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ThunderZtormDK

Liverpool FC - 4-2-3-1 simply not working.

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Right. This will be a big post, so bear with me please. I've never asked for tactical advice before as I've never needed to in previous versions, but FM2013 is killing me, as some of you already know from other posts.

Background

I've played all versions of CM/FM, and for the past many years I've sworn to one tactic only - 4-2-3-1, a tactic I deeply love, and a tactic both my national and local teams play in real life. I don't consider myself a novice in the game, but there are many things I've never bothered with looking into, like weather, mind-games, OIs, shouts etc as I don't feel they should be a requirement for decent performances. At least I've never had to use them previously.

Tactic:

As stated, I prefer using a 4-2-3-1 tactic, with a relatively simple setup. Control/attacking play, fluid play, short passing, slow tempo, focus on possession. No specific setup with regards to tackling and the defensive line (I tend to neither push up or drop down). I play with counter attacks and with offside trap, but no target man or playmaker.

As for the individual players:

GK - Sweeper Keeper, defend

DR - wing back, support

DL - wing back, support

DC - central defender, defend

DC - central defender, defend

MC - Ball-winning midfielder, defend

MC - deep lying playmaker, support

AMR - inside forward, attack

AMC - advanced playmaker, support

AML - inside forward, attack

FC - poacher or complete forward (depending on the player), attack

Usually I adjust the players a little bit depending on the available players, but this is the basic premise that I've worked out from for a long time, and it's never given me problems before now.

With the starting Liverpool squad, my first 11 would be something like this:

GK - Reina

DR - Johnson

DL - Enrique

DC - Agger

DC - Skrtel

MC - Lucas

MC - Sahin/Allen

AMR - Downing

AMC - Gerrard

AML - Suarez (I prefer having them on the "wrong" side according to preferred foot)

FC - Borini

What I'd typically do is grab Wellington Nem for the starting 11 instead of Downing who'd be sold off for cash and grab a few youngsters like Adryan and Ademilson as well as getting in Drenthe, giving me a decently rounded squad altho it still lacks a bit of oomph up front.

In my opinion, that squad, bar too many injuries, should be good enough to claw into a top-4 and secure CL-football. I'm not expecting a championship in first season, altho I know it's not impossible, but I am expecting a decently playing team and a relatively solid defense - that is what this tactic has given me in previous seasons, and I see no logical reason for that to have changed.

However, it has. It's simply not working. Defensively it's horrendous and the attacking play is equally unstable. I don't see any obvious reason for it not to be working though. After 6 months I'm sitting 15th in the table and have given up on the game. I've tried loading other saves and different tactics, but I get equally horrible results.

Note that I start as a sunday league footballer as that's what I was, so teamtalks and all that won't give me any effect before later on. I am considering if I should just let my assistant, Johan Cryuff, take them - I would expect that they listen to what he says at least - but I'm not too happy about leaving the morale of my team to the AI..

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No wonder you're in 15th you're only playing with 10 men ;)

Who is your AMC?

That asside, your inside forwards are on attack. You have Downing on the right and Suarez on the left. An attacking inside forward will use the flanks more than a support inside forward who will cut in more often. So you're forcing them to use their weaker foots more. If you're keen on having them like this, I'd swap them to support and have the AMC on attack. Or swap flanks and let them do their jobs on their better feet. I'd prefer an attacking AMC to support the striker on support, and supporting inside forwards.

With this version of FM I've been very wary of attacking, fluid play. Especially as your WBs are on support too. You're very exposed at the back. It's not surprising teams are getting behind you and winning. How do you concede most of your goals? Is it from crosses/out wide?

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No wonder you're in 15th you're only playing with 10 men ;)

Who is your AMC?

That asside, your inside forwards are on attack. You have Downing on the right and Suarez on the left. An attacking inside forward will use the flanks more than a support inside forward who will cut in more often. So you're forcing them to use their weaker foots more. If you're keen on having them like this, I'd swap them to support and have the AMC on attack. Or swap flanks and let them do their jobs on their better feet. I'd prefer an attacking AMC to support the striker on support, and supporting inside forwards.

With this version of FM I've been very wary of attacking, fluid play. Especially as your WBs are on support too. You're very exposed at the back. It's not surprising teams are getting behind you and winning. How do you concede most of your goals? Is it from crosses/out wide?

:) My AMC is Gerrard, of course - has now been corrected in the main thread.

I've tried having the inside forwards on support as well, but I find that they aren't in the box when they need to be then. And if both backs and wingers are on support, it seems I'm getting extremely few crosses. Ideally, I'd want my wingers to cut inside and the fullbacks/wingbacks to overlap and do the crosses - that's how it would usually work (as in, FM20010-12 at least). The latest I tried was having the backs be attack and the wingers support, which made the attacking play look relatively okay, altho it seemed that they ended up going for the same spaces when we're attacking and both are without the ball.

If I go for defense on the fullbacks, it seems to me that I'm not getting the attacking play I want/need from them. I could of course change my AML/AMR to wingers, but then I'd force Suarez out on the wing where he really shouldn't be, and I really don't want to use Suarez as the striker. I could of course move him to AMC and use him as a trequartista there, but that would mean dumping gerrard to the DLP spot, or throw him out on the wing - both of which will not be optimal for his play anymore.

I've also tried a save where I have a balanced/counter playstyle instead, basically the same players&setup, but also failing. I deliberately tried it in a new save as to not have the players be too confused.

A lot of goals are conceded from crosses and set pieces as far as I recall, but I haven't found a specific pattern as I also saw quite a few through balls playing with Agger/Skrtel who'd apparently completely forgotten the basics of defending.. :p

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Although they're ideal poachers, you'll find they're usually well suited to other striking roles. You can view their stats for a specific role using the 'attributes for role' drop down on their attributes. Playing a supporting striker will allow him to drop a little deeper and wait for the supporting midfielders, but since most of these are already on attack, they should be up there. For example, I managed to get Ibrahimovic for free, and although he is a poacher in the game, I've managed to use him as a DLF support and he's getting as many assists as he is goals.

If you want the overlapping runs then I'd use FBs rather than WBs. I've tried both and had a lot more success with a FB who inherently run down the wing supporting the forwards. I'd prefer WBs when you're playing a diamond 4-1-2-1-2 as you need the width from them.

Playing counter you invite the other team onto you which allows for devastating attacks. I don't know if it's the ME being over-balanced but the counter/defensive is very powerful when attacking, especially when balanced.

I'm still new and learning, but from what I've tested, I find the following quite good (although this is with lesser players than what you have at Liverpool. I would create this through a new tactic on the tactic creator; change your training to team cohesion high.

GK defend (defender collect)

DL fullback; support

CD central defender; defend

CD central defender; defend

DR fullback; attack

MC defensive midfielder; defend

MC deep lying playmaker; support

AMR inside forward; support

AMC attacking midfielder; attack

AML inside forward; support

FC [what ever you prefer] support

Counter/balanced

You might want to put one of your IFs to attacking though, as the middle could get quite congested. If you are I'd suggest Suarez as he's more capable on either foot.

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Hmm, that is interesting. I have always been a big fan of symmetry, so I hadn't considered having the fullbacks and wingers on different duties.

I'm personally not a big fan of playing defensively, but it seems I may have to bite it and do so until I can get some results and some transfer windows to improve the squad properly.

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:) My AMC is Gerrard, of course - has now been corrected in the main thread.

I've tried having the inside forwards on support as well, but I find that they aren't in the box when they need to be then. And if both backs and wingers are on support, it seems I'm getting extremely few crosses. Ideally, I'd want my wingers to cut inside and the fullbacks/wingbacks to overlap and do the crosses - that's how it would usually work (as in, FM20010-12 at least). The latest I tried was having the backs be attack and the wingers support, which made the attacking play look relatively okay, altho it seemed that they ended up going for the same spaces when we're attacking and both are without the ball.

If I go for defense on the fullbacks, it seems to me that I'm not getting the attacking play I want/need from them. I could of course change my AML/AMR to wingers, but then I'd force Suarez out on the wing where he really shouldn't be, and I really don't want to use Suarez as the striker. I could of course move him to AMC and use him as a trequartista there, but that would mean dumping gerrard to the DLP spot, or throw him out on the wing - both of which will not be optimal for his play anymore.

I've also tried a save where I have a balanced/counter playstyle instead, basically the same players&setup, but also failing. I deliberately tried it in a new save as to not have the players be too confused.

A lot of goals are conceded from crosses and set pieces as far as I recall, but I haven't found a specific pattern as I also saw quite a few through balls playing with Agger/Skrtel who'd apparently completely forgotten the basics of defending.. :p

through balls from out wide?

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Hmm, that is interesting. I have always been a big fan of symmetry, so I hadn't considered having the fullbacks and wingers on different duties.

I'm personally not a big fan of playing defensively, but it seems I may have to bite it and do so until I can get some results and some transfer windows to improve the squad properly.

Counter isn't necessarily defensive. United play a lot of counter attacking football. It's a sensible position to start from. Men behind the ball when you're under attack, men flying forwards when you're attacking. It's my preferred style.

Fullback and wingers is a tricky one and it does vary with philosophy. I find when I'm countering, or defending that this allows my fullbacks to supplement my attack, rather than take over the attacking of my wingers. With players like Suarez you'll want Johnson up there with him. If you distribute to Johnson with him on attack he should start a lot of your moves, he's quick and good with the ball, as is Suarez so you should see a lot of good football played down the right.

As I said though, experiment to find the right balance. You have better players than me so might be able to play more standard/control than I can. Also experiment with changing your inside forwards or fullbacks to having a more attacking duty when you're playing slower/weaker opposition.

Do you use shouts? These are particularly useful when you can see the opposition starting 11 and their formation.

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I can't see too much wrong, it should still work providing the team is familar with the tactic.

This is what Is used and got a respectable 3rd with LFC:

Attack/Balance

Pressing Often

Zonal

Tackling Cautious

GK - GK(d) - Reina

DR - WB(a) -Johnson

DL - WB(a) - Enrique

DC - CD(d) - Skrtel

DC - BPD(d) - Agger

MC - CM(d) - Lucas

MC - DLP(s) - Sahin

AMR - AP(a) - Nem

AMC - AM(a) - Gerrard

AML - IF(a) - Suarez

FC - AF(a) - Borini (recommend training him to place shot; goal machine after that!)

I suggest creating a slight more defensive tactic for tougher games

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Control/attacking play, fluid play, short passing, slow tempo, focus on possession. No specific setup with regards to tackling and the defensive line (I tend to neither push up or drop down). I play with counter attacks and with offside trap, but no target man or playmaker.

What exactly are your manual adjustments? Exact details please or I won't be able to help.

As for the individual players:

GK - Sweeper Keeper, defend

DR - wing back, support

DL - wing back, support

DC - central defender, defend

DC - central defender, defend

MC - Ball-winning midfielder, defend

MC - deep lying playmaker, support

AMR - inside forward, attack

AMC - advanced playmaker, support

AML - inside forward, attack

FC - poacher or complete forward (depending on the player), attack

This is the type of formation that has relied on the lack of collision detection to succeed. Basically, it is channelling all your play to one central point, the lone FC. It's like a triangle. Historically, as long as you had a decent FC, he'd run past the d-line literally as if they weren't there. I imagine he used to score hatfuls. You need to develop multiple angles of attack, so play is spread across the line in the final third, not channelled centrally. Duties are key in achieving this. Encourage the FC to drop deeper by giving him a Support duty and wingers, FBs and midfielders to push past him by giving them Attack duties. That will immediately give you better angles for final third passes.

I can help more, but it's after midnight here and I'm tired. If you can post the extra detail about you manual overrides, I'll get onto it in the morning.

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What exactly are your manual adjustments? Exact details please or I won't be able to help.

I'll post some screenshots when I come home from work.

This is the type of formation that has relied on the lack of collision detection to succeed. Basically, it is channelling all your play to one central point, the lone FC. It's like a triangle. Historically, as long as you had a decent FC, he'd run past the d-line literally as if they weren't there. I imagine he used to score hatfuls. You need to develop multiple angles of attack, so play is spread across the line in the final third, not channelled centrally. Duties are key in achieving this. Encourage the FC to drop deeper by giving him a Support duty and wingers, FBs and midfielders to push past him by giving them Attack duties. That will immediately give you better angles for final third passes.

Well, yes, my strikers have traditionally scored a decent amount of goals - I would have expected them to, they have traditionally been world class players like Owen (pre-Madrid), Damiao and Torres. However, in FM2012 my wingers and attacking midfielder also regularly got ~20 goals per season, so it's not like I've been focusing solely on getting the balls to the striker...

I wouldn't know about collision detection, the tactic is heavily inspired by how Denmark plays in real life, so if you're telling me that this tactic has been flawed/bugged for 5+ years of FM, then yeah I guess my tactic has been abusing some bug - but how on earth was I to know that, and even more important, how on EARTH has it taken 6 years for them to address that one of the most common basic tactics in modern football apparently has been bugged? :D

I'll sit down when home and think through all the suggestions here, set it all up, play a few games (fully if time permits) and post the results. Then we'll see what's going on.

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I would suggest setting it up via the tactics creator, which ever set of instructions you go for :)

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It looks as if your setup would create congestion and static play in the final third. It's bad enough that your three front players are all looking to attack the centre - adding an AMC just compounds the problem. As wwfan suggests you need to create more variation in attack. My preference would be to change one of the inside forwards to either a support duty or to a winger with support duty. Alternatively you can switch your striker to a support duty, but I think a 4-2-3-1 suits an outright attacking role upfront.

My current 4-2-3-1 is:

GK: Sweeper Keeper (Attack)

DR: Wing Back (Support)*

DL: Wing Back (Support)*

DC: Central Defender (Defend)

DC: Central Defender (Defend)

DMCR: Deep-lying Playmaker (Support)

DMCL: Defensive Midfielder (Defend)

AMR: Inside Forward (Attack)

AMC: Advanced Playmaker (Support)

AML: Inside Forward (Support)

FC: Poacher (Attack)

*they have modified settings

If you absolutely must play with two inside forwards on attack duty, you could always switch to a 4-1-2-3.

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Would be interesting to know what shouts you use in game. If you go control, you can create a group of shouts to keep possession and at the same time hassle opponents as you have a team more of capable of doing that. So pass into feet, work ball into box, retain possession, hassle opponents, stay on feet should do the trick. But you must use the TC for them to take effect.

My other advise is for you to look at pitch dimension and use the combo play narrower/exploit the flanks in a wide pitch and play wider/exploit the middle in a narrow pitch.

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My first thought was that the lone forward role should be changed.

A poacher is really disconnected from attacking play and only waits for the ball to come his way. At the same time he stays right around the offside line and thereby obstructs the possible running paths for your three attacking midfielders. A more mobile striker will also drag defenders out of position and thereby open gaps which can be exploited by the others.

Unlike the others, I wouldn't necessarily say that your lone striker should be on a support duty, but he should certainly drop deeper more frequently, like for instance DLFs or Trequartistas do. If you have appropriate personnel on the wings then one could even think about playing Suarez right upfront in a Ta role.

My second thought was also that there should be more variation in the instructions of the wide players. I prefer having one winger and one inside forward. That leads to more variation in attacking play and less congestion which may be caused by two IFs cutting inside. One may also experiment a bit with the duties of these two and/or of the full or wing backs. There is no 'correct' setting for these. It depends on what works best with the players you have. Pessimists may call that 'trial and error', I call that 'managerial analysis' ;)

A BWM, even on defend duty, will also close down his opponents quite a bit which drags him out of position. For that reason I always prefer to have a DM behind a BWM or otherwise I prefer to just use a MCd instead. Combined with an attacking approach and fluid mentality your back four will otherwise often be exposed with very little help offered by your MCs. If one of your wing backs is also caught out, then all floodgates are open.

In midfield one could also think of moving the AMC back to DMC and make it a 4-3-3 with an anchor man behind an APa and a B2Bs (Gerrard). The two MCs would contribute a lot to attack which may make your attacks even more varied.

Also, given that irl there are very few tactics which do not employ a DM of some kind (assuming that the central midfielders in a real life 4-2-3-1 are DMs more often than MCs) your formation is very attacking in its basic setup. Combining that with both attacking mentality and fluid philosophy will definitely lead to trouble in FM13. I would thus at least switch to control/balanced.

So I guess that all in all the changes suggested in this thread should indeed be able to help you becoming more of an attacking threat and defensively more stable at the same time :)

hth :)

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Right, I've decided on the following setup (apologies for missing screenshots, but I can't be bothered to locating a proper screenshot grabber right now)

Fluid - Control

Default passing style

More expressive

Press more

default tackling

Man marking

drill crosses

default roaming

defensive line Push Up (relatively high, I think this may be an issue)

Tempo/width middle

Not so much time wasting

counter attack option on

Lineup:

GK - Sweeper Keeper support - Reina/Butland

DR - Fullback support - Corchia/Kelly

DL - Fullback attack - Enrique/Drenthe

2xDC - Center defender, defensive - Agger/Skrtel/Coates/Carragher

MC - Ball-winning midfielder, defensive - Lucas/Cirigliano

MC - Deep-lying Playmaker, support - Allen/Sahin/Henderson

AMR - Winger, attack - Wellington Nem/Sterling/Assaidi

AMC - Advanced Playmaker, attack - Gerrard, Shelvey, Cole, Suso

AML - Inside forward, support - Suarez, Borini, Assaidi, Suso

FC - Deep lying forward, attack - Borini, Suarez, Alex, Ademilson

So far, the results have been a somewhat mixed bag. My result first (so 1-0 means a win for me, 0-1 is a loss no matter if home or away)

Servette (A) - 0-0. Dissapointing. Dominated game, 59% poss, 11/5 shots/on target, 2 CCCs

Servette (H) - 2-0. Dominated game, 63% poss, 13/7 shots/on target, 3 CCCs

Fulham (H) - 2-2. Dissapointing. Somewhat more even game, 53% poss, 12/5 shots/on target, 3 CCCs. Bit low on possession, but first game of the season and such, I'm okay with that. 2-2 was a fair result, imho.

Lokeren (A) - 2-0. Dominated game, 57% poss, 9/4 shots/on target, 2 CCCs

Norwich (A) - 0-3. Horrid game. Dominated game in spite of result. 59% poss, 16/7 shots/on target, 3 CCCs - highlights:

(will eventually be there I guess)

Lokeren (H) - 5-0. Dominated game with full reserve team fielded. 55% poss, 13/6 shots/on target, 2 CCCs.

Newcastle (A) - 2-4. Horrid game.Even game, once again my defense failed. 49% poss, 7/5 shots/on target, 2 CCCs

Aston Villa (A) - 0-1. Horrid game. Scoreline could've been much worse had Agbonlahor not had a horrible day, again I had the ball and again they were clearly more effective.

Maritimo (H) - 0-1. Yet another horrid game. This time at home against a team I should, by any account, slaughter with my reserves. Turns out I got outplayed with my first team.

In short: 3 decent games, 2 kinda dissapointing games and 4 absolutely horrid games.

So, brains. I've taken all the advice, I've set up a logical tactic according to you experts, and beside a 5-0 win over a god awful Lokeren side, I haven't had a single good game, I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel, I just see more of the same worthless nonsense. It's SSDD. SIX saves, SIX different tactics/approaches and SIX times horrible, worthless results against teams I should be able to beat with my reserves.

Patience, you say then. No. Just no. Why should I have to suffer through 40-50-60 hours of things that **** me off before the game starts MAYBE being a bit fun - and that's a big friggin' maybe at this point? I don't care, I gave this "make a logical tactic and you will see how easy it actually is!" crap a shot, and I see absolutely NO improvement whatsoever.

Already at this point, I've lost the dressing room, the morale is shot to pieces and I have NO way of turning it around. It's the same evil circle I've ended up in in EVERY SINGLE SAVE. I need the respect of my players before they will follow my commands and listen to my teamtalks/shouts, but how can I get their respect when they won't listen and perform how they're supposed to perform?

Am I really supposed to just stick it out, keep going through this until, eventually, hopefully, the game starts being fun?

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Four steps you need to take.

1: Stop using manual slider settings. If you aren't sure what you are doing, they will hurt rather than help your tactical coherence

2: Use an International Footballer reputation so the team will listen to you.

3: Work out how to get results away from home. Once you do that, morale will be higher and you won't tumble into a maelstrom of low morale, bad performance disasters that you can't get out of. Liverpool are not good enough to impose themselves away from home against Norwich, Villa and Newcastle. You have to work out how to keep the ball out of your net first and foremost. That means going down a strategy or two as a starting point (as long as you aren't setting sliders manually, which will hurt every strategic change)

4: Use fewer specialised roles if you want to continue with the Fluid philosophy (1 or 2), or go to a more rigid philosophy if you want to keep the 3 you are currently using (BWM, DLP, AP). Gerrard as an AP attack in an AMC position in a Control strategy is likely to be very isolated from play as well.

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1: Stop using manual slider settings. If you aren't sure what you are doing, they will hurt rather than help your tactical coherence

What manual slider settings? I used the TC, that is what it gave me, didn't touch them otherwise.

2: Use an International Footballer reputation so the team will listen to you.

While the advice is solid in the context of the game, I simply blatantly refuse to do it. I play as me, myself. I was a sunday league footballer, that's it. The fact that I am penalized for being "myself" is just absolutely laughable and should NEVER be a part of this game.

3: Work out how to get results away from home. Once you do that, morale will be higher and you won't tumble into a maelstrom of low morale, bad performance disasters that you can't get out of. Liverpool are not good enough to impose themselves away from home against Norwich, Villa and Newcastle. You have to work out how to keep the ball out of your net first and foremost. That means going down a strategy or two as a starting point (as long as you aren't setting sliders manually, which will hurt every strategic change)

If you remember, I have tried playing with a balanced, counter based strategy. I got the exact same worthless results.

4: Use fewer specialised roles if you want to continue with the Fluid philosophy (1 or 2), or go to a more rigid philosophy if you want to keep the 3 you are currently using (BWM, DLP, AP). Gerrard as an AP attack in an AMC position in a Control strategy is likely to be very isolated from play as well.

Specialized roles? Is this actual, official knowledge that's written down in a manual somewhere, or is it something you've learned by experience? Why is this a problem in FM2013 when it was not an issue in any previous version of the game?

I think the main problem here is that I, honestly, don't care at all about the tactical aspects of the game. Not the slightest bit. I could probably learn it, but why? I'm not going to be a proper football coach at any point in my life, and I have plenty of actual, paying work to do. I use FM as escapism, as fun. As I've said in another thread, I had 600 hours of good fun in FM2012 so far. In FM2013 I've had 44 hours ingame of being pissed off, and another 10 hours on forums reading through threads trying to figure out why this game has suddenly become boring.

What I want is to use the TC, set the players as I want them to play based on my very simple philosophy that I know fits with the real life philosophy of many, many football teams (Denmark, Swansea, Liverpool, Barca, Ajax etc), put in the players in their positions and then get going with the seasons. This is how I've played CM/FM since 1991, and FM2013 is the FIRST game I haven't been able to do that and have fun.

The things I care about in FM are youth development, finding the young gems, turning them into record-breaking award-winning superstars, balancing the economy, expanding stadiums and facilities and eventually create a dominating talent school that wins everything with 90% homegrown talent. All the tactical details are fine for those who care, but the second it becomes an absolute necessity to perform even average, that's where I get off and stop playing.

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What manual slider settings? I used the TC, that is what it gave me, didn't touch them otherwise.

You talk about:

  • defensive line Push Up (relatively high, I think this may be an issue)
  • Tempo/width middle
  • Not so much time wasting
  • counter attack option on

That suggests some manual settings (e.g. counter attack is off by default in a control strategy). You've not checked any other slider boxes?

While the advice is solid in the context of the game, I simply blatantly refuse to do it. I play as me, myself. I was a sunday league footballer, that's it. The fact that I am penalized for being "myself" is just absolutely laughable and should NEVER be a part of this game.

Biting off your nose to spite your face here. If you took over Liverpool in reality, you'd be a disaster. Same in the virtual environment. Why? Because you aren't tactically competent and the players don't respect you. You can't complain that everything is too hard if you are intent on playing the game in the hardest setting possible.

If you remember, I have tried playing with a balanced, counter based strategy. I got the exact same worthless results.

I'm talking about defending. Stopping them from scoring.

Specialized roles? Is this actual, official knowledge that's written down in a manual somewhere, or is it something you've learned by experience? Why is this a problem in FM2013 when it was not an issue in any previous version of the game?

It's an inherent element of the theory informing the TC. It wasn't an issue in the previous games, because people could score too easily because of the lack of collision detection.

I think the main problem here is that I, honestly, don't care at all about the tactical aspects of the game. Not the slightest bit. I could probably learn it, but why? I'm not going to be a proper football coach at any point in my life, and I have plenty of actual, paying work to do. I use FM as escapism, as fun. As I've said in another thread, I had 600 hours of good fun in FM2012 so far. In FM2013 I've had 44 hours ingame of being pissed off, and another 10 hours on forums reading through threads trying to figure out why this game has suddenly become boring.

You don't need to know tactics to the same extent that Cleon or I do. You do need to have a grasp of the basics though. As Cleon said in his thread, even accepting that playing more direct football on a cold, wet evening evening in Stoke is a necessity will be a step in the right direction. You can't just impose your way, especially as you can't conceptualise it well and have no control over your players.

What I want is to use the TC, set the players as I want them to play based on my very simple philosophy that I know fits with the real life philosophy of many, many football teams (Denmark, Swansea, Liverpool, Barca, Ajax etc), put in the players in their positions and then get going with the seasons. This is how I've played CM/FM since 1991, and FM2013 is the FIRST game I haven't been able to do that and have fun.

Try this thread: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation

The things I care about in FM are youth development, finding the young gems, turning them into record-breaking award-winning superstars, balancing the economy, expanding stadiums and facilities and eventually create a dominating talent school that wins everything with 90% homegrown talent. All the tactical details are fine for those who care, but the second it becomes an absolute necessity to perform even average, that's where I get off and stop playing.

Which you'll be able to do once you have mastered the absolute fundamentals of tactics. Everything you've written thus far has convinced me that my original analysis was correct. You've never learned even the basics of tactics, which means you are stuck on a tough learning curve. I realise that this is frustrating, but it is not insurmountable. You don't need to be a maestro. You do, however, need to take a step back from how you want the game to be against how it actually is. Until you do that, you aren't going to get anywhere.

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You talk about:

  • defensive line Push Up (relatively high, I think this may be an issue)
  • Tempo/width middle
  • Not so much time wasting
  • counter attack option on

That suggests some manual settings (e.g. counter attack is off by default in a control strategy). You've not checked any other slider boxes?

Didn't change either of them, I manually clicked on counter-attack as it made sense to me since my attacking trio is quite fast.

Biting off your nose to spite your face here. If you took over Liverpool in reality, you'd be a disaster. Same in the virtual environment. Why? Because you aren't tactically competent and the players don't respect you. You can't complain that everything is too hard if you are intent on playing the game in the hardest setting possible.

Yeah, but this is not reality is it - that's my point, it's a game. The game should reflect MY virtual reality, that I am actually, officially appointed manager of Liverpool and that the players will accept that without complaining like the overpaid children they are. It's a horrible "feature" (or artificial difficulty level), and I really, really hate it.

Which you'll be able to do once you have mastered the absolute fundamentals of tactics. Everything you've written thus far has convinced me that my original analysis was correct. You've never learned even the basics of tactics, which means you are stuck on a tough learning curve. I realise that this is frustrating, but it is not insurmountable. You don't need to be a maestro. You do, however, need to take a step back from how you want the game to be against how it actually is. Until you do that, you aren't going to get anywhere.

The problem is I don't CARE about that aspect. That is the basic essence of my issue with FM2013, cut down to the core. I don't find that aspect fun at all, but now I'm forced to go through all this extra stuff that I've never cared about and never will care about. ANd obviously, since I don't care about it, the learning curve will be even harder, causing even more frustration before I MAYBE, eventually, possibly, will have some fun before FM2014 is released or a patch that changes the ME etc.

I'm sorry, I know you mean well and you're doing a great job being patient with old knuckleheads like me who are set in their ways, but all I want is a plug'n'play tactic that lets me ignore that part of the game and focus on the things I actually like doing in FM. It's been possible to do this for 21 years, but apparently not anymore. To me, that's a gamebreaker.

A couple years back I read the TT&F. I used what I learned there to set up my tactics since then without knowing that those tactics apparently abused some bug in the MEs. Anyway, that is as far down into that aspect of the game I ever want to go. I have no interest in reading TT&F again for example. My time is so limited and I have so many other games to play, movies to watch, books to read, football games to watch (even tho it seems LFC could might as well be managed by me these days.. :D) to have the time and interest to go that much into detail when it's not even a part of the game I really care about.

I guess you might as well close up this thread. I just have to accept that FM has reached the level of complexity where I no longer can/want to keep up and move on to other games. I'll always have my FM2012 game I guess, and maybe in the future they'll adapt FMC to be for people like me.

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Yeah, but this is not reality is it - that's my point, it's a game. The game should reflect MY virtual reality, that I am actually, officially appointed manager of Liverpool and that the players will accept that without complaining like the overpaid children they are. It's a horrible "feature" (or artificial difficulty level), and I really, really hate it.

It's a purely cosmetic way of having difficulty levels. Would you be so up in arms about it if it was simple (easy, normal, hard, impossible)?

The problem is I don't CARE about that aspect. That is the basic essence of my issue with FM2013, cut down to the core. I don't find that aspect fun at all, but now I'm forced to go through all this extra stuff that I've never cared about and never will care about. ANd obviously, since I don't care about it, the learning curve will be even harder, causing even more frustration before I MAYBE, eventually, possibly, will have some fun before FM2014 is released or a patch that changes the ME etc.

I'm sorry, I know you mean well and you're doing a great job being patient with old knuckleheads like me who are set in their ways, but all I want is a plug'n'play tactic that lets me ignore that part of the game and focus on the things I actually like doing in FM. It's been possible to do this for 21 years, but apparently not anymore. To me, that's a gamebreaker.

A couple years back I read the TT&F. I used what I learned there to set up my tactics since then without knowing that those tactics apparently abused some bug in the MEs. Anyway, that is as far down into that aspect of the game I ever want to go. I have no interest in reading TT&F again for example. My time is so limited and I have so many other games to play, movies to watch, books to read, football games to watch (even tho it seems LFC could might as well be managed by me these days.. :D) to have the time and interest to go that much into detail when it's not even a part of the game I really care about.

I guess you might as well close up this thread. I just have to accept that FM has reached the level of complexity where I no longer can/want to keep up and move on to other games. I'll always have my FM2012 game I guess, and maybe in the future they'll adapt FMC to be for people like me.

One of the ex-mods, dafuge, never makes tactical changes. He employs a fundamentally sound structure and goes from there, doing very well. It is perfectly possible. You do, however, have to get the basics right. If you read the Barca thread, it provides a basic overview of some tactical settings that would take two minutes to set up. To make it into a 4-2-3-1, just drop one of the MCs into a DMC position, and push the other into a AMC. Do it again with two MCs and one AMC, then again with two DMCs and an MC. Keep the DMC/AMC one as Counter, make the AMC/MCs one Control, and the DMCs/MC Contain. Train them all. Set up the shout combo explained in the Barca thread and load it during the Team Talk. Load up the one that seems most suitable for the match difficulty and play it out. Experiment with all of them until you are confident you can make the right switches at the right times.

I'll be very surprised if you don't do reasonably well. I'd expect a really good season on an easier reputation, and an OK one with a difficult one.

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I think the main problem here is that I, honestly, don't care at all about the tactical aspects of the game. Not the slightest bit. I could probably learn it, but why? I'm not going to be a proper football coach at any point in my life, and I have plenty of actual, paying work to do. I use FM as escapism, as fun. As I've said in another thread, I had 600 hours of good fun in FM2012 so far. In FM2013 I've had 44 hours ingame of being pissed off, and another 10 hours on forums reading through threads trying to figure out why this game has suddenly become boring.

What I want is to use the TC, set the players as I want them to play based on my very simple philosophy that I know fits with the real life philosophy of many, many football teams (Denmark, Swansea, Liverpool, Barca, Ajax etc), put in the players in their positions and then get going with the seasons. This is how I've played CM/FM since 1991, and FM2013 is the FIRST game I haven't been able to do that and have fun.

The things I care about in FM are youth development, finding the young gems, turning them into record-breaking award-winning superstars, balancing the economy, expanding stadiums and facilities and eventually create a dominating talent school that wins everything with 90% homegrown talent. All the tactical details are fine for those who care, but the second it becomes an absolute necessity to perform even average, that's where I get off and stop playing.

Have you tried the Classic version. Training is a bit less involved. There are no team talks or press conferences, so playing as yourself (a Sunday League player) would have minimal impact. It's a lot faster and simpler. I've played a simple 442 (only changed a couple roles from what the TC gives you) and had a lot of fun. It can be refreshing if you're getting frustrated with the full game.

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i was having some problems with 4231 until i dropped the CM's into the DM position. Now i have little trouble with possession and good movement and managed to get Cardiff 3rd in prem in only 3rd season with a bunch of 21/22 year olds, good players but not wonderkids i dont think (couldnt afford them or their wages).

Tactic varies from def/rigid to control/fluid but rarely more or less. High'ish tempo works with def standing off a bit soaking up pressure and an occassional play narrower/hasssle opponent is good. Counter on and offside trap off. Having Vaclav Kadlec helps too as he likes to score!.

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It's up to you of course, but I don't feel that Liverpool are suited to the 4-2-3-1 in their first season. IMO they work MUCH better with a 4-5-1/4-3-3, although I'm in season 3 so I've just switched to 4-2-3-1 because it's my favourite formation (and in Season 3 my squad is a LOT better than yours).

If you have your heart set on a 4-2-3-1 you won't perform optimally (especially with Sunday League Footballer reputation) so you'll need to play quite conservatively. The "More Expressive", "Roam More" and "More Pressing" options in the TC should NOT be used in your formation, IMO. Shouts like "Pass to Feet", "Retain Possession" and "Stand Off Opponents" will also really help you to not lose games (and not losing has to be your first priority, especially away from home, at home you can try things like "Push Up Higher", "Hassle Opponents" or "Play Into Space").

The other thing I see you doing wrong is using "Control", IMO Control + 4-2-3-1 with Liverpool is tantamount to suicide until you and your squad gel. I would highly recommend "Counter" for home and "Defend" for away (4-2-3-1 is supposed to be a counter-attacking style I believe?).

Another very useful shout (my personal favourite) is "Work Ball Into Box" which I have going for every match, although with Borini up front (in a 4-2-3-1 he's probably better suited to being a wide man with maybe Suarez up forward as a Treq) you might not create anough chances.

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As Cleon said in his thread,

Wait till Cleon sees this...

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Damn you people and your constant advice.

Now I'd feel like a quitter if I didn't at least give it one final try based on these responses. Unfortunately work has been busy today, so I haven't had time to think too much about the final attempt of a 4-5-1/4-3-3/4-2-3-1 tactic, but I guess I shall focus on wwfan's Barcelona 4-3-3 (http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation) and adapt to the Liverpool squad from there based on the comments from FM2013.

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Damn you people and your constant advice.

Now I'd feel like a quitter if I didn't at least give it one final try based on these responses. Unfortunately work has been busy today, so I haven't had time to think too much about the final attempt of a 4-5-1/4-3-3/4-2-3-1 tactic, but I guess I shall focus on wwfan's Barcelona 4-3-3 (http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation) and adapt to the Liverpool squad from there based on the comments from FM2013.

I knew you wouldn't be able to give up and would have another attempt :D

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Damn you people and your constant advice.

Now I'd feel like a quitter if I didn't at least give it one final try based on these responses. Unfortunately work has been busy today, so I haven't had time to think too much about the final attempt of a 4-5-1/4-3-3/4-2-3-1 tactic, but I guess I shall focus on wwfan's Barcelona 4-3-3 (http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation) and adapt to the Liverpool squad from there based on the comments from FM2013.

Respect to you. :thup:

There are more than enough people to refuse to take a step back and even consider than anything might be their fault.

From your tone it's obvious how much this frustrates you and I can understand your feelings because so far the game keeps frustrating me as well. Played briefly last night only to win 1 point from 3 games and thought of going back to my FM12 save...

I think I will soon also create a thread to find out more about what works or doesn't and why in my game.

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I knew you wouldn't be able to give up and would have another attempt :D

It's a matter of personal pride now, really. I can't accept not being able to win after so many years of doing well in all the games. I'm even a researcher for the game, too!

.. My girlfriend's going to hate it though, she hasn't enjoyed the last few evenings of me being annoyed/sad/yelling at my players. But she understands to some degree, being a gamer herself :p

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So, with work calming down a bit, it's time to play around in my head a bit

I'm thinking I'll base the tactic on wwfan's Barcelona tactic (again: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation), and spend the first season focusing on getting the players to understand the system, target being the very realistic EL-positions and maybe a good cup run or two. At the very least European football in the spring should be a minimum expectation. This fits nicely with what Brendan is trying to achieve in Liverpool IRL, a project I like very much as I really love that type of football.

So, as I clearly need to accept that this game requires a little more than ONE tactic for all games, I'll go nuts and create TWO to start with. One for home games (or VERY easy away games like the early EL qual games) and one for away games (and hard home games like Arsenal/Man U/Chelsea etc). The difference between the two will, probably, be minimal though, as I'd prefer to keep the basics intact.

The basics/overview:

Basic frame would be a 4-1-2-2-1 as we all know it fits with the squad Liverpool has. (apparently even better than my beloved 4-2-3-1 :( )

So, home games would be balanced, counter, away would be balanced, defensive.

The team settings I'm not sure of. From the Barca tactic from wwfan, I'd like to replicate the creative freedom, shorter passing and heavy pressing as this would fit with the goal of Liverpool IRL, but the high level of roaming, zonal marking and tackling I am not so sure about.

Player roles & duties:

For the player roles - for the home games, it would be basically wwfans setup at Barca, so:

GK - Sweeper Keeper - support - That would fit nicely with Reina and my future #1 Ter Stegen :p

DR/DL - wing back - attack - Both Johnson and Enrique should be able to handle this, especially with Drenthe signed as a backup for Enrique.

DC/DC - I am actually not sure here. Cover/stopper sounds good to start with as the only ball-playing defender I have is Danny Agger, and he's injury prone.

DMC - defensive midfielder, defend - Lucas should be quite well fit for this role as he is a rather intelligent footballer rather than a pure destroyer.

MCR - deep lying playmaker, support - Xavi's role, so who else than Joe Allen, "The Welsh Xavi".

MCL - advanced playmaker, attack - Gerrard's obvious for this position

AML/R - inside forward, attack - That would, at start be for people like Borini, Assaidi, Downing and Sterling

Trequartista - Suarez, obviously. I'll get Alex on a free transfer to provide some depth as Suarez is really the only one in the squad capable of being a treq.

I'll also look into this shouts thing as that is apparently really important now. I like the idea of it, but I'm not sure I like that I have to use them from the beginning of the game - for me it's always been use one or two shouts based on situation, so this will be major change in how I do things.

Questions/Concerns:

Now, a few questions pop into my head already now:

1. My two wingbacks, if they are on attack, is that not a bit risky defensively, or will the balanced counter strategy actually keep them in place well enough defensively to cover for the opposing team crosses, as I understand that's generally a bit of a thing for the AI in this version.

2. With an advanced playmaker and a trequartista, won't they end up searching for the same space just in front of the defense? (As in, both roaming around the AMC position?)

3. I do have a few striker targets in mind, the obvious being the free Llorente, but he is not particularly suited to be a trequartista - in case of me playing with a different type of striker, what would I do? My first thought would be a deep lying forward as it's similar to a treq, but a bit less demanding flair-wise (at least in my impression)?

Away

For the away strategy, my first thought was to simply change it to defensive instead of counter - should I also consider changing some roles/duties though? Obvious choices would be to put both backs and inside forwards on support instead of attack (or at least one of each, like in this post: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/275877-The-Barcelona-Style-My-Interpretation?p=8315814&viewfull=1#post8315814 ), but I guess that would hamper my attacking play way too much, although logically I would keep possession better and play a more patient game.

Shouts

I'd go for anything promoting slow, passing play, but I'll have to look more into the whole shouts side of the game as I haven't really done anything with those before. I've also read that sometimes it's not good using shouts early on too much as your players are still settling into the standard tactic and might get too confused?

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My responses to your questions are:

1. Balanced counter will offset it to a degree, and the presence of a DM will offer cover to the flanks.

2. They will, unless they have sufficient intelligence, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The main role of a Treq in a single striker formation is to create space by dragging defenders out of position. The presence of Gerrard potentially doing the same creates even more space for your IF(s)s to exploit. Note I would be tempted to lose one IF and change him to a winger on Support instead. This will give more cover to your wing backs, will avoid the central attacking positions becoming crowded, and will offer a different type of service to your attackers.

3. Single striker formations lend themselves to a DLF on Support. Llorente is worth a punt because if he can't be integrated into your tactic (or if you can't tweak your tactic to suit him), then you can flog him for £10m+ in the January window after signing him. I signed him once and sold him soon after, as I think he is fairly pedestrian and lacks agility, which many consider to be a key attribute in FM13.

As far as mixing up duties and roles goes for the "Away tactic", it makes sense to keep at least one player per strata on an attacking duty to maintain "movement between the lines". With a balanced style you don't get as many players involved in multiple phases of play as you would on fluid (as an example). So, I would consider setting one wing-back to support and have an attacking IF in front (the wing back will then overlap into the spaces left by the IF drifting in field to suppotr the striker). On the opposite flank, the wing back could be left on attack, with the AMR/L in front on a winger support, achieving the same balance without compromising movement or defensive shape.

Shouts are very useful and there are a couple of useful threads about them. I learned them to a degree but found that they can suck you into a cycle of starting matches with several shouts enabled, and it then becomes harder to diagnose exactly where your tactic fails if something goes wrong.

I would suggest trying to get your basic tactic up and running without shouts to the point where you are happy with it, and when you "know" and understand how your team should be playing, you can start to tweak using shouts.

Final observation is re your proposed cover / stopper combo at the back. It's an area where people have conflicting views and I feel that with a DM, you don't need a cover / stopper combination, and that is a combo that is susceptible to be exploited by teams with two strikers. Try two CDs on Defend to start with, as they will fulfill the key brief of defending and giving you a theoretically solid base.

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Hey there.. I am a liverpool fan and like yourself struggled at first until I sat and read various advices handed to others on threads that I could see would help with the way I wanted to set my team up.

With the players at your disposal in the first season in midfield - Gerrard, Sahin, Lucas, Henderson (high work rate) I would go for a 4-1-3-1-1 or a 4-1-3-2 with either control/ balanced... or if your at home against inferior teams Attack/Fluid

Lucas as yr DM destroyer type used to protect your backline, With Sahin as the BWM, Gerrard DLP (MC) and Henderson B2B thanks to his high work rate.. This works for me most of the time. I tend to play a rigid formation away from home and if I feel that I could possibly done by an attacking side like Man City I move one of the strikers down into DM alongside lucas to frustrate their attack.

Using the same formation I have won the premier league with cardiff city in my 2nd season in premiership after finishing runner up the season before to a rampant man city side. I also won the champions league at first attempt knocking out barca on the way and beating man utd 3-2 in final.

Its by no means a great tactical setup, but it can be dangerous when it all clicks. Frustrate your opponents into making mistakes, dont make the mistakes yourself. I will suggest Jan Kirchoff as a great but expensive buy if you can afford him and are still in a job come the 2nd season. Great defender and scored a few crucial goals for Cardiff

good luck

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Additional question, I am trying to adopt the same formation and tactic to Chelsea.

But my main problem for a start is my defence. No matter if I play two dmc balanced counter, or two mcs and control. I conceed 75% of my goals where the opposition plays a through ball between my two DC's, or simply a cross into space behind the two dc's.. How do I stop that?

Another related problem, versus atl. madrid and man utd, I am utterly outplayed. Both in the exact same formation as me. I have really no idea what to do revert the situation, so that it is me who have 10+ chances and scores 3-4 goals. I have signed di natale as treq, as torres is just a pain..

- I have tried the drop deeper shout. Did not really do any good.

- Should I manually adjust the d-line ?

- Should I replace defence, or is it really in the midfield my problem is?

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i have hated this game its been the hardest and most frustrated game to have come out

in years .but actuall have found a right tactic at last its called anakins 442 it took time to gell just save and loadwhen losing

untill the players morale go up.just leave all the settings as they are on the home but away on the attcking bring it down to the defend and click on counter attack

now realy its the best game of the series they just get better and better

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One more day of trying, one more day of embarrasment. According to the oracles here, I have a logical and sound tactic, and I should be able to get results. The start has not been particularly promising, but let's see what happens. I can't be arsed restarting, and since I'm working from home tomorrow, I should be able to push through some more games..

Anyway, results so far:

Vitesse (H) - 2-0

Vitesse (A) - 1-3 (full reserve team though, so..)

Everton (H) - 1-1 (Deserved a win)

Tromsø (A) - 1-3 (rotated squad, got red card to Drenthe late first half)

What I've seen in all four games though is that I am having real big problems keeping posession - It's constantly just around 50/50 to each, which is very much against the whole concept of my playing style - It's a bit disheartening to play a possession-based tactic, and then not even being able to keep possession against teams like Vitesse and Tromsø.

Obviously I know 4 games isn't remotely enough to do any sort of proper analysis - But we'll see how it goes tomorrow :p

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One of the ex-mods, dafuge, never makes tactical changes. He employs a fundamentally sound structure and goes from there, doing very well. It is perfectly possible. You do, however, have to get the basics right. If you read the Barca thread, it provides a basic overview of some tactical settings that would take two minutes to set up. To make it into a 4-2-3-1, just drop one of the MCs into a DMC position, and push the other into a AMC. Do it again with two MCs and one AMC, then again with two DMCs and an MC. Keep the DMC/AMC one as Counter, make the AMC/MCs one Control, and the DMCs/MC Contain. Train them all. Set up the shout combo explained in the Barca thread and load it during the Team Talk. Load up the one that seems most suitable for the match difficulty and play it out. Experiment with all of them until you are confident you can make the right switches at the right times.

Hello wwfan, I’m going to try the 3 strategies you have outlined just a quick question on this would you still leave all the player mentalities the same in them?

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One more day of trying, one more day of embarrasment. According to the oracles here, I have a logical and sound tactic, and I should be able to get results. The start has not been particularly promising, but let's see what happens. I can't be arsed restarting, and since I'm working from home tomorrow, I should be able to push through some more games..

Anyway, results so far:

Vitesse (H) - 2-0

Vitesse (A) - 1-3 (full reserve team though, so..)

Everton (H) - 1-1 (Deserved a win)

Tromsø (A) - 1-3 (rotated squad, got red card to Drenthe late first half)

What I've seen in all four games though is that I am having real big problems keeping posession - It's constantly just around 50/50 to each, which is very much against the whole concept of my playing style - It's a bit disheartening to play a possession-based tactic, and then not even being able to keep possession against teams like Vitesse and Tromsø.

Obviously I know 4 games isn't remotely enough to do any sort of proper analysis - But we'll see how it goes tomorrow :p

Out of interest are these results following the ME update yesterday? I've seen that people are reporting the defensive strategy conceding a lot of shots and goals. Could be time to re-think this strategy. Just a thought...

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Game was started after the patch yesterday, yes.

Results so far in total (slow day at work, yay):

Vitesse (H) - 2-0

Vitesse (A) - 1-3 (full reserve team though, so..)

Everton (H) - 1-1 (Deserved a win)

Tromsø (A) - 1-3 (rotated squad, got red card to Drenthe late first half)

Southampton (A) - 1-1

Tromsø (H) - 4-0

Norwich (H) - 3-1

QPR (H) - 0-2

Hannover (H) - 1-0

Spurs (H) - 0-3 (Carling Cup, fielded a full reserve/youth team while Spurs played with people like Friedel, Bale, Adebayor, Sandro etc)

Newcastle (A) - 2-0 (away tactic used, wingbacks changed to fullbacks)

Steaua (A) - 1-1 (away tactic, rotated squad)

Man City (H) - 4-1 (away tactic)

Still struggling for possession, but resultwise doing well enough to keep at it, at least now it's more a matter of tweaking for improved results rather than trying madly to survive.

My players tend to sit around 80% pass completion, except Reina who's at 55%. I just tried to set it for defender collect instead, to see if I can improve that, as some of my goals have certainly been due to bad distribution from his side.

Sterling sits with insane 9 dribbles per game. Johnson and Enrique also going nuts in that department, lots of tackles and dribbles from them, altho it's gone down a bit after I changed them to fullbacks instead of wingbacks in order to improve the defense.

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Low Possession can be proportional to the amount of Through Balls

Possession is proportional to winning the ball back

Lot's of players making through balls can result in a drop in possession (looking for the killer ball) but can result in more goals. It's a trade off that needs to be made. However, with an 80% pass completion rate that is not your problem (I only mention it because you have 2 playmakers and a treq). So that leads to winning the ball back or the lack of it. None of the roles are ball winners (I don't mean the role BWM) even DM(d) will sit an protect the back line were as DM(s) would push out looking for the ball and the main culprit is the Treq. I can guess what you games look like; the opposing team pass along their back line for large parts of the game, the treq will just make half hearted effort to close down.

Suarez with Work rate 15 that you should try and take advantage of. A DLF(s) or CF(s) is very similar to a Treq but without the -10 for closing down. The differences are that Treq doesn't hold up the ball were the DLF(s) and CF(s) do. DLF(s) does not roam and CF(s) runs with the ball more often. For Suarez, I'll probably choose CF(s) because he is good at running with the ball.

If you really want to boost your possession try a Defensive Forward; I promise you that your possession will shoot up :)

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Hmmm... I'm not so sure playing through defence (the instruction which effectively increases through balls) would reduce possession. I use this shout quite a bit to exploit the space behind defenders (I always play defensive/counter), and my possession stats are usually 55-65% in my favour.

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Hmmm... I'm not so sure playing through defence (the instruction which effectively increases through balls) would reduce possession. I use this shout quite a bit to exploit the space behind defenders (I always play defensive/counter), and my possession stats are usually 55-65% in my favour.

Your understanding of the shout is wrong.

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.

Throughballs are pass into space and pass to feet.

I'm pretty sure I told you the exact same in another thread recent ;)

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Hmmm... I'm not so sure playing through defence (the instruction which effectively increases through balls) would reduce possession. I use this shout quite a bit to exploit the space behind defenders (I always play defensive/counter), and my possession stats are usually 55-65% in my favour.

Just checking my notes and "Playing through Defence" makes the wide players in midfield and attack (except wingers), AM's and Strikers to Run with Ball more Rarely. This will increase the chance for the player doing other on the ball activities like Long shots, Crossing, Holding up the ball, the simple pass and as well as Through Balls. This should even out the chance of doing something risky with something simple. Plus, a good Decision attribute will make the right choice.

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Your understanding of the shout is wrong.

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.

Throughballs are pass into space and pass to feet.

I'm pretty sure I told you the exact same in another thread recent ;)

Sorry I meant pass into space. Was typing up something else about playing thought defence and typed that here too, rather than pass into space. My original point stands (albeit with the wrong shout) in reply to "Low Possession can be proportional to the amount of Through Balls" - although this says can be which I guess is correct.

However, I still have great possession playing into space (I've very quick forwards).

Hmmm... I'm not so sure passing into space (the instruction which effectively increases through balls) would reduce possession. I use this shout quite a bit to exploit the space behind defenders (I always play defensive/counter), and my possession stats are usually 55-65% in my favour.

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This is my Liverpool setup

Attack/Very fluid

shorter passing, default creative freedom, default tackling, zonal mark, default cross, default pressing, more roaming

4231

sweeper keeper/defend - reina (through balls mixed)

wing back/attack - johnson(hug touch line, far post cross from byline)

cd/def - skrtel and agger(agger gets mixed through balls)

wing back/support - enrique(no crossing, no through balls)

cm/def right side - joe allen(no through balls, no rwb, no crossing)

cm/att left side - gerrard(cross far post, through ball mixed)

inside forward/support right side - sterling(mixed through balls, cross far post,byline)

inside forward/attack left side - borini(no rwb, mix through balls)

attacking mid/support - shelvey( no rwb)

deep lying forward - suarez(cut inside wide play, rwb often)

no hold up the ball on any player, no long shots for anybody.

I basically set individual rwb when I make changes depending on ability. same for crossing. I dont like to go mad on ttb often, only two players get it.

The right side logic is this: Johnson bombs beyond sterling keeping width(hug touchline) sterling drifts inside opening up johnson. allen is defensive so covers johnson, he is also deep enough to play good balls to the marauding johnson. Sterling can pick up the ball deep because he is so good at carrying forward with dribbles.

The left side logic: Enrique supports an attack borini who's only job is to get in the box or play it simple. Gerrard bombs ahead of shelvey and supports both borini and suarez. Shelvey and suarez can now play balls to Gerrard, borini or johnson. Suarez can also and is given his head to rwb often because he is mercurial.

When I have a 2 goal lead or its squeeky bum time i have a heavily possesion biased control strategy and formation to see it out.

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Sorry I meant pass into space. Was typing up something else about playing thought defence and typed that here too, rather than pass into space. My original point stands (albeit with the wrong shout) in reply to "Low Possession can be proportional to the amount of Through Balls" - although this says can be which I guess is correct.

However, I still have great possession playing into space (I've very quick forwards).

It "can be" because there are number of factors that contribute but, basically, a Through Ball is more chance of losing the ball than a normal short pass; hence losing possession. Of course, if you has a team filled with Xavi's, Xabi's and Allens(maybe?) then it's less of a risk. I find that as a general rule, roles that do thing "Rarely" in the player instruction keep possession better but reduce the chances of scoring.

One thing I forgot to say; Joe Allen is not great for assist's. Unless someone has had better luck than me, playing him as a DLP did not yield that many assist compared to someone like Sahin. I'm sure its is down to his Preferred Player Move's but I found him better a Lucas backup.

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