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Has anyone found a way to create a legitimate counter tactic?

I see threads and threads of successful tika-taka/ Guardiola style formations. I also see threads and threads of successful Dortmund/ Jupp heynckes gengenpressing tactics. But I struggle to find any tactical threads that boast a legitimate counter tactic that drops deep and then breaks with speed. I often see people say that the counter mentality is counter productive to playing a counter tactic, and is therefore used by people (including myself) to create a possession tactic, because of the low mentality it gives the team.

Is the idea of creating an honest to god counter tactic therefore impossible within the game? because although a team may drop back deep and be hard to breakdown with a defend mentality, the low mentality means the players aren't tenacious enough in trying to win the ball back, and then have little impetuous to move the ball forward with speed (even with a higher tempo setting)

I would be ecstatic if someone could shed some light on what makes a good counter tactic in this game!

Just incase I'm doing something unbelievably stupid here is how I start to create my counter tactics.

Mentality - Defend / Counter

Team Shape - Rigid / Balanced

GK - D

FB - S

CD - D

CD - D

FB - S

W - A

BB - S

CM - D

WM - A

TM - A

DLF - S

Team Instructions - Higher Tempo, Direct Passing, Run at Defence, Pass Into Space

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I think its reasonable to say that there is a bit of an imbalance in the current ME with regards to counter attacking style. Deep/patient defending tactics tend to be hard to achieve success with.

In terms of your setup, a couple of things come to mind:

1) A TM is an unusual choice for a counter tactic? He is more a "hold up" type player, and it will also lead to all other players tending towards playing the ball towards him

2) The mentality has been subject to quite a bit of debate, but actually "counter" doesnt necessarily create counter attacking football. At times it can create slower football. Something to keep an eye on.

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Jambo98

I'm aware of the slower football that counter creates, but there doesn't seem any other choice, attacking with drop deeper, close down less, just gets picked apart because of the spaces the attack mentality leaves.

If it's quite commonly known that "counter" isn't the ideal mentality to try and create a counter tactic with......what is?

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In my limited experience of minimal succes, control provides more counter attacking. Again with with some TI to support it, and of course the formation needs to be right and the players need to be.

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I currently have my Man Utd team set up to counter attack from set pieces but with the current ME, it's so hard to actually be successful. I have no problem flooding players from box to box but the decision making and passes from my players almost always let me down.

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I think counter is the best mentality to achieve counter attacks, because when the counter criteria is met, tempo and mentality are maxed out (could also be the case with some other mentalities like defend or overload)

So you need to make sure you create the space and have the proper players to exploit it (My favorite are a fast AF and Wa).You should be careful about those TI's,rushing things isn't always a good thing;I would remove them all and maybe add later, one by one.

I can assure you, many beautiful goals can be scored on the break in FM15.On the other hand, I have many problems defending deep in FM15 but it's probably my limited skill, Cleon claims having same succes in FM15.

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Haven't dabbled with it as much in FM15 as I did in FM14, the biggest thing I found when creating a counter tactic that is more vital than anything else, is the opposition attacking you, or at least leaving space in behind. If you are a big club, or have a good rep for the division you are in, you are going to struggle, and your counter set up will basically become a very slow build up tactic, which actually can work pretty well for that purpose, but you aren't going to get many counters, cos the opposition don't come out enough.

On the flip side, as said it's quite difficult to defend deep and soak up pressure, you end up bogged down, and then you never get counters either. It's a tough balance to find, but I believe it can be done under the right circumstance. In my opinion, without having tried, your best bet to get good counters going is to play an attacking tactic, with not to many attack duties in your side. Role selection is key, as you don't want to many players to far up the pitch to quickly, runners from deep are very useful though.

I know this isn't the best tactical advice ever, as I said I haven't really tried to create it this time around, but I am fairly sure I could get it working if I had a good go at it. The thing to remember is you aren't constantly going to be counter attacking, 2 maybe 3 good counters a game is probably as much as you can expect, need to have realistic expectations.

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I agree with Torskus77 on this. If you want to play a confident, fast attacking counter style, you should try attacking mentality. In order to get the players not to press too far up the field, I'd play wingers in the ML/MR position and not the AML/AMR position. Additionally, I'll instruct the team to play deep (or even very deep). It is up to you whether you want to play a short and quick counter, with a lot of running with the ball, or whether you want to move the ball up field with direct quick passes.

The disadvantage of this approach, is that when your players play with a an attacking mentality, they focus more of their effort on attack at the expense of defense. So you may find you are giving up some frustrating goals.

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Haven't dabbled with it as much in FM15 as I did in FM14, the biggest thing I found when creating a counter tactic that is more vital than anything else, is the opposition attacking you, or at least leaving space in behind. If you are a big club, or have a good rep for the division you are in, you are going to struggle, and your counter set up will basically become a very slow build up tactic, which actually can work pretty well for that purpose, but you aren't going to get many counters, cos the opposition don't come out enough.

On the flip side, as said it's quite difficult to defend deep and soak up pressure, you end up bogged down, and then you never get counters either. It's a tough balance to find, but I believe it can be done under the right circumstance. In my opinion, without having tried, your best bet to get good counters going is to play an attacking tactic, with not to many attack duties in your side. Role selection is key, as you don't want to many players to far up the pitch to quickly, runners from deep are very useful though.

I know this isn't the best tactical advice ever, as I said I haven't really tried to create it this time around, but I am fairly sure I could get it working if I had a good go at it. The thing to remember is you aren't constantly going to be counter attacking, 2 maybe 3 good counters a game is probably as much as you can expect, need to have realistic expectations.

This actually mirrors my experience, so I'd say it is sound advice. I am playing a patient counterattacking style at the moment, and it isn't always as effective as it should be in taking advantage of space. What I've done is a bit opposite to what you suggested but with the same effect (different way of getting to point B I suppose): I play a counter mentality (or defensive), but use a higher d-line and attacking roles, so that I don't sit too deep. What I found in this version of the ME is that if you sit too deep, your team collapses into your own half, and even though there are gobs of space behind the opponent, it doesn't get used very well. Then when the ball is recovered, the overall team position is so deep that the "counter" conditions don't trigger- The AI gets enough men back in time. The higher line with some attacking mentality, and then possibly using a higher tempo and more direct style can help remedy this.

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This actually mirrors my experience, so I'd say it is sound advice. I am playing a patient counterattacking style at the moment, and it isn't always as effective as it should be in taking advantage of space. What I've done is a bit opposite to what you suggested but with the same effect (different way of getting to point B I suppose): I play a counter mentality (or defensive), but use a higher d-line and attacking roles, so that I don't sit too deep. What I found in this version of the ME is that if you sit too deep, your team collapses into your own half, and even though there are gobs of space behind the opponent, it doesn't get used very well. Then when the ball is recovered, the overall team position is so deep that the "counter" conditions don't trigger- The AI gets enough men back in time. The higher line with some attacking mentality, and then possibly using a higher tempo and more direct style can help remedy this.

This using a higher line is something that I've had success with when playing with a defensive mentality. But I've stopped using it because I didn't have a clue as to why it made my tactic more successful, and I find it uncomfortable playing a match without knowing what effect something is having on my team. I used to assume that the success of this was down to the fact that the midfield and strikers drop deep (in line with the defensive mentality) but the d-line pushes up therefore restricting the space between the D-line and the midfield line and preventing the AI from attacking from within the hole.

How does this theory sound to everyone else?

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This using a higher line is something that I've had success with when playing with a defensive mentality. But I've stopped using it because I didn't have a clue as to why it made my tactic more successful, and I find it uncomfortable playing a match without knowing what effect something is having on my team. I used to assume that the success of this was down to the fact that the midfield and strikers drop deep (in line with the defensive mentality) but the d-line pushes up therefore restricting the space between the D-line and the midfield line and preventing the AI from attacking from within the hole.

How does this theory sound to everyone else?

I use it in combination with attacking roles that have players pushing up a bit. First, you are correct in that it compresses space a bit. When you are playing defensive or counter mentalities, the line is naturally pretty deep and when they drop off, they invite pressure, which often leads to the scenario described. You get your overall shape more compact vertically which eliminates some holes, but also your defenders engage the opponent earlier, which can stop them from camping in your own end, resulting in the rest of your players tracking back. Then it can be hell getting the ball cleared out, or into useful space. I wouldn't mind playing deep except for the fact that I don't see the counter working as it should in many of those instances.

So, yeah, you are pretty much correct in what you thought was happening out there, and I would keep doing it with the defensive or counter mentalities. You take a bit of risk, of course, but hey, I'd rather chance a killer ball or something over the top than let the AI ping shots at me in the sometimes endless cycle that can develop from being too deep :)

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You can also get some interesting results on Overload, if you modify some of its less desirable traits ;)

I am intrigued by this bit: what do you do to overload to get it to behave like a counter style? I admit I almost never use overload, because I haven't really had any joy with it. I only seem to give up goals when doing it :(.

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I am intrigued by this bit: what do you do to overload to get it to behave like a counter style? I admit I almost never use overload, because I haven't really had any joy with it. I only seem to give up goals when doing it :(.

Drop the line as far as you can, lower the tempo and keep your fingers crossed :D

I tend to outscore people this way, but leak at the back a bit. It moves you from 1-0 or 2-0 scorelines towards 4-2 and 5-3 on a more regular basis. As such, it's not really a sustainable way of playing as I generally start matches with one aim (clean sheet) and anything else is a bonus.

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Drop the line as far as you can, lower the tempo and keep your fingers crossed :D

I tend to outscore people this way, but leak at the back a bit. It moves you from 1-0 or 2-0 scorelines towards 4-2 and 5-3 on a more regular basis. As such, it's not really a sustainable way of playing as I generally start matches with one aim (clean sheet) and anything else is a bonus.

Hmmm. So you set up your roles and duties just as you would using a more conventional set of match tactics? I'm going to have to give this a go on my tactics tester save. I'm curious what an Anchor man would do on a full match overload :D

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Hmmm. So you set up your roles and duties just as you would using a more conventional set of match tactics?

Yeah, I don't tend to over analyse things :)

The worst case is that it is ineffective, and as it is just a computer game, I'm prepared to take that risk :brock:

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This actually mirrors my experience, so I'd say it is sound advice. I am playing a patient counterattacking style at the moment, and it isn't always as effective as it should be in taking advantage of space. What I've done is a bit opposite to what you suggested but with the same effect (different way of getting to point B I suppose): I play a counter mentality (or defensive), but use a higher d-line and attacking roles, so that I don't sit too deep. What I found in this version of the ME is that if you sit too deep, your team collapses into your own half, and even though there are gobs of space behind the opponent, it doesn't get used very well. Then when the ball is recovered, the overall team position is so deep that the "counter" conditions don't trigger- The AI gets enough men back in time. The higher line with some attacking mentality, and then possibly using a higher tempo and more direct style can help remedy this.

Yes, it could well work that way, it wasn't really based on anything I'd tested in FM15, just some thoughts if I were. I played loads of counter tactics in FM14, and did extremely well. Starting with a low rep club and moving up the leagues, I was pretty much always an underdog, which help loads. As soon as I became an established Premier League side though, I struggled badly, because teams just didn't come at me enough, so I had to change my plan.

My thoughts about using an attacking mentality would rely a lot on the roles I selected, so a different approach to RTH's overload thoughts. I may give it a go at some point.

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Due to match engine's problem, counter tactic generally don't work well. Both route one and direct passing combined with high tempo will waste most of the chance you can get for counter, even when you break through their defense, your striker will probably miss his chance due to this version of ME low conversion rates. You will eventually need to adjust your counter tactic more like a possession based tactic, short pass, low tempo etc, and then you just find out the only difference might be just sit deeper and without the retain possession though.

Then you would have thought those sit deep counter will work well against big team away game? They will still dominate you due to they have more chance create, and you need to be very lucky to convert those little chances you have.

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I've found some luck with counters recently using control. Here's a clip of a recent one.

Once my players clear it and get it down the wing my striker, my winger, both my fullbacks and two supporting midfielders bomb into the box awaiting a cross. It works well usually early on in matches when the opposition are pushing players forward. Later on in matches I have to keep some players back so that I don't get countered myself.

EDIT: I would have uploaded it in a higher resolution but not sure how to.

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