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dieu

Analyze my tactic please

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As the title says I would like the community here to have a look at my tactics and give me some feedback on it. For educational purposes.

I know that I don't know much about the ME and why things happen. Mainly because of the way I play the game. I have tried watching matches in full to try and understand the ME, but so far I have not been able to really interpret what I see, and I think that watching the matches in full is just... Well... boring to be honest. Kudos to those that like to play that way, but it's not for me.

The way I play the game has been fairly constant since the first FM versions. I setup a tactic and I stick with it. Maybe change a little bit trough trial and error when a new game is released, but eventually I will stumble upon something that works for me, and I will stick to that, maybe change it a little bit again as I move up in the word, but not by much. I will always play the games at close to full speed with comprehensive highlights and I almost never react to changes the opposition make. I do use the shouts to change things about if it starts to go pear-shaped, but usually only to make minor changes while the shape stays about the same. (IE more direct in bad weather, more creative freedom if I need a goal and so on.)

That is the way I play and I am not going to change that anytime soon, because that is the way that works for me. And I have been fairly successful doing it that way. in FM14 for instance where I have taken Bristol City from League One obscurity to winning the Premier League three seasons in a row including a domestic treble and a League, League Cup and Champions League treble. When you play like this you have to accept that it will take time to achieve these things though and that you will have bad spells along the way.

I am telling you this to let you know that I am not writing this because I need a quick fix because I am doing badly or anything. I think that my tactics are good, even if it has one major flaw that I am aware of. But I do not know if am correct in my assumption that my tactic is good. It can be that I just have had players that are better than my ambition at that current time. For instance when I got promoted to the Premier League and just avoided relegation the following season. Did I do that because I had players that should have been good enough in the right tactical setup to finish much higher than I did? Did I succeed in spite of my tactics?

I would like someone with more tactical know how than I to take a look if they have the time.

I'd like to know why does it work (or that it really should not work). What's good about it and what is bad. Does it have major flaws besides the glaringly obvious? Ok, so here it is. Feel free to be brutally honest if you want to. I'll explain the thought process after the images.

wDefFB.jpg

My thinking here is that I want to put pressure on the opponent and force him to make mistakes. That is why I push up my back line and instruct my players to hassle the opponent, but I do not want them to make needless bad tackles so I instruct them to stay on their feet. I want one creative outlet in midfield so I have a DPL on support there aiming to drop deep and create from the back.

My thinking behind two BWM in the DM slots is that I want them to push up, work their asses of hasseling the opposition, win me the ball and distribute it to my DPL, but I am afraid that they will push to high if I have them in a CM slot.

Since I don't have any wingers I need my full backs to bomb forward and create width for me (Hence the WB-A instruction on the full backs, play wider and look for overlap instruction).

When I have the ball I wanted my team to keep the ball and look for opportunities when they arrive. That's why I have retain possession, play out of defence and work ball into box.

And the reason I have run at defence is that I want my offensive players to be able to run at the opponent and create panics with their pace and dribbeling skills.

Offensive I want players in the box to convert my wing backs crosses into goals, thats why I have a shadow striker and an advanced forward. Also their job is to hassle opponents when I don't have the ball. (Again my overall goal is to hassle the opponent all the time when they have the ball. Never give them a moments rest. And finally the reason I have chosen a CF instead of a false 9 or a DLF is because I have a C.Ronaldo type player that I just want to going about doing his own thing, and creating mayhem. I used to play with a DFL in that role before.

Players inscructions:

zyl2GP.jpg

I noticed that my keeper had a lot of misplaced passes when he punted the ball upfield so I instructed him to distribute to defenders so that I could keep the ball. The style is after all based on possession)

jJ43ya.jpg

This is because my Full Back had a lot of shots from bad angels and because they have no defensive support they collected a lot of cards/free kicks. (Still do, but not as bad as before.)

hMKT8k.jpg

I noticed that my CF took to many shots from bad positions so I restricted his shooting a bit. Now he's more of a creative outlet that creates chances for others.

And that was that. Analyze away :thup:

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I'll try to tackle the early questions first and then throw in my observations about the system.

For instance when I got promoted to the Premier League and just avoided relegation the following season. Did I do that because I had players that should have been good enough in the right tactical setup to finish much higher than I did? Did I succeed in spite of my tactics?

When you get promoted, you have the advantage for at least half the season of maintaining the element of surprise. Until teams play against you once, they don't really know how you play. They will underestimate you and your system potentially catches them unawares as it has central numbers and aggressive running on both flanks and from the AMC. Whilst your reputation will increase a bit upon promotion, it won't have increased enough for the AI to be wary of you.

The system

I like how you detailed how you want to play and it makes sense more often than not when you mention why you've chosen the Roles you have.

I find it especially interesting that you use two BWMs at DM. The advice we usually dish out is that you wouldn't want a pair of BWMs at CM in a 4-2-3-1 (as an example) as they will chase the ball and leave a massive gap behind. Using them from DM partially addresses that by ensuring they start from a deeper position, but it may also mean they end up pressing ineffectively if they are having to run a greater distance to Close Down the AI. I'm interested to hear how this works for you as the selection of a DLP (who will be deepish) may help to balance this out.

Stay On Feet for me is a bit wasted if you are wanting to press the opponent and force mistakes. Your guys are making all the effort to get to the ball carrier, but will then only put a foot in if they are confident they can win the ball cleanly. What this could result in is players pressing hard and leaving their defensive base, only to mince about and allow the AI time to pick a pass into the space vacated by the pressing player.

Given the shape of the team and the construct of the midfield, your Wing Backs make perfect sense. There's sense in using Play Wider as it will direct passing out to the flanks, but Look For Overlap seems a waste of time because you have already got Attacking Wing Backs. By adding this TI you'll bump their Mentality further, so I'm wondering if you might as well just use a CWB possibly.

When I have the ball I wanted my team to keep the ball and look for opportunities when they arrive. That's why I have retain possession, play out of defence and work ball into box.

Retain Possession will lower your tempo and shorten the passing length. It doesn't sit comfortably with your high pressing game - you bust your balls to win the ball, but then just pass it about slowly? That seems like a chance for the AI to regroup and undoes all the work you have done fighting to win the ball. Play Out Of Defence will just make your DCs and BWMs pass shorter. It makes sense from a possession retaining point of view but, like Retain Possession, doesn't really fit the main pressing aim IMO.

Run At Defence isn't a TI I use much, so I can't really comment much here. Again, I wonder how compatible it is with the pressing game. It is faster to pass a ball than run with it, so arguably you want the attacking guys to play in the direct manner they do on Control by default. This might just take the incisive edge off their play.

Hope this helps in some way or at least gives food for thought :thup:

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Well my reason for using two BWM's in DM is as I said that I actually want them to have more freedom in their movement. The though was that since I lack defensive cover in wide positions, I want DM's that will be more inclined to leave their central position and drift wide to support my full backs. As far as I can see from the highlights it's rare that the opposition is one on one against my full backs, because I usually have a midfielder that has drifted wide to help out. If that would happen with more static DM roles as well. I can't tell, but at least that is my reasoning behind my choice. As far as I can tell it looks to be working quite well.

I did not use stay on feet at first, but then I conceded a silly amount of free kicks and cards. I topped the yellow/red-card statistic by a landslide so I made the change in the hope that it would help bring down my foul count and also concede less yellow/red cards. However I can't say that it has helped much, and I do see your point that it's not really in sync with my pressing game so maybe I should try removing it for a few games and see what happens.

I did not use look for overlap initially either, that change came about because I struggled to break teams down once my reputation was high enough. It looked to me like I was trying to much to break through in the middle so I changed it. I did not use to score a lot of goals from crosses before, but now my SS scores a good amount of goals arriving late in the box to slot home a cross from my wing backs.

I was thinking of Guardiolas Barcelona when I created this tactics. IMO their game is as much about high pressing and winning the ball back quickly when they lose it, as it is passing the ball around looking for an opening. That's somewhat the idea behind my tactic. I wanted to be solid in midfield and create triangles so that my players always has at least two options when picking a pass. Keep the ball going. Let the opponent chase and tire them. Look for the opening. Like Barca I wanted it to be almost impossible to take the ball of me when I had it. But when I lost the ball I wanted my players to be right in the faces of the opponent. Relentless hassling until possession is regained.

I chose run at defence because I did not want my players to be a bit more unpredictable. The passing game is my main weapon, but I wanted my players to do the unpredictable from time to time as well. Like the overlap instruction this one was also selected at a time when I was struggling to break teams down. Maybe I'll change this one to be more expressive instead?

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Is there anyone else that feels like taking this one on? Usually on threads like this the focus is on what the weaknesses are. Maybe we could turn it around and look at the strengths of the tactic, and try to explain why it works?

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Is there anyone else that feels like taking this one on? Usually on threads like this the focus is on what the weaknesses are. Maybe we could turn it around and look at the strengths of the tactic, and try to explain why it works?

I just think you have way too many team instructions. With your mentality, philosophy, role and duty selection you are already telling your team to play a certain way. Team instructions can be used to make these instructions more extreme, more balanced or add a certain style.

Some more specific points:

- Play wider + look for overlap + control mentality. To me that screams "Lets play an expansive wide game to break down opponents". Now you add retain possession which kills your tempo and passing length which to me seems silly and takes a way a lot of potential danger from your wide style of play.

- Stay on feet + hassle opponents and control mentality. That just seems extremely dangerous to me. You give every player max closing down instruction but tell them to not put in a challenge. Borderline suicidal football in my eyes. I'd imagine you create huge gaps in your defense when the opponent has a fast break on the flanks. A much more reliable option to me would be push higher up instead of hassle opponents and removing stay on feet. You can also go all out and use get stuck in and push higher up which relies on having enough pressure on the ball so they can't put players through on goal with a through ball. Risky but better than playing in "limbo" by trying an in-between option imo. Another alternative is to play deep instead which is a lot safer for throughballs but susceptible to long shots and crosses to a big striker.

- I would be inclined to play a 3 man defense with this setup. Move one DM into the CB slot, move one DM up to the MC slot as BWM or CM(d). Alternatives would be playing one half back and one defensive midfielder in the MC position or maybe playing both DM's as DM on defend or support duty. Just feels more reliable to me. That said maybe your DM's are performing fantastically as is (never tried two BWM's) so watch the opponents chances and see how they position themselves.

- "Run at defense" doesn't make sense to me at all. Your attacking players are already fairly likely to run with the ball and run at defense decreases their likelyhood to play throughballs favoring to dribble instead.

btw. On to the strenghts: A three man attack in front of a solid defensive base with wingbacks for wide support (wingbacks are pretty strong this FM) is a classic setup. Furthermore it makes a clear choice in how to defend (press high) which is very important imo (lots of tactics fail and just kinda press but also kinda drop deep which only really works if you are the better side). Just a well balanced clear setup with good defensive plan, no reason it shouldn't work.

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As someone who has been adopting and adapting a similar (in some respects) approach I'd suggest that you benefit from encouraging opponents to play against the touchlines.

They could try to play through your heavily populated midfield, but your shape actively encourages them to the flanks where they face reduced passing outlets in threatening areas - I'd expect that a lot of their attacks come from crosses into a well defended box.

You're right that your BWMs will step out to back up your wingbacks - even just one of these at DM will help on that front - again cutting off potential passing lanes to an opponent's wide man.

Take a look at the post match analysis tools and I'd be surprised if your opponents are completing a lot of passes in the central channel of your final third.

@JLAspey on Twitter laid some really nice foundations for that sort of approach, and that's what I've been building on to great effect.

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