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4-2-3-1 with Arsenal. Trying to get the best out of Ramsey and Giroud

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Right, I'm giving this one more go with Arsenal. I've been successful on all my saves but I've just not enjoyed it at all. So I'm tinkering slightly with what I'm doing.

I want to play similar to how we do irl. I also really want to get the best out of Ramsey. I always turn off first window budgets so I will make no transfers until January at the earliest. This is how I plan on setting up for most games. 4-2-3-1 formation.

Fluidity - Balanced, Philosophy - Control

As much as I enjoy fast, counter attacking football this Arsenal side is technically excellent and made for being on the ball as much as possible. The fluidity isn't set in stone, I went with the default option so I'm open to that changing.

I want my side to keep hold of possession, but not to be 'sterile' for this reason I haven't put 'retain possession' as one of my instructions as I've found that my team keeps the ball just for the sake of it. I have instructed my side to keep passing shorter as I don't think we have the personnel to benefit from going direct.

So far I've checked four instructions although I'm not entirely convinced. I've gone for 'shorter passing', 'stay on feet', 'be more expressive' and 'work ball into box'.

Players

GK - D - Szczesny. Player instruction - distribute to defenders.

I've gone for distribute to defenders as I've had real issues on this game with goal kicks. The majority of the time my keeper goals long we seem to lose possession.

RB - FB - D - Sagna. No instructions

I've gone defensive duty here as my right sided CM and my right sided wide player has attack duties so I feel like I need Sagna to be cautious.

RCB and LCB - CB -D. No instructions

Pretty self explanatory this as these roles both suit Per and Koscielny.

LB - WB - A - Gibbs. 'Get further forward'

My left sided wide player will be cutting in more so I need Gibbs to provide the width on that side.

RCM - CM - A - Ramsey. No instructions

I've found from a previous save that Ramsey makes late runs into the box more with this setup than he does as a B2B.

LCM - DLP - D - Arteta.

I need Arteta to drop deeper so he can collect the ball from the likes of Per and Kos who aren't exactly outstanding on the ball. Plus I need Arteta playing deeper because of Gibbs.

AMR - IF - A - Walcott. 'Shoot less often'

I might switch him to W-A which is usually successful. Not sure about this one at all.

AMC - AP -S -Ozil. 'Roam from position'

I usually have great success with Ozil as a T-A in this position but with Ramsey and Theo making forward runs (in theory) I need Ozil to stay back and thread through balls. I've asked him to roam as that suits his game and I don't want him to be nullified too easily if the opposition plays a DM.

AML - IF - S - Cazorla. 'shoot less often' 'roam from position'

Unsure about Santi. Do I get him to sit narrower so Gibbs has more room? Or will him sitting narrower cause issues for Ozil? Advice would be welcome here.

S - AF - A - Giroud

Now Giroud is the one I'm unsure about. I don't want him dropping deeper because Ozil and Cazorla should be occupying the space and also because Giroud is a surprisingly effective finisher on here, so I want him in and around the box as much as possible. I don't want to play with a TM as they are too static and often encourages the defence to bypass the midfield to hit him ASAP.

So yeah, I have a rough idea of what I want, but some advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I kept with the system above for my first game, against Norwich.

2vt3.png

What that picture doesn't show you is that we created 6 CCC's and 4 HC's to Norwich's 0 and 1 respectively.

The Positives

Aaron Ramsey - He was superb, done exactly what I wanted him to do. He covered the joint most distance on our side, showing that despite his attacking mentality he can still be useful in defence. He had 8 shots, 6 of which were on target. His finishing is a concern, although the fact that the majority of them came from inside the box is encouraging as I want him to make late runs into the oppositions box as much as possible.

Kieran Gibbs - Provided me with width all game. His heat map shows that he effectively was a left winger all game, providing 13 crosses and winning 4 interceptions high up the pitch.

Bacary Sagna - Due to the attacking nature of my right hand side and left full back, Sagna was asked to essentially be the third CB at times. 100% pass rate, he won the most tackles at 5 and the join most interceptions at 4.

The DLP Arteta/Wilshere - Arteta had to go off injured after 29 minutes but in that 29 minutes he performed his job admirably. He completed all 22 of his passes and often started attacks by picking the ball up from one of the CB's and looking for Ramsey, Ozil or one of the wide players. Wilshere came on and for the most part was very good, his PPM "gets forward whenever possible" may cause problems in the big matches though. It didn't matter today and it actually resulted in him getting a goal, but I do fear that it will come back to haunt me.

The Negatives

Nothing major, but there were a few things that didn't quite go according to plan.

Mesut Ozil - As I said in my first post, I've always had success with Ozil as a T-A but I changed him to AP-S for balance sake. He was ok, he assisted Wilshere's goal but apart from that he wasn't spectacular. If anything he was a little too cautious, he often played unambitious sideways passes when there were as a chance to set Gibbs, Chamberlain or Walcott free.

Giroud - He was good, really good in fact, but not doing the role I wanted. He was our most creative player, making 3 key passes, plus he got the assist for Ramsey's first goal. The issue I've got is that he wasn't shooting or getting into the positions to shoot. Unsure what to do here, I've found that on this FM the striker is the hardest position to get right.

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I'd certainly be wary about having two IFs behind an AF with an AP. You are reducing your won space. Making Walcott a W/A will prevent much of this.

I'd also be concerned with your MCs being too lightweight against better opposition than Norwich. I really wouldn't be happy with Arteta as the only deep MC against a Chelsea side pouring forward on the counter, or a Man City side trying to dominate the final third. I'd certainly consider a rotation policy for the central midfield that involves bringing in Flamini against the better sides.

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Yeah I'll probably switch Theo to a winger tbh. I only changed it to IF to see what difference it made.

I think we are too lightweight too, but I fail to see how Flamini would help. He's considerably weaker on the ball than Arteta and only marginally stronger.

To counteract this I'm going 4-5-1 away to the stronger sides. 1 DM, 2CM's and 2 wide players. I aim to drop slightly deeper, soak up pressure and try and hit them on the counter, using Theo's pace.

Ahhhhh first annoying bug. Goalkeeper clears it to Giroud who heads back from the halfway line to Szczesny. It obviously doesn't reach him, Lambert is through on goal, Kos fouls. Penalty. Red card. 1-0. Costly bug.

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Well, I followed up the 3-0 over Norwich with a 4-0 win at home to PAOK. From a tactical POV that's not very interesting, it was a routine win with a weakened side.

The real test came away at Southampton. Southampton's morale was a high as you can get after a 2-0 win at Manchester City. Obviously as you can tell from above we conceded a penalty early on thanks to an odd bug. I also thought Koscielny was sent off, but that seemed to be a graphical glitch as he only received a yellow.

Before the match I had made three slight tweaks. Walcott changed from an IF-A to a W-A. Arteta wasn't fit enough to play so Flamini came in. This meant that instead of a DLP-D as my deepest player we had Flamini as a DM-D. The final tweak was instructing Giroud to move into channels as I felt he wasn't moving in between the defenders enough.

We ended up winning 4-1. All four goals were very pleasing. Giroud scored the first, running onto a Theo Walcott pass. The next two were carbon copies of each other. Ramsey receives the ball on the halfway line and plays in Theo Walcott. Twice.

The final goal was a pull back from Theo finished off by Ramsey. That's two goals and assists in two games from Ramsey now. Promising start.

The big issue now is Ozil. He's still far too cautious on the ball. I don't know whether to get him to be more direct, although as a playmaker, he should be making risky passes anyway? I don't know what to do.

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Give Ôzil a trequartista role, he's at his best with that. But be aware that Özil is not the most consistent of players, nor is he very determined, and that he's susceptible to be bullied out of the game if the tempo is too slow, or if he's not on the move as often as he should. Opposing teams tend to single him out for a bit of rough treatment. Let him move about as freely as possible, and play a high(ish) tempo. I would have added "higher tempo" to your instructions, together with "roam". Arsenal's squad is a bit lightweight in midfield, and so all of them will benefit with not staying on the ball for too long. Move the ball about quicker to avoid being tackled out of the game.

Other than that, your setup is very similar to mine, except I play "very fluid", and I don't have "stay on feet" when playing "Control" - I do add "stay on feet" together with "hassle" when I go "Attacking", however, and I alternate between "Control" and "Attack" throughout the match. And I play 2 IF's - the left on "support" and the right on "attack", and I don't see any problems with congestion. I also have started to use the "play narrower" instruction as default - I used to have both IF's "sit narrower", but taking that instruction off and going with "play narrower" has improved my game when I play "open" matches. If the opponent is parking the bus and playing defensive with a low d-line against me, and I really need that goal, I tend to go "play wider" instead, and giving one of the IF's a Winger (attack) role - preferrably on the right with Walcott or Chambo there.

I wouldn't be that careful with Sagna's role either - full back on support duty is fine.

Playing "Very fluid" with "Control/Attacking" there is no need to add "more expressive", but it may be beneficial on "Balanced" ... not too sure about that particular instruction of yours though. More expressive can easily become way too expressive.

Btw; Playing Giroud as a TM is simply playing to his strenghts, and there's nothing wrong with that. TM (attack) will ensure that he often is positioned where he's best - in the box. He don't really need to be very mobile - you have plenty of other players in the Arsenal side that does that job. To avoid the tendency that many passes will go from the back straight to him, bypassing the midfield, you simply play with a playmaker role in midfield - preferrably high midfield. The AMC as a AP or Treq will see to that.

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I think we are too lightweight too, but I fail to see how Flamini would help. He's considerably weaker on the ball than Arteta and only marginally stronger.

I don't have FM in front of me right now, but I'd have thought Flamini's defensive stats en bloc would be more impressive than Arteta's?

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On paper, Flamini is a bit stronger defensively than Arteta - but put into a Arsenal context, it's not that simple. Whenever I am left with only Arteta and Flamini as available midfielders (due to low conditions or injuries to the others), I tend to put Arteta in the most holding role (CM/defend) and Flamini as CM/support/attack in the other. But usually I rotate Flamini and Arteta (and Coquelin) in the CM/defend role, with Wilshere/Ramsey in the other CM position.

Anyway; as soon as the other positions that needs reinforcements in the Arsenal side are sorted, this CM(d) position is next in line. Neither Arteta nor Flamini is getting any younger, and that's a good opportunity to put a bit more muscle and height into midfield. Being Arsenal, it needs to be muscles coupled with decent technical and mental abilities though.

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Give Ôzil a trequartista role, he's at his best with that. But be aware that Özil is not the most consistent of players, nor is he very determined, and that he's susceptible to be bullied out of the game if the tempo is too slow, or if he's not on the move as often as he should. Opposing teams tend to single him out for a bit of rough treatment. Let him move about as freely as possible, and play a high(ish) tempo. I would have added "higher tempo" to your instructions, together with "roam". Arsenal's squad is a bit lightweight in midfield, and so all of them will benefit with not staying on the ball for too long. Move the ball about quicker to avoid being tackled out of the game.

Other than that, your setup is very similar to mine, except I play "very fluid", and I don't have "stay on feet" when playing "Control" - I do add "stay on feet" together with "hassle" when I go "Attacking", however, and I alternate between "Control" and "Attack" throughout the match. And I play 2 IF's - the left on "support" and the right on "attack", and I don't see any problems with congestion. I also have started to use the "play narrower" instruction as default - I used to have both IF's "sit narrower", but taking that instruction off and going with "play narrower" has improved my game when I play "open" matches. If the opponent is parking the bus and playing defensive with a low d-line against me, and I really need that goal, I tend to go "play wider" instead, and giving one of the IF's a Winger (attack) role - preferrably on the right with Walcott or Chambo there.

I wouldn't be that careful with Sagna's role either - full back on support duty is fine.

Playing "Very fluid" with "Control/Attacking" there is no need to add "more expressive", but it may be beneficial on "Balanced" ... not too sure about that particular instruction of yours though. More expressive can easily become way too expressive.

Btw; Playing Giroud as a TM is simply playing to his strenghts, and there's nothing wrong with that. TM (attack) will ensure that he often is positioned where he's best - in the box. He don't really need to be very mobile - you have plenty of other players in the Arsenal side that does that job. To avoid the tendency that many passes will go from the back straight to him, bypassing the midfield, you simply play with a playmaker role in midfield - preferrably high midfield. The AMC as a AP or Treq will see to that.

Interesting. I've found that playing a high tempo with this side is rarely beneficial. Playing with a higher tempo seems to lead to rushed attacks which wouldn't work with 'work ball into box'

I disagree with the TM thing too. It might work best for Giroud, but will it work best for the team? I've found that it doesn't at all.

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Well, I followed up the 3-0 over Norwich with a 4-0 win at home to PAOK. From a tactical POV that's not very interesting, it was a routine win with a weakened side.

The real test came away at Southampton. Southampton's morale was a high as you can get after a 2-0 win at Manchester City. Obviously as you can tell from above we conceded a penalty early on thanks to an odd bug. I also thought Koscielny was sent off, but that seemed to be a graphical glitch as he only received a yellow.

Before the match I had made three slight tweaks. Walcott changed from an IF-A to a W-A. Arteta wasn't fit enough to play so Flamini came in. This meant that instead of a DLP-D as my deepest player we had Flamini as a DM-D. The final tweak was instructing Giroud to move into channels as I felt he wasn't moving in between the defenders enough.

We ended up winning 4-1. All four goals were very pleasing. Giroud scored the first, running onto a Theo Walcott pass. The next two were carbon copies of each other. Ramsey receives the ball on the halfway line and plays in Theo Walcott. Twice.

The final goal was a pull back from Theo finished off by Ramsey. That's two goals and assists in two games from Ramsey now. Promising start.

The big issue now is Ozil. He's still far too cautious on the ball. I don't know whether to get him to be more direct, although as a playmaker, he should be making risky passes anyway? I don't know what to do.

The game against Southampton did you play your central midfielders as DMC. Also did you go counter or did you keep the same instructions

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Same instructions and I kept my CM's in the same position.

Just won 3-0 at Liverpool. Odd game. They had the better chances, but we were more clinical. That never happens to me.

I made a big mistake in changing Ozil to a T-A for this match. Should have kept him as a AP-S. We missed his defensive contribution and he was never in the game.

On the plus side, Giroud scored 2 and was quite brilliant.

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Same instructions and I kept my CM's in the same position.

Just won 3-0 at Liverpool. Odd game. They had the better chances, but we were more clinical. That never happens to me.

I made a big mistake in changing Ozil to a T-A for this match. Should have kept him as a AP-S. We missed his defensive contribution and he was never in the game.

On the plus side, Giroud scored 2 and was quite brilliant.

what roles and duties do you give your central midfielders for tough away games. Do you apply and PI also

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Ah the old finishing issue has come back to haunt me. A 0-0 draw at home to Dortmund (in which no side could finish but we managed to miss TWO open goals) and this match

h4lb.png

All of my shots were inside the box. My side missed a decent number of one on ones under no pressure at all. Finishing is still incredibly flawed for me. The worst part of this game.

Sigh.

Theo Walcott misses a load of one on ones at Newcastle, before Gabriel Obertan wins it with a clinical finish.

Same old issues.

Newcastle and my side seemed to get into the same positions but they were more clinical, hitting the target from fewer shots. I have no idea why this is the case, it's so frustrating.

Also, defending against teams with pace is a nightmare. Pressing them is out of the question. Dropping deeper should in theory work (switch control to either standard or counter) but I've yet to see a difference in defensive lines between drop deeper and default.

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m6xr.png

I'm managing to get Giroud firing, but the rest of my team have lost form. I battered City but struggled to put my chances away (again). Ramsey is still getting into the same positions but he's snatching at his shots whereas Ozil is underwhelming. I know he can perform as a T-A but I'm not sure whether it would benefit the team and Giroud.

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Ajw do you fancy sending me your save game? Then I can do some analysis and post it up here for you? Interested?

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I can do, although it will probably be tomorrow.

Things are going well though, I've had a nine game winning run stopped by a 2-2 draw at Dortmund (two cross shots done me).

Our passing is still a bit off. Not too sure what to do about it.

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I think a big issue for Ozil is that it's his first season and he hasn't had time to blend into the team. The best way to go with him is introduce him slower than you would otherwise like to as Jack and Aaron can more than hold their own in the Premier League.

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Really interested with this! Keep us posted! I've been playing Arsenal for the first season with a mix of 4-2-3-1. 4-2DM-3-1 and 4-1-2-2-1. In league i've been pretty consistent but on the rest of competitions pretty irregular.. Haven't really performed that well against the big teams.. Everything I did made no changes to the way I played and how they beat me by crossing and passing in my area.

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Arghhhhhhhh this game!

I'm 1-0 up at Chelsea with a minute to go. I'm playing on contain. I'm getting the team to team waste as much as possible.

So why oh why when we get a corner do we send everyone forward and pump one into the box?

Chelsea counter and score.

Absolutely, utterly ridiculous.

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So why oh why when we get a corner do we send everyone forward and pump one into the box?.......

Absolutely, utterly ridiculous.

Did you change your set up for attacking corners for this game once you were on Contain?

If not, you will have committed the same men forwards as you would have for any other Mentality.

Frustrating? Yes, but not ridiculous. I hate to be pedantic, but it wasn't the game's fault here, unless you had explicitly instructed all your players to stay back at attacking corners.

There's a case for saying that we should be able to set up different set piece approaches for different Mentalities, but then again, you could view that if you're playing on Contain, you want to make the most of set pieces and commit men forward on these rare attacking occasions. SI are between a Rock and a Hard Place there.

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If I ask for my side to time waste and essentially run down the clock then that should apply for set pieces no?

Otherwise, what's the point of that instruction?

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If I ask for my side to time waste and essentially run down the clock then that should apply for set pieces no?

Otherwise, what's the point of that instruction?

No. Waste Time wastes "dead time" - so they will dawdle between set pieces or when waiting to take a throw etc.

They are entirely separate to set piece instructions.

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Well it says that Waste Time will "waste time will instruct your players to waste time whenever possible"

When the corner was taken my corner taker had a short option in loads of space. For me that's an opportunity to waste time.

Otherwise whenever I want to waste time I'm going to have to go into my set piece instructions and change every individual setting. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

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When the corner was taken my corner taker had a short option in loads of space. For me that's an opportunity to waste time.

Whether or not the taker took that short option will also depend on your corner taking settings. How are you taking them?

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Interesting. I've found that playing a high tempo with this side is rarely beneficial. Playing with a higher tempo seems to lead to rushed attacks which wouldn't work with 'work ball into box'

You play "control", right? Well then your default tempo is just a little bit faster than medium, in old "sliderese" speak. Adding shorter passing will not only shorten passing, but also lower tempo a bit, so that you now play a tempo that is below medium. Adding "higher tempo" will get it back to where it was or thereabouts.

For me, playing with higher tempo is absolutely a must - it keeps me not getting thrashed when playing against some of the big teams when they field 2 or 3 brutes in midfield*, pressing hard. It puts me more on a equal footing because I don't let them get too near my players before the ball is passed on. But each to their own :)

Let's just agree to disagree on the TM issue. It made Giroud runner-up to the golden boot in one of my saves, and I dare say that benefits the team quite a bit. I don't use a TM currently though - different strikers in my team. When I can I'll rather have a AF or a CF as my lone striker, but I just don't have confidence in strikers of the Giroud mould in those roles.

* Example: When playing too slow, I used to get thrashed away to ManC, with Yaya and co in midfield. And even barely managed to play well against them at home. Adjusting tempo a bit higher, I can now win those away matches half the time, and be relatively certain of a victory at home.

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Must say that I love having Giroud as a CF(S). Feel it perfectly complements his attributes.

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Must say that I love having Giroud as a CF(S). Feel it perfectly complements his attributes.

Do you then give Ozil AP - Attack

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Must say that I love having Giroud as a CF(S). Feel it perfectly complements his attributes.

You do? I feel he lacks in creativity, flair, technique and pace. I wouldn't have him as a CF. I did try though, once, and he did well in some matches, but suffered with a lack of consistency in that role. Too many bad passes, and too many lost attempts at running after a through-ball that he simply couldn't reach because of his lack of speed. And too many bad attempts at dribbling. At Championship level, or at a lesser PL team he could well be immense with a CF role, but at the upper echelons of European football? Nah. Not for me. He's no Drogba, Ibrahimovic ... or Thierry Henry.

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Do you then give Ozil AP - Attack

Trequartista

You do? I feel he lacks in creativity, flair, technique and pace. I wouldn't have him as a CF. I did try though, once, and he did well in some matches, but suffered with a lack of consistency in that role. Too many bad passes, and too many lost attempts at running after a through-ball that he simply couldn't reach because of his lack of speed. And too many bad attempts at dribbling. At Championship level, or at a lesser PL team he could well be immense with a CF role, but at the upper echelons of European football? Nah. Not for me. He's no Drogba, Ibrahimovic ... or Thierry Henry.

His technique and first touch are decent, but his teamwork is excellent, as is his movement. I build my teams around good teamwork and movement. If you read the description pace is not mentioned for a CF, whereas strength is required. He has been superb for me in the role. Any role can play well or badly depending on the other movement and supply around him.

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Trequartista

His technique and first touch are decent, but his teamwork is excellent, as is his movement. I build my teams around good teamwork and movement. If you read the description pace is not mentioned for a CF, whereas strength is required. He has been superb for me in the role. Any role can play well or badly depending on the other movement and supply around him.

With a CF(s) and a T(a) in AMC and ST do you have inside forwards? Or do Giroud and Ozil? I take it? Score plenty themselves. Thought i'd ask as they are usually two creative/support roles.

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No Inside Forwards - frankly this is the most illogical system I have ever built. My only runner in behind is Walcott down the flanks. This system relies on passing and movement and teamwork, with either Giroud or Ozil picking up that run in behind. In pre-season for 2nd season though I have been practising a narrow system instead. Ozil, Walcott & Giroud all scored & assisted plenty. Even my AP(S) from the left flank Cazorla chipped in with 9 goals and 14 assists. The runs from deep of the left wing back and Aaron Ramsey also help create the movement needed for the system to work.

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Is Ramsey a BBM in that system? If it works, it works, logical or not right? Haha!

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I've got Giroud playing as an AF-A with runs into channels as his PI and he's scored 11 in 14 Premier League games so far.

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No Inside Forwards - frankly this is the most illogical system I have ever built. My only runner in behind is Walcott down the flanks. This system relies on passing and movement and teamwork, with either Giroud or Ozil picking up that run in behind. In pre-season for 2nd season though I have been practising a narrow system instead. Ozil, Walcott & Giroud all scored & assisted plenty. Even my AP(S) from the left flank Cazorla chipped in with 9 goals and 14 assists. The runs from deep of the left wing back and Aaron Ramsey also help create the movement needed for the system to work.

Llama what system are you playing. Are you still playing 4231?

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Also forgot to ask. Do you use two AP's to offset the fact that all your play might have gone through one guy? Instead now it's 2-3 if you also have a DLP next to the CM(d).

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Is Ramsey a BBM in that system? If it works, it works, logical or not right? Haha!

Yes a BBM for Rambo

I've got Giroud playing as an AF-A with runs into channels as his PI and he's scored 11 in 14 Premier League games so far.

He has the movement and intelligence to do that role.

Llama what system are you playing. Are you still playing 4231?

Still 4-2-3-1

Also forgot to ask. Do you use two AP's to offset the fact that all your play might have gone through one guy? Instead now it's 2-3 if you also have a DLP next to the CM(d).

AP(s) - T - W(a) with a CM(d) - BBM behind

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Ok, so I have had a gripe with this game for years. Away games.

It seems to me that there is too much emphasis being placed on the home side. I have no idea how to set up away from home against the big sides. It seems like no matter what I do I get carved open. Similar to when I play at home. I just know that whoever I played I'm highly likely to win because the AI have the same issues away from home.

I decided to test a theory and play United away twice using different tactics.

The first tactic I used was my counter attacking one which was used to great effective at Chelsea. Despite wanting my side to drop deep so the pace of Nani couldn't trouble me my side decided to play a suicidal high line (didn't do this at Chelsea). However, every time they got in behind my defence they couldn't capitalise. We also created the same amount of CCC's as United (5). Some issues but it seemed like we took the game to United yeah?

Wrong.

We lost 6-2.

How? Well Nani scored a hat-trick of long rangers. Carrick scored a long ranger. Mata scored a long range chip. RvP was the only one who scored a CCC.

For the second game I set up playing like I do in the majority of my games. The 4-3-2-1. This should see me dominate possession more, especially considering I'm against the immobile Carrick and Fellaini. The only worry is that we will be too open, especially against a side that carved upon us when we tried to be cautious.

We ended up losing 3-1. They had more possession than in the previous game but created a lot less. We created almost nothing.

It's frustrating because I know that if I play them at home I will almost certainly win.

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So in a final quest to see if I could get a result at Old Trafford I planned to use both tactics. Counter attack for the first 60 mins, go to dominate after that. This happened.

1zeq.png

Bizarre.

As you can see my plan worked for the majority of the game. They weren't creating much despite seeing lots of the ball. I then switch to my usual tactic on 60 mins and we grab two quick goals. RvP scores with a header soon after. 3-2 up and we're quite comfortable.

Then Fellaini get sent off.

What happens after that is unbelievable. United don't just batter me, they absolute dominate possession despite being a man down. They didn't change anything either. They kept Carrick as the RCM and left a big gaping hole down the left hand side. It didn't seem to matter though.

I just don't get it. Defies logic.

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Urgh, a combination of having to play a strong Villa side away 2 days after playing United away and being exhausted from said game means we find ourselves 3-0 down to Villa after 30 mins. They've had 3 shots. Morale is shot, so that's the next few games utterly ruined whilst I try and pick up my battered side.

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Yes a BBM for Rambo

He has the movement and intelligence to do that role.

Still 4-2-3-1

AP(s) - T - W(a) with a CM(d) - BBM behind

For the difficult away games do you move your CM to DMC and what roles do you select

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A couple of things I found in my Arsenal save that might be of interest..

- Koscielny as a stopper is fantastic and is basically the role he plays in real life. He's always sprinting into the back of defenders and nicking the ball.

- Ozil works incredibly as an enganche. I wasn't going to use that role as it sounds static but I find it's the best of all the AM roles in terms of finding space between the lines.

- If you can get another players close to Giroud then he is a great target man even as a lone striker. I'd say TM/DLF is an accurate description of his real life role. Linking play and letting others run past him.

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A couple of things I found in my Arsenal save that might be of interest..

- Koscielny as a stopper is fantastic and is basically the role he plays in real life. He's always sprinting into the back of defenders and nicking the ball.

- Ozil works incredibly as an enganche. I wasn't going to use that role as it sounds static but I find it's the best of all the AM roles in terms of finding space between the lines.

- If you can get another players close to Giroud then he is a great target man even as a lone striker. I'd say TM/DLF is an accurate description of his real life role. Linking play and letting others run past him.

What roles would you suggest for getting other players close to Giroud. Have you got any specific roles you can advice that would work.

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For the difficult away games do you move your CM to DMC and what roles do you select
What roles would you suggest for getting other players close to Giroud. Have you got any specific roles you can advice that would work.

James you need to get away from asking "what do you do" - as you'll never learn if you do. You need to ask why people do things, and then you'll learn to understand other's decision making.

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I've recently started an Arsenal save, and it's based upon Cleon's defensive football idea. Yet it's attacking...

Basically, I really liked the idea of the diamond, so wanted to try it out with a different formation. So my team looks like this when at full strength:

Chesney - GK(D)

Sagna - WB(S)

Koscielny - CD(D)

Vermaelen - CD(D)

Monreal - WB(S)

Yacob - DLP(D)

Wilshere - CM(A)

Ramsey - CM(A)

Ozil - Treq

Giroud - DLF(S)

Walcott - AF

It is control and fluid. The idea is to build pressure through passing in the diamond, with both CMs looking to get forward. Meanwhile, the wing backs don't attack relentlessly like on attack, they more provide passing options should the DLP become isolated, while allowing us to switch play quickly through an unmarked outlet - as they invariably lose their marker.

Yet I wanted to have some flexibility to create chances from nothing. While I expect most goals to come from slick passing moves involving the diamond, I also want to see players using their own abilities and trying the unexpected. Just not too often :) Hence fluid, not rigid.

This was shown in the first match of the season against Southampton, when we scored two goals of note (out of 3). The first was a move that started on our right flank, included all 4 midfielders and both wing bakcs, and resulted in Giroud putting the ball in the net from a Ramsey cut-back.

The second, however, was from a nothing ball to Monreal in no space. He found a way out, however, and clipped a beautiful ball over the top into the path of Ramsey, who cut inside and scored.

Both goals show things I'm trying to achieve, but on the other hand, the defense failed somewhat. We conceded twice from mistakes, with two easy balls that we failed to deal with. One of them was the one thing I was dreading: a quick, central counter when Mertersacker was playing. As it was, he was caught in no mans land, Koscielny then stepped up (wrongly) to cover, and Lallana played the ball over his head into the space where both my CBs should have been. The big German isn't particularly well suited to the game I want to play, but Sagna, Jenkinson, Vermaelen and Gibbs were all injured.

We'll see how that progresses.

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So in a final quest to see if I could get a result at Old Trafford I planned to use both tactics. Counter attack for the first 60 mins, go to dominate after that. This happened.

1zeq.png

Bizarre.

As you can see my plan worked for the majority of the game. They weren't creating much despite seeing lots of the ball. I then switch to my usual tactic on 60 mins and we grab two quick goals. RvP scores with a header soon after. 3-2 up and we're quite comfortable.

Then Fellaini get sent off.

What happens after that is unbelievable. United don't just batter me, they absolute dominate possession despite being a man down. They didn't change anything either. They kept Carrick as the RCM and left a big gaping hole down the left hand side. It didn't seem to matter though.

I just don't get it. Defies logic.

Same thing happened against Norwich. Go 2-1 up, I'm comfortable. Norwich go a man down and... completely dominate.

Just doesn't make any sense at all. Sometimes this game makes loads of sense. And then it just defies all logic.

I miss 13.

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Ok, so my long standing issue with this game is finishing. I think it's the biggest issue with the game and I've provided many PKM's to back up my claim. Lots of people told me that it was tactical, but after seeing some matches recently I can't possibly see how. Not sure what I can do to get my forwards with the right attributes to score one on ones, or actually hit the target when shooting in the box or head down instead of over when on the goal line. The following screenshots might show the issues I'm having.

bxa3.png

hzax.png

6r7f.png

mm35.png

Now I know I've won this games, but on FM the more goals you score the better the match rating. Morale is so important on this game that even the slightest dip can make a massive difference.

Theo Walcott had just scored against Barcelona. As a result his morale was at superb. He missed several easy chances against Palace and as a result he's now back down to 'good'

Aaron Ramsey created a number of good goalscoring opportunities in that Palace match, but our forwards couldn't finish. Because he didn't get an assist, his match rating ended up being a 6.9 whereas it would have been well in the 7's if one of our players could score.

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Remember what I said about home games being much easier than away games?

5ubx.png

o494.png

I played the same way that I do for the majority of my matches. 4-2-3-1. Control - Balanced.

The first game was actually a lot more even than it looks. It was very end to end with Chelsea actually have the better of possession and shots (although not for CCC's and half chances). However from the first minute to the last we were clinical. I've noticed that we are much better in open home games but yet struggle when it's open away from home. I have no actual idea why this would be the case.

The United game was just pure domination from me. United didn't really get out of their half until the game was won.

This is the first time on this FM that I've really gotten something out of my main striker. Giroud is now on 32 goals for the season with 10 assists. The way I've set out my team is only slightly different from the way I usually do and my player instructions for him has remained the same. After tinkering with Ozil at the start I've reverted back to the T-A role that suits him so well, but yet Giroud is still performing. I'm unsure atm whether the little changes I've made has been the catalyst for Giroud's productivity or whether it's all just luck. I suppose I will find out next season.

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ajw10 can you put up a screenshot if your current set up that you use for home, and any changes (if any) you use away from home

I use this tactic for the vast majority of my games

ua9m.png

And I use this tactic for certain difficult away games as my usual tactic leaves me far too open (it's far too easy to dominate possession when you're the home side)

ctun.png

Unfortunately the tactical analysis only tells you how many goals you score and concede and not your actual results using a system which seems stupid.I can remember drawing away to Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG using that tactic though.

My results generally have been good, I'm still on course for the treble, but this annoying thing where your team gives up after winning the title has wrecked morale and I suspect will ruin any chance I have of winning the CL.

ne5u.png

Anyone know how I can counteract this?

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I just lost against Villa and I can't hold a team meeting. Morale is shot just before my two finals. Utterly ridiculous this.

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