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The goal is to master the counter attacking mentality in all shapes and sizes.

Im pretty new to tactic building. Ive done plenty of reading) to prepare and feel most comfortable with player roles/duties and team shape. I'm less convinced when choosing team instructions that marry up well.

Can anyone familiar or successful with the counter mentality give me a list of TI's:

1. I should be looking to to use with counter mentality

2. Generally should be avoided with counter mentality

3. Combinations of TI's that work well together and generally work well together.

I'm aware there's no absolutes but Im looking to working from outside in, that is starting with the generally accepted TI's for counter before drilling into the specifics and making adjustments where needed.

So far short passing is the only TI I'm confident with as it fits the cautious, conservative mould.

Any help appreciated.

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I'm certainly not an expert but I'd avoid using the following:

Retain possession

Lower tempo

Hassle opponents

Push higher up

Those instructions are based around being more adventurous with the ball and playing more of a possession game, I wouldn't recommend using shorter passing as counter attacking is about transitions from defence to attack quickly but like you said there no absolutes.

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Counter attacking is one of the things I just can't seem to get right on FM no matter what I try. I look at how Real Madrid counter and I love that. Dortmund, Liverpool (last season) and Atletico are all excellent at it.

Direct passing

Drop deeper

Possibly Higher Tempo, but I suppose when the team sees the opportunity, it automatically does that (I think)

Width might also be an option, but I also suspect the direct passing may widen your play anyway.

Very possibly stick to positions, to keep tight in defensive phases. The counter will override this as well (I think)

Yeah, not much help if I'm honest.

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As i base i would use play narrower,drop deeper,stick to positions,be more disciplined

Yes i would use lower tempo ,and the passing options i would change them according to the game, and maybe the passing focus during game

I would just use counter without any TI's as a base.

Counter mentality can be used for possession based side or a counter-attacking side.

For possession, play out of defense should be enough. The counter just means that you'll switch to a much more aggressive mode when there's a good counter-attacking chance on. When it's not on, you'll play fairly cautious defensive minded game.

For counter-attacking, leaving 2-3 guys up front against an attack minded opponent, will let you do what it says on the tin. Absorb their attack, the counter is on, yay. You won't really try to force the issue when the counter isn't on, but when it is you'll pounce. You don't really need any TI's here, but I'd consider ways to make your midfielders get more interceptions and winning tackles. Get stuck in, higher closing down with staying on feet or simply using more aggressive roles like BWM and DW; whatever works in your situation.

You have to remember though, that this only works when your opponent is being fairly adventurous.

Now, if we're talking about counter-attacking strategy where your team always plays with great urgency, even when the counter isn't really on, my choice for mentality would be attacking. Now your players will look for more attacking options, play with urgency, width, high line+high pressure, make more daring runs etc. But it's just super attacking, not counter-attacking.

To transform attacking into counter-attacking you absolutely need some TI's. First and foremost I'd drop much deeper, possibly adjust the closing down and finally consider using more direct passing PI's for your defensive players.

Edit: These are my bases for certain game plans. Yours might be different and that's fine. :) And I was not really responding to roggiotis, just taking off from his use of a word base.

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ty for responses so far. keep them coming.

@deserter

As fluidity effects how influential your TI's are then I would assume if you were to select no or v few TI's then you be playing rigid/v.rigid and would have to assign more individual player instructions.

Conversely playing more fluid dilutes the effect of PI's and puts more emphasis on TI's.

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Im aware TI combos overlap different mentalities but im looking for the ones that work better or are bigger triggers in a counter attack mentality.

The thing is, it depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve in using the counter attack mentality as to what TIs work best.

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solid D and clean sheets first and foremost. bend but dont break philosophy on D while going for the knock out punch on offence with fast counters. Not overly commiting on attacks and keeping a solid 3-4 guys in good defensive position should the attack break down.

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Depends how you want to approach Countering - you can play more modern quirks like a Counter-Press, or a Barcelona style etc, or, more traditional Counter-Attacking. Mourinho epitomises a traditional Counter-Attacker, often set deep and compact, little space between the lines, but breaking at lightning speed through quick/direct passes, or effective dribbles to expose the gaps. The key parts of a traditional counter are:

  • Sit deep (lower defensive line and closing down - draws out your opponent, exposing their own gaps)
  • Keep shape (not getting drawn out into a dodgy challenge of 50-50)
  • Rapid transition (get the ball played forward swiftly, get good dribblers, pace and a good deep distributor, as well as relative direct passing)

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so for counter the team shape and defensive TI's have greater effect?

i was thinking more of a low compact block to keep everything in front of you. in which case the defensive TI's(drop deep, keep shape etc..) as well as direct passing & run at defense ? rigid?

more barca style would be fluid + defensive TIs (push higher, press more, hassle) as well as shorter passing?

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You are correct SirSpecialness (interesting name by the way!)

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so for counter the team shape and defensive TI's have greater effect?

i was thinking more of a low compact block to keep everything in front of you. in which case the defensive TI's(drop deep, keep shape etc..) as well as direct passing & run at defense ? rigid?

more barca style would be fluid + defensive TIs (push higher, press more, hassle) as well as shorter passing?

One thing to note is that, as you might guess from the name, the counter mentality does tend somewhat towards the compact low block anyway, so adding extra instructions might not be neccessary to achieve your goal. I would likely be inclined to start with relatively few, if any TIs, then add them in if you're finding that the results aren't meeting your aims.

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Never had any luck with counter attacking. I have always wanted to try and have a high line, press hard, win the ball and then bang a pass or two splits the opposition open with fast counter attacking football, or is it attacking football?

Say Liverpool last season - I certainly wouldn't say that they defended deep, I think they were reasonably high and Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling hunted down the opposition so pressed high so is that sort of counter attacking possible in FM?

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Depends how you want to approach Countering - you can play more modern quirks like a Counter-Press, or a Barcelona style etc, or, more traditional Counter-Attacking. Mourinho epitomises a traditional Counter-Attacker, often set deep and compact, little space between the lines, but breaking at lightning speed through quick/direct passes, or effective dribbles to expose the gaps. The key parts of a traditional counter are:

  • Sit deep (lower defensive line and closing down - draws out your opponent, exposing their own gaps)
  • Keep shape (not getting drawn out into a dodgy challenge of 50-50)
  • Rapid transition (get the ball played forward swiftly, get good dribblers, pace and a good deep distributor, as well as relative direct passing)

what i find when playing this way though is that your penned in and cant get out and also get done by set pieces or an individual error. id love to create a mourinho/ athletico madrid style tactic but because of the issues i find it hard to get right.

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Interesting thread this one. I really want to create a Mourinho esque 4231. Love to keep clean sheets. I reckon you would need to set one up to replicate the traditional counter then also the more fluid high pressing one mentioned earlier for easy/home games. His ability to mix up ultra tight counter football in one game with high pressing short passing football in another is the impressive aspect of Chelsea this season. In some home games they have played a very intricate, short passing game, especially when between the attacking midfielders in the final third.

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a good deep distributor

Trying to create a good counter attacking system for my Palace save. Only stumbling block is that what to do with my midfield. I'm playing a three man midfield, with a Defensive Midfielder (D) behind a DLP (S) and a CM (A). My Defensive Midfielder is Mile Jedinak, who's got a passing stat of 9! I think this is going to be a potential stumbling block in the distribution from deep. I may but my playmaker at DMC and move Jedinak in an MC spot with a CM (S) role.

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You could swap the players but keep the duties - so have a DLP(S) at DM and a CM(D) at MC alongside a CM(A).

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You could swap the players but keep the duties - so have a DLP(S) at DM and a CM(D) at MC alongside a CM(A).

Perfect :thup:

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liverpool not really a counter attacking team. theyre more of a high tempo tika taka attacking team.

Although some of their best performances came through Counter-Attacking - i.e. the very painful 5-1 defeat Arsenal suffered at Anfield. I wouldn't necessarily call them tika taka - as they weren't prioritising relentless possession, but they were a high tempo attacking side.

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So far I'm having decent succes with Inter Milan using a counter attacking strategy. 14 points out of 6 games in the league. I'm using a 3322 counter-flexible tactic:

SWK-s

DC*3

Complete Wingbacks

DLP-d with close down less and more direct passing

MCL: MC-a (shoot less cause of ppm)

MCR: AP-s

StrL: ADF

StrR: F9 or TQ

TI's: Pass into space, play wider, play ball into box, whipped crosses, look for overlap play more disciplined.

Not content with how the left striker is doing atm, he's scoring some times but isn't playing great yet, I don't want to rely on long shots from the MC's, runs from the WBL and corners too much. Also unsure if i should change from flexible to fluid.

edit: any feedback appreciated. Next game is Juve away, a good result there would tell something.

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Depends how you want to approach Countering - you can play more modern quirks like a Counter-Press, or a Barcelona style etc, or, more traditional Counter-Attacking. Mourinho epitomises a traditional Counter-Attacker, often set deep and compact, little space between the lines, but breaking at lightning speed through quick/direct passes, or effective dribbles to expose the gaps. The key parts of a traditional counter are:

  • Sit deep (lower defensive line and closing down - draws out your opponent, exposing their own gaps)
  • Keep shape (not getting drawn out into a dodgy challenge of 50-50)
  • Rapid transition (get the ball played forward swiftly, get good dribblers, pace and a good deep distributor, as well as relative direct passing)

That was exactly how I envisage my team play, but I can't get it right. As someone said above, you just invite too much pressure and when you do win the ball back, your players just try a swift, direct pass which gives the ball away again within seconds. I thoroughly studied your "roles guide" so I'm sure I have no glaring issues in that respect, but I just can't find a way to make it work. Even when we're playing well defensively, we can't do anything going forward using counter mentality.

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I've never liked counter attack as a main tactic because in the real World, once you become a good side other teams are quite happy to sit back, pass it amongst themselves and get a 0-0. I presume FM15 does the same?

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That was exactly how I envisage my team play, but I can't get it right. As someone said above, you just invite too much pressure and when you do win the ball back, your players just try a swift, direct pass which gives the ball away again within seconds. I thoroughly studied your "roles guide" so I'm sure I have no glaring issues in that respect, but I just can't find a way to make it work. Even when we're playing well defensively, we can't do anything going forward using counter mentality.

this.

If you set up counter-sit deep-direct..it does nothing but make your team suffer attack after attack and hardly ever does anything remotely good on the offensive side of things. I've never managed to make it work.

But maybe with mentality set to attacking-sit deep-keep shape? Maybe try that approach.

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liverpool not really a counter attacking team. theyre more of a high tempo tika taka attacking team.

As a supporter of LFC for around sixty years I feel that LFC are not only, not a counter attacking team, but not even a team, at the moment.

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just played friendly vs Dortmund away..set up counter with all logical TI for the counter philosophy. Dortmund had 38 shots ROFL..My team ofcourse was unable to do anything exept lose the ball the second they have it..ridicilous. It's just impossible to make a counter tactic in this game.

Result was 2-1 until 75th min when I switched to offensive strategy and of course..I conceded 3 more goals in 15 minutes when I did it..great :rolleyes: Like my team was a bunch of amateurs..I'm Fiorentina and finished 4th in Serie A in first season so I know something. This was just stupid.

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Counter, higher tempo, more direct passing - that should be stock counter-attacking instructions in the traditional sense. And yet what you get (regardless of your formation) is wave after wave of attacks at your goal and missed passes from your own players.

Frustrating to connect real life football and FM sometimes.

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There was an article in Cleon et als clear cut chance magazine that managed to achieve the Real Madrid quick transition countering but by actually using the attacking mentality but with TI's to change to a lower block without sitting too deep. I'm sure Cleon himself did a thread on here about quick transitions and how he got them to work.

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I think a common problem people have with counter tactics is that they want their team to Close Down More and Drop Deep. This creates too much space behind the lines. Personally I prefer to have a much higher defensive line so we can press higher up the pitch and keep hold of more possession.

I play a slightly odd 4-1-2-1-2 Diamond with Sakho on the right as a Raumdeuter with West Ham - 5th in the league including a 3-0 win over Arsenal. I had just 38% possession that game.

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I'm having some succes playing a Counter 4-2DM-2-2, with an Anchorman and Roaming Playmaker at DM to provide some creativity, Wide playmaker on the left and Winger on the Right, DLF(S) and Advanced Forward. I also use a CWB(A) on the left for width. TI are Run at defense, direct passing, pass into space, drop deep, be more disciplined. I player wider/narrower depending on the opposition, and also close down more/less the same way. I also play on structured

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I think a common problem people have with counter tactics is that they want their team to Close Down More and Drop Deep. This creates too much space behind the lines.

But it shouldn't always; think about it this way, you want your players to drop deep and stand off until you lure your opposition closer to your goal and THEN close them down as hard as you can.

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I think by default closing down begins when the opposition enter your half - unless you instruct otherwise. Just think if you tell your forward players to close down defenders and you tell your back line to sit deep, one good pass and your opponent is running directly at your defence. Man Utd had this problem a lot under Moyes last season. I believe in pressing in packs as part of a greater unit.

The traditional counter attack requires you to drop deep in order to suck in your opposition so you can attack the space in behind. The alternative, the counter-press, requires you to close down higher up the pitch and win the ball so there is less distance towards goal. BUT you still need your backline higher up the pitch to step in when the ball breaks through your midfield. They recycle possession and it begins again.

If you choose to drop deep AND close down higher up the pitch then the game becomes less about your tactical instructions and more about the talent you have to choose from. You shouldn't actually need to drop too deep with the counter mentality because it's already much less aggressive than control or attacking...

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There was an article in Cleon et als clear cut chance magazine that managed to achieve the Real Madrid quick transition countering but by actually using the attacking mentality but with TI's to change to a lower block without sitting too deep. I'm sure Cleon himself did a thread on here about quick transitions and how he got them to work.

I actually tried that approach and it worked ... but not to the same extent.

The problem with lowering the defensive block on an attacking mentality is that the players mentality remains high so the defence becomes a bit more fragile.

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I am a serial counter attacker and share your pains in trying to get it to consistently work.

I've had some success building one from a 'Standard' Mentality, then using TI's to shape the style of play. It's not as pacey as the 'Attacking' mentality variation but it is solid defensively.

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http://www.clearcutchance.com/latest/download/CCC2.pdf

That's the mag with the counter article on page 34

Edit: sorry, am I allowed to link that here?

I've been trying to set up a formation loosely based on this article with the same TI's but with ML/MR instead of AML/AMR and MC instead of AMC

shape_zps2e178588.png

ti_zps9750e003.png

I'm just about to test it, do the roles make sense? I'm not the best at creating tactics.

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I would move all your midfield up 1 step if it was me.

Hazard, Oscar and Ramires to AM

Fabregas and Matic to CM

If you put the wide players on Inside Forward Support they will defend by marking players, but also push forward and inside.

If you put a central player on Attacking Midfielder - Support. He will also drop deep and mark a player.

With dropping your entire midfield deep you may be inviting too much pressure on yourself.

Turning it from a counter attacking threat, into just a defensive tactic.

Costa will struggle to get the ball and hold it up long enough to get help, and anyone who breaks forward with the ball, is only going to be able to pass backwards and break the counter.

If I ever set up for the counter tactic. I set it up for 2 types of play.

When I can counter.

When I cannot counter.

So I set the team shape to be able to counter, but in roles that will keep possession to pass the ball around and also defend well when I can't counter.

Then I turn on counter attacking.

With things in the Match Engine they way they are, you don't want to give the opposition a chance to get too many crosses or long shots in.

My Chelsea team is set to counter (was previously set to control, but in a way that it also attacked like a counter at times)

Undefeated in the league and won the league with 8 matches to play.

Not saying its perfect but it can work.

I play with a high line, retain possession, tight marking, get stuck in.

Switching to Counter already drops your Defensive line a fair bit.

Tactic kind of works by penning the opposition into their half, and when the ball comes out the team will either counter if possible, or pass it around and try and break down the opposition and create chances.

When finally the opposition breaks out, you try and win the ball back and as soon as you do, they will either counter, or if they can't. Play it around again.

Rinse and Repeat.

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I like your approach CowShedBarmyArmy - you have the trick of deep players and compact lines, but getting forward quickly enough in possession too. Hope it works!

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I like your approach CowShedBarmyArmy - you have the trick of deep players and compact lines, but getting forward quickly enough in possession too. Hope it works!

I was wondering if he had enough people getting in to the box though?

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I think it's a general misnomer that Mourhino plays ultra conservative tactics.

In general 2 things come to mind with mourhino teams, park the bus and counter attack. In reality he doesn't actually park the bus as a main strategy, more so only to see games off. So looking to set up an FM tactic with ultra deep lines and everyone back is more apt to recreating a San Marino tactic that a Jose one.

What he does do is have well drilled, disciplined and organised teams. His defensive line is actually set at pretty average/typical height, not high press like an AVB spurs team or not ultra deep like an underdog/San Marino set up. He's more of a contain keep shape stylist. To close the big games out he does park the bus. Wastes time, drops little deeper, clear ball to flanks and he usually brings on an extra DM or wide runner.

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I've been trying to set up a formation loosely based on this article with the same TI's but with ML/MR instead of AML/AMR and MC instead of AMC

shape_zps2e178588.png

ti_zps9750e003.png

I'm just about to test it, do the roles make sense? I'm not the best at creating tactics.

I really like your shape. I'm not sure about the play out of defense though doesnt quite logically fit.

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I was wondering if he had enough people getting in to the box though?

Maybe, but it won't be far off!

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I like your approach CowShedBarmyArmy - you have the trick of deep players and compact lines, but getting forward quickly enough in possession too. Hope it works!

Thanks, struggling for goals but defence solid.

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I was wondering if he had enough people getting in to the box though?

This is actually what happened!

I definitely lost attacking edge moving the wide players back but i gained defensive solidarity so I guess there's a balance to be struck.

I am struggling for goals but then again I'm playing as Milan :)

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I really like your shape. I'm not sure about the play out of defense though doesnt quite logically fit.

The logic was to prevent the defenders just hoofing it up the park due to the more direct setting but I can try it without.

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I would push Oscar up and change Hazard from a wide playmaker to something more direct like another winger.

Matic as an anchorman is probably a little conservative for a two-man DM setup. If you made him a standard DM he should contribute more to defending his flank and win the ball back more often without overly exposing the back line. As long as Fabregas does his own job properly, anyway.

I played a similar setup with Swansea in the beta. Didn't have enough good tacklers to press so played deep and compact and relied on the pace of Routledge, Dyer and Montero to attack space from deep, with Bony and Gylfi stationed higher and linking play to them on a fast transition.

Finished 3rd, but couldn't beat a 'lesser' team (Burnley, Leicester etc.) to save my life. As you'd expect from a counter setup.

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