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Trying to play a 442 that is defensively solid through compact shape and high energy pressing, and quite frankly getting my arse handed to me.

My defensive has no shape what so ever, and everything in attack is totally disjointed. I've read Cleon's current 442 thread, and the one on Simeone's 442 - but nothing has helped.

GK(D)

IWB(S)

CD(D)

CD(D)

FB(A)

WP(A)

DLP(D)

CM(D)

WP(S)

DLF(A)

F9(S)

- Defensive - Fluid

- More direct

- Higher Tempo

- Play Narrower

- Close down much more

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You want to be compact through shape yet choose fluid which gives high creative freedom which can make players be out of position or choose the wrong options. You also play higher tempo which again will make play far too fast especially when you are playing defensive and again makes you lose shape. And lastly you close down much more which again does what? Yups you guessed it you lose shape.

Plus high pressing = aggressive which means players will look to move up from their position and press early which makes you lose shape and make gaps appear.

You've fell in to the trap that many FM players do and your settings don't match what you want or set out to achieve. You say you want to play one way then set up the total extreme of what you wanted to do, the total opposite.

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I would agree with Cleon. You say one thing, but appear to be trying to implement something totally different.

It would probably assist if you posted an explanation of why you chose each role/duty/TI as well as why you chose that mentality and Team Shape. I think Cleon has summarised your problem, but if you lay out why you made the choices, you might better see why they dont work?

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I've just been reading through of some of your other posts you've done for FM15 so far and I think Jambo brings up a good point based on what I've read, it would be a good idea for you to lay out why you made the choices you do. I say this because I've seen you say you want a certain style then chosen totally different settings on numerous occasions now. So it might be a good idea to see how you think and what the thought process is behind your decisions as to me this seems your biggest problem and could be the reason you seem to struggle.

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defensively solid through compact shape and high energy pressing

A defensive strategy combined with press much more will not achieve this is my opinion.

You could have a compact shape with a defensive strategy with players closing down less, keeping in position, not leaving gaps. Or you could have a more adventurous strategy with a higher line with more closing down, which would have less gaps being left between the lines as the players close down.

For me it is one or the other

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Okay, I can see what is being said. The reasons I would have picked the initial set-up;

More Direct I want more direct passing, fairly self explanatory.

High Tempo I want to be from defence to attack quicker, in line with direct passing.

Play Narrower Make the team tighter together and more compact.

Close down much more I want to press teams, win the ball back quickly, and be straight into attack with high tempo/direct passing.

Defensive I found that any other setting made players even more disjointed.

Fluid Thought it would be able to connect defence to midfield, and midfield to attack better.

What I'd say I'm going for is a Diego Simeone 442. I'd like to be to press teams in areas, especially outwide with the use of player instructions and opposition instructions, but first I want to set-up a base of a system that can win me games; from which then I can make changes to win games easier, or more often.

I've now changed to the following upon recommendations;

Highly Structured - Control

- Higher Tempo

- More direct passing

- Close down more

- Stay on feet

- Prevent GK distribution

- Push up higher

- Exploit flanks

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Nothing wrong with that setup in principle i would say, although it will take quite a specific set of players, and roles/duties to make it work. Which team are you playing as? There is a reason that very few teams can recreate what Simeone has/had, its very intensive, requires players who work hard and have good mental attributes as well as of course physical. Finally if needs a set of roles which fit together. The challenge with a high press is that if one or two players/roles are not right, the entire principle will fall apart.

Let us know how it goes :thup:

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I don't know why I don't just give up with this game. Every time I load up a new save to try and piece together what I should be doing I just get more and more frustrated. The level of margin between winning and losing is far too big in my opinion. I can have better players than the opposition, and they will still lose.

At what point are minuscule tactical failing out weighed by the simple fact that I have better players? Clearly never. Clearly at no point are any set of players I'm ever managing winning in despite of them playing the way I want them to. At no point do the so called 'world-class' attributes they have allow them to override my clear idiocy in what I'm asking them to do?

It is at this point where I clearly ask the validity of the attributes. How can a 20 be really better than a 10, or a 15 - when across the board players with better attributes are failing at key moments as to allow me to win games and do the right things. The doesn't allow this, and blindly asks them to override their attributes so that the ME does not allow me to win because it knows haven't cracked the right set-up of tactics.

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Go Back to literally the basics of basics.

Fluid - Attacking

GK (D)

FB (S)

LD (D)

LD (D)

FB (S)

WM (A)

CM (D)

CM (S)

WM (A)

TM (S)

P (A)

More direct passing, Pass into space, Play wider, Stick to positions, Close down more and get stuck in.

You will give up a lot of possession and in spells it may not be completely pretty, but I definatly think you will get what you have set out for and relatively successfully.

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Dortmund have a pretty world class set of players IRL, take a glance at the Bundesliga table if you think thats all that matters in football.......

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Dortmund have a pretty world class set of players IRL, take a glance at the Bundesliga table if you think thats all that matters in football.......

That can be related into morale, of which I can accept in the game represents realism. My point being, surely all tactical set-ups have the own validity - I mean very rigid can be just as effective as very fluid. Therefore if there is no 'wrong' way of setting a team up in FM, then the ability for world class players to overide certain 'failings' should be there. But it isn't.

At any point in the game, you will pause, and see a player that has so called 'world-class' attributes clearly make a stupid decision. This is escalated across your team. So because you don't have a 100% viable tactical set-up in the eyes of the AI, they will punish you - forcing that player in the choosing against his attributes into a wrong decision. So in terms of having world class players, the set-up of fluid or standard is, or should be completely arbitrary - as these world class players should be able to make their own goddamn minds up to what is the right choice at any given time.

This only ever works against you, to the favor of the AI. So you are always facing an unfair battle.

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Of course there is a wrong way to set up a world class team. Did you watch the first half of the Man Utd game tonight?

It is not that very rigid is better than very fluid - Your looking at the game all wrong. Dont look at any one aspect in isolation. You need a coherent approach and system. You need to consider every aspect of your tactical set up together. Dont say "I picked direct passing because i want to pass direct" - think about how that interlinks with all other aspects of your set up, your squad, your oppponents. Come up with a plan of how you want your team to defend, how they should transition, how they should attack.

If you think that world class players should be able to over-ride a tactic, you dont watch much world football. There is a reason that relatively few managers are succesful at the top clubs. There is a reason that the likes of Moyes, Martino, Seedorf, AVB have tried to manage top clubs and failed.

You dont need a 100% perfect system, but if no thought goes into it, then dont be surprised when you dont get results.

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But I know that in real life. In terms of FM I don't see how it can be though, especially at the elite level. The gap between success a failure shouldn't be bigger. The top level players should be able to play the way you want them to, as well as honing this way through their abilities.

At the moment I want to at some point hit a eurka moment where everything clicks and it becomes clear, but that is looking more and more distant. Everything seems counter intuitive. I see people all over these forums winning and achieving with what ever teams, so it doesn't seem to be particularly hard. I'm not asking for a moon on a stick. But the game just seems unnecessarily hard to me.

I'm going to give this tactic 10 games.

Control - Fluid

I want to be defensivly solid, so have selected supporting not attacking duties for full backs.

BPD should help bridge gap to midfield as I have no player in the DM strata

The Automatic CM is a CM(D), with Box-to-Box. Defensive cover and a player that will support the forward line.

WP(A) is to accommodate David Silva when fit. Attacking duty so that he gets forward into goalscoring positions as well as creating from wide areas.

WM(A) is set to get forward, Navas will play that role within his PPM.

DLF(A) and CF(S) are both their to score goals, create for each other and link in the midfield.

NO Tactical Instructions selected. So far I've seen no benefit of actually using them, they've never seemed to do anything. I've tried using exploit middle/flanks but passing is never actually focused anywhere special. I clearly don't understand them and therefore using them wrong, or any combination I'm trying to use is asking for something that isn't possible within the game.

9qtKQGa.png

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Ok the basics tommo - where is your defend duty in midfield? Automatic is not defend. When Silva does not play are you seriously going to play Milner as a playmaker? Why do you think having support duties on full backs is going to help? Why are you not using any tactical instructions? Why the Cover-Defend pairing in central defence? They do have a profound effect. Your analysis of Navas is not particularly accurate - he is quite clearly a natural Winger. Quick, direct dribbler, gets in crosses from wide. That is Navas in a nutshell.

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Ok the basics tommo - where is your defend duty in midfield? Automatic is not defend.

Automatic was meant to be set as defend.

When Silva does not play are you seriously going to play Milner as a playmaker?

I wouldn't say so, maybe I'd have Nasri to play there. But now I'm worrying that changing one player, say bringing in Milner as a WM(S) is going to cause me more issues and decisions I'm unaware of.

Why do you think having support duties on full backs is going to help?

They are going to bridge a gap between defence and midfield in terms of passing, but hopefully aren't going to be causing me headaches in terms of defensive shape so much.

Why are you not using any tactical instructions?

I've added in these TI.

bgXqLIh.png

Why the Cover-Defend pairing in central defence?

Was sick and tired of my defenders charging out in the absence of a DM. Ideally I'd want my back line to play in a flat four, but that is seemingly unable to happen. So hopefully a covering duty doesn't tell the player to get dragged out of the backline so much.

They do have a profound effect. Your analysis of Navas is not particularly accurate - he is quite clearly a natural Winger. Quick, direct dribbler, gets in crosses from wide. That is Navas in a nutshell.

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Im sorry tommo, i dont want to sound harsh, but the opening 2 lines of that tactic say

1) I want to be solid defensively

2) Mentality is control

Also you say the CM(au) is defend?? Your missing a basic of the game i am afraid. Any automatic duty (which really need scrapped) will align to your overall team mentality. So with control, he will be a CM(s) i think, maybe even CM(a).

Also why a cover and a defend duty? It makes no sense i am afraid.

Ok, so you like playing as Man City. Lets assume you want to reflect City in real life somewhat. How do they play? Well actually they have a very versatile squad and change approach depending on the game (eg Nasri wide or Silva wide are 2 very different prospects - Yaya moves position depending on the game).

But off the top of my head, if you want to reflect them, start of keeping it simple.

back 4 with the right back on Fullback support (could argue that Zabaleta gets forward more, but i think its fair to say he is a good defender) and wing back on attack (Clichy or The other fella)

RM make a winger attack, for Navas

LM make WM(s) for Silva or Nasri

CM make a CM(d) for Fernando or Fernandinho

CM make a BBM or CM(s) for Yaya

ST make a CF(a) for Sergio

St make a Treq for Jovetic

TI go with Higher tempo, be more expressive and set some kind of keeper distribution (probably to fullbacks)

It wont win you the league, but thats based on a 2min thought on how to set up a city like 442 which wont be terrible and has some level of balance.

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I've tried setups similar to you, and by that I mean trying Fluid with Close Down More/Much More, etc. I think what you are going to find is that if you do not defend well it's because your team will be quick to double up on a player who has the ball, and leave space to be exploited. I'm not saying it can't work, but I'd think you'd really need a team of pacey players who also mark very well. In my experience, pressing high up the pitch is not as much about the closing down as it is about the defensive line. Closing down is much easier when you are already near your marker and when you've compressed the space and time they have to work with by having a very high line. You might try a much higher defensive line with LESS closing down, and an attacking mentality, or even experiment with overload. FM Classic is a great way to test out these things. Here's a link to a blog where what you are going for is actually carried out, using more closing down with fluid settings, so different than my approach. If you scroll down a good ways you'll find where he gets to the pressing part of his system, which is very aggressive.

http://strikerless.com/2014/01/12/strikerless-my-magnum-opus/

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I don't know why I don't just give up with this game. Every time I load up a new save to try and piece together what I should be doing I just get more and more frustrated. The level of margin between winning and losing is far too big in my opinion. I can have better players than the opposition, and they will still lose.

You need to work on your set up and understanding of the game. With all respect you should start off with basic stuff until you have a better knowledge of how things actually work. It's clear from all your posts that you get confused with your ideas so strip it all back and take baby steps.

That can be related into morale, of which I can accept in the game represents realism. My point being, surely all tactical set-ups have the own validity - I mean very rigid can be just as effective as very fluid. Therefore if there is no 'wrong' way of setting a team up in FM, then the ability for world class players to overide certain 'failings' should be there. But it isn't.

There is a wrong way to set up though and you clearly highlighted that in your opening post, its a car crash. You are mistaking anything can work in the correct system if it allows with everything works universally.

At any point in the game, you will pause, and see a player that has so called 'world-class' attributes clearly make a stupid decision. This is escalated across your team. So because you don't have a 100% viable tactical set-up in the eyes of the AI, they will punish you - forcing that player in the choosing against his attributes into a wrong decision. So in terms of having world class players, the set-up of fluid or standard is, or should be completely arbitrary - as these world class players should be able to make their own goddamn minds up to what is the right choice at any given time.

This only ever works against you, to the favor of the AI. So you are always facing an unfair battle.

This is false all false. The AI doesn't have any advantage over the human user at all. The human always has the advantage. Just because you don't understand how to make the most of this does not equal the AI having an unfair advantage. It's just equals you not really fully understanding things. That's a big difference.

So please don't go around spreading rumours like this when its false.

But I know that in real life. In terms of FM I don't see how it can be though, especially at the elite level. The gap between success a failure shouldn't be bigger. The top level players should be able to play the way you want them to, as well as honing this way through their abilities.

Ermm they do. But they still need a basic framework that allows them to do what you want and that works as a unit so you don't get exposed in any particular area. You only seem to look at things in isolation.

Rather than getting frustrated and jumping from one idea to the next (this just adds to the frustration as you never find out or learn what was wrong) actually stop for a few moments, take a deep breathe and then strip everything back to the basics and put more thought into your role and duty allocations. If you want to replicate a particular style or some kind of idea you have then follow a similar process to what is highlighted in this thread;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term

Create a good solid starting point then when you have one then you can change/develop that even further. There is no point going ahead full steam with a complex idea if you don't really understand how what you are creating works.

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Of course there is a wrong way to set up a world class team. Did you watch the first half of the Man Utd game tonight?

Southampton are doing well but I wouldn't call them world class.

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Southampton are doing well but I wouldn't call them world class.

I think you misunderstand. I was refering to how awful Man U were, and it was quite clearly because they were set up wrong tactically (hence the tactical sub forced in the first half when McNair came off for Herrera). I hate Utd with a passion, but with there current quad they would pretty much fall into the category of "world class" and Mr Van Gaal nicely demonstrated how it is possible to take a world class team and make the look like sunday league players because you set the tactics up.

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I think you misunderstand. I was refering to how awful Man U were, and it was quite clearly because they were set up wrong tactically (hence the tactical sub forced in the first half when McNair came off for Herrera). I hate Utd with a passion, but with there current quad they would pretty much fall into the category of "world class" and Mr Van Gaal nicely demonstrated how it is possible to take a world class team and make the look like sunday league players because you set the tactics up.

He was being sarcastic :D

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A defensive strategy combined with press much more will not achieve this is my opinion.

You could have a compact shape with a defensive strategy with players closing down less, keeping in position, not leaving gaps. Or you could have a more adventurous strategy with a higher line with more closing down, which would have less gaps being left between the lines as the players close down.

For me it is one or the other

I disagree with this actually.

The defensive strategy is a set of instructions that suit a all round, cautious, defensive game. But what if you want aspects of a cautious system but not an entirely defensive approach?

As far as I know, a defensive strategy, drops the d-line, lessens pressing to deeper inside our own half, slows the tempos, shortens the passing, and reduces mentality.

Is it not totally achievable to have a side to play patient, possession football (which defensive gives you) with a higher d-line and a more aggressive pressing game?

It's taken me a good six months (game time) of tinkering, but I've got my Dag & Red side playing that way, and it's producing some very nice football in attack, and aggressive pressing higher up the pitch.

A defensive strategy with the TI's "Push Higher Up" and "Close Down More" can produce a system that is actually quite attacking in nature, but with a defensive FM strategy.

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I think you misunderstand. I was refering to how awful Man U were, and it was quite clearly because they were set up wrong tactically (hence the tactical sub forced in the first half when McNair came off for Herrera). I hate Utd with a passion, but with there current quad they would pretty much fall into the category of "world class" and Mr Van Gaal nicely demonstrated how it is possible to take a world class team and make the look like sunday league players because you set the tactics up.

I think this is a little unfair to Van Gaal. The team they could put out last night included Smalling, Evans, Rojo, Mcnair, Januzaj, Young and Valencia who I don't think can be argued are world class, as well as Carrick, Fellaini, Herrerra and Mata who you might argue but I would disagree.

De Gea, Rooney and Van Persie alone does not a world class side make. Compare that squad to that of Madrid, Barca, Bayern, City etc. There's a huge difference.

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I disagree with this actually.

The defensive strategy is a set of instructions that suit a all round, cautious, defensive game. But what if you want aspects of a cautious system but not an entirely defensive approach?

As far as I know, a defensive strategy, drops the d-line, lessens pressing to deeper inside our own half, slows the tempos, shortens the passing, and reduces mentality.

Is it not totally achievable to have a side to play patient, possession football (which defensive gives you) with a higher d-line and a more aggressive pressing game?

It's taken me a good six months (game time) of tinkering, but I've got my Dag & Red side playing that way, and it's producing some very nice football in attack, and aggressive pressing higher up the pitch.

A defensive strategy with the TI's "Push Higher Up" and "Close Down More" can produce a system that is actually quite attacking in nature, but with a defensive FM strategy.

I agree but in relation to the opening post and what he was trying to achieve then the post you quoted was accurate. He wanted to be solid and compact yet play a high pressure pressing game. Now by nature regardless of what settings you use, if you close down aggressively then you aren't compact because by definition players close down more and are more prone to leaving their position to chase the ball.

How you play and what the OP wanted are two different things.

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I don't know why I don't just give up with this game. Every time I load up a new save to try and piece together what I should be doing I just get more and more frustrated. The level of margin between winning and losing is far too big in my opinion. I can have better players than the opposition, and they will still lose.

At what point are minuscule tactical failing out weighed by the simple fact that I have better players? Clearly never. Clearly at no point are any set of players I'm ever managing winning in despite of them playing the way I want them to. At no point do the so called 'world-class' attributes they have allow them to override my clear idiocy in what I'm asking them to do?

It is at this point where I clearly ask the validity of the attributes. How can a 20 be really better than a 10, or a 15 - when across the board players with better attributes are failing at key moments as to allow me to win games and do the right things. The doesn't allow this, and blindly asks them to override their attributes so that the ME does not allow me to win because it knows haven't cracked the right set-up of tactics.

Broadly speaking, you really only need to think about a few different scenarios.

Firstly...

What roles suit the players I have at my disposal to get the best out of them & when all that is combined, do I have a good balance of roles & duties. If not, which members of my squad are versatile enough to be able to play a different role ?

From here you can pretty much settle on a basic shape and allocation of roles, duties and a broad indication (NOT including strategy & philosophy at this stage) of how you want to play ) possession, direct, counter attack etc...

Secondly...

Are you playing an inferior / equal / superior team ?

Home or Away ?

Are they playing a specific shape that can be exploited / you should be wary of ?

Primarily this dictates philosophy and mentality for me.

This then helps you decide what I think of as the "flexible" TI's. Exploit flanks, exploit middle, play narrow, play wider, tempo etc.

Give it a bash, it might look like you are constantly tweaking for a while, but I have found that once you have played 20 or so games (against a variety of different teams as set out above) you will have learned what works against what set-up and why.

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I agree but in relation to the opening post and what he was trying to achieve then the post you quoted was accurate. He wanted to be solid and compact yet play a high pressure pressing game. Now by nature regardless of what settings you use, if you close down aggressively then you aren't compact because by definition players close down more and are more prone to leaving their position to chase the ball.

How you play and what the OP wanted are two different things.

My mistake I perceived the post to argue that you couldn't play defensive with a high pressing game, would perhaps produce the sort of play the OP is wanting to achieve. Obviously, it isn't "compact" as such, but the Defensive strategy reduces mentality,

Yeah the style I play differs to how the opening poster wants to slightly, and to be honest, it's seems that the OP is wanting to play a style that ticks a lot of boxes that contradict each other.

The set up I use, although by no means excellent and I'm no tactical master on FM (quite the opposite!), could produce close to what the OP desires. It isn't "compact" per se, but with a Defensive strategy, which lowers mentality & creative freedom, players get back behind the ball and press once in shape. The already deep d-line that is pushed up via a TI, still wouldn't be classed as a high defensive line, but allows the pitch to be squeezed enough to make pressing effective. I do, however, have a very hard working, energetic side (without not many more qualities to boast!)

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My mistake I perceived the post to argue that you couldn't play defensive with a high pressing game, would perhaps produce the sort of play the OP is wanting to achieve. Obviously, it isn't "compact" as such, but the Defensive strategy reduces mentality,

Yeah the style I play differs to how the opening poster wants to slightly, and to be honest, it's seems that the OP is wanting to play a style that ticks a lot of boxes that contradict each other.

The set up I use, although by no means excellent and I'm no tactical master on FM (quite the opposite!), could produce close to what the OP desires. It isn't "compact" per se, but with a Defensive strategy, which lowers mentality & creative freedom, players get back behind the ball and press once in shape. The already deep d-line that is pushed up via a TI, still wouldn't be classed as a high defensive line, but allows the pitch to be squeezed enough to make pressing effective. I do, however, have a very hard working, energetic side (without not many more qualities to boast!)

Which is what the reply was originally about from gechal :)

However you are speaking perfect sense though for how you set up and I wrote something about this myself, I used a defensive framework but used aggressive roles http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/391083-The-School-of-the-Defensive-Arts

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Which is what the reply was originally about from gechal :)

However you are speaking perfect sense though for how you set up and I wrote something about this myself, I used a defensive framework but used aggressive roles http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/391083-The-School-of-the-Defensive-Arts

Yeah, like I said I misread the post to say you couldn't have a defensive strategy that presses.

It was that article that inspired me to try and get a defensive strategy to be successful. When I took over a poor but hard working Dag & Red side, I thought it was the ideal scenario to get it to work. My base tactic is basic, flat 4-4-2 with a 4-1-4-1 & 4-3-3 variant. Initially, it was turgid. Very acceptable from a defensive point of view but struggled to create chances & score goals.

But after tinkering with roles & shouts, it's become a very effective tactic that is creating between 6-10 CCC's a game & enjoying good possession statistics, whilst still remaining relatively solid.

It's the first time I feel like I understand a tactic and its strengths & flaws for a good while.

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You need to work on your set up and understanding of the game. With all respect you should start off with basic stuff until you have a better knowledge of how things actually work. It's clear from all your posts that you get confused with your ideas so strip it all back and take baby steps.

This is all fantastic, but after reading pages and pages of what you put out, trying to implement them in my own game, I'm forever back at square one. Losing, frustration. I read something, put into place, it doesn't work. Read some more, some more, and finally some more, but at the end of the day it's all theory and ultimately counter intuitive. I'm happy to be proved otherwise, but to me, it just doesn't work. I can see it does for others, but I just don't understand why it can't for me. It used to, I never used to suck so hard at this game, but now it's unbearable.

The AI will always have the advantage as it can always recognise the failings in the human's tactics. Until players reach levels of your and certain others capabilities to read the ME inside out, this will always be the case.

I'm forever changing saves as nothing works. For instance save A doesn't work, trying to play a certain way - so I don't stick with that as simply there is no enjoyment in losing. I start another save, with another team and try and succeed in a different way, try to find enjoyment another way. That doesn't work, rinse and repeat.

The only save I've had moderate success is a Real Madrid save last night in which my objective was to replicate Ronaldo's scoring rates. I managed to get Ronaldo scoring, around 50 in 50, win by high margins - but I still lost against Barca, got dumped out of the CL, lose 6-1 to Levante at home.

I then try and replicate what I did there with Liverpool, and I'm failing once again. The Premier League is just impossible it seems.

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This is all fantastic, but after reading pages and pages of what you put out, trying to implement them in my own game, I'm forever back at square one. Losing, frustration. I read something, put into place, it doesn't work. Read some more, some more, and finally some more, but at the end of the day it's all theory and ultimately counter intuitive. I'm happy to be proved otherwise, but to me, it just doesn't work. I can see it does for others, but I just don't understand why it can't for me. It used to, I never used to suck so hard at this game, but now it's unbearable.

The AI will always have the advantage as it can always recognise the failings in the human's tactics. Until players reach levels of your and certain others capabilities to read the ME inside out, this will always be the case.

I'm forever changing saves as nothing works. For instance save A doesn't work, trying to play a certain way - so I don't stick with that as simply there is no enjoyment in losing. I start another save, with another team and try and succeed in a different way, try to find enjoyment another way. That doesn't work, rinse and repeat.

The only save I've had moderate success is a Real Madrid save last night in which my objective was to replicate Ronaldo's scoring rates. I managed to get Ronaldo scoring, around 50 in 50, win by high margins - but I still lost against Barca, got dumped out of the CL, lose 6-1 to Levante at home.

I then try and replicate what I did there with Liverpool, and I'm failing once again. The Premier League is just impossible it seems.

How about an update? You said your attempt failed? Can you post some screen shots or even better some video of what went wrong? How about a look at players and attributes?

Again, if you want to be defensively SOLID, then closing down all the time is not the way to do it. I currently have a similar philosophy with my side playing standard 4-4-2. I want to be solid, so for me in my system that's CB's and FB's PI's for close down less, then I also use the TI close down less (and occasionally close down much less), stick to positions, be more disciplined. I'm going for shape, and aiming to keep it. This to me is trying to be 'solid'. High pressing with tons of closing down is to me more the description of 'overwhelming' the opposition with defense, not being 'solid'.

Have a look at this article on "gegenpressing", or "counter pressing". http://spielverlagerung.com/2014/10/07/counter-or-gegenpressing/ Just look at the diagram... that's not defensively solid, it's defensive aggression and attempting to overwhelm the single opponent on the ball. There is no shape there, so if it fails then there are likely to be some consequences without the right players and complete understanding and commitment to the system.

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This is all fantastic, but after reading pages and pages of what you put out, trying to implement them in my own game, I'm forever back at square one. Losing, frustration. I read something, put into place, it doesn't work. Read some more, some more, and finally some more, but at the end of the day it's all theory and ultimately counter intuitive. I'm happy to be proved otherwise, but to me, it just doesn't work. I can see it does for others, but I just don't understand why it can't for me. It used to, I never used to suck so hard at this game, but now it's unbearable.

The AI will always have the advantage as it can always recognise the failings in the human's tactics. Until players reach levels of your and certain others capabilities to read the ME inside out, this will always be the case.

I'm forever changing saves as nothing works. For instance save A doesn't work, trying to play a certain way - so I don't stick with that as simply there is no enjoyment in losing. I start another save, with another team and try and succeed in a different way, try to find enjoyment another way. That doesn't work, rinse and repeat.

The only save I've had moderate success is a Real Madrid save last night in which my objective was to replicate Ronaldo's scoring rates. I managed to get Ronaldo scoring, around 50 in 50, win by high margins - but I still lost against Barca, got dumped out of the CL, lose 6-1 to Levante at home.

I then try and replicate what I did there with Liverpool, and I'm failing once again. The Premier League is just impossible it seems.

It's not theory at all and it does work. It's not up to me to prove you wrong at all and having that kind of attitude is rather crap when I was trying to help you along with others. It's funny how everyone else can get it working when taking their time though isn't it and its just you struggling. That suggests the issue is you and your understanding and the things you are doing in games.

Your problem is you think you know best when in actual fact you don't understand how the game works and rather than start simple and build on that you want to rush and don't really take the advice given. I've just looked back at some of your posts from last year and you was doing the same things then, being dismissive and not really taking into account what's said. At the end of the day there is only you who can improve how you play and if you can't use the guides that exist on this forum then I don't see how anyone can help you so its rather pointless even trying.

The fact that you think the AI has the advantage highlights how little you actually know or understand the game. The AI doesn't react to everything you do yet you can react to everything they do. And the AI doesn't recognise your failings always either, again this is another lie and myth that you seem to have got stuck in your head. If only you put as much time into learning and taking the advice on board that's given rather than moaning about how the AI has advantages and cheats blah blah.

However I'm wasting my time even trying to help you it seems so I'll bow out. But hopefully someone else can get through to you but for me its just not worth it when you are coming out with stuff like that and have silly ideas about how the game works and functions when in reality it doesn't.

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The only save I've had moderate success is a Real Madrid save last night in which my objective was to replicate Ronaldo's scoring rates. I managed to get Ronaldo scoring, around 50 in 50, win by high margins - but I still lost against Barca, got dumped out of the CL, lose 6-1 to Levante at home.

I then try and replicate what I did there with Liverpool, and I'm failing once again. The Premier League is just impossible it seems.

Losing against Barca is fair enough, they are a fantastic team obviously. Losing 1-6 to Levante at home is really not good and Madrid shouldn't get knocked out of CL easily. Would be interesting to see what kind of goals you are letting in.

When you are playing, is it a big struggle in both the attackind and defending aspects? Are the goals you concede of all different sorts or is there a pattern that you see in save after save?

If you follow some of the guides on this forum I have no doubt that you will succeed, but FM15 is a better game and also more demanding than previous versions. There are guys on this thread commenting that knows a lot about this game, and you should pay close attention to what they are saying, as they are only trying to help.

What I can say, when it comes to Team Instructions, they shouldn't be used just because it sounds like a smart idea, they have to be linked up to the system and plan of your team overall. And certainly have to be adjusted when you see how games develop throughout the season.

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You want to be compact through shape yet choose fluid which gives high creative freedom which can make players be out of position or choose the wrong options. You also play higher tempo which again will make play far too fast especially when you are playing defensive and again makes you lose shape. And lastly you close down much more which again does what? Yups you guessed it you lose shape.

Plus high pressing = aggressive which means players will look to move up from their position and press early which makes you lose shape and make gaps appear.

You've fell in to the trap that many FM players do and your settings don't match what you want or set out to achieve. You say you want to play one way then set up the total extreme of what you wanted to do, the total opposite.

In your experience, Cleon, how much influence do those directions have on the performance of the tactic as a whole? What you say makes a ton of sense to me and when I play I do try to avoid obviously counter-intuitive instructions, but is there a 'tipping point', if you will, where instructions will override the general intent of the tactic?

I'm playing Bolton in my save and this is the kind of idea I would love to be able to actually emulate since they don't have, and I can't afford, high-end offensive talent. I want to be defensive-minded, preferably with a defensive forward or some other disruptor at or near the front of the line to force errors on which I can counter -- but also one where my own instructions won't torpedo what I am trying to accomplish. I'm also handicapped by never having played FM 14 so the entire tactical system is basically brand new to me.

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In your experience, Cleon, how much influence do those directions have on the performance of the tactic as a whole? What you say makes a ton of sense to me and when I play I do try to avoid obviously counter-intuitive instructions, but is there a 'tipping point', if you will, where instructions will override the general intent of the tactic?

I'm playing Bolton in my save and this is the kind of idea I would love to be able to actually emulate since they don't have, and I can't afford, high-end offensive talent. I want to be defensive-minded, preferably with a defensive forward or some other disruptor at or near the front of the line to force errors on which I can counter -- but also one where my own instructions won't torpedo what I am trying to accomplish. I'm also handicapped by never having played FM 14 so the entire tactical system is basically brand new to me.

The tipping point is probably like in the opening post where he wants to play one way and then chooses settings that don't compliment or achieve what he wants. So for me I'd say it comes down to how you want to play that determines which instructions will have a disruptive impact on the balance of what you create. So for example if you want to stay compact then you'd avoid using instructions that allow the player to leave his position like heavy closing down, roaming and forward runs (assuming its someone you don't want attacking obviously) etc. So really it all depends on what style you are trying for. In the thread I linked a bit further up I wanted to be compact and tight but only to a certain extent. I liked what defensive offered more than trying to create a defensive style as such. By that I mean I liked the low risk nature of the mentality as it allows slow patient build up and isn't rushed. But then I selected aggressive roles which were quite attacking but still quite restrained in a defensive mentality compared to a more neutral/attacking one. It turned out to be one of the more deadly tactics I created as everything felt calculated and measured, if I attacked you felt chances are its going to be a great chance or a goal. Were as if I'd been in a more attacking mentality then the chances might be higher but they'd definitely be of a lesser quality.

So I guess it just comes down to using instructions that compliment your style that you are creating rather than choosing ones which don't allow for the strategy you are trying to implement. I'd think along those lines rather than a tipping point as such because anything can work. It's just something's work better with different styles.

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I was afraid you'd say that. :)

But again, it does make sense. The idea of a patient buildup is something else I've been trying to emulate without a whole lot of success, but this does give me something (else) to think about. Cheers and thanks.

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