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dieter91

Struggling after succesfull season

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Hey guys

So i've just had a pretty succesfull season with Anderlecht. I've only lost 2 league games (which I lost at end of the season). And even managed to beat Ath Madrid. So I was quite happy with that since I don't know a lot about football, and thought I'd never manage to play a good season on this game.

Now, second season in... Losing against bad teams, doing very bad in my champions league group. I have no idea why. Could someone guide me in the right direction?

This is my tactic right now:

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That's a lot of TI's.

Also, I see your 2 CM's are both Ball Winning Midfielders, they'll get dragged out of position quite a lot chasing the opponent leaving a major gap right in front of your defense.

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It's a proper "have it!" Sam Allardyce tactic isn't it?

haha yeah I quite like that about it.

On a serious note, I would consider taking off 50% of the TIs and starting simple. Use them to affect the game as you want.

I have experimented with Limited Full backs and they aren't a great role, it leaves your team quite split. I would consider using fullback, possibly support, and going with defensive wingers instead to get more pressing out of them, there will be a big gap behind them too.

The two BMWs will get pull out of place a lot too. Try having a CMD and a BWM-D if you really insist on doing it that way.

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since I don't know a lot about football
I think you aren't using enough TI's. Could you add more?

Bravo for the really helpful first reply.

Hi Dieter, there are some elements to this tactic which I also like, however as johnny helpfully suggested you might be a little bit too heavy on the team instructions. Although some of them don't directly contradict each other, a few of them are slightly at odds with each other. For example the 'look for overlap' instruction encourages full-backs to get forward beyond the winger, however the limited full back position expects full-backs to concentrate on defending and not get forward too far. You also have the 'stick to positions' instruction, which means players are more inclined to stick to the demands of their role. You also have the 'be more expressive' instruction which gives players more creative license, slightly at odds to the 'stick to positions' one.

Some of the successful tactics I've seen on the forum advocate a lot of team instructions, so that approach can be worthwhile. However I think you could lose some of yours in order to play better. My gut instinct at looking at your tactic is you're trying to balance defensive responsibility with attacking numbers - that's good - but there is a possibility that since you're a good team who previously had a great season, your opponents are 'parking the bus' and defending in depth against you. You only have two players with 'attack' duties, both in the middle of the pitch, which means teams may find it easier to defend against you.

I'd consider using at least one of your wingers on attack duty, and if you want to see your full backs overlapping the wingers change their role to either full-back or wing-back if you'd like to be adventurous.

Best of luck, and I'd like to hear how you get on changing your side's fortunes.

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Dieter, something else useful would be to describe a bit about what is happening to your team when you lose? What isn't working offensively? Where are the goals against coming from? Are there areas on the pitch where you see problems? These things are needed for a proper diagnosis, though I would say that what's been given so far in the thread isn't off the mark.

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I would agree with the point about thinking about what your shouts are doing and how they work in conjunction with mentality and roles. The mistake to think is that if you aren't hitting 'play higher' then your team will be too low defensively for instance, but you have a high line mentality to start with so the shout isn't that relevant unless you have a reason for doing it. I think it's best to start with no shouts and add them when you think you can see how they can help.

I think also you have 2 wingers who will stay out wide and cross, but there is really only the target man to aim at. The treq might be roaming too much to get in the box and the bwm might not ever reach the box.

It's possible you had success last year despite your tactics rather than because of them.

I am playing a similar formation now with Doncaster, with 2 def wingers and a withdrawn target man engache

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Thanks for the help guys

So I've applied some of your advice and went on a win streak and ended second in the league.

Now... Second season starts and i'm at the bottom of the table, on a five lose streak...

I have more possesion and shots in everygame but I still manage to lose or play a draw...

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Something i would look as is why your using a target man, yet have retain possession and work ball into box ticked. Your effectively limiting your passing length and crosses into the box, something a targetman would feed from the opposite from. For similar effect i would look at maybe a DLF or Complete forward. I would edge for complete forward in one striker system.

I really like the spine of your defence and midfield, it looks really solid as your effectively using your screen in fornt of the defence to create a box, its really similar to a 4231 i used not so long go, so i cant see any issues there.

Perhaps i would also look at the look for overlap team isntruction you have selected. Me personally use that option contextual, so if im wanting to encourage more wing play etc... Check your tempo also, playing high all game may also lead to fatigue, and also rush your passing, slow it down let your players probe for a opening.

But i think with a more mobile striker role you should see great imporvements.

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I don't think you really need that higher tempo TI. An attacking strategy(even with retain possession) allows your tempo to be quite high. With the higher tempo TI, it's likely your tempo is at its max.

And where are your runners from deep in your 2nd set up? Your TM drops deep, AP just plays in front of the opposition defence and your wingers will probably stay wide. I will suggest using roam from position for 2-3 players behind the striker if you don't intend to change the roles or change the role to 1 that get them into the pk box. Eg AMC(attack) and raumdeuter/IF for 1 winger.

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This might be a different answer to what you've had so far but hopefully it can still be helpful.

So, the question was : why am I struggling AFTER A SUCCESSFUL SEASON?

So obviously, my main answer would not necessarily be about the tactic itself, since it has worked for a while.

Usually, when your team goes on a good run of form, confidence is high, players are somewhat overperforming and you tend to get better results than you probably should. However, at some point other teams start being afraid of you and therefore play more defensively against your team in the hope of making life difficult for them. Unless your tactic is also extremely good against more defensive opponents (which is rarely the case, AI managers seem very good at putting together defensive systems), if you don't adjust and/or make changes you might start to struggle a bit more. This is only emphasized when you get the offseason in between, with increased expectations and maybe some slightly unsettled new signings to cope with... This might just be too much.

And when you start a bad run of form, boy oh boy.......

So, to recap, you have to be prepared to make adjustments and change things around, because other managers do, and even if they are not good managers, their changes might be much better than your ´stick-to-it-iveness'.

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While you may or may not be able to create a better tactics, I don't think it is the primary issue here.

Tactics is surprisingly secondary in FM15, it's all about getting the players motivated enough to play at their skill level or better, if you fail at motivating them then Messi or Ronaldo is no better than anyone else, thought those two players is at least easier to motivate than mere mortals.

Your players is to full of themself, because they did well last season and you need to bring out the whip and beat them into performing with team talks, I suggest letting your AssMan do Press Conferences, since those affect team performance a lot, except the AssMan seems to make them mostly neutral.

I can't give you a guide for Press Conferences, since it seem to be coded so randomly you can't figure out the right way to handle them, but team talks seems to mostly use a pattern, where you want to demand a win against really weak teams, encourage them to win against more even teams and get the defiant enough to beat better teams.

Be careful, you can over motivate your team as well as under motivate.

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I play FMC so that shouldn't be an issue?

I changed things a bit like u guys said. And while I'm winning a bit more, it's not very convincing. All my goals come from either a rebound or penalty. My players just can't finnish their changes. They will miss against a open goal. Kick the ball straight at the keeper, or just kick it at the defense line... And i'm still losing against very weak teams. I'm thinking about using someone elses tactic, because if I keep losing like this i'm probably going to get sacked lol.

I guess my biggest problem is not knowing a lot about football and failing to see where things go wrong ingame and if I see them, not really knowing how to fix them

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Been a while since a game makes me want to punch my screen, but its coming close.. lol

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I play FMC so that shouldn't be an issue?

I changed things a bit like u guys said. And while I'm winning a bit more, it's not very convincing. All my goals come from either a rebound or penalty. My players just can't finnish their changes. They will miss against a open goal. Kick the ball straight at the keeper, or just kick it at the defense line... And i'm still losing against very weak teams. I'm thinking about using someone elses tactic, because if I keep losing like this i'm probably going to get sacked lol.

I guess my biggest problem is not knowing a lot about football and failing to see where things go wrong ingame and if I see them, not really knowing how to fix them

Been a while since a game makes me want to punch my screen, but its coming close.. lol

You don't have to be a football genius to be good at this game, but you do need to be able to step back and think logically about what you want your team to do, then figure out if they are doing it or not.

Many of your choices so far aren't that logical.

You've basically set your team to attack from the wings, with your player roles. This usually requires a more pacey direct style. However you are playing retain possesion. Your wingers will mostly be crossing the ball into the box. However there is nobody there as the TM-S drops deep and the AP doesn't attack the box much. You then have no support in midfield, which is fine but you need to compensate for that.

So if you do want to be a direct attacking side with wingers you need to set up like that. Have a Target man or 2 strikers, or maybe have an AMC running into the box and a B2B who also arrives late there.

You also need to think if you have the players who can achieve that style of play. Or if you want to be a more patient possession side then you need to set yourself up differently.

Either way what you probably need, and what the top players really have here, is an intimate knowledge of what the game is doing when you select different things. Knowing that a AP doesn't attack the box much for instance isn't something you would know naturally.

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Hey

Thanks for helping me out :)

I have changed to this formation now, since I felt my defense was pretty weak: (and got myself back to first place in the league)

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So, if I understand correctly, I should exploit the middle more, if I want to play more of a possesion style of football? Would placing my wingers behing my strikers like this work better for that style?

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Or would that leave my flanks too open?

Thanks :)

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Exploit middle narrows your formation and focuses passing up the middle. Since you are playing a narrow formation already, that might not work well and as you are lacking wide play you will naturally focus through the middle already. The thing is, though, we can't really help you unless we know what is going wrong. You can have all the basic principles, (such as not using an Automatic role for a fullback) but all advice here is speculative until there are some actual things you've observed that can be corrected.

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as johnny helpfully suggested you might be a little bit too heavy on the team instructions.

I confess to having been there done that with TI's/PI's. I have found that I get the best results by starting with only player roles and playing a couple of games until I am sure that the players are going where I think they should be! Once I have them doing the right things, I then use either a TI or PI to fine tune the behaviour, and never make more than one change at a time.

Think about real life - first you get the players lined up on the park, then you decide who does what - which players are your attackers/support/defence. Once you have that clear in your head you then make adjustments to fine tune things. It is actually interesting to observe how well a formation with no instructions, set on Balanced/Flexible will actually perform.

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I confess to having been there done that with TI's/PI's. I have found that I get the best results by starting with only player roles and playing a couple of games until I am sure that the players are going where I think they should be! Once I have them doing the right things, I then use either a TI or PI to fine tune the behaviour, and never make more than one change at a time.

Think about real life - first you get the players lined up on the park, then you decide who does what - which players are your attackers/support/defence. Once you have that clear in your head you then make adjustments to fine tune things. It is actually interesting to observe how well a formation with no instructions, set on Balanced/Flexible will actually perform.

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry)

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TI's are really a curse if you ask me, its so easy to over use them. I think the problem is that its hard to understand the level of effect they will have, and not understanding that they are designed as tweaks in conjunction with mentality and roles.

Most tactics seems to over use short passing and retain possession, work ball, play out of defence.. as if its the only way to get a team playing possession football. If we had the slider system still they'd be able to physically see at a glance how that is affecting passing range and risk levels for players.

Mentalities are really little more than a huge template of TI and PI settings, so don't really need massive amounts of tweaking unless you really want to play a certain way and hack the game to make it do things.

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Dieter, I'm a big fan of the 4-1-2-3 formation and the one you show above looks fairly close to how I usually set my teams out. I'm fairly familiar with most of your midfielders and attacking players, but how good do you think your defenders are?

To get the most from that formation (especially if you have your full-backs on attack duties) I feel it is important to have a very strong central defensive partnership as well as dependable full-backs who are very fit, mobile and with good work-rate and teamwork attributes (because they'll have to do a lot of running back and forward!).

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