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Zekran Karisic

Southampton - failing to play possession football

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Hi everyone.

Don't know exactly how to start to explain all that goes through my mind, but let's give it a try...

First of all, this is the first save i could get beyond September of the first season since i still didn't adapt to this new tactic system (i used the sliders since i started playing CM 01/02 ). I've read a few things on this forum and with that help i managed to grab a 6th place on 1st season with Southampton, with some short glances of the football i want my team to play (i'll explain that later).

My philosophy changes were rejected in the first season so I had the default ones and i tried my best to satisfy the board: play an attacking and possession game. I recently had the chance to change that, but I guess that's the type of football i want my team to play.

Currently I'm into the second season and after that 6th place season, with some decent upgrades but worse results.

Let's take a look at the team and tactics:

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Ignore Allione, the starter there is Ramirez!

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The main problem that i face is the wingers and the striker. Last season, played Lambert as Target Man - Support and got some success with it, so i was expecting a lot more when i got Lewandowski. Sadly I can't make that guy play decently. Regarding the wingers, i can say they are inconsistent. Besides that, it seems that their good exhibitions rely too much on individual plays rather than having some teamplay between them. I want Ramirez to be a threat for sure when he has his selfish moments but i want him to assist Lewandowski, etc.

De Bruyne was a last minute signing and i think I can make him work in that position, just dont know how, yet.

Let's take a look at their instructions:

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Hope you guys can give me some advice, i'll be here to provide any additional information/screenshots, etc

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You want to play a Possession based game but you have all of your attacking players set to "Direct Passes". Basically, the ball is probably being passed nicely around your defence then it gets to your front three and your two wingers are probably squandering possession by playing passes which likely don't suit the position and shape of the rest of your team (everyone will be expecting short passes to retain possession are indicated by your TIs). Give your wingers "Short Passing" instead.

Your striker is also set to "Shoot More Often", essentially encouraging him to shoot anywhere he gets the ball. With a Long Shots rating of only 11 and the rest of your team instructed to "Work Ball Into Box", you're likely getting into the final third before you focal point blasts wildly - have a look at how many long shots you have per game and how many of them are your striker. Remove "Shoot more Often" and contemplate adding in Shorter Passing to coincide with the rest of your team's nature.

Also, and this is on a less offensive-related note but somewhat linked, watch your midfield trio. Wanyama is likely to be caught out of possession often because he is chasing the ball. Consider making him a HB/D, DM/D or A/D. Isco is better at passing and retaining possession than JWP, so consider switching their roles with one-another. And whilst you're at it, JWP is a very capable B2B midfielder, so perhaps consider that instead of CM/S.

e: I have also just noticed - your three forwards are all on a Support duty, this means you're not having anyone exploiting space. Instead they're dropping deeper to try and support one-another. Change the IF to an Attack duty and consider making you RB a FB/A or WB/A, so that they get up the flank and support your AP/S.

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@JDownie,

Thanks for the quick answer. Thanks for your insight, I'll try to explain why i picked those instructions so you guys can explain me what i'm doing wrong.

Basically the 'Direct Passes' on the wingers is set just to make them try the riskier passes. I know i selected the 'Work Ball into Box', because i want them to be patient when to try the last-decisive pass but i see too many safe passes when they had the chance to do a riskier pass and maybe get the chance to score. I'm thinking about removing that team instruction, but still don't know what will happen (as i said i'm not used to this new system).

The 'Shoot More Often' is selected for a simple reason. I read somewhere in the forum that when you got a solo striker you should play him in a support role due to that, i picked that instruction to make my striker simply shoot more and have a more attacking mentality to compensate for the support role i gave him. I checked the shots Lewandowski made and surprisingly he doesn't shoot that much -around 3-4 shots per match, 1 long shot per match (long shot = outside box) . It seems he doesn't get many chances to shoot despite being served by a AP on the midfield, another AP on the wing and a IF-Support on the other. That bothers me, as i dunno how to create more chances for Lewandowski to finish.

I understand what you are trying to say on the Wanyama thing but he's simply the player with the best rating on my team. Izco (and not Isco, i wish it was the spaniard :p ) is the sub, the starting player is Schneiderlin, which is set to MC-S. Considering the B2B, honestly i never had success playing with a B2B. Neither the team does good, nor the player.

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@JDownie,

Thanks for the quick answer. Thanks for your insight, I'll try to explain why i picked those instructions so you guys can explain me what i'm doing wrong.

Basically the 'Direct Passes' on the wingers is set just to make them try the riskier passes. I know i selected the 'Work Ball into Box', because i want them to be patient when to try the last-decisive pass but i see too many safe passes when they had the chance to do a riskier pass and maybe get the chance to score. I'm thinking about removing that team instruction, but still don't know what will happen (as i said i'm not used to this new system).

The 'Shoot More Often' is selected for a simple reason. I read somewhere in the forum that when you got a solo striker you should play him in a support role due to that, i picked that instruction to make my striker simply shoot more and have a more attacking mentality to compensate for the support role i gave him. I checked the shots Lewandowski made and surprisingly he doesn't shoot that much -around 3-4 shots per match, 1 long shot per match (long shot = outside box) . It seems he doesn't get many chances to shoot despite being served by a AP on the midfield, another AP on the wing and a IF-Support on the other. That bothers me, as i dunno how to create more chances for Lewandowski to finish.

I understand what you are trying to say on the Wanyama thing but he's simply the player with the best rating on my team. Izco (and not Isco, i wish it was the spaniard :p ) is the sub, the starting player is Schneiderlin, which is set to MC-S. Considering the B2B, honestly i never had success playing with a B2B. Neither the team does good, nor the player.

No problem :thup:

If you want your wingers to play riskier passes, choose the PI of "More Risky Passes", which is basically asking them to play more through balls. Allowing more Direct Passes is basically like asking them to spray the ball around the pitch. I wouldn't give Direct Passing to anyone in a Short/Possession system, except for maybe a central midfielder playing as a Playmaker (because they have the scope of the whole pitch).

Your striker isn't getting a lot of chances because he's on a Support role. Most people would generally advise against a lone striker playing an Attack role in a 433, but it can work if you give him enough support. Might I suggest a Trequartista? He'll still look to play in your other players where possible but he is creative enough to carve out chances for himself and he's also an attacking focal point which will get into the box when he can. I've had quite a lot of success with Aleksandr Mitrovic as a Trequartista in a lone role (also in a 433). Currently he has scored 16 and assisted 9, leading the line for my Aston Villa side, in 24(6) appearances in his debut season with the club.

Izco...not Isco :D I should pay more attention ha.

Also, I've just realised that in the above post I told you to make your IF/S an IF/A and have your RB on an Attack duty - I meant your LB. Apologies.

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No problem :thup:

If you want your wingers to play riskier passes, choose the PI of "More Risky Passes", which is basically asking them to play more through balls. Allowing more Direct Passes is basically like asking them to spray the ball around the pitch. I wouldn't give Direct Passing to anyone in a Short/Possession system, except for maybe a central midfielder playing as a Playmaker (because they have the scope of the whole pitch).

Your striker isn't getting a lot of chances because he's on a Support role. Most people would generally advise against a lone striker playing an Attack role in a 433, but it can work if you give him enough support. Might I suggest a Trequartista? He'll still look to play in your other players where possible but he is creative enough to carve out chances for himself and he's also an attacking focal point which will get into the box when he can. I've had quite a lot of success with Aleksandr Mitrovic as a Trequartista in a lone role (also in a 433). Currently he has scored 16 and assisted 9, leading the line for my Aston Villa side, in 24(6) appearances in his debut season with the club.

Izco...not Isco :D I should pay more attention ha.

Also, I've just realised that in the above post I told you to make your IF/S an IF/A and have your RB on an Attack duty - I meant your LB. Apologies.

I'll remove the direct passing thing on the wingers. What i actually want was to make them play more through balls as you said. Seeing that the 'More Risky Passes' isn't selectable (does that word exist, pardon my english ^^ ) for the IF, is it safe to say that option is already incorporated in the role itself?

Regarding the striker advice. Giving the Trequartista role to Lewandowski wouldn't make him too mobile? I want him to be the attacking reference, the finisher. Just simply not the finisher that doesn't do anything besides staying in front all the time, or the attacking reference in which you totally depend. I don't know if i'm making myself clear but i think my team can be more than just Lewandowski upfront. Surely he can be the main attacking reference, since he is the striker but i hope and want Ramirez and De Bruyne to play a role on the team besides serving the striker. That's where i'm failing!

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Inside Forward/Support roles already try risky passes, yes :thup:

Well, like I was saying about a lone striker as Trequartista for me, it's working very well. The Trequartista role drops deep and acts like a playmaker from deep positions, aiming to play in your wingers and help them out as he sees fit (he's a creative player so he can do as he wishes really), but he can also play in an offensive role when your wide players have the ball, seeking to find space and get on the end of passes and crosses. The Trequartista certainly aims to score goals - Mitrovic has now scored 18 and assisted 10 in 25(6) games for me, but he isn't the only one scoring. My IF/A, Anthony Knockaert, has 16 goals and 7 assists in 25(2) games, cutting in from the right hand side.

The Trequartista is a complete player in many ways, if they're creative enough they will play in opposition players and get bucketloads of assists. If they're dangerous enough in terms of goalscoring prowess and attacking movement, they'll find the net plenty of times too, which I think is shown by the stats that my lone Trequartista has produced :)

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Jdownie* is giving you plenty of good advice but I just want to jump in on 2 subjects.

1) your DM being set to bwm - d is going to hurt your defense, really you can set him to any other role and be way better off (anchor, HB, etc).

2) lewandowski for me is one of the best CF-As this year. The Treq role is going to drop him too deep. Also what about having an AP-A CM on one flank and on the opposite flank use an AP - S for the AM. I've used this setup before with Coutinho and it worked great.

Edit: oops Zekran was the one who asked the question, Jdownie gave the answers. Sorry bout that.

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I'll try the Trequartista.

On another note, shall the 2 wingers be on a support role, to provide the Trequartista? And finally, i want Ward-Prowse to be the playmaker on the team, so i gave him the AP-A role (knowing that you should have an attack duty on your midfield), but i think De Bruyne, who's playing on the AML suits very well to the AP role too. Having 2 AP isn't too much? If Prowse is given the AP-A and De Bruyne AP-S (in order to provide for the Trequartista) would it be ok?

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I'll try the Trequartista.

On another note, shall the 2 wingers be on a support role, to provide the Trequartista? And finally, i want Ward-Prowse to be the playmaker on the team, so i gave him the AP-A role (knowing that you should have an attack duty on your midfield), but i think De Bruyne, who's playing on the AML suits very well to the AP role too. Having 2 AP isn't too much? If Prowse is given the AP-A and De Bruyne AP-S (in order to provide for the Trequartista) would it be ok?

I would give one of the wingers an Attack role and give the opposite FB an Attack role also. So give the Inside Forward an Attack duty (you will have to set Risky Passes yourself if you do this) and have the fullback who is on the same side as your IF/A an FB/S or WB/S role. The defender on the same side as your AP/S should be a WB/A or FB/A to overlap and support him.

If you have one of your two wingers on attack role they will make runs that cut open your opposition and run the lines, exploiting and opening space.

Lewandowski on CF/A is also an option, yes. I would say that's a good role to give him if you choose not to go with Trequartista.

your DM being set to bwm - d is going to hurt your defense, really you can set him to any other role and be way better off (anchor, HB, etc).

This is something I agree with (and suggested in my first post) but Zekran says he is having success with the BWM/D in that position so if it working, there's no real need to change it. BWM/Ds are good for retaining possession, to be fair.

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Zekran is giving you plenty of good advice but I just want to jump in on 2 subjects.

1) your DM being set to bwm - d is going to hurt your defense, really you can set him to any other role and be way better off (anchor, HB, etc).

2) lewandowski for me is one of the best CF-As this year. The Treq role is going to drop him too deep. Also what about having an AP-A CM on one flank and on the opposite flank use an AP - S for the AM. I've used this setup before with Coutinho and it worked great.

Hey there! Thanks for your help too!

1) I understand what you are trying to say about the DM, but honestly Wanyama is the player with the best average rating of the team (7.50ish, just like Ward-Prowse). Should i change his role anyway?

2) Following the advice i got, it isn't recommended to play with a lone striker with the Attack duty. I'll give it a try since i think that ON PAPER it is the role i wanted Lewandowski to play. Regarding the 2nd part, that's what i've asked and what i think that makes sense. Just simply didn't know if having 2 AP was too much or not...

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Hey there! Thanks for your help too!

1) I understand what you are trying to say about the DM, but honestly Wanyama is the player with the best average rating of the team (7.50ish, just like Ward-Prowse). Should i change his role anyway?

2) Following the advice i got, it isn't recommended to play with a lone striker with the Attack duty. I'll give it a try since i think that ON PAPER it is the role i wanted Lewandowski to play. Regarding the 2nd part, that's what i've asked and what i think that makes sense. Just simply didn't know if having 2 AP was too much or not...

This is true. However I fully believe that if you can get enough assistance to a striker on an Attack role then you have nothing to worry about. With two Playmakers and an IF/A, you will have plenty of close-by passing options into a central striker :thup:

Re: Wanyama, if he's working on BWM/D keep him like that. However if you find your team being carved open too easily it is down to Wanyama's role not protecting the back four properly and thus a HB/D or A/D is much more preferable. But like I say, stick with BWM/D for now if it's working. Just watch how you concede goals though, it could be a costly decision to stick with BWM/D at DM.

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This is true. However I fully believe that if you can get enough assistance to a striker on an Attack role then you have nothing to worry about. With two Playmakers and an IF/A, you will have plenty of close-by passing options into a central striker :thup:

Re: Wanyama, if he's working on BWM/D keep him like that. However if you find your team being carved open too easily it is down to Wanyama's role not protecting the back four properly and thus a HB/D or A/D is much more preferable. But like I say, stick with BWM/D for now if it's working. Just watch how you concede goals though, it could be a costly decision to stick with BWM/D at DM.

I'll take a look at the conceded goals!

Besides the roles of the players i wanted to ask you some help on the team tactics. Let's see if i can make myself clear here:

On one hand, i want the team to focus on the flanks, since i think that's where the main threats of the team are, Ramirez and De Bruyne (don't forget that Shaw and Clyne play an important role on the attack - side note, shall i use overlap?). On the other hand i don't want those 2 to be static on the flanks. I want them to cut inside, creating chances for themselves and especially for the rest of the team. So should i tell the wingers to sit narrower, since they aren't pure wingers? Or the team instructions are enough?

Next question is about the possession game. I want the team to play a possession game, but not as 'boring' as the Guardiola's Barcelona. Something more along the lines of the Martino's Barça. And that's where the problem is. My team has been playing with way too many side passes, lacking the final, decisive one. However that's not what i want. I want a possession game but with not that many side passes. And what's causing it? Is it the 'Retain Possession'? Or the 'Work Ball into Box'?

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There's a few times where playing with a lone striker on Attack works perfectly fine, those are DLF-A, CF-A, and AF-A. With a CF-A he's going to have enough freedom to drop back and help support if he feels its needed (which is why having a quality striker is so important in this role).

Even though Wanyama has the highest rating I'd still at least try him out in another role, it looks like you're playing FMC version otherwise i'd ask to see your average position heatmaps. With this year's version i'm loving the HB-D role and i'd probably suggest that.

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There's a few times where playing with a lone striker on Attack works perfectly fine, those are DLF-A, CF-A, and AF-A. With a CF-A he's going to have enough freedom to drop back and help support if he feels its needed (which is why having a quality striker is so important in this role).

Even though Wanyama has the highest rating I'd still at least try him out in another role, it looks like you're playing FMC version otherwise i'd ask to see your average position heatmaps. With this year's version i'm loving the HB-D role and i'd probably suggest that.

I picked the BWM-D since it almost fits perfectly to Wanyama's best stats. I understand what you guys are trying to say, but actually i like a player there, a hound dog, although that sometimes might be caught out of position. I think that having an high defensive line compensates that (and since the back 4 are kinda fast...).

And guys, don't think i'm ignoring this DMC thing. I promise i'll try that, but first i want to take a look at the attacking thingy, since that's where i'm having troubles.

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I don't think that is FMC? I could be wrong, though.

I would set the Wingers to 'Sit Narrower', yes. Their purpose is to cut inside so having them sit further inside is the best course of action imo. It will also allow them to support your striker much better. You can set Overlap if you like, but it's also possible to just tell the fullbacks to "Get Further Forward". I would personally only tell whichever FB is on Attack to get further forward, otherwise you leave your team too exposed at the back (if they do overlap, the other team can start a counter where the only men back for you are Wanyama, Jones and Lovren).

Your team is likely playing sideways passes frequently because of a number of things - no good opportunities to play forward, retain possession encourages keeping the ball instead of trying to cut the defence open at every opportunity and shorter passing encourages the nearby pass instead of the long-range/defence splitting pass.

You could quite easily drop Shorter Passing and your side would be more adventurous, but chances are your possession statistic would drop. It's a balance of risk/reward really.

e: @Zekran, I really wouldn't worry about the BWM/D at DM.

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Sometimes the forum software messes up and doesn't let you make posts that are classed 'too big'. Either print screen the post and post the image of it or break it into two smaller posts. It's such a pain :D

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I'm playing the classic thingy, not the game mode that was implemented last year.

So let's see if this makes sense. I can say that when i played with the exploit the flanks and play narrower TEAM INSTRUCTIONS, width wise the team played the way i wanted. They focused the flanks, they weren't that 'open' and the full backs provided the extra width necessary (without the overlap instruction ticked - i'll drop that).

So, let's imagine i set the wingers to sit narrower. Knowing that the 'Sit Narrower' team instruction is already set wouldn't that make the wingers play even more on the middle of pitch, making the 'Exploit the Flanks' useless? Wouldn't these instructions turn my AMR into a AMCR? Don't know if you understand what i'm trying to say or if it even makes sense...

EDIT: wow, i have like 4 lines of text to post and it doesn't allow me. Incoming image!

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The short passing can be frustrating because i wanted the team to be more creative, in order to make a few direct passes but they don't have the necessary 'Decisions' attribute imo so i prefer to set it this way.

I just wanted to avoid this situation i talked about. I think that having 'Retain Possession' + 'Work Ball into Box' + 'Short Passing' coupled with the 'Sit Narrower' is kinda killing my attack but i simply don't know which instruction to drop. One thing's for sure, i want to have the possession of the ball (board expectation).

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I'm playing the classic thingy, not the game mode that was implemented last year.

So let's see if this makes sense. I can say that when i played with the exploit the flanks and play narrower TEAM INSTRUCTIONS, width wise the team played the way i wanted. They focused the flanks, they weren't that 'open' and the full backs provided the extra width necessary (without the overlap instruction ticked - i'll drop that).

So, let's imagine i set the wingers to sit narrower. Knowing that the 'Sit Narrower' team instruction is already set wouldn't that make the wingers play even more on the middle of pitch, making the 'Exploit the Flanks' useless? Wouldn't these instructions turn my AMR into a AMCR? Don't know if you understand what i'm trying to say or if it even makes sense...

EDIT: wow, i have like 4 lines of text to post and it doesn't allow me. Incoming image!

I believe in theory it would have them sit even narrower, close an AMCR position for example, yeah. If that's not what you want, then remove the Sit Narrower PI. It's worth noting that players will tend to start wide anyway then cut inside, meaning that Exploit the Flanks can still be useful and can still work.

Also, I would suggest that if you want to remove one of them, then it would be the Shorter Passing option. You could always try the same instructions but "Be More Expressive" as well, encouraging creative freedom and allowing your players to try more adventurous passes when they see fit.

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Alright so if possible at the end of your next game go to the analysis tab and then choose average positions, then screen shot and show us.

Also with the Treq role, it can work but the tempo needs to be slower, otherwise the Treq will mostly create chances. I just think the CF-A will get more goals (my opinion).

With possession I feel your pain because originally with fm14 I had the same problem, too much possession not enough CCCs. I fixed this by using only the shouts Work ball into the box, play out of defense and shorter passing.

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Also I eventually added Roam from position and my tactic gained even more CCCs.

With a possession tactic I like to have everyone from the CM strata to the forwards to have the PPM plays one twos

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This is the average positions screenshot from my last game with the new instructions i gathered here and the team instructions i gave.

QtWVcuel.png

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One quick question regarding the striker. The 'Move into Channels' is basically an instruction to make them 'easier' to find for through balls am i right? In my point of view that makes this a perfect instruction for the type of wingers i have.

EDIT: Sorry, i changed the language, had to change it to my native language. Hope you understand it anyway, ill clarify anything you need

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Alright so if possible at the end of your next game go to the analysis tab and then choose average positions, then screen shot and show us.

Also with the Treq role, it can work but the tempo needs to be slower, otherwise the Treq will mostly create chances. I just think the CF-A will get more goals (my opinion).

With possession I feel your pain because originally with fm14 I had the same problem, too much possession not enough CCCs. I fixed this by using only the shouts Work ball into the box, play out of defense and shorter passing.

I play a Trequartista with no set Tempo to great success, I don't think it requires a slower tempo at all. 18 goals in 26(6) games also suggests he's scoring plenty of goals (the next top scorer is my IF/A with 16 goals in a few less games, I'm not having to rely on one man for all of my goals).

@Zekran - Move into Channels causes the players to inhibit the space between defenders, hoping to drag them out of position to leave more space elsewhere for others. A player running into a channel who is quicker than the opposition's defenders and also is great off the ball is more likely to take advantage of good through balls, though, yes.

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2nd game played after tactic changes. Ramirez on the right wing shows improvements due to the tactic changes, playing a more important role on the offense.

Still no changes on De bruyne who is an AP-S and Lewandowski CF-A

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I would consider having De Bruyne as an IF/S. I currently use an IF/S and IF/A to great effect, it could have similar effects for you.

Mind you, I say this having never truly liked the idea of a Playmaker in a wide area. It doesn't seem right to me :D

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Your heat map above looks good, it's just a bit narrow for my liking. With it being that narrow I imagine it's easier to defend your attack, possession is all about movement creating space. With a little more width I think you'll see more success.

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Your heat map above looks good, it's just a bit narrow for my liking. With it being that narrow I imagine it's easier to defend your attack, possession is all about movement creating space. With a little more width I think you'll see more success.

Generally but not always true, here.

A narrow midfield allows for a lot of space out wide, so allowing roaming and taking advantage of your fullbacks is vital, because that in turn will allow your central players to find their own space too. When space opens wide, you need to have your fullbacks get into an open area, in order to drag defenders away and leave more space centrally for your attackers.

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I would consider having De Bruyne as an IF/S. I currently use an IF/S and IF/A to great effect, it could have similar effects for you.

Mind you, I say this having never truly liked the idea of a Playmaker in a wide area. It doesn't seem right to me :D

That's exactly what i think. It doesn't seem right to have a playmaker on the wing, its just that i had some success the last time i tried it (FM 12, with Hamsik, kinda different situations i know) and the fact that De Bruyne's attributes suit that role. I'm thinking about changing it too, since i don't see any way that is working for me.

Your heat map above looks good, it's just a bit narrow for my liking. With it being that narrow I imagine it's easier to defend your attack, possession is all about movement creating space. With a little more width I think you'll see more success.

I want the extra width to be provided by the full backs when attacking, dunno if that can be achieved through the 'Look for Overlap', but since JDownie told me that effect can be achieved through the 'Get Further Forward'

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Quick question regarding the team style.

In the other Fm versions i always chose the Fluid style but since i was having trouble with tactics i discarded it and decided to go for the Rigid one after reading a few threads on the forum. Any recommendation you can give me here?

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I want the extra width to be provided by the full backs when attacking, dunno if that can be achieved through the 'Look for Overlap', but since JDownie told me that effect can be achieved through the 'Get Further Forward'

It can be achieved with both :thup:

Look For Overlap applies to both of your fullbacks though, which maybe isn't the most sensible approach. Ideally you want one of your FBs to be on a support duty (usually the same side that has an Attack duty ahead of him) in order to make sure your defence isn't too light and isn't easily caught on the counter.

If you use "Look for Overlap" I would suggest telling the Support defender to "Hold Position". Or you can simply not set the TI of "Look for Overlap" and just tell the Attacking defender to "Get Further Forward". Six and half dozen, really.

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I ask because I am playing a similar formation to him... but would a Target Man work in this scenario as the lone forward and if so: support or attack? I have a load of Target Men and not much else available to me.

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Quick question regarding the team style.

In the other Fm versions i always chose the Fluid style but since i was having trouble with tactics i discarded it and decided to go for the Rigid one after reading a few threads on the forum. Any recommendation you can give me here?

Philosophy is really open to interpretation. I would suggest having a look at this thread - http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/366111-How-to-Play-FM14-A-Twelve-Step-Guide - however I play with 2.5/3 specialist roles and ignore the advice given there, instead opting for a Fluid system (the guide suggests Rigid or Balanced for me) because it allows my team to be more cohesive in attack. Indeed, it has caused me a lot of issues defensively - I have kept only 9 clean sheets in 35 games this season - but when I play Rigid or Balanced the creativity and attacking prowess of my team feels compromised so I stick with Fluid. I'm working on my defence but no such luck as of yet.

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I ask because I am playing a similar formation to him... but would a Target Man work in this scenario as the lone forward and if so: support or attack? I have a load of Target Men and not much else available to me.

A Target Man can certainly lead the line, yes. However it is all dependent on your tactic and the surrounding players. It's hard to say what you should use without knowing the other players or style you are trying to achieve.

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A Target Man can certainly lead the line, yes. However it is all dependent on your tactic and the surrounding players. It's hard to say what you should use without knowing the other players or style you are trying to achieve.

I posted a pretty detailed plea for help earlier (http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/382118-Tactics-Help-Needed-Possession), but as I've had no luck yet I'm gravitating back towards the old staple that worked for me previously. It just happens to be the same formation as this thread, which is why I asked.

Short version: My team is full of great passers, but is not overly fast and full of Target Men up front. So I was hoping to play a slow, possession game.

Also, my game is in 2024... so for the other players it's not as simple as just rattling off their names! :)

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What I said about being narrow was just my opinion and I don't like playing that narrow. Having the fb create width is a good idea but I doubt it's happening currently. With this year's version I've found something pretty interesting.

When you have an if-s and a cwb-a on the same flank it looks like proper overlap. The if-s seems to sit a little deeper than normal (linking play and holding position for the overlapping wing back. If you went with this setup I guarantee it would have a positive effect.

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I ask because I am playing a similar formation to him... but would a Target Man work in this scenario as the lone forward and if so: support or attack? I have a load of Target Men and not much else available to me.

As i said previouly, before this few changes, i played with a Target Man upfront in a Support Duty. He played perfectly. He helped on the transitions and scored either when served from the wings or from the middle. It's the type of lone striker i had most success with. Dunno if its the role that suits you more, I'll take a look when i get to the transfer window (10 days to go)

Philosophy is really open to interpretation. I would suggest having a look at this thread - http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/366111-How-to-Play-FM14-A-Twelve-Step-Guide - however I play with 2.5/3 specialist roles and ignore the advice given there, instead opting for a Fluid system (the guide suggests Rigid or Balanced for me) because it allows my team to be more cohesive in attack. Indeed, it has caused me a lot of issues defensively - I have kept only 9 clean sheets in 35 games this season - but when I play Rigid or Balanced the creativity and attacking prowess of my team feels compromised so I stick with Fluid. I'm working on my defence but no such luck as of yet.

Yeah, thats the same thread i checked when i started this save and which brought me the success in the first season. As you said, with the Fluid system i want my team to be more cohesive in attack, however i didn't see that greater changes when i tried it to be honest. Can't give you any feedback regarding the defense as i didn't pay attention to that part.

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What I said about being narrow was just my opinion and I don't like playing that narrow. Having the fb create width is a good idea but I doubt it's happening currently. With this year's version I've found something pretty interesting.

When you have an if-s and a cwb-a on the same flank it looks like proper overlap. The if-s seems to sit a little deeper than normal (linking play and holding position for the overlapping wing back. If you went with this setup I guarantee it would have a positive effect.

You mentioned something that i was interested in. My wingers don't seem to hold the ball to make time for the defender to arrive. I'm not saying the overlap doesn't exist, but i noticed it doesn't happen that often and most of the times it just happens in the final 3rd of the pitch

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As i said previouly, before this few changes, i played with a Target Man upfront in a Support Duty. He played perfectly. He helped on the transitions and scored either when served from the wings or from the middle. It's the type of lone striker i had most success with. Dunno if its the role that suits you more, I'll take a look when i get to the transfer window (10 days to go)

I greatly appreciate it. My tactical understanding is... lacking (I'm Canadian, I have an excuse!!), but I'm determined to at least understand what I'm doing this year and not steal tactics from the Internet until something clicks. Help is appreciated!

I'll post some more detailed stuff in my own thread on where I've headed this off season. Sorry to hijack!

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You mentioned something that i was interested in. My wingers don't seem to hold the ball to make time for the defender to arrive. I'm not saying the overlap doesn't exist, but i noticed it doesn't happen that often and most of the times it just happens in the final 3rd of the pitch

Have you tried using the IF-S and CWB-A combo on that flank? Because honestly this was by far the best type of overlapping i've seen.

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I currently use IF/S and WB/A on my left side and it works very well. I used to use CWB/A but I felt the players were too focussed on executing the overlap that they often neglected their defensive duties. The WB/A feels more balanced and as if the player is selecting his times to overlap much, much more wisely.

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I'm just reading here about lone strikers and attack roles for them and about some other interesting things about inside forwards.

i have been tweaking my 4-5-1/4-3-3 and i have found that it is perfectly possible to play attack role if it is, DLF, CF or Treq. these three attack roles demand however a great deal of your striker in terms of creativity/flair and technique, speed, strength, passing, yeah basically the whole deal.

In order to make it work you need one AP or IF(s) in one of the wings, with the "wrong foot" for the side (i.e. left footed on the right wing and vice versa) you need someone working the hole. and one If(a) with the "right foot" for the side or W(a) on the other wing.

Now about the wrong footed Inside forwards on support and the APs in the wings. these players need a lot more attributes being good then the ones that are highlighted as essential for their roles in the game. An inside forward on support is essentially a playmaker type he needs to be creative, and he needs to have good teamwork and anticipation plus the stuff highlighted for the role, otherwise he will lose the ball often with stupid passes, mindless runs thru the middle and long shots. And if you decide to make someone an AP on the wing they will still need a great amount of speed and other physical attributes to be good, it is much harder to make a slow player to function on the wing then it is in the centre.

I tested a right footed Inside forward on the right side on attack duty, now this guy is more of a finisher type, he will get behind the defense and shoot, with the ball he tends to go on the outside because his footedness so he functions as a winger but without the ball he is more of a striker

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Have you tried using the IF-S and CWB-A combo on that flank? Because honestly this was by far the best type of overlapping i've seen.
I currently use IF/S and WB/A on my left side and it works very well. I used to use CWB/A but I felt the players were too focussed on executing the overlap that they often neglected their defensive duties. The WB/A feels more balanced and as if the player is selecting his times to overlap much, much more wisely.

That's what i was afraid of. I want to make the best out of my full backs' speed (therefore, picking CWB would be a good choice) but i understand that they still need to pay attention to their defensive duties, since my team isn't, yet, a top team. Might be a good idea when you have a really good team, with great central defenders and a world class DM that can provide cover for the offensive full backs.

I'm just reading here about lone strikers and attack roles for them and about some other interesting things about inside forwards.

i have been tweaking my 4-5-1/4-3-3 and i have found that it is perfectly possible to play attack role if it is, DLF, CF or Treq. these three attack roles demand however a great deal of your striker in terms of creativity/flair and technique, speed, strength, passing, yeah basically the whole deal.

In order to make it work you need one AP or IF(s) in one of the wings, with the "wrong foot" for the side (i.e. left footed on the right wing and vice versa) you need someone working the hole. and one If(a) with the "right foot" for the side or W(a) on the other wing.

Now about the wrong footed Inside forwards on support and the APs in the wings. these players need a lot more attributes being good then the ones that are highlighted as essential for their roles in the game. An inside forward on support is essentially a playmaker type he needs to be creative, and he needs to have good teamwork and anticipation plus the stuff highlighted for the role, otherwise he will lose the ball often with stupid passes, mindless runs thru the middle and long shots. And if you decide to make someone an AP on the wing they will still need a great amount of speed and other physical attributes to be good, it is much harder to make a slow player to function on the wing then it is in the centre.

I tested a right footed Inside forward on the right side on attack duty, now this guy is more of a finisher type, he will get behind the defense and shoot, with the ball he tends to go on the outside because his footedness so he functions as a winger but without the ball he is more of a striker

In FM i had lots of success with a right footed AMR playing as IF-A -esque (since i used the sliders). Need to mention that their pace, off the ball, dribble and finishing attributes had to be top class.

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