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gilfanon

Help needed, as Liverpool I am unable to beat West Brom...

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Hello!

Been reading this forum for a very long time, but now I feel the need to ask for help. FM 14 has been a very frustrating experience so far, but I've had some success at times. Mostly I just feel lucky when I do though, so I don't think I'm really getting it as it is. I've recently started a new save and thought I'd try to do something with some of the Barcelona style tactics I've seen floating around. This is my current tactic:

231670_2014-10-13_00002.png

My thoughts about TIs:

*Shorter Passing - it's the way I want to do things, a short passing game. My understanding is that playmakers are allowed some freedom from this.

*Work Ball Into Box - I like the idea that goals come from inside the box, preferably through nice throughballs and such.

*Much Higher Defensive Line - I like to compress space, win the ball back early. This one probably costs me a few goals, I've played without it as well.

*Roam From Positions - more freedom for the attacking players. Actually not sure how this affects the defense.

*Be More Expressive - again, more freedom in attack to do the unexpected (I hope).

Pre match screenshot:

231670_2014-10-13_00003.png

West Brom has been my boogie team since I started playing FM. It seems they always manage to play exceptionally well against my Liverpool, no matter formation or style of play. This particular match I've replayed ten times or more, and managed to win none of those. From what I've seen tactically they're playing narrow and not as deep as I would expect, but they are at home after all. Liam Ridgewell seem to be the more attacking full back. In midfield both Bradley Johnson and Ben Watson are playing deep, so I'm guessing Ben Watson plays as a DLPd. Youssouf Mulumbu seem to be going forward a bit more, but don't have the ball that much really, so I would guess a BWMs. On the right wing Morgan Amalfitano plays quite narrow, I'm guessing APs, but not sure really. Left wing Thiévy seem to be playing more like a inside forward, using his pace, though not doing much really. Up front Nicolas Anelka is doing a bit of everything, so most likely some kind of CFs. No idea how correct I am about this, but it's something I would try with the players available, perhaps.

My problem is that I have no way to beat this team. High line, deep line, low tempo, high tempo, using the flanks, trying through the middle it all ends upp being all square or I am getting battered by them. Most of the games West Brom also play like they're Barcelona and I can hardly borrow the ball from them. While doing that though, they manage to foul my team into submission. One red card in ten matches, and they still managed to get the equaliser after that in that game.

So the conclusion is I need help beating West Brom...

P.S. Sorry about the very large pictures.

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If it were me, I'd look at having a role that broke the lines... a CM(A) for example. Also, IMHO, you have no need for a HB against their formation, so a standard DM would be fine, or (if you still want 2 playmakers) a DLP(D).

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If it were me, I'd look at having a role that broke the lines... a CM(A) for example. Also, IMHO, you have no need for a HB against their formation, so a standard DM would be fine, or (if you still want 2 playmakers) a DLP(D).

So I tried this a few matches. First match I changed the APs to APa and the APa to CMa, I wanted to keep the APa, even though I changed him to MCL, because I've been getting good performances out of the role. Also changed the HBd to DLPd. We lost 3-2, with both our goals being lucky ones, a deflected free kick and an own goal from a corner. West Brom played some brilliant football, and Nicolas Anelka was once again clinical in front of goal. Even Mulumbu managed to force an error and get on the scoresheet. West Brom had the better passing percentage, had more of the ball, and more quality shots on target.

For the second match I tried changing the APa to CMa, and the HBd to DLPd. First half was quite good, got some good shots in, but Ben Foster apparently is the best keeper in the world. Second half seemed more compact, and couldn't get many quality shots in. Match ended 0-0 after West Brom almost snatched the victory with a powerful shout in the 85th minute...

Third match, I tried the same settings as match two, but removed the "Much Higher Defensive Line" TI and added "Drop Deeper" to try to engineer some space for my team to run into. The result was complete domination by West Brom, were they deservedly took the lead in the 23rd minute. Brilliant play between Nicolas Anelka and Thiévy were the latter could slot it into the net just inside the far post. The equaliser came through a corner a few minutes later, and felt mostly lucky because Mamadou Sakho lingered in the penalty box instead of running back. In the 36th minute West Brom took the lead because of a Simon Mignolet own goal where he managed to flip a cross ball into his own net. Better start to the second half, Daniel Sturridge makes it 2-2 in the 47th minute from a good counter attack, and in the 53rd minute he gets hold of a Steven Gerrard free kick and has an open goal to make it 2-3. In this match West Brom seemed to tire, for the first time, and it was relatively easy to see the game out and there were opportunities to extend the lead further.

So basically this sums up my Football Manager 2014 experience. Frustrating. If it's not beautiful play like their first goal of the last match it's individual errors like Mignolet fumbling the ball into his own net, they always manages to make my team look like they've never seen a pitch before. In my mind West Brom shouldn't be playing this good against Liverpool, even though I most likely will make some tactical errors. 3 wins out of 16 or 17 games is just not right, in my mind.

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Again, my preference, but going back to your initial set up, if you want to play a high line and compress space, I'd tend to play a more attacking mentality. I'd also be inclined to press (personally I have no issue with Hassle, especially if playing more fluid).

However, it's really for you to experiment and find your way of playing that suits you best.

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However, it's really for you to experiment and find your way of playing that suits you best.

That's basically what I have done, this tactic has produced some beautiful football at times. It is not as defensively solid as I'd like, but Liverpool defense hasn't been solid since Hyypiä left anyway. It's just that my expectations against a team like West Brom doesn't match how these matches play out, no matter the tactic. They always manage to produce performances of the year against me, for some reason.

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Why are you playing the same match over and over? This won't allow your team any time to adjust to new tactics. You need to set up your tactics and then play through several games, allow them to become familiar and make adjustments along the way.

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Why are you playing the same match over and over? This won't allow your team any time to adjust to new tactics. You need to set up your tactics and then play through several games, allow them to become familiar and make adjustments along the way.

The team is already familiar with the tactic, it's march and I've been doing ok during the season. What I wanted to do is get some feedback on why people think my Liverpool is performing so badly against West Brom. I've already continued the game, I kept a seperate save for this particular game, mostly because I think Liverpool should perform better. Obviously I seem unable to do well against them, no matter how I set up my tactic. Maybe a complete change of formation, but that would go against what I wanted to do with this particular save.

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I would not recommend making radical changes. How many seasons into the game are you?

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So how are they a bogey team? Sometimes you lose a game when you expect to win - that's football. If your tactics generally get good results, then you should just put it down to having a bad day and move on to the next match, don't dwell on one result. I don't understand why you would reload beause you lost a game.

It could be down to a team-talk you gave at the end of the last match or other factors in the build-up which has caused this performance, rather than your match tactics.

How are you doing in the league overall?

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Across many saves they've been playing some incredible football against my team. I've tried offensive and defensive styles, but very rarely will I get a comfortable result against West Brom, where I'm satisfied we won because we played better.

Anyway, I finished 5th, which is worse than I expected, but I can live with it. Going into season two now.

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I don't think you are a million miles away here.

A few ideas for you, that you may take something from.

Firstly, I'd lose the half back and choose a more sensible role for the job you need. A half back really is like a 3rd Center back as such, and I only really use them if I want both my full backs to act in an attacking manner. You also really need a player to link the play a bit better if you do wish to use one, your Advanced Playmakers are going to push forward, and the HB is going to drop back, this could definitely lead to disjointed play, and gaps appearing.

I don't mind 2 AP in the center, but be aware a lot of your play will be focused through the center, which can be good or bad depending on the game. I also don't think Gerrard or Henderson make especially great advanced play makers, especially Gerrard, his ppms, don't really suit, although he can no doubt play the role, I'm not sure it is his best role, and also be aware you wont get Gerrard on the pitch every game. Henderson is okay, but I find he is better as a CM (a) or B2B midfielder, he has a lot of energy, and although is okay as a playmaker role, he isn't anything special.

Sturridge is far better as a player that can run in behind, than a F9, not saying he can't play the F9 role reasonably well, but I don't think it plays to his strengths and would be far better as either an Advanced Forward, or if you really want a player dropping deep then use him as an Inside forward. If you are using 2 AP though in the middle you don't really need a F9 dropping deep, and an Advanced Forward would be a far better role for how you are set up. If you were to chose an Advanced Forward role, then I'd consider Coutinho as an AP on the Left side, as he really is more of a creator than an IF.

Anyway that was a lot of rambling so I will try to give some pointers that I feel will help.

* If you really want to use 2 AP in the center, then the F9 isn't really of much use as there wont be anyone really running beyond and into the space he is creating. An Advanced Forward is a more ideal role.

* If you really want to use a F9 I'd consider using a CM (A) or at the very least a B2B midfielder.

* If you really want to use a HB, then your midfield will need a lot more adjusting in my opinion to link the play.

I'd also be wary of Much Higher defensive line as Liverpool aren't that quick at the back, it seems a bit OTT as a starting point.

Be more expressive and roam from position is quite extreme too, and will have a big effect on how your team play, especially with 2 playmakers in the center, they will both roam with this setting I would imagine, which could create problems.

I have played a Liverpool save, and used that very formation the whole season, and won the league with some ease first season without signing anyone. It wasn't all that different from that set up, just a few minor changes.

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My first thought was that, with a F9, 2x Inside Forwards and 2 x Advance playmakers everything is going directly through the middle into their DM strata, where I assume, they'll be having an easy time of getting rid of it.

Then, when they win the ball back and transition to attack, the two AP's have to track back into the midfield where the halfback suddenly retreats into the defensive strata making your midfield completely open. Thus leading to plenty of time for WBA to attack and I would assume, players on Liverpool being pulled out of position as they try to cover the defence?

I'd switch things around to a defensive midfielder, a holding central midfield player who will stay back a bit to allow the IF's more space, and one other midfield player who can move up. That would probably offer some more solidity. But then I'm guessing, as I don't know how it would really be playing out.

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Lots of good advice in here.

My instinct was to look at your central midfield. Considering WBA's shape, they'll likely have one of each Duty in their trio, with an Attack Duty at MC and Defend at DM.

What I'd look to do is ditch your DM Role altogether because their Attack Duty MC will not necessarily be constantly in that gap between your DCs and MC. As such, I'd push the DM forward and use a flat 3 MCs with the expectation that in general play, this would allow you to dominate this central area as their DM is not likely to step into the MC area.

Still use a mix of Duties yourself to mitigate the threat of their central runner.

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I am with Kenco there. I don't think it makes much sense to reload a save over and over, unless you saved it well in advance. Sometimes, things you said in the press or to a player, or the form of your or the other team have set you up in a way that you would lose no matter the tweaks you do on match day - because all your actions beforehand add together to the result you will get.

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