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FM15 FMC Where am I going Wrong? Underachieving

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Background Info

In most previous versions of FM I have downloaded tactics and have been very scared of creating my own. It seemed that no matter what I created, despite it's sense in my eyes, I would fail miserably and not reach a good enough standard. However I'm determined to change in this version. As always I start with my team, Cardiff City.Cardiff obviously have recently been relegated and at the start of the game have the squad capable of going up. I created a simple 4-4-2 for the first season. This seemed very effective away from home but was capable of some unpredictable results, leaving me battling for promotion. At the end of the season despite being 1st with less than 10 games left, I bottled it before losing in the play-offs to Norwich. Now I know what you're thinking, why do you ask for help?

Well in truth, I had a team which should have walked the league. Ben Davies/Emre Can/James Wilson were all fantastic players not to mention other great championship players such as Johnny Russell/Matt Ritchie as other additions. I'm now reaching November in the second season and have been all over the shop. 3 wins have come from last minute winners and I'm currently 14th in the league with no seeming change imminent. Granted it's a tougher league than last season's and despite selling Bruno Ecuele Manga etc my squad is ridiculously good for the Championship.

Here's my players/instructions:

GK: David Marshall - possibly best in the league

LB: Bob Harris/Fabio Da Silva/Declan John Full Back - Defend - Although not as good as Davies, is still solid enough.

CB: Ben Turner/Wes Brown Centre left - Defend - Again, great standard for the Championship

CB: Sean Morrison Centre right - Defend - £4M IRL and should be a rock

RB: Micah Richards/Gaetano Berardi Full Back - Defend - Obviously top half Prem standard for Micah. Great defending attributes so kept him on 'Defend' poor going forward.

CDM: Josep Radosevic/Kagisho Dikagcoi/Tom Adeyemi - Defensive Midfielder - Defend - Often over-ran in midfield last season so switched full backs to 'Defend' and wanted a CDM to tidy up the defence...

CM: Francesco Lodi/Peter Whittingham/Aron Gunnarsson - Deep Lying Playmaker - Support - Played Whitts on the left last seasonb, wanted to use his special technique to unlock defencer yet sit in midfield. Lodi has fantastic passing and set pieces so brough him in as competition.

RM: Matt Ritchie/Federico Bernardeschi - Wide Midfield Right - Support - Whenever I put them on attack I leak goals in... Quality Championship players

LM: Vaclav Pilar/Scott Sinclair - Winger - Support - Approached Pilar in Jan when dominating thhe league and brought Sinclair in the summer. Both Prem players not doing enough???

ST: Eduardo Vargas/Javi Guerra - Deep Lying Forward - Support - Vargas does better than in the other ST role. Quality again.

ST: James Wilson/ Johnny Russell/Adam Le Fondre - Advanced Forward - Attack - Wilson was unreal last season, best player so far.

As you can see I have players there(Richards/Vargas/Pilar/Sinclair) etc who should be playing mid-table of the Premiership not the Championship. I got them in on a free by the way before anyone accuses me of cheating... (bar Sinclair). I really like playing with 2 strikers up front and felt I've earnt the right to play attacking football with the squad that I've built. I tend to start games on Standard mentality with a Stuctured shape. To lose 2-0 at home to Brentford therefore is absurd. Tactics seem very difficult yet again and reallistically with this squad I should be winning games due to them alone...

I have the following Team Instructions (Believe me, I have tinkered):

Play Wider - Due to the quality of width and lack of central players

Stick to Positions - To compliment the structured shape, especially in defence.

More Direct Passing Don't have enough central players to carry a possesion based game, to try and set up attacks quickly and get the ball to the feet of the better players

High Tempo - To go with More Direct Passing - in order to catch teams off guard with the quality in attack...

Be More Expressive - For players such as Whittingham/Lodi to unlock defences...

Does this make any sense. Is 5 instructions the norm? I would appreciate any guides which could help me(In process of reading the stickied llama3 topic)

Really eager to learn and try and nail tactics. Although it's very frustrating being 14th I feel as if I've learned plenty already which is good stuff. The January transfer window is upcoming and I could probably invest more but realistically I should have enough to see me charge up the league.

Cheers

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As this is FMC and there's no tactical familiarity I thought I'd give a 3 game update. Having done some reading myself I learned about Direct Passing an it's possibly negative influence in my play. I therefore concentrated and spent 10 minutes simply thinking about where I was possibly going wrong. I therefore changed very minor instructions and went from 5 to 4:

Short Passing Although I'd like quick, attacking play, having read JMDownie's advice, I stopped the directness and tried to keep it short. Let's not forget I have players technically capable of playing short passes at a quick pace and the 'Be More Expressive' instruction should still let Whittingham/Lodi try killer passes.

Stick to Positions - After evaluating alternayives, I felt that positioning was key to my team e.e DM/CM

Be More Expressive - Kept this as I have plenty of creativity running through the side. Amongst a structured shape and line-up, this will hopefully contrast nicely.

Play Wider - Didn't need to tinker here.

Minor changes but deleting 'Direct passing' should see me use the ball better. Also deleted 'High Tempo'. Frustrating as I felt these should have worked and I question in what situation could these work? Gives my players time to calm down and use the ball.

Game 1: Cardiff City 1-0 Sheffield United - Happy with the 3 points with a late Johnny Russell goal. Sheffield have just been promoted and ideally the scoreline would have been far better.

Game 2: Peterborough United 0-2 Cardiff City - Another newly promoted side. The performance pleased me most. Really comfortable and both strikers netting(Vargas/Guerra). Changed to an attacking mentality before setting to control as the second went in. Can't get too carried away but positives.

Game 3: Cardiff City 1-1 Fulham - Really should have won this. Had so many chances which I'm chuffed about. Scott Sinclair hit the post around 3 times! Fulham had 1 attack and 1 goal(Peter Crouch). Can't really complain as Fulham in the championship is always going to be a very tough game. All these chances spurned is a possible issue, especially considering the wealth of strikers I have who should be netting regularly. James Wilson is out for 2-3 months but Johnny Russell's efforts were embarassing.

Will monitor the amount of chances missed and perhaps try and tweak it. 7 points from 9 is great. Somehow I'm still 16th but more importantly I'm 10 points above relegation and amazingly only 5 points below the play-off spots. Will continue these 3 game updates and keep you updates. Please don't hesitate to comment/tips!

Next 3 games are:

A Birmingham(9th)

H Sunderland (6th)

A Rotherham(24th)

6 out of 9 would be great. No excuses at Rotherham!

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A couple things I think we would want to know before giving real specific advice. First, in what areas are you underperforming? Are you giving up goals? Are you not scoring enough? Are you getting outplayed or generally dominant but failing to put teams away? One of the key things to getting a tactic to click is to identify where you believe it is letting you down, especially in comparison to what you expect to see happen.

A couple of minor points on your set-up: first, it doesn't appear you are leaving yourself many attack options. With both your wide mids set on support, a DLP in the middle on support, and a dlf on support up front, you are really left with just your AF attacking the box and aggressively getting forward to goal. Based on what I see with the setup, you are likely to see him isolated.

Your two wingers are not going to get into scoring position with support duties, so I assume you are looking for them to cross or pass it in to the middle for the chances. Your DLF is dropping off during the build-up, your DM is staying back on a defend duty, the DLP naturally plays a deeper lying position, so who is getting to the area or into the box to receive the crosses or passes from out wide? You need to have a couple of more scoring option because as it appears, if your AF gets well-marked or pushed out of the play, your whole attack is neutralized. Does this appear to match what you are seeing? Without more to go on, this is what I would diagnose.

As for the TI's, five is not too many, as long as they are doing what you want them to do. Your explanations for why you are using them are rational, save for the be more expressive. Not saying it's bad, but if you are looking to specific players to do the creating, then I would prefer to use the PI on them rather than for the whole team. You probably don't want your centerbacks getting clever with their passing (but you might??). With the direct passing and high temp checked, how is your possession? Are you giving away too much?

Anyway, this is my take on it, and others will likely spot other things. In any case, a bit more info would be good.

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3 game update:

Game 1 - Birmingham City 2-0 Cardiff City - A draw would have been fair here but having average players such as Lee Novak and David Cotterill dominating us here is unacceptable. Would have loved a point.

Game 2 - Cardiff City 3-0 Sunderland - Similarly comfortable to the Peterborough game. Really enjoyable and Scott Sinclair was superb again.

Game 3 Rotherham 1-1 Cardiff City [/b] - So, so frustrating. Was so close to being 6 points out of 9 and another great set of games. Similar to my draw at Blackpool last season which proved costly.

Some observations:

Personally - In this thread I realise I should point out where I think I'm going wrong/where I think I'm going well. Pointless me saying I'm underachieving etc. Even writing these updates let me think and learn more myself.

- Postives - Since my changes I have seen a major improvement in Scott Sinclair(winger - support). He hit the post 3 times against Fulham and has generally been getting himself in the box and producing goods e.e goal+ assist vs Fulham. Pilar is finding it difficult to get a game.

(Sidenote) Despite Sinclair's form, my opposite winger(Matt Ritchie - Wide Midfielder - support) has been relatively quiet. Can conjure brilliance but nowhere near as noticebale as Sinclair. Possible change here?

Negatives - My strikers missing chances is worrying. I don't seem to create enough in truth and despite starting with an Attacking mentality at Rotherham I created very little, especially no clear chances. Russell(Advanced Forward) seems to shoot from stupid angles and isn't getting enough service. I feel as if I'm critical of him when in fact if he gets chances he will bury them.

To consider? - Interestingly I seem to be conceding many goals from crosses/corners. For example in the last 4 games - Peter Crouch/Roberge/Trotta(not great in the air) have all scored from them. This is worrying and could need addressing. Any tips?

Plenty to ponder then. Due to my comments in the negatives section I'm considering the 'Work Ball into the box' instruction. Having removed the high tempo and added short passing I believe this could solve striker chances problem. I have the players capable of doing so and think this could benefit me.

Next 3 games:

A Millwall(4th)

A Bolton(14th)

H Millwall(4th)

Odd + tough = hopefully overachieve!

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A couple things I think we would want to know before giving real specific advice. First, in what areas are you underperforming? Are you giving up goals? Are you not scoring enough? Are you getting outplayed or generally dominant but failing to put teams away? One of the key things to getting a tactic to click is to identify where you believe it is letting you down, especially in comparison to what you expect to see happen.

A couple of minor points on your set-up: first, it doesn't appear you are leaving yourself many attack options. With both your wide mids set on support, a DLP in the middle on support, and a dlf on support up front, you are really left with just your AF attacking the box and aggressively getting forward to goal. Based on what I see with the setup, you are likely to see him isolated.

Your two wingers are not going to get into scoring position with support duties, so I assume you are looking for them to cross or pass it in to the middle for the chances. Your DLF is dropping off during the build-up, your DM is staying back on a defend duty, the DLP naturally plays a deeper lying position, so who is getting to the area or into the box to receive the crosses or passes from out wide? You need to have a couple of more scoring option because as it appears, if your AF gets well-marked or pushed out of the play, your whole attack is neutralized. Does this appear to match what you are seeing? Without more to go on, this is what I would diagnose.

As for the TI's, five is not too many, as long as they are doing what you want them to do. Your explanations for why you are using them are rational, save for the be more expressive. Not saying it's bad, but if you are looking to specific players to do the creating, then I would prefer to use the PI on them rather than for the whole team. You probably don't want your centerbacks getting clever with their passing (but you might??). With the direct passing and high temp checked, how is your possession? Are you giving away too much?

Anyway, this is my take on it, and others will likely spot other things. In any case, a bit more info would be good.

Thank you very much for this post. Regarding my information I might have addressed some issues in my new post a few minutes ago. As you can see I'm underperforming up front really and conceding from crosses/set pieces. Despite having an attacking mentality against bottom of the league Rotherham I didn't seem to create enough chances and the mentality ultimately probably left me vulnerable.

Do you suggest changing my LM to an attacking mentality? He certainly has the attributes and Sinclair(15 finishing) and Pilar(14 finishing) should be prolific if given opportunities. If he can improve further it'd be fantastic after his awesome form. What would you suggest for my RM? As explained in my last update he's been a bit quiet and should be getting more involved but I'm worried if both my wingers had 'Attack' mentalities that we'd be vulnerable.

Thanks very much on your advice for the 'Be More expressive' tip. I will do as you said. My centre backs (Turner/Morrison/Brown) really aren't very technically gifted so removing this yet keeping my creative players expressive could be a massive help.

Cheers!

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save for the be more expressive. Not saying it's bad, but if you are looking to specific players to do the creating, then I would prefer to use the PI on them rather than for the whole team.

There's a PI to make individuals more expressive?

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There's a PI to make individuals more expressive?

Not as such; in this case I was thinking of "more risky passes" rather than be more expressive. If he has the more creative players with good vision, passing, decisions, that would be the one. There used to be a creative freedom in the old days. :o It sucks being human sometimes :p

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3 Game update:

Almost a very happy Christmas!

Few changes before these games: Following Dr Hook's advice I removed 'Be more Expressive' and gave the DLP(CM) and the DLF(ST) the instruction of *direct passing*. I couldn't seem to use 'risky passes' but the description was similar. Lodi/Whittingham's technique should shine through and Javi Guerra's creativity meant this would be fantastic, as proven below!

Game 1 Millwall 0-0 Cardiff City - Milwall are fourth and the draw is a great result. Almost nicked it at the end. Millwall had dominated the first half so changed to counter where we looked great. I also changed my LM from 'Support' to attack. Over the course of the game I apllied this with more confidence and Sinclair gets himself in far better positions.

Game 2 Bolton 0-2 Cardiff City [/b] - This game highlighted the changes Dr Hook suggested. After having clearer routes to goal my new direct passing DLF Javi Guerra sprayed a 40 yard ball to Johnny Russell who was in a far greater position to score than he has been. After changing my LM's instructions to 'Attack' earlier than the Millwall game, Bolton simply couldn't deal with the pressure and it was Pilar himself who bagged the goal getting in a great position he wouldn't have reached if he was on 'Support'

Game 3 Cardiff City 0-2 Millwall [/b] - After 2 great games I stumbled in the return game. Much gelling was needed as I fielded my backup players due to the heavy Christmas schedule. Conceded an early 30 yard wonder goal and yet another cross...? I was really aphrensive about which strategy/shape to pick in this situation. Some reading to do perhaps.

Despite the poor Millwall home game my team's morale has improved and let's not forget they're 4th. My 2 main strikes (James Wilson + Eduardo Vargas) will be returning soon. Wilson was unreal in the same role last season under a different formation so hopefully he'll start to click if my new instructions can help him get clearer chances.

Next 3 games:

H Bradford(17th)

A Southampton(FA CUP - Premiership) - will field second team. Need a big push for the second half of the season.

A Wolves (18th)

2 huge games which could really set a marker for the rest of the season.

P.S Fulham approached me! 10M transfer budget! Rejected :)

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Thank you very much for this post. Regarding my information I might have addressed some issues in my new post a few minutes ago. As you can see I'm underperforming up front really and conceding from crosses/set pieces. Despite having an attacking mentality against bottom of the league Rotherham I didn't seem to create enough chances and the mentality ultimately probably left me vulnerable.

Do you suggest changing my LM to an attacking mentality? He certainly has the attributes and Sinclair(15 finishing) and Pilar(14 finishing) should be prolific if given opportunities. If he can improve further it'd be fantastic after his awesome form. What would you suggest for my RM? As explained in my last update he's been a bit quiet and should be getting more involved but I'm worried if both my wingers had 'Attack' mentalities that we'd be vulnerable.

Thanks very much on your advice for the 'Be More expressive' tip. I will do as you said. My centre backs (Turner/Morrison/Brown) really aren't very technically gifted so removing this yet keeping my creative players expressive could be a massive help.

Cheers!

We seem to posting at the same time :D

Okay, I noticed you had noted some issues and fixed them which is great, because that is so rewarding in FM. So for the attack, yes, I would have at one wide man on an attack duty, and would consider cut inside as a PI so he can support your advanced forward. You can even put your left back on a support duty to provide for some options when your winger cuts in. I think you are right in not wanting both wingers on attack, as they could get caught upfield. If it is just on one side (your left side) you have your FB there and the DM also, but you don't want to have wide open space on either flank. I think based on your post below, you are getting to where you want. But definitely you need to get at least one more player on attack.

Now depending on how much risk you are willing to bear, your CM might do well as a CM on attack, or as a box to box to come later into the area and provide another scoring option. If you are relying on him to be the main creative fulcrum, though, that wouldn't suit you. But think about it, as a third attack option. Even if he leaves a hole (with reward always comes risk) you have a DM and your 2 CBs to provide cover.

If you go more attacking at the CM spot, you might even consider putting your DM on to a support duty. I do this regularly with a 4-4-2 narrow diamond and find that he'll move up a bit more to cover the holes, but not so far that he becomes a liability. You still have your two CBs behind him in any event.

Most of all, I am happy your are finding a little success and enjoying the tinkering!

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Another 3 game update!

Background info - Having slowly introduces my LM(Winger - Support) to a Winger - Attack instuction my team has been far more clinical in these set of games:

Game 1 - Cardiff City 3-0 Bradford [/b] - Get in. We were 1 place above Bradford before this game. 47 seconds in and my new attacking LM Pilar scores!!! Shame it was offside. This wouldn't hinder him though as he was unstoppable - assisting 2 goals . The other assist coming from recently changed DLP striker Guerra who's creativity is really shining through. My striker Adam Le Fondre proves that with the service, he will score! Awesome stuff.

Game 2 Southampton 4-0 Cardiff City (FA CUP) - Players out of position etc. Just couldn't have cared less.

Game 3 Wolves 1-3 Cardiff City - YES. Wolves were also roughly 18th so great to have got these results. Le Fondre got a hat-trick when he's my third choice here! Can't wait for James Wilson to return now! Wolves were on top but I quickly changed to 'Counter'. I hit them 3 times on the counter and we seem to enjoy this mentality - I shall be exploring more! Assists from that man Pilar on the left again, my DLP Lodi who lodged a great through ball and my right winger with a nice cross. A sort of hat-trick for me in terms of how rewarding that is!

Next up 3 tough games - entering with confidence, but still wary that these are real challenges!

H Nottingham Forest(5th)

A Bournemouth(7th)

H Blackburn (3rd)

After my confusion at which mentality to use against similar standard teams at home for example Millwall(who were 4th), I really hope I don't bottle these. I've climbed to 6 points from play-offs and am 12th. 18 points above the relegation zone is very comforting

January transfer window aims:

Don't really need a player to suit my tactic in fairness. Might try and bulk up my central defenders as I only have 3 in Turner/Morrison/Brown. Obviously if the right player comes along I shall explore.

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We seem to posting at the same time :D

Okay, I noticed you had noted some issues and fixed them which is great, because that is so rewarding in FM. So for the attack, yes, I would have at one wide man on an attack duty, and would consider cut inside as a PI so he can support your advanced forward. You can even put your left back on a support duty to provide for some options when your winger cuts in. I think you are right in not wanting both wingers on attack, as they could get caught upfield. If it is just on one side (your left side) you have your FB there and the DM also, but you don't want to have wide open space on either flank. I think based on your post below, you are getting to where you want. But definitely you need to get at least one more player on attack.

Now depending on how much risk you are willing to bear, your CM might do well as a CM on attack, or as a box to box to come later into the area and provide another scoring option. If you are relying on him to be the main creative fulcrum, though, that wouldn't suit you. But think about it, as a third attack option. Even if he leaves a hole (with reward always comes risk) you have a DM and your 2 CBs to provide cover.

If you go more attacking at the CM spot, you might even consider putting your DM on to a support duty. I do this regularly with a 4-4-2 narrow diamond and find that he'll move up a bit more to cover the holes, but not so far that he becomes a liability. You still have your two CBs behind him in any event.

Most of all, I am happy your are finding a little success and enjoying the tinkering!

Thanks very much mate! I shall consider the 'cut inside' PPI but find many greyed out sometimes ? My RM has produced some moments of magic and I might also suggest for him to play more directly as he has 13 passing and is technically gifted.

Regarding the DLP. At the moment Lodi/Whittingham are improving. Should I stick them on 'Attack'?(Is that even possible?) I am tempted as my defence has been fairly solid of late but have to choose wisely.

As you say, very rewarding. Cheers!

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Sorry if this is boring people but even writing this down helps me out remembering the details!

Game 1 Cardiff City 0-2 Nottingham Forest - Identical to the Millwall game. I didn't change anything and despite the game running smoothly I decided to go attacking in the second half = BIG mistake. Must learn!

Game 2 Bournemouth(7th) 2-3 Cardiff City - Gutted to have conceded 2 late goals as I was strolling 3-0 at one point. My third away win in a row! Was very happy with the way I switched between counter and in fact despite going in at half-time 0-0 kept the faith and stuck with 'Standard'. What a win, having Vargas back is key in the Deep Forward role!

Game 3 Cardiff City 2-0 Blackburn (3rd) - 2 big scalps. I said these would be challenging and I've proved that we can beat anybody!. I realised that I simply couldn't start the way I did against 2 similar situations(Millwall/Forest). I therefore used the instruction 'Work ball into box' and told my RM(Wide Midfielder, Support) Matt Ritchie to play more risky passes. It worked. The build up was patient and slow, bringing the best out of my Deep Lying Playmaker who assisted Vargas(DLF). My in form rejuvinated LM(winger - attack) kept his goalscoring run as DR Hook suggested.

Really good stuff, 12 points out of 18 and am now 9th! What a turnaround. Next 3 games:

A Derby(1st) - nice in a way. After 3 away wins I can go there without pressure and try and get something from the game

H Reading(22nd) - Must win

A Ipswich (19th)

Another 6 points out of 9 is there for the taking...

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Issue

Home form. My away form has been immense but despite a cracking win against Blackburn, my latest home result leaves much to be desired.

Game 1 Derby(1st) 0-2 Cardiff City - Wow. Rode my luck on this one. They were dominating and I was clinging on when it reached half-time. I settled on a defensive mentality but told my players the instruction 'Lower the tempo' which seemed to calm them down, letting me work the ball. We won a penalty and caught them on a counter. What a bonus! Show the confidence I now have of using mentalities etc a bit better although I can be poor at times!

Game 2 Cardiff City 1-1 Reading - Frustrating. Another goal from a corner conceded. I then went attacking and got the goal. Perhaps should have stuck with standard?

Game 3 Ipswich 1-2 Cardiff City [/b] - My 5th away win in a row which is pretty amazing. We dominated the game and should have got more really. Held on though.

A plea for help - Think it's about time I explore the issue behind conceding from corners/set pieces/crosses. No idea where to start/don't want to affect other areas

Minor issue? My Deep lying forward seems to be a bit inconsistent. As Dr Hook mentioned he can go missing at times. Occasionally will pop up with goals but Eduardo Vargas at Championship level should be strolling. Although he's injured now, Guerra comes in who seems to do better there. Would an attacking mentality conflict with my Advanced Forward's role?

Next 3:

H Charlton (20th) - please don't **** up.

A Wigan(12th) - Could it be a 6th?

H Palace(4th) - Need to copy the Blacburn game rather than Millwall/Forest.

I keep on surprising myself and am almost 3 points away from the play-offs. Wow!. Building from recent 6 points out of 9 as this week we picked up 7 but really should have been 9!

Any tips or comments please feel free :)

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Crash Dump. Back to the Blackburn game...

Will replay until I get the same amount of points as where I am now...

Beat Charlton 3-2 by the way.

Lost 2-0 to Wigan.

Roles reversed in terms of form !

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Even just reading through other people brainstorming and troubleshooting tactics is giving me a good idea about how to approach things. Keep it up.

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I have never been good at creating my own tactic and in the past I have always used somebody else's as a base and then tinkering with it. Having read this I have been inspired to give it another go. Going to start a new game with Brighton.

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Even just reading through other people brainstorming and troubleshooting tactics is giving me a good idea about how to approach things. Keep it up.

Much appreciated, cheers.

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I have never been good at creating my own tactic and in the past I have always used somebody else's as a base and then tinkering with it. Having read this I have been inspired to give it another go. Going to start a new game with Brighton.

Likewise I have always shy'd away from starting from scratch. Good luck. I do think that starting a tactic from scratch in the Championship is very difficult, probably down to how anyone can beat anyone in this division! Perhaps why I've failed in the past?

Good luck to you, and cheers for the comments :)

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Ok after finally playing the same games again until I reached the exact same total of points I am now 2 points from the play-offs!. As previously mentioned the crash dump happened right at the beginning of the Crystal Palace game.

My 2 games between my last update and the crash dump were:

Game 1 - Cardiff City 3-2 Charlton Athletic Difficult to remember some details but I do remember focusing on changing things around. Having drawn at home to a similarly low placed side in Reading I tried to change things around. Think I added work ball into box instruction. Also noticed something unusual - Charlton were playing many through balls over the top. To counter this I simply told my team through the instruction Sit Deeper which seemed to tidy up the defence although they nearly equalized at the end. Came back from behind in this game so was chuffed with my in play tactics.

As 'Dr Hook' previously mentioned - my attack was a bit light in that only my Advanced Forward(ST) had 'attack' mentality. Since then readers will know I've changed my LM Winger mentality to 'Attack' as well. I feel I haven't been as clinical in terms of dominating these poor teams at home so I changed my Deep Lying Forward(ST)'s mentality to 'Attack' as well. This complimented his creativity and he got 2 assists!!!

Game 2 - Wigan Athletic 2-0 Cardiff City [/b] - Readers will know that my away form has been pretty awesome. I can't recall changing much as I didn't want to jinx anything! ;) Perhaps my luck ran out although I'm a firm believer that you can always improve.

Note I replayed the pre-crash dump games using the 'instant result' function. Even reading the descriptions gave me some idea of when to use 'Control'. I'd like to have a better idea of when to implement the Counter & Control Mentalities. I've used them fairly well in the past but feel that I do it very randomly or without real knowledge behind the decision. Plenty to learn!

3 tough games now(pray that there's no crash dump again!)

H Crystal Palace (who are now 1st - typical!)

A Leeds(16th) - Winnable

H West Brom (4th) - Need another solid home performance

12 games to go!

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Feel a bit sick in truth.

Game 1 Cardiff City 0-1 Crystal Palace(1st) - God knows how I didn't score. Palace scored a worldie free-kick and I just can't quite believe it.... . Told the boys to 'Work Ball into Box' which was simply pointless and slow.

Game 2 Leeds United 3-1 Cardiff City - Did the consistently fatal decision of listening to my assistant manager who complained about how we needed to retain possesion. All downhill from there. We missed 2/3 great chances while Leeds converted them. Went into an 'attacking' mentality which didn't help either.

Game 3 Cardiff City 2-3 West Brom [/b] - Furious. This was the first game where I chose to play my Deep Lying Forward on 'attacking' mentality. After a 'drab' match by half-time I thought we could take the game to West Brom as we really needed points. Recently Adjusted Deep Lying Forward scored and I was buzzing. WBA then caught me on the counter and before I knew it Lescott had scored from a set piece. I then went overload and Wilson equalised but in the 91st minute David Wheater won them the game...

Notes After those torrid games after such progress, it's very easy to not keep focused on where I'm going wrong and where to learn from mistakes. The last game where Lescott/Wheater scored came from a free-kick + corner. Readers will know that I've been struggling with defending set pieces for a long time now, this urgently needs improvement.

Gutted to be honest, really had the chances to win those games. In reality they are both 2 very hard home games. Despite my certainty that this squad should be walking the league, players such as Victor Moses, Berahino, Lescott, Ben Foster, Ideye, Sessengon, Luis Alberto, Bolasie, McManaman would get into my team...

Also vital to remember over this period I had to field many reserve/back up players. Not an excuse but game-changing...

Am now roughly 5 points from the play-offs with 9 games to go. After such a climb I'd be gutted to miss out. 3 games which will summ up the rest of my season coming up:

A Brentford (10th)

H Watford (8th)

A Sheffield (17th)

I also then have Peterborough and Rotherham home so I have to be aiming for 70 points.

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Game 1 Brentford 3-2 Cardiff City [/b] - Exactly the same as West Brom. Set pieces galore.

Game 2 - Cardiff City 1-3 Watford - Capitulation. One of my issues has been changing too quickly here when things don't go my way. I stuck with standard at half-time and we scored. I then contradicted my earlier self and idiotically changed to counter. SIXTH loss in a row.

Game 3 Sheffield United 1-1 Cardiff City- YET ANOTHER SET PIECE CORNER. just stupid. 6 points from the play-offs and 1 waste of a season.

Since the crash dump:

My strikers shoot from 35 yard wide angles which is considered as a 'key' chance.

Set pieces have been ridiculous against me. FK's etc

James Wilson (Advanced striker) only scores offside goals

Left winger is nowhere near as effective - basically does nothing...

Nothing going my way. Don't know where to begin. Feel so naive and utterly useless at this. I stick by the facts that my squad should be winning these games and tactics far far too in depth in terms of knowing what's needed to win games when in truth you do win some games with individual brilliance. Tactics dictates everything on this game.

Therefore I must do better. I get news coming in after every loss stating that I am Unwilling to experiment . I haven't had this formation for 1 season ffs. Is there a way on FMC to save 2 tactics as in fairness I should be rotating I guess although not neccesarily required for success in real life...

Gutted

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Have a real sneaky feeling that after the 'instant result' use and save/quit method in order to re-gain the points I earnt due to the crash dump suddenly turned things around me.

You simply don't just collapse like that after such great strides. Frustrating.

As you can imagine, I'm very annoyed, so after play-offs weren't achievable I simply instant-resulted the remaining games, where I did far better. This makes me wonder why I simply don't use that and re-enforces my known belief that tactics are simply too challenging.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rant over

I say all that with much bias. I found the positive changes very rewarding and to start from scrap next season might be better as let's not forget I started this thread well after the season had begun. I know that I'm very naive and throughout my previous posts I've stressed key little changes e.e the winger's change of mentality from support/attack etc. These are in fact baby-steps and I need to be making more significant changes. I'm not sure I have the confidence to be as ruthless as I'm scared of taking backwards steps. Then again you can only learn from your mistakes so it might have to be done. I did a lot of complaining about defending set pieces and in reality I didn't do anything to stop the leak... . I also like to think I've done some reading but I really haven't and I need to study more threads and understand what things(mentalityies/team shape) etc do, and when to use them etc.

Despite my failures the board still love me. After losing in the play-offss last season my wage budget suddenly changed from 550k to 325k so I had to cut down a ridiculous amount. I hope I don't have to do the same next season as I've made a £40m profit at the club already...

I need to sort out some basics. I had 4 DM's rotting at the club last season when I should have been ruthless. I often had 2 centre backs fit if not even that so I really need to assemble a squad.

Cheers!

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To those still interested: Please don't be put off by the huge slump that I had. Of course it left me disillusioned after such progress but it was also vital that it happened. I'm a key believer in wanting to know why things happen, what does pressing this button do etc kind of mentality, so naturally I will have learned a lot from the experience.

Anyways, so after being given £10m to spend after a solid summer I began the season with 16 points out of a possible 21. Everything was smoother and I wasn't afraid of making key decisions rather than what I called last season 'baby steps'. Bizarrely I then got sacked... This is quite remarkable to me considering I went on a 6 game losing streak, and considering what we've seen already in the Championship this season in terms of sackings, this is more unbelievable.

I was instantly then offered the role of Jamaica national manager. I instinctively thought 'why not'. The games are more spread out and I get to work with the same group of players for longer. Here are some pro's and cons.

Pro's

Rather than having to forget a loss as there's another game on the Tuesday at club level, a loss will get me thinking far more about where went wrong etc.

There's tough challenges, facing the USA and Mexico for example consistently.

Playing the same opposition numerous times. E.e I've played the U.S 4 times now, you get to adapt for the next time you play them. Strive for that improvement.

Perhaps there's easy opponents yeah undoubtedly. This is also a blessing imo as this gives me much more freedom to explore and experiment different tactics. I remember in my previous updates I said I didn't know enough what buttons did etc, now I like to think I have a better idea. And smashing opponents generally gives me confidence :)

Con's - Despite the pro, it's also key to remember that this simply isn't club level. I can't change things quickly for the next game as it could be in some time.

Managing Jamaica in FMC, there is a strict amount of players available. E.E I have no natural left back. I simply can't go out and buy someone purely for tactical reasons. This is also great as it teaches me to try and make the most of resources!(useful for when I want to venture in the lower leagues) 1 injury will change everything

It's tough to make progress. At club level there's always positions to jump but here you can remain stagnant for periods and be below Mexico/USA knowing that even reaching a play-off spot will likely result in a really tough ask

So there we go. I'm finding it very fascinating and have just finished my first world cup campaign. My first challenge was the Carribean Cup which I won! I didn't really have to test myself but a short amount of games in a short amount of time gave me vital adjustments to tweak the team due to playing similarly weak opponents. Following from my last post in charge of Cardiff, I stated that I wanted to have more than 1 formation. I'm happy to say I now have 1 for weaker teams and 1 for when I face more challenging teams.

Progress One of my favorite moments in FM so far was coming from 3-1 down to being in front of Mexico by 5-3. This was purely down to my in game changes and I was chuffed. I unfortunately conceded a last minute goal which was gutting. I then conceded a last minute equaliser away to Honduras in the second game meaning I picked up 2 points rather than 6. Overall in WC quals I conceded 4 goals in the final minutes which dictated games. This was a ridiculous amount but does give me hope and guidance that I need to contain more and hold a win.

I have had some terrible results e.e losing at home to Suriname/Guatemala but have also had some really good, well-thought results e.e beating the U.S.A 2-0. + the Mexico game.

I'm going to save 1 of my tactics now but I'm also going to be creating a new one from fresh. I am off to read Cleon's sticky which should be really insightful.

Cheers!

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To those still interested: Please don't be put off by the huge slump that I had. Of course it left me disillusioned after such progress but it was also vital that it happened. I'm a key believer in wanting to know why things happen, what does pressing this button do etc kind of mentality, so naturally I will have learned a lot from the experience.

I think this is vital for learning. If you don't analyse why something happened or try understanding why something happened then how are we expected to be able to solve the issues?!

Do you watch games back even after losing to see why you lost? It's also a good idea to pause the game at random times both in attack and defending situations so you can look at things like players positioning, the space between each other and so on :)

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This thread is great i hope you keep it going. Whats really impressive for me is the fact that even after you have had a bit of a rant etc, you step back and look and see what wasn't working for you and actively try to change things for the better.

From what i see on here not enough people follow your approach! Really hope you keep this up and maybe one day get Jamaica to the World Cup :)

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This thread is great i hope you keep it going. Whats really impressive for me is the fact that even after you have had a bit of a rant etc, you step back and look and see what wasn't working for you and actively try to change things for the better.

From what i see on here not enough people follow your approach! Really hope you keep this up and maybe one day get Jamaica to the World Cup :)

Thanks very much mate. Really appreciate your feedback. In recent years I wiuld certainly have had some rants and quit but now I'm in the mindset of: hold on a minute, why didn't this work etc which I'm pleased about myself.

Finding it quite hard with Jamaica due to player limitations in FMC. I'll very rarely persuade a half-decent player to convert Nationality which is a huge bonus. Every body counts. I had a poor WC Qualifying campaign and the next campaign is a long time away.

Aim Give my players more personal instructions

Question How much personal instructions do you give. Does it vary for which player/position perhaps?

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I think this is vital for learning. If you don't analyse why something happened or try understanding why something happened then how are we expected to be able to solve the issues?!

Do you watch games back even after losing to see why you lost? It's also a good idea to pause the game at random times both in attack and defending situations so you can look at things like players positioning, the space between each other and so on :)

Much appreciated Cleon. Really enjoying my curiosity in wanting to know what went wrong and why. If I'm honest I do love to play the game quite fluidly and so I watch my highlights using 'Key' which only lets me see a glimpse of how we are playing. I probably should watch a few games which would let me see what's going well/poorly in more detail as it changes every game I'm sure.

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haha no supprise with Tan running things. Not really gave my City game a good go yet. Need to pull finger out and do it, i just hate losing ;)

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haha no supprise with Tan running things. Not really gave my City game a good go yet. Need to pull finger out and do it, i just hate losing ;)

Haha very true. Fascinating this year as there's a ridiculous amount of players. Made £40m sales profit in a few seasons through sales/wages of players such as Kenwyne Jones and then huge profits on player who were free transfers.

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Right guys, thought I'd give a quick update before I get stuck in!

Still managing Jamaica and about to start the Carribean Cup again as we approach 2019! What I do notice is that time flies by very quickly. I haven't quite arranged the right amount of friendlies, especially challenging ones but am slowly doing this. As WC qualification dies away pretty quickly there's not many times to test my team as the Gold Cup now starts in September 2019! As I play FM Classic it's quite nervous coming into June as I pray that any of the (roughly 5 per year) possible potential Jamaican regens come through. Although most are terrible I'm getting more luck in converting dual-nationalised players e.e Rohan Ince/Michael Hector. Very challenging yet very rewarding as our squad average age approaches 29! Hired an assistant in Donovan Ricketts as well :cool:

Now onto the tactic side of things:

You have to forgive me. My computer's not been working well recently so haven't been able to come on very much. I was reading some of Cleon's observations in the stickied thread and am certain I changed some instructions prior to the computer failure so I can't remember much detail.

Fresh start

After the WC Qualification failure I wanted to start fresh by analysing what went well and what qualities do my limited squad have. I'd say pace is certainly an assett(Rolando Aarons/Dwight Gayle/Junior Hoilett(swear he's Canadian) playing regularly = wingers would be vital. I also noticed a number of central/defensive minded midfielders(Rudolph Austin/Marvin Bartley/regen/Daniel Johnson/Rohan Ince etc) and centre backs who could play there. I therefore created a 4-3-2-1 system. :

4 defenders in a usual back line

1 Defensive Midfielder

2 Central Midfielders

2 AM Wingers(Attack Duty significant)

1 ST (Advanced Forward)

Forgive me for the lack of depth in detail, I should learn to screenshot etc all over again in truth. This time I tried to do some more specific Player Instructions which weren't quite in enough detail. After reading the Combinations stickied thread I liked the idea of a normal centre half(Wes Morgan etc) and then a ball playing centre half(Kyle Bartley/Michael Hector/Mariappa) who have been instrumental.

After a careless ending to the WC Quals I arranged a few easy friendlies. This would be good for experimentation and to see what was going well and what wasn't. Despite the easy opposition I have messed up in the past(Suriname/Guatemala) so thought It'd be interesting. I thought I'd start with fluid playing style with a counter approach. I wanted to be fairly conservative while using fluid as I'd been scared of using it in the past. I played 4 friendly games during this period. Results here:

Game 1 - Grenada 1-6 Jamaica

Game 2 - Brittish Virgin Islands 0-6 Jamaica

Game 3 - Jamaica 3-0 French Guiana

Game 4 - Jamaica 3-0 Anguilla

So yeah it looks quite convincing. After the first went in I switched quikckly to Control and then Attack as it was just there for the taking. I penetrated the defence far better than I have in previous regimes e.e my ball-playing centre back/DM played some great football to create openings. My wingers seem prolific especially since I instructed my lone striker to Hold the ball up in order to wait for team-mates. I then started games with the attacking mentality and fascinatingly enough halved my goal tally's at home against French Guiana/Anguilla. Good to get back some confidence in truth. Should have wrote this up at the time to remember some of my changes. I stripped a lot back to basics and really thought through decisions(e.e player instructions) which certainly stopped any rash decisions/backward steps.

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After these games I waited roughly 6 months before arranging some more frendlies. I was offered the chance of playing more minnows but with the Carribean Cup upcoming I wanted to test my squad after four convincing but expected wins.

I arranged to face 2 solid South American sides in Chile and Peru. I decided not to abandon my fluid approach which has served my attack well but I started with Defensive mentality. I started very poorly and conceded 2 goals within the first half-hour.

Observation - The defensive mentality made me feel as if it was allowing them to come at me rather than trying to be solid in defence and creating scraps etc. Seemed a pointless approach which will never result in much success as it leaves you with backs against the wall. Has anyone had much success with it? If so I'd love to know in which situation and approach is the best way to utilize it.

I then switched back to Standard , before also replacing the Direct passing approach I'd used specifically for this game I decided to try and Keep simple passes . This really helped and my new formation began to perform as we began to dominate and we pulled 2 back! As this was a friendly with us dominating with 15 to go at 2-2 I plucked the courage to change to Attack in order to squeeze a last goal for the perfect win. This backfired after Alexis caught us on the break with made us conceded YET ANOTHER last minute winner. Ah well still a great match and good experimentation in the friendly!

Game 1 Jamaica 2-3 Chile

Let's not forget here, many of my players e.e Lloyd Doyley are 35 and unnatached. Even the talented Rolando Aarons is permanently contracted to Rotherham in League 1!!!. I knew Peru weren't quite as good at Chile so in a sense it made the perfect match to build on.

Game 2 Jamaica 2-2 Peru.

After learning from my mistakes I started with a Standard mentality and changed the Passing instructions back to my usual short passing game. This worked just as well as the last time as I was cruising with a 2-0 lead. At the 75 minute mark I noticed Peru were attacking. After some good results and positive experimentation I decided to get a bit cocky and a bit cheeky and changed things up. Noticing some gaps I thought I'd revert back to a Counter strategy and changed the passing to Direct in order to put some gloss on the scoreline with my increasingly clinical attack. This really backfired and we conceded 2 goals.

I'm gutted in a way as I genuinely didn't see anything wrong with my idea. Despite this my performances have been awesome so I can't be downhearted. I've realised I do need to test myself more. I now expect to retain the Caribbean cup with group games against St Vincent/Guyana and Barbados...

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