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Schalke 04 - Where am I going wrong?

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I'd say my first season was a success, 3rd comfortably, German cup winners and quarters of CL. But now this second season is leaving me in some big trouble and I can't seem to get myself out of it. The board expects me to win the league and at the moment I'm 7th after 13 games and an incredible 14 points off Dortmund, the league is out the question now IMO, but I'd like to find some consistency at least. The current tactic is one I had success with at Hull that's lead me to 10+ PL titles, 10 CL's, unbeaten seasons etc but it's obviously not working now. It's like my team have completely forgot how to play football, I'd appreciate any advice on what I can change tactic wise.

buwpFGF.png

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OK......

You are using a massively high line. Attacking Mentality plus Push Higher Up and you combine that with the Offside Trap.

No issues at face value as long as you have pace at the back and a thoroughly "in-tune" defence to pull that off.

In midfield, Goretzka essentially has an Attack Duty given your Mentality, which exposes your right flank, given the presence of two Attack Duties on that side.

You have an astonishing array of Team Instructions. Are you able to confirm what each of them actually influences?

There are so many that it's frankly impossible to see what the intended approach is.

As an example: Why Play Out Of Defence when the defend Duties already pass short in this Mentality?

Why use Higher Tempo in a Mentality with a high tempo by default?

Play Narrow + Look For Overlap + Exploit The Flanks. What do you think the combined effect of those three will be?

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The actual set up of roles on there looks pretty sweet, as said above, all those Team Instructions, they are killing you.

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The actual set up of roles on there looks pretty sweet, as said above, all those Team Instructions, they are killing you.

This is a good point that I failed to mention - the Roles and Duties (arguably barring Automatic Duty on Goretzka) are fine. It's just those TIs.

Out of interest, are your PIs as liberally applied?

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OK......

You are using a massively high line. Attacking Mentality plus Push Higher Up and you combine that with the Offside Trap.

No issues at face value as long as you have pace at the back and a thoroughly "in-tune" defence to pull that off.

In midfield, Goretzka essentially has an Attack Duty given your Mentality, which exposes your right flank, given the presence of two Attack Duties on that side.

You have an astonishing array of Team Instructions. Are you able to confirm what each of them actually influences?

There are so many that it's frankly impossible to see what the intended approach is.

As an example: Why Play Out Of Defence when the defend Duties already pass short in this Mentality?

Why use Higher Tempo in a Mentality with a high tempo by default?

Play Narrow + Look For Overlap + Exploit The Flanks. What do you think the combined effect of those three will be?

Ah I see. In all honesty, it's what worked for 10+ seasons at Hull and gave me remarkable success. That could be down to some incredible regens I had at disposable though.

Why is Goretzka essentially attack duty when he's automatic? Isn't automatic a bit of everything, no?

I'll shorten the instructions down, would you agree that my player roles are fine? If so, what instructions would you have? (EDIT - Ah, just seen your second post, nah I don't have any individual instructions.)

I'd of thought 'play narrow' would tighten my defence together and have smaller gaps between, 'overlap' for when inside forward comes inside and has the option of putting it to the full back/wing back, and exploit the flanks is obvious, my strongest part of the team is there.

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Why is Goretzka essentially attack duty when he's automatic? Isn't automatic a bit of everything, no?

I'd of thought 'play narrow' would tighten my defence together and have smaller gaps between, 'overlap' for when inside forward comes inside and has the option of putting it to the full back/wing back, and exploit the flanks is obvious, my strongest part of the team is there.

Automatic Duty basically sees the Duty set by the Team Mentality. If you want a bit of everything, consider using a BBM or something like that.

Play Narrower actually focuses passing through the middle and sets you narrower when in possession.

Look For Overlap will increase the Mentality of your full backs whilst decreasing the Mentality of your AML/R. It will get the full backs making more forward runs and cross more, and get the AML/R to reduce their running and increase their holding up of the ball.

Exploit The Flanks might not be as obvious as you expect. It gets your full backs to behave the same as Look For Overlap, but also focuses passing out wide. It will ask your MCs to hold the ball up too.

In essence, you don't need to look for overlap as you have natural good movement out on each flank as your Roles and Duties are good out wide. My suggestion would be to look at my description of the instructions I've given above, and just choose the one that you think best fits your intended style of play.

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The roles look nicely balanced. Automatic duties use the team mentality, they are pretty pointless, not sure why they haven't been removed from the game by now to be honest. I don't mind a CM (a) in that position at all, it's probably what I would use, or an AP (a) may possibly be better given you are using an advanced forward. If I were using a CM (a) I'd possibly use a support role for my striker, this is dependent on the players you have at your disposal of course.

Without really having to change any roles or duties, (although you could) I'd definitely have a back up tactic that isn't quite so aggressive for some home games in particular where teams try and shut up shop. You will be running in to a brick wall and get caught on the break with such an aggressive tactic imo.

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Automatic Duty basically sees the Duty set by the Team Mentality. If you want a bit of everything, consider using a BBM or something like that.

Play Narrower actually focuses passing through the middle and sets you narrower when in possession.

Look For Overlap will increase the Mentality of your full backs whilst decreasing the Mentality of your AML/R. It will get the full backs making more forward runs and cross more, and get the AML/R to reduce their running and increase their holding up of the ball.

Exploit The Flanks might not be as obvious as you expect. It gets your full backs to behave the same as Look For Overlap, but also focuses passing out wide. It will ask your MCs to hold the ball up too.

In essence, you don't need to look for overlap as you have natural good movement out on each flank as your Roles and Duties are good out wide. My suggestion would be to look at my description of the instructions I've given above, and just choose the one that you think best fits your intended style of play.

Ah thanks a lot mate, helped ridiculously. How does these TI look -

wrss1Oe.png

Would you drop the high tempo due to me being attacking then? Same for exploit the flanks as you said, then all systems go? :o

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It's just a case of thinking what you want to do.

Attacking mentality already has a very high tempo. Shorter passing is fine, but be aware your defensive players already are on short passing using attacking mentality. Out of interest why are you using stick to positions and be more disciplined ? Nothing wrong with it, just wondered what you were thinking

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I'd drop Higher Tempo for sure.

Bear in mind that Hassle Opponents gets all your players to Close Down More. This risks compromising your shape quite a lot.

With a high line, the shape of your formation, and the Roles you are using, your front 3 are already Closing Down so it may not be necessary to get everyone doing it.

Experiment with and without, and see what your eyes tell you :thup:

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It's just a case of thinking what you want to do.

Attacking mentality already has a very high tempo. Shorter passing is fine, but be aware your defensive players already are on short passing using attacking mentality. Out of interest why are you using stick to positions and be more disciplined ? Nothing wrong with it, just wondered what you were thinking

Ah I see, what do you mean about my defensive players? And tbh, I went with them both because they bounce off each other, seemed the right thing to do to keep my formation shape, I know where my players are majority of the time, rather than them going awol during the game.

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Well I think I am just trying to point out, team Mentality affects a lot of things. This is why I think a lot of people use a lot of shouts, because they see what they want to do, and then choose team instructions to suit. However Mentality does a lot of the jobs already. With an attacking mentality, the defenders will be set to shorter passing, and attackers more direct. Playmakers get mixed passing regardless.

Using stick to positions and be less expressive is fine, I have never really seen a great deal of difference with the more and less expressive shouts, stick to positions seems to work quite well though. You may just need a bit more movement at times against tricky sides though that is all I am thinking, I would imagine Shalke come under the best of the rest after Bayern and Dortmund, so you may get some teams sitting very deep and compact. Really there isn't much more advice to give, because you really just have to see how things work, different players, play in different ways, and you just have to assess how things are going by what you see, and make logical adjustments.

Good luck, good thing is, you had a nice set up of roles, it's far easier to remove Team Instructions than it is to come up with a nice set of roles and duties.

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Well I think I am just trying to point out, team Mentality affects a lot of things. This is why I think a lot of people use a lot of shouts, because they see what they want to do, and then choose team instructions to suit. However Mentality does a lot of the jobs already. With an attacking mentality, the defenders will be set to shorter passing, and attackers more direct. Playmakers get mixed passing regardless.

Using stick to positions and be less expressive is fine, I have never really seen a great deal of difference with the more and less expressive shouts, stick to positions seems to work quite well though. You may just need a bit more movement at times against tricky sides though that is all I am thinking, I would imagine Shalke come under the best of the rest after Bayern and Dortmund, so you may get some teams sitting very deep and compact. Really there isn't much more advice to give, because you really just have to see how things work, different players, play in different ways, and you just have to assess how things are going by what you see, and make logical adjustments.

Good luck, good thing is, you had a nice set up of roles, it's far easier to remove Team Instructions than it is to come up with a nice set of roles and duties.

Thanks a lot mate. :thup:

I have a lot of trouble beating Bayern and Dortmund yeah, against the lower sides would it be best to go a bit more expressive to try and open them up?

How come my striker (Donis) doesn't score many either? Anything to do with AF position by any chance? Dunno if AF affects the IF/Winger. :o

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I don't really know the players that well mate, so I can't really comment, different player types are going to play the role quite differently anyway.

An advanced forward will get involved in link up play, but they will also look to run beyond, this is why I said earlier, with an advanced forward, I'd prefer an advanced playmaker (A) in midfield, as a more creative player rather than a CM (a) who will create, but will be more of an attacking threat in the box. Other than that, I'd have the CM (a) with a support role as your striker.

If you look at who is going to create goals for your advanced forward in your set up ? You have a winger, so he will supply crosses, your IF will be more of a goal threat than a creator, and a CM (a) is more of a runner from midfield. Deeplying playmaker is creative, but is going to be to deep most of the time to set up that many chances for him, and will be doing a job off starting attacks off.

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I don't really know the players that well mate, so I can't really comment, different player types are going to play the role quite differently anyway.

An advanced forward will get involved in link up play, but they will also look to run beyond, this is why I said earlier, with an advanced forward, I'd prefer an advanced playmaker (A) in midfield, as a more creative player rather than a CM (a) who will create, but will be more of an attacking threat in the box. Other than that, I'd have the CM (a) with a support role as your striker.

If you look at who is going to create goals for your advanced forward in your set up ? You have a winger, so he will supply crosses, your IF will be more of a goal threat than a creator, and a CM (a) is more of a runner from midfield. Deeplying playmaker is creative, but is going to be to deep most of the time to set up that many chances for him, and will be doing a job off starting attacks off.

Ah yeah, understandable. Since I have a DLP (s) think I should drop that and replace it with AP (a) then? I've had an incredible turn around too since dropping TI and changing Goretzka to CM (d)

MKtKBYV.png

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I've played Schalke a fair bit - great team to play as, especially for youth development.

Loads of great comments here, I'll just add a couple of thoughts on player roles & positions - I build the team around Meyer, Draxler and Goretzka.

Meyer - for me, not really a DLP but has the potential to be one of the best APs in the game. Needs tutoring to get the best out of him to improve his determination and personality.

Draxler - I always set him as an IF, however if you want to have an IF/winger split on the two wings, consider setting a TI to swap the two wing positions. I see you have brought in Quintero, who should go just as well as the AML. Biggest downside of Draxler is his personality/determination. Incredibly hard to tutor as his reputation is already sky high, but really benefits if you are able to.

Goretzka - a brilliant foil to Meyer in the centre of the park. Harder working than Meyer, better defensively and almost as creative. Excels as a DLP, CM or BBM. If you have Meyer as an AP, try him as a BBM or CM at first if you think that best fits into your team - don't ignore his long shot, finishing and technique prowess ;)

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Ah yeah, understandable. Since I have a DLP (s) think I should drop that and replace it with AP (a) then? I've had an incredible turn around too since dropping TI and changing Goretzka to CM (d)

MKtKBYV.png

Well, I don't know the players like the post above, ignoring the personnel, I'd keep the DLP, works well with a Half back. If it were me, I'd choose a combo of Advanced Forward, and replace your CM (a) with a AP (a) or I'd choose a support role F9, DLF, or you could possibly get away with a TQ, and keep your CM (a) that said there is no reason why it can't work as you have it set up already, the biggest problem was to many TIs which you appear to be rectifying. Your results are looking well solid now lots of clean sheets.

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Ah yeah, understandable. Since I have a DLP (s) think I should drop that and replace it with AP (a) then? I've had an incredible turn around too since dropping TI and changing Goretzka to CM (d)

Glad it's going well for you, but it's a bloody crying shame to have Goretzka as a CM (d). Such a complete midfielder!

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As a thought experiment, try to set up a system that has no player nor team instructions enabled and still plays the way you want.

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Super turnaround and 7 clean sheets in a row is seriously impressive. Personally, the HB behaviour really suits a DLP in midfield as a close partner extremely well. So I would use a DLP (maybe Goretzka), with a BBM, AP(A) or CM(A) alongside him to offer a forward outlet.

I must say that a W(S) looks a total waste of Julian Draxler - who looks like he would be an unbelievable IF(A) instead

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Thanks for the advice guys. Sadly that form didn't last and I only just scraped 4th. I also went out CL early to Chelsea in the last 16 for the successive year in a row. I did win the German cup again though. Tweaked the tactic for the 3rd season, unbeaten in the first 13 league games and topped my CL group with two games remaining. Happy days so far. :thup:

xrANcw7.png

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