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I'm almost done Reading - Ahhhhh - Help me Understand

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I've been reading and reading and for some reason what I read I'm not able to make it translate into the game. I understand that I might not be implementing the philosophy of each post but I'd like help in understanding where I might be going wrong.

I'm uploading a Match and please look at it and tell me your thoughts. I did go out pretty attacking but with them playing 4-1-4-1 and me being the stronger side I was hoping to steam roller them in the first half then relax the second. I man marked their lone striker with a CB-D using Player Instructions, made the other DB-C. Other than that everything else was the same.

I got a lit into the match and noticed I wasn't making good use of my shooting so changed to Work Ball Into Box - Assistant Manager said to put in more crosses, I listened to him! I don't know why because when I checked the stats I wasn't completing any crosses, so I stopped that.

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Realistically no-one is going to load the match up and watch it and offer you advice. What you should do is go into more specifics about the issues you saw and talk more about the tactic and instructions you use. While trying to explain why you have chosen something so we can get a understanding of how you think and view the game.

Being the stronger side, it isn't always logical to go more attacking against the weaker sides for the reasons detailed in post 17 in this thread http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term

If you want help though you really need to go into more specifics, provide examples and be as detailed as possible. That way, someone will be able to help you and offer actual meaningful advice.

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Realistically no-one is going to load the match up and watch it and offer you advice. What you should do is go into more specifics about the issues you saw and talk more about the tactic and instructions you use. While trying to explain why you have chosen something so we can get a understanding of how you think and view the game.

Being the stronger side, it isn't always logical to go more attacking against the weaker sides for the reasons detailed in post 17 in this thread http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/403153-Building-A-Tactic-From-The-Beginning-And-Maintaining-It-Long-Term

If you want help though you really need to go into more specifics, provide examples and be as detailed as possible. That way, someone will be able to help you and offer actual meaningful advice.

This is help within its self - I will go over the match and bring out things that didn't make sense to me and post the more detailed info, so hopefully others can help.

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I think that the names of the strategies may be a little bit misleading.

Attack is a strategy where the players take lots of risks (dribbling, low-percentage shooting etc), mostly look for players in front of them (and if they cannot find anyone they are reluctant to pass backwards or sidewards), they push more up and hesitate quite a bit before making the return runs, play wider, quicker and start their forward runs at an earlier point.

Contain is a strategy where the players take little or no risks, are keen to look for passes backwards and sideways, are very keen to make the return runs and start their forward runs rather late. The team is playing more narrowly, slowly and drop deeper when defending.

So in other words, against a 4141 - one of the most defensive formations in the game - set to defend or contain, there is no space to run forwards into, quick passing is more likely to be intercepted, crosses blocked or cleared away and dribbling is less likely to succeed. You just try to smash a hole through a parked bus with a sledge hammer. Sometimes it works, sometimes you need an even bigger hammer - but often this strategy will fail.

Some of the most popular tactics in the download sections here and on other sites are set to Contain, but they still score a lot of goals. I play a wide 424 at Standard, and I am always ready to press the Retain Possession button in case my quartet up front become isolated because the attacks are being finished too early (the team becomes "stretched out") or I can't get hold of the ball.

You may think that 424 is a very attacking tactic, but at Standard without any team instructions it is actually not. In my interpretation there are three attacking phases; 1) The initial quick attack phase, 2) The secondary movement phase and 3) The rebuild phase. In 1) I only attack with four players, in 2) one of the four guys up front passes sideways or backwards to the onrushing support-role midfielders and defenders because the three other forwards have already been picked up/stopped their runs, and in 3) the forwards start their second forward runs after retracking a little bit, and the full backs have arrived in an attacking position. The thing is that the first phase is mostly useless against parked buses, and in order to keep the ball long enough for the secondary movement to initiate, I need to Retain Possession or even Play Slower. The tactic needs to be set up to patiently pass the ball around in the attacking third in order to create space. You need to drag the defenders left and right so that your strikers can lose their marker. This is very difficult to achieve with Attacking and even Control.

As for Work Ball into Box - it sets both crossing and shooting to happen more rarely. In general, if you are having too many shots, adding Work Ball into Box will stop that from happening but it may come at the cost of not creating any real chances at all. If so, you should consider it a band-aid on a torn-off foot since the approach as a whole is unsuitable to the situation.

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Back to the drawing board to help explain what I don't understand.

Let's start with crosses. The Assistant Manager was suggesting to do it more as we we're doing great with crosses, but the stats don't show this at all, it shows that I couldn't put a ball in to save myself. I understand that this advice is down to his stats too, but that doesn't help explain why I wasn't getting my crosses in. I feel I had a decent playing on the wing capable enough to get a ball in but yet he just can't!

They're playing 4-1-4-1 - so here is what the stats look like.

Carlos Edwards - Position - Crosses - Overall

Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_11_10_23.jpg Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_11_21_40.jpg Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_11_21_56.jpg Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_11_06_53.jpg

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Don't listen to the assistant, he doesn't understand what you are/have created, he bases his comments on the match stats at the time. So his advice could go against everything that you are trying to create. Also in order for us to understand more about the crossing, we ideally need to know everything about your set up. For example you might use a striker who drops deep so then crosses won't be as effective as they'll be no-one in the box that often etc.

Also if you click on those little dots you can view the clips back and see if they were freekicks, corners and so on.

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Playing a DLF-S and a P - with each of the replays I had players in the box, only one of those crosses was over played into no mans land. All of the other opportunities seemed like it was worth a chance of something coming of it. I had more than a few players in the box each of those times too. More than having players in the box Carlos Edwards looks like he just sin't getting the ball in soon enough. I enabled Hit Early Cross for about 35 mins and still no change to his intentions.

PS - Cleon, do you ever stream yourself playing FM?

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Well, to begin with, 4 shots on target out of 18 is 22%. That is extremely poor. It should be around 50% or better. Out of those shots on goal, I feel that 33% should become goals before I am happy with the way the team played.

In order to get good shots on goal, you need to have enough players in the final third that the opposition has to leave their position to close the ball carrier down. If you play Attacking and don't add team instructions that slow down the play, the crosses, through balls and shots are likely aimed at 1-4 players in or around the box, which is probably about half the amount of people defending that area. They are looking to finish the attack before the support comes running from the midfield and defense.

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I think that the names of the strategies may be a little bit misleading.

Attack is a strategy where the players take lots of risks (dribbling, low-percentage shooting etc), mostly look for players in front of them (and if they cannot find anyone they are reluctant to pass backwards or sidewards), they push more up and hesitate quite a bit before making the return runs, play wider, quicker and start their forward runs at an earlier point.

Contain is a strategy where the players take little or no risks, are keen to look for passes backwards and sideways, are very keen to make the return runs and start their forward runs rather late. The team is playing more narrowly, slowly and drop deeper when defending.

So in other words, against a 4141 - one of the most defensive formations in the game - set to defend or contain, there is no space to run forwards into, quick passing is more likely to be intercepted, crosses blocked or cleared away and dribbling is less likely to succeed. You just try to smash a hole through a parked bus with a sledge hammer. Sometimes it works, sometimes you need an even bigger hammer - but often this strategy will fail.

Some of the most popular tactics in the download sections here and on other sites are set to Contain, but they still score a lot of goals. I play a wide 424 at Standard, and I am always ready to press the Retain Possession button in case my quartet up front become isolated because the attacks are being finished too early (the team becomes "stretched out") or I can't get hold of the ball.

You may think that 424 is a very attacking tactic, but at Standard without any team instructions it is actually not. In my interpretation there are three attacking phases; 1) The initial quick attack phase, 2) The secondary movement phase and 3) The rebuild phase. In 1) I only attack with four players, in 2) one of the four guys up front passes sideways or backwards to the onrushing support-role midfielders and defenders because the three other forwards have already been picked up/stopped their runs, and in 3) the forwards start their second forward runs after retracking a little bit, and the full backs have arrived in an attacking position. The thing is that the first phase is mostly useless against parked buses, and in order to keep the ball long enough for the secondary movement to initiate, I need to Retain Possession or even Play Slower. The tactic needs to be set up to patiently pass the ball around in the attacking third in order to create space. You need to drag the defenders left and right so that your strikers can lose their marker. This is very difficult to achieve with Attacking and even Control.

As for Work Ball into Box - it sets both crossing and shooting to happen more rarely. In general, if you are having too many shots, adding Work Ball into Box will stop that from happening but it may come at the cost of not creating any real chances at all. If so, you should consider it a band-aid on a torn-off foot since the approach as a whole is unsuitable to the situation.

The explanation given it the match of these instructions can be vague at times and when I'm enabling Work Ball Into Box. I'm expecting them to make sure things are more patient and only shoot when the chance is on, but from what you are saying means it's far more cautious then the instructions name intends to explain. I'll give some time to looking into contain and other more seemingly defensive type mantalities.

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Well, to begin with, 4 shots on target out of 18 is 22%. That is extremely poor. It should be around 50% or better. Out of those shots on goal, I feel that 33% should become goals before I am happy with the way the team played.

In order to get good shots on goal, you need to have enough players in the final third that the opposition has to leave their position to close the ball carrier down. If you play Attacking and don't add team instructions that slow down the play, the crosses, through balls and shots are likely aimed at 1-4 players in or around the box, which is probably about half the amount of people defending that area. They are looking to finish the attack before the support comes running from the midfield and defense.

I constantly find it difficult to get more shots on target an kinda felt it was down to not having decent enough players with composure to do the right thing. What you mention about having the players in the box, I feel I'm in there as these photos might show, or you can notice something in them I can't see.

Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_00_47.png Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_01_11.png Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_01_39.png

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All Work Ball Into Box does is reduce Long Shots *

EDIT * See back tracking post later on! It does reduce crossing too now - this is new for FM15

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All Work Ball Into Box does is reduce Long Shots.

I thank RTHerringbone for this comment showing that each person has a different understanding on what instructions do. That's why I'm saying I'm done reading because it doesn't reflect what happens when one plays the game often (more so in my case). I uploaded the match so that anyone can watch it and as you watch it hopefully see if from your own perspective as if you were playing it and the instincts you'd have to change to improve on what the team is doing.

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I constantly find it difficult to get more shots on target an kinda felt it was down to not having decent enough players with composure to do the right thing. What you mention about having the players in the box, I feel I'm in there as these photos might show, or you can notice something in them I can't see.

Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_00_47.png Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_01_11.png Screen_Shot_2015_03_13_at_12_01_39.png

It's far too crowded. You should definitely read the post I linked too in my opening post. It goes into detail about this and how you should use space better. Just by looking at the shots you had and the amount on target most will be able to see what the issue is, its not that you don't have enough bodies its because the player is too fast and the chances you create are quantity over quality. Shot wise you want at least 40% on target anything lower and that's extremely poor and bad tactic management. Anything over that is a bonus but 40% should be the base line used as the minimum.

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I thank RTHerringbone for this comment showing that each person has a different understanding on what instructions do. That's why I'm saying I'm done reading because it doesn't reflect what happens when one plays the game often (more so in my case). I uploaded the match so that anyone can watch it and as you watch it hopefully see if from your own perspective as if you were playing it and the instincts you'd have to change to improve on what the team is doing.

But even if someone does do that, it doesn't help you one bit as you don't make the same choices as the person watching. Like now, I could watch it and tell the how to fix every single issue but what do you learn from that? Nothing. Next time it happens you'd still be no wiser as to why it happens or how to change it. You need to take on board the advice being given so far and then learn from that rather than looking for people telling you how to fix things.

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The explanation given it the match of these instructions can be vague at times and when I'm enabling Work Ball Into Box. I'm expecting them to make sure things are more patient and only shoot when the chance is on, but from what you are saying means it's far more cautious then the instructions name intends to explain. I'll give some time to looking into contain and other more seemingly defensive type mantalities.

Yes I think that by the description given in the game and by the advisors in here, Attack is a strategy that should only be used when you are behind and have nothing to lose, or when finesse somehow fails and you have to resort to The Bigger Hammer Theorem.

Plan A should be Contain, Defensive, Counter or Standard. Control for when you need to risk more but don't want to risk too much, while Attack and Overload are two different kinds of "desperate". I'm not saying "don't play Control or Attack", but I am pretty sure that their all-purpose nature we were familiar with in earlier versions is now more or less gone. The AI is pretty capable of defending against those kinds of tactics in FM15, at least some of them are - I have had a lot of success with Control/Attack and formations like 343 and 433, but then I get smashed and it is difficult to figure out what exactly the ones who beat me did that the helpless victims did not. Over a length of time I would not recommend hammer-wielding as a starting strategy.

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I thank RTHerringbone for this comment showing that each person has a different understanding on what instructions do.

The important thing to do is listen to the right answers. Work Ball Into Box does not affect crossing, it only affects long shots. I can only assume there is a guide somewhere which mistakenly implies that crossing is affected by this TI, and that is what BiggusD is referring to. *

EDIT * See back tracking post later on! It does reduce crossing too now - this is new for FM15

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But even if someone does do that, it doesn't help you one bit as you don't make the same choices as the person watching. Like now, I could watch it and tell the how to fix every single issue but what do you learn from that? Nothing. Next time it happens you'd still be no wiser as to why it happens or how to change it. You need to take on board the advice being given so far and then learn from that rather than looking for people telling you how to fix things.

I agree with your statement about being told what to do. I might have phrased it wrong. I was looking for an explanation as to why it happens so I can learn from it. I will read the initial post you linked to. I appreciate any feedback from anyone who has a better understanding of how tactics work, and not just to be told but to learn and understand why.

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Don't use contain as a regular strategy btw as it doesn't counter attack, it's purely about shutting up shop and parking the bus. It has zero urgency to get forward.

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I've read some of your posts Cleon and as I'm reading I say to myself "yea I see that now..." - then when match day comes and I'm watching the full match - I just can be caught in a hypnotic state watching the game and I see a few thing and change them. I'm working on becoming better at watching the game and staying focused on what to look out for but I do find it hard to see them, or I see to many and before you know it I've got two MC man marking people and that leads to another thing and it becomes a melting pot of bad decisions I'm sure, other than seeing the most dangerous things and just cut that out.

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I've read some of your posts Cleon and as I'm reading I say to myself "yea I see that now..." - then when match day comes and I'm watching the full match - I just can be caught in a hypnotic state watching the game and I see a few thing and change them. I'm working on becoming better at watching the game and staying focused on what to look out for but I do find it hard to see them, or I see to many and before you know it I've got two MC man marking people and that leads to another thing and it becomes a melting pot of bad decisions I'm sure, other than seeing the most dangerous things and just cut that out.

My advice would be to go back and watch games you have had bad results in that have already happened. You spot more and its less stressful watching games where the result has already happened rather than watching a game where your changes impact the results. At least to begin with, learn how you lost the other games and that will help you more than anything for future games.

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Don't use contain as a regular strategy btw as it doesn't counter attack, it's purely about shutting up shop and parking the bus. It has zero urgency to get forward.

But one of the best tactics in the download section, a 4-4-1-1, uses Contain. My friend uses it and he is hardly giving any points away to the AI. The AI looks completely lost as to how to play against him. They just stand there with the ball until they are tackled and then he does attack quickly and in numbers.

To me, those are telltale signs that it is exploiting some tactical aspects of the AI's toolbox. Contain, short passing, retain possession, work ball into box, pass into space, play out of defence and play very slowly selected (I think). Also push up and close down more iirc.

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One extra question to ask with regards to this particular match, where I'm man marking a lone striker with a cover DC. I find that when doing this even though the DC who is marking has good stats in marking and position he gets caught out lets say 30%+ of the time. I was wondering if asking him to close down less too would help with this?

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But one of the best tactics in the download section, a 4-4-1-1, uses Contain. My friend uses it and he is hardly giving any points away to the AI. The AI looks completely lost as to how to play against him. They just stand there with the ball until they are tackled and then he does attack quickly and in numbers.

To me, those are telltale signs that it is exploiting some tactical aspects of the AI's toolbox. Contain, short passing, retain possession, work ball into box, pass into space, play out of defence and play very slowly selected (I think). Also push up and close down more iirc.

There is no such thing as best. I know which tactic you are on about but like all in that section of the forum its a mixed bag, half saying its crap doesn't work and the other half thinking its the most amazing thing ever. Those who are having success with it are changing strategies during games though and I don't believe anyone who says different and if they upload a PKM I'll gladly prove I'm right.

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*Hasty Backtrack*

Work Ball Into Box does now reduce crossing - this is new for FM15 and it never previously did it :o :rolleyes:

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*Hasty Backtrack*

Work Ball Into Box does now reduce crossing - this is new for FM15 and it never previously did it :o :rolleyes:

Amateur, no wonder we had to bring Rashidi back :D

One extra question to ask with regards to this particular match, where I'm man marking a lone striker with a cover DC. I find that when doing this even though the DC who is marking has good stats in marking and position he gets caught out lets say 30%+ of the time. I was wondering if asking him to close down less too would help with this?

Firstly I'd ask myself why I man marked him in the first place?

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Don't use contain as a regular strategy btw as it doesn't counter attack, it's purely about shutting up shop and parking the bus. It has zero urgency to get forward.

I tested a tactic using contain, and i had great succes, without changing anything in games. It's great if you want to keep the ball as much as possible with extreme patience. My results were so great, and i had 61% possesion in average.

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Amateur, no wonder we had to bring Rashidi back :D

I should go and have a lie down :D

In my defence, it is a change for FM15 which hasn't been communicated clearly - thanks to THoG for reminding me.

I've already forgotten.

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I should go and have a lie down :D

In my defence, it is a change for FM15 which hasn't been communicated clearly - thanks to THoG for reminding me.

I've already forgotten.

I think the description in the game said it did this. In addition I could see the behaviour on the pitch.

The basic principle of football tactics is to make sure that the players choose the best option available to them at all times. If they do, they are going to play well (although not necessarily win). To me, trying to dribble through 4-5 defenders or low-percentage shots are -never- the best option, so I want to make sure that he will turn around to pass back when he is isolated up front (or that he isn't). Standard does this most of the time, except when he's got space to run in (the opponent is not parking the bus). Attack more or less instructs them to choose the worst option in those circumstances, and even though it is possible to tweak that behaviour a little with team instructions, I am generally against ticking off more than a few of them at a time because each one reduces the number of options available to your players.

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Firstly I'd ask myself why I man marked him in the first place?

I was thinking it would keep him out of the game far more then no marking him, releasing him of any possession and turning it over to me every time they try and use him as an out ball - with you asking that question I'm now wondering why that's maybe not a good idea - :confused:

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I was thinking it would keep him out of the game far more then no marking him, releasing him of any possession and turning it over to me every time they try and use him as an out ball - with you asking that question I'm now wondering why that's maybe not a good idea - :confused:

It entirely depends on how much trouble he caused you without it. The defender man-marking him will follow him around, causing gaps in your defense which can be abused.

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Plan A should be Contain, Defensive, Counter or Standard. Control for when you need to risk more but don't want to risk too much, while Attack and Overload are two different kinds of "desperate". I'm not saying "don't play Control or Attack", but I am pretty sure that their all-purpose nature we were familiar with in earlier versions is now more or less gone. The AI is pretty capable of defending against those kinds of tactics in FM15, at least some of them are - I have had a lot of success with Control/Attack and formations like 343 and 433, but then I get smashed and it is difficult to figure out what exactly the ones who beat me did that the helpless victims did not. Over a length of time I would not recommend hammer-wielding as a starting strategy.

This advice about what Contain, Defensive, Counter or Standard mean has helped me a lot. I'm not over committing players and playing a more balanced game of football. I'm using instructions more t commit men forward even when playing Defensive. Another thing it's help is get more realistic form Home and Away, rather than a few lucky wins and then getting beat and not knowing why, I'm starting to grind out results away to or holding out for draws.

Granted I can't read the game as well as other but I can work on that as I go.

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