the fact that we are only eight games into the season and 4 cup games.

In order of assists, we can see that their AMC is Nicolas Lodeiro and he has assisted three times and scored one goal. This was achieved from a total of 11 games (domestic cups). So, whilst he is their best, he certainly couldn’t be considered a dangerman per se. Add to that, he is injured. However, what we can learn from this is that Blackburn only had a limited number of assists from the central point. Now, coincidentally, it was three assists and Lodeiro here as three assists. They may very well have all been his, however, given the formation and where most of the other assists come from, I’d suggest that there is a large amount of movement happening in the team. So it’s something to look out for.

If you see it happening, you may want to consider a zonal marking system rather than man marking to avoid being dragged to far.

The next best assister is Rochina, now, he also, as you can see, happens to be their main goal scorer too, so he is definitely someone that we need to keep an eye on. This guide isn’t about how to deal with individual players, all it is designed to do is highlight the threats – you work out how to deal with him. Again though, Blackburns tendancy to assist from wide, would suggest that this chap is using the channels (remember the part about being dragged out of position).

Moving past N’Zonzi, as there is little to discuss there. Look out for Gamst Pedersen. The reason I mention him is that he doesn’t always start games. As you can see, he has played in eleven of the fourteen games available, but it’s a 50/50 as to whether he starts or not. Now, considering this and in comparison to the rest of the team, he has pretty decent goal and assist tally (relative to his team mates). If he comes on…. Watch out for him.

So, in overall summary. There doesn’t appear to be to much to worry about :) (picked a boring team to demonstrate).

Look for lots of movement, consider a relatively cautious setup for your Fullbacks and be prepared to remove Run From Deep if needs be. (please note that they will absolutely still get forward enough to support back passes and will be high enough up the pitch to attempt crosses from deep if you want them too).

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SCORING AGAINST THEM! (the orangeybrown colour)

So, I’m sure some of you noticed there are are always two sets of figures in these charts. One is theirs and one is against them…… and it’s the later we will look at now.

Here we learn how we can tear them apart…….

I’ll start with the Assist chart again.

15q8djr.jpg

There isn’t a whole lot to say from this chart other than Blackburn being just as vulnerable from any part of the field. As you can see the assists against them are fairly spread out. I’d simply be looking to play to my own attacking strengths.

In many cases, it’s usual to see one side stronger than the other and when that is the case, you’d want to at least look at exploiting it, even if you choose not to.

So, in summary, play to your own strengths based on these stats.

Now, lets look at how we can score.

214owlz.jpg

GOAL TIMES:

They seem somewhat susceptible to conceding some 15-30 minutes in, now as they tend to score a decent number of goals early in the game, this could be down to tiring slightly or being caught on the counter. Certainly something to look for around the 15minute mark. Other than that, a push near the end of the game certainly looks like it could catch them.

Just remember, they are fairly good at scoring late in each half.

GOAL TYPES:

Decent shots from inside the area should do well against them as well as some screamers on the edge of the box, so having long shots mixed on a few deeper players might work nicely. We can check out their keepers stats to ascertain if this will work nicely or not.

GOAL ASSISTS:

Given the difficulties of scoring from crosses in this game, at figure of eight gives roughly a third of their goals being conceded coming from corners. Bearing in mind I’m playing a 442, this pleases me. Add to that the where they conceded assists, then flank play looks like a good bet to me and we can always cut back inside to give more options.

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Please note that all screenshots were taken from FM2012. However it is all the same in FM13 and there is even an extra screen which I'll get around too.

Regards

LAM

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Another great thread :)

When I create the FM13 important links thread next week I'll be sure to include this :)

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Another great thread :)

When I create the FM13 important links thread next week I'll be sure to include this :)

I look forward to this hugely

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Thanks for the comments guys.

Just got some more interesting screens to add.

This one shows where a weakness can be identified.

I've highlighted to points.

Firstly, this teams ability to supply goals from deep areas. Watch this if you play a high defence line or are tiring in a game against them

Secondly, (realised I might have highlyed their strength rather than the weakness). As you can see, they are very strong defensively down their right flank. They have only conceded one goal from supply on this side. Thus, you may want to push harder down your right flank, where they leak goals far more regularly.

Just on a side note on this. One trick that allows you to do this without dictating all your play down this side is to ask your Goal Keeper to 'defender collect' and to supply the RB position. This means you do not focus play down this side but much of it will be there. I tend to only focus play once a weakness has been identified AND proven.

fej7di.jpg

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It's almost like impressive detective work. Great stuff. I look to use this all the time now! Never realised how much the game talks to you!

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It's almost like impressive detective work. Great stuff. I look to use this all the time now! Never realised how much the game talks to you!

:) Quite.

It's all there, just a case of finding it and then deciphering it.

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Squad Depth

...I’m playing as Spurs and we are a strong team, so this is looking good for us. If they had had some decent results against stronger teams using a 442, then we might want to worry, just a little.

P.S. As an Arsenal fan, your attempt to assert that Spurs are a good team tickled me ... :p

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2ibjcde.jpg

Just saying :)

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ouch...............

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Ah, only messing bro :)

Would it be possible for you to maybe run through several scenarios regarding what you see.... like you have done, but maybe with a few more varying types. Sometimes I look at the numbers and struggle to deduce what I'm facing... spend the first 15 mins getting annihilated and sometimes conceding.... because I'm not utilising this info

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By Varying types, do you mean different teams?

Also, if you are starting a brand new game, much of the information available to you will not be entirely accurate. The reports are built over a 20 game period, so if you are only 5 games into a new game, and your oppositions has had three easy games, then do not expect it to work to tell.

The same can be said for starting a new season. The first game of the season will not take into account any players they have bought or sold. The squad strength screen will, but the other stats will not. Thus, it isn't a fix all solution, it's just data and you need to apply it correctly.

Regards

LAM

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I'm guessing various teams, but I rather mean varying scenarios. For example... lots of deep assists implies direct play, counter attacking etc.

But assists spread from all areas means...... 'X'

From centre means....'y'

I'm just trying to figure it out with as much depth as you but i'm not capable of it lol

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Have a look at this team:

t6xrx1.jpg

I highlighted some areas of interest that if playing against them, you might want to be aware of.

I'll leave it up to some of you to decipher.

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OK. I like this challenge.

Seems that they are somewhat skilled in most areas. Mostly crosses and long balls. Maybe counter attacking side?

Weak in central midfield though, susceptible to an advanced playmaker/treq through ball?

I dno... lol

They just seem so dominant i'd be worried to move out. Maybe a 4-4-1-1 would be a nice counter? Possibly something more attacking, but i'm in Barnet mode.

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Well... this is infact a 442.... and it's mine :)

So, first up, these screens are useful for more than just competitor breakdown.

I usually check this for my own team if I am going through a slump or at 3/4 points in the season. Unsurprisingly for a 442, it's showing that we are strong down the flanks and weak through the middle.

What it also shows is that I get a lot of assists from nice and deep. If you looked at my team it would be fairly obvious where these are coming from. I have two very pacey strikers (as well as being very talented elsewhere) and two of my DC's have a decent level of assists. They are ball players, and will strike a long pass from deep, but also my MC's have good assists, so again, they are making nice throughballs.

As my team is very domimant, many teams will chase the game and push up, thus I can counter it fairly easily by sitting deeper and then unloading throughballs (target man - run onto).

In your most recent post in your own thread, you might want to look at this screen and see where you are conceding and then try and do something about it.

A nice thing about the 442 is that it still works if you play narrower. So, if I am worried about the strength of an opposition through the middle of the pitch I may very well setup narrow and drop a MC very deep - DLP/defend with throughballs off works nicely as they don't close down to much either.

However, playing narrowly, at least when using shouts means that you direct your play through the middle. Now, if you want to do this then fine, but you are setting up narrow for a reason and that is because you are likely out numbered in the middle. Therefore I will either then use 'exploit flanks' which keeps it narrow (play narrow), but directs passing down the flanks AND what is nice about this is that it creates space on the outside. However, sometimes I don't want to focus down the flanks so I have to use the tactical screen and remove 'through the middle' setting that is created by the narrow shout.

So, look at where you are leaking goals, look at where they come from and how they go in.

I tend to balance my team rather than spend bulk on a single superstar (though I do have those), therefore it's no surprise where my assists come from.... everywhere. It also means that I am nicely setup to exploit anything I want. This is a point I was trying to make earlier, sometimes nullifying a threat means you take away your own strengths, so you need to work out which is more important.

If they have a superstar who dictates their game, then it is worth sacrificing some of your own threat to nullify him as best you can. If it's simply them being fairly strong in an area, then you might simply choose to try and out damage them (Keegan style).

Regards

LAM

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Just along on the right from the normal squad tab, next to the fixtures button (not the shortcut in the tools though).

At least it is on FM12.

if you can't find it on Fm13 shout and I'll load it up.

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2zz848j.jpg

This is the rest of the stats.

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Main squad page (F3).... furthest on the right..... REPORT

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And this changed my way of playing FM... After a terrible first half with the season with Arsenal, I have now won 15 matches in a row in the league and won the first leg in the CL semi's due to me being able to be more aware of the strengths of the opponent and also know their weaknesses. Great thread!

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And this changed my way of playing FM... After a terrible first half with the season with Arsenal, I have now won 15 matches in a row in the league and won the first leg in the CL semi's due to me being able to be more aware of the strengths of the opponent and also know their weaknesses. Great thread!

Awesome!!!!!!

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Still struggling to understand counters sadly. I went in against Plymouth and was down 2-0 in the first 30mins. I managed to pull it back and win 4-2, but the information I'm getting from the scouting I'm clearly not using correctly from the start.

I'm getting it horribly wrong.

The only way I seem to win is to adapt to the current game I'm playing. I don't seem to know what I'm doing regarding countering their strengths from the first whistle though.

Of course, winning like this isn't common. I think I was also very lucky.

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If you can be bothered, post some of the screeen shots.

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Would it be a good idea to post the game up as well? To show where I was weak and possibly where I went wrong in response to the information I was given?

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lam excellent thread.

Really opened my eyes that this is one area I need to take a closer look at.

Atm I'm planning out how to setup my tactics in order cover all my bases here.

As far as I can see it's important to cover width for a narrow, wide and balanced approach, as well as playing over the wings and through the middle, as well as different closing down and marking styles and if possible different tempi and formations.

That's gonna take some planning but I hope to cover all my bases, I'll report back here with how I've set up things so I can hopefully get some advise from you if I'm missing something.

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Glad you chaps like it.

Just remember, you can not plan for every eventuality and if you somehow manage it, a good team will just hit you elsewhere.

I probably make just one or two changes on the back of this information, but normal it's enough to nullify key threats.

Let me give you some examples:

If they have a winger that has a lot of goals or assists, then I will ensure the relevant Full Back is on a defend duty and will remove the following and I'll explain why:

Run from Deep:

This will stop the player moving into advanced positions and obviously out of the defensive position. It is worth noting that even with this setting he will still be forward enough to accept a back pass from an MC or a Winger that is running out of options

Run with Ball:

This can also drag your player into advanced positions, so this gets removed too.

Long Shots:

I don't want him to even think about putting himself in a position where he might be able to squeeze off a shot at goal. So, rare it is.

Through Balls:

This one I tend to reduce to mixed or rare, depending who is playing. For instance, if I don't consider their Wingers a massive threat ahead of the game then I might pick Kyle Walker to play. Kyle is clearly an attacking Full Back and is quite a capable passer, therefore he tends to have a mixed setting.

However if I have identified their Winger to be the main threat ahead of the game then I'll almost certainly play Kaboul. In Fm12 Kaboul is equally adept at playing DC and FBR. When he plays, he gets rare through balls.

Cross Ball:

Again, another setting that will drag your player out of a defensive positions...... can you start to see how many of these instructions can do that! I set this to rare, unless they are an exceptional crosser of the ball and I rely on their crosses (probably would never be the case). You will also want to ensure that the player is set to cross from deep.

With this set of instructions essentially you have created a DC. What also helps immensely is if your chosen play can jump and head the ball. He will get a lot of interceptions. Kaboul can do this, Walker can not.

Controlling DM:

How do you deal with him? He is unlikely to lots of assists, however he will be the lynchpin from which everything is started.

Playing as a 442 I do not have an AMC to stick close to him, but I do have a deep FC, so I will ask him to man mark him. The downside is that when you gain possession he might not be in space, but I'll take that for interrupting their entire passing game.

Marauding Full Back:

Simple.... ask your winger to man mark him. If they are also playing with wingers, try to ensure your own Full Back doesn't move out to close him down if he doesn't have to as you will have just set yourself up for a nice through ball to the winger.

Attacking AMC/MC:

I play with a flat 442, therefore, again I do not have a DMC to control this player and even if I did, I'm not entirely sure I'd want him roaming all over the place to hold him either. Within a 442 I will turn my DLP from support into defence, this reduces their mentality heavily and he will sit very deep indeed and this is usually enough to control the opposition. If it is not, then I will tell him to man mark.

This can be done with a DMC, however a DMC is integral to your whole defensive unit, so just ask yourself if you are sure you want him pulled out of position to mark said player.

So, there are some examples of what I do. Most of these are established during game, however the stats tell me to look for it.

You'll know when you are doing a good job as the player you have taken out of the game will have a bad rating. The reason for this is the AI can't help but pass the ball to their key man. If every time they do so, you make a mockery out of the decision then he is going to get a bad rating. More often than not, that play may eventually be substituted too..... if you have done a good enough job.

Be aware if this happens as it will meant that they are now trying something else.

One last tip.... I ALWAYS play with the formation windows open so I can see how the opposition are lining up. As soon as you see them change..... do something! even if it's deciding to do nothing, just pause the game and establish if something needs to be done. Chances are it will.

Regards

LAM

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Okay, so earlier I mentioned that playing this way slows the whole game down and allows you to look at other things in the game. In this post I wanted to demonstrate how certain aspects of the game can come together when you take the time to allow them too.

I've got Liverpool next, despite doing well against them in a regular basis I don't like playing them as I believe they have the ability to hit you from almost anywhere and that makes me nervous. So I have a vested interest in studying their team report closely.

I'm not going to go through a full analysis of the figures but I will highlight a key result of it.

Tactics Used:

zv4weo.jpg

4312? What the hell does that look like?

Well.... it looks like this:

nmhhyv.jpg

Nice and narrow. Though we can expect a large amount of movement. Looking at the formation I expected to see goals from Gerrard, assists from the Wingbacks and the strikers. So, next I jumped to the squad screen.

2l8do92.jpg

Here I have highlight areas of interest in red and yellow. Red are key things and the yellow is the topic of this post.

Red:

The player with the highest number of assists this season with a very healthy six from ten games is injured; James Milner.

Their second placed player for assists may or may not start the game, so it's something to watch out for. Knowing it's Carroll, you might expect it to be headers down into the path of teammates. However looking at the assist pitch, it shows only three assist from inside the box, so if he is doing this, then he is doing it deep.

This could be a tricky one to 'deal' with. If you decide to get your DC to go challenge him and he misses the ball, then there is gaping gap behind you. You might choose to not challenge for the ball, then you will be allowing him free headers.... and he isn't bad at them.

To an extend you can control this through the use of Stopper and Cover defenders. A stopper would naturally try and challenge for the ball, whereas a Cover might hold back.

Yellow:

and onto the reason for the post.

If you take your time in the game you can pick your battles particularly well.

Here you see Mr Johnson. As expected in the narrow Liverpool formation, the wingbacks are getting forwards to provide assists, however just by being forward they will also be providing support to the attack with throughballs and with options for a back pass. So we need to do something about this.

In the spirit of the thread, I'd deal with this by asking my Wingers (442) to man mark each Full Back and if one is providing particularly troublesome, I'd consider reducing the mentality and runs from deep on the relevant winger.

What you may also notice is that Mr Johnson isn't very happy at the moment AND he also doesn't have a particularly high determination. Upon checking his media handling, it states that he is 'Reserved'.... queue the 'evil laugh'.

Thus if I were to attack him using the media, the fact that he doesn't have high determination means he won't come out the box fighting and his 'reserved' media style means that he isn't going to want to say anything at all, regardless of determination.

15rmqzt.jpg

Now, I tend to not get involved in media battles to much as it rarely makes you friends, however in this case, Mr Johnson was ripe for the picking, and at 29 he is not a player I'd be looking to purchase at this stage.

And...... I couldn't have wished for a better result.

1fwars.jpg

Above was his response. In red I have highlighted his reluctance to comment (remember he has a 'reserved' media style) and in yellow is his response to my comments.

This is the final result:

20ifdih.jpg

Abysmal...... it is going to take a lot of errors from me for him to have a decent game.

So, their main source of supply is injured, their second main source might or might not start the game, and I have effectively reduced the performance of their third main source of supply with a single media comment.

All of it possible, by using information the game gave me.

Regards

LAM

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Hmmm.... well, I can't say I really have a default as it depends on who is starting in the game. However if I were to play my strongest team each time it would probably look like this:

9va335.jpg

Some of the roles have been tweaked a fair amount. If I can't get exactly that I want, for instance with Lennon, I want him as an Inside Forward, but it's not available for the MR position, then I will pick a role that best suits the mentality and closing down and then I will tweak the instructions.

So, they aren't all quite as they appear. Though, most of the changes are to remove things the players can not do.

I currently start each game with a Standard Strategy and a Balanced Philosophy. I really don't want to change these, however my goals this season are down on last, despite some good signings, and it's worrying me that I'm just not attacking enough. That said, I've only conceded 5 in 18 games.

Hope that helps.

Regards

LAM

ps. I beat Liverpool 2-0, which is a good result on it's own. but I lost my key striker to a silly red card 21 minutes into the game. So I was well happy with that.

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Hmmm.... well, I can't say I really have a default as it depends on who is starting in the game. However if I were to play my strongest team each time it would probably look like this:

9va335.jpg

Some of the roles have been tweaked a fair amount. If I can't get exactly that I want, for instance with Lennon, I want him as an Inside Forward, but it's not available for the MR position, then I will pick a role that best suits the mentality and closing down and then I will tweak the instructions.

So, they aren't all quite as they appear. Though, most of the changes are to remove things the players can not do.

I currently start each game with a Standard Strategy and a Balanced Philosophy. I really don't want to change these, however my goals this season are down on last, despite some good signings, and it's worrying me that I'm just not attacking enough. That said, I've only conceded 5 in 18 games.

Hope that helps.

Regards

LAM

ps. I beat Liverpool 2-0, which is a good result on it's own. but I lost my key striker to a silly red card 21 minutes into the game. So I was well happy with that.

Same shape I use and exact same settings except I use 2 DW's because it suits my wide men :cool:

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I thought about two DW's as it works very nicely against the ever popular AML/R teams that like getting their RB's forwards, however, Lennon...... defending..... hmmm..... I don't think so.

Funnily enough, the change to DW for me is fairly recent, but I love it so much, I have just picked up a bargain who is slightly less skilled that Bale but with a little more emphasis on defence. Thus, I can play him when I need to be more defensive and Bale when I want the attack pushed.... nice squad rotation too.

I need to make a decision by the end of this season about a backup/alternate to Modric. VDV just isn't cutting it anymore and Krankjar, who I love, is somewhat hit and miss and is coming back from a serious injury, so I am not sure he will make it back in the side when he does.

I've got some outstanding youngsters coming through, but it's 2/3 season before they are ready for regular first team football. However, I am not sure what sort of a player to bring in. Modric, sadly, is somewhat poor at getting into the box and scoring, but excels in the above role (AP-Support), but I think I want/need someone that can pass nicely but can get the ball at feet and drive forwards with it committing the defence and/or also be able to get into the box and score.

I just reviewed my season so far and have had some decent results but I have also had some stinkers. This is starting to confirm to me what I feared. I am not attacking enough. With a standard mentality, I do very well against some of the stronger teams out there, however against the weaker ones I am really starting to struggle to get the 'decent' results that I know we are capable of.

23ijvnq.jpg

I do use a lot of shouts, that can be found in Cleons 442 thread, that allow for very attacking play, but nothing quite beats the change in strategy. However, I like the Standard Strategy, and I really don't want to change it. Hence the reason for me looking at more attacking minded players.

That said, I think I might just have to bit the bullet at some point.

Regards

LAM

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Brilliant stuff, LAM. Brilliant!

Glad you like it.

I'll add some more in soon as I have now switched fully to FM13.

Regards

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Very nice thread, all things mentioned above are very useful, and there is no bigger satisfaction than that felling when you won the game, based on good preparation and scouting.

There is one more thing that is also very useful besides all things that are mentioned in this thread. It is a bit annoying sometimes, but it can prove very important - watching next opposition game.

Normally, i dont use this detailed scouting tool every time, just when desperatilu need 3 points, and want to be completely prepared for match. Yes, it slows down your game a little bit, but when you see a benfit from it, you wont mind losing a 10-15 minutes on watching the match. Fomration of the opposition is almost always the same, and they dont change it often, so you can see that in the scouting report, but what you dont see, is their build up play. Yes, you get a glimpse of it by studying scouting report, but much more can be seen at the field. It is easy to recognise all their strengths and weaknesses. You will quickly recognise how they start the play, do they play wide or narrow, who is their playmaker, who is their target man. All this, you can read i scouting report, i sad it already, but it is a bit indirect, and it is a lot easier to watch the game and see how it works on the field. Then you can get an idea which opposition instruction to use on which player, and how to exploit their weaknesses. Match reports of the opposition will also give you a some details, as you can see how things wrked in other matches, against different opponents, against different formations,... I find all that very interesting and it is not rare thing to see managers watching their next opponents game, so why not use that in Football Manager.

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Very good post, lam! Really starting to use the pre-match reports more. In fact, I find I'm using all of the information that the game gives me more often, especially the analysis. The analysis is probably the best place to back up your intuition around what is going on in the match, whereas the pre-match reports give you a good idea of how the opposition are going to line-up, with which personnel and when/how they tend to score their goals.

Also, I recreated the squad view with the statistics. Very useful.

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23ijvnq.jpg

Lol this pic just made me realize you can customize your fixtures list view. :lol:

It's amazing you never stop learning things in this game.

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:) the ability to edit columns on most pages is a great addition... not sure how far back they did it, but it works very nicely.

Another good one to use is on the setpeice screen. I tend to use a number of physical stats in there to determine who I am placing and where.

(little tip. I'm having great success with players that can not jump but have good heading skills).

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Very impressive thread - I've been really trying to grind things out with the ME and really overhaul how I think my tactics and because it isn't obvious in the game where to find this feedback, i've struggled with what I see in the middle of a game when it might already be too late.

This thread is brilliant and has given me a lot of insight!!!

Just out of interest - how did Glenn Johnson play in the Liverpool game???

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Surprisingly, he actually did alright... 6.5 but then went off injured in the 87th minute.

He did better than he should have, in fact they all did, as I went a man down very early. That said, I still managed a 2-0 win, so I was rather happy with that.

Regards

LAM

ps. glad you like the thread.

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