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The Art of Possession Football


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Okay, so I'm looking for a little bit of advice. I'm Liverpool & I'm in my first season.

The problem i'm having is some of my players are 'sitting' on top of each other like you'll see in this screenshot:

Leicester%20v%20Liverpool_%20Pitch%20Full_zps7pg3vpyc.png

As you can see, I've labelled the player roles to help as well. In the screenshot above, thats my AML & MCL sat on top of each other whilst Coutinho #10 (MCR) has the ball whereas below, the MCL & MCR are sat on top of each other whilst Lallana #20 (AML) has the ball.

Liverpool%20v%20Basel_%20Pitch%20Full-2_zpsbare7itk.png

As you can see, this limits my passing options which isn't ideal when I want to keep possession.

I play Control; Very Structured & my TI's are as follows: Lower Tempo; Play Out of Defence; Closing Down Much More; Retain Possession & Roam From Position.

I opted for a DM - D as I wanted to offer a little more protection to my defence than the DM - S does and I actually like how he hangs back as an option to recycle possession. I also opted for a AP-S in central midfield rather than the roaming playmaker because I felt it suited Coutinho more than the latter and so far he's playing fairly nicely in and around the edge of the box. Up front, I'm still unsure as to whether to use a Complete Forward; Deep Lying Forward or a False Nine and I'm also weary that it looks a little like i've just copied Cleons tactic rather than looking to gain ideas from the thread but a lot of the roles are suitable to my Liverpool players.

So, I guess my question is: How can I stop my playing from sitting on top of each other like that? I mean, it doesn't last more than a few seconds normally but it's still frustrating.

It looks like your central AP is the issue and his movement isn't good because he is a playmaker and looking to involve himself in play and attract the ball. I think it might be overkill using two AP's that close to each other in your set up it seems.

The movement looks weird in the first screenshot as Coutinho has the ball and has already made the decision of who he';s looking for you can see it in the commentary. The build up and movement before this point is vital in explaining why the players are that close though. That will tell you what the actual issue is but I can't see that only you have access.

I also opted for a AP-S in central midfield rather than the roaming playmaker because I felt it suited Coutinho more than the latter and so far he's playing fairly nicely in and around the edge of the box

You select the role that suits your set up not the player. It has to be a role that compliments what you use. If you're basically using the same as me then a AP over the RPM wasn't a good choice unless you've made other drastic changes that you've not mentioned? The AP doesn't create the same space or drive forward as much. He might be playing nice but something will have changed in your set up because that role took away from what I was creating when I used it. The player did okay but he wasn't linking up the team like he should, he didn't have the same drive, he wasn't roaming and supporting the players he needs and so on. This could be why they play so close to each other on your save.

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How much should managers take away from the play of their side before the team is fluent in the tactic? In other words, should the system be changed before the team actually understands the system?

I'm not sure I understand the question? If you change the system how can players understand the system? Unless you mean getting things right when creating a tactic? Then you carry on changing until you are satisfied with things.

And, if this is too much of an ask, I understand. But how do you keep track of different parts of the match engine that you discover or come to understand? Such as the spacing in the side when instructed to be fluid versus rigid, or how a cm-d responds to an opp counter attack versus a bmw-d, and so on? Sort of an odd question I guess, but just was curious if you take notes, or use excel sheets, or some other method.

I just remember. I used to take notes a very long time ago but I've done it so often and understand that much about the game now it just comes natural. Plus I'm a reactive manager, I react to events that are happening based on visuals, I couldn't play the game any other way :)

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I was using an AP-S and BBM combo in midfield but then switched to RPM to experiment and loved it immediately. The RPM role reminds me so much of how Iniesta plays IRL and coincidently this is the role I'm using for him in my save/tactic (Rakitic is my BBM). How much stock do you put on the suitability of the players to the roles? I mean the donut graphic on the tactics screen. Personally I don't pay much attention to it and most times just annoys me. I reckon as long as the player has the attributes I look for and the role links with others, I'm good. How about you?

None at all. I think my striker currently isn't suited for playing the F9 role and my RPM isn't suitable either yet both have the attributes I need for the roles so I always ignore anything that tells me the player isn't suitable. After all, how can the game/feedback system know what I'm wanting?!

I mean, yeah...overall I'm successful, I'm winning every match, but then again I'm Barca. I'm supposed to win. But I'm not sure I'm liking the possession style, therefore I keep thinking and picking your brain as to make subtle change to get to a level where I want it to be.

I've come to the conclusion that shorter passing limits the options, therefore I'm currently playing without it to see how it goes.

I'm the same. On my Santos game I won a game 8-0 but it wasn't the style I wanted at all, most would be happy with that result but not me I disliked everything about the game and analysed it for about 2 days learning why it wasn't the style I wanted. So I definitely get where you are coming from. The overall style > result for me.

That's what I want at times. I want that control over oppositions at every game, but I also want to be deadly at the right moments. I call it Intelligent Possession.

May I ask what did you change to get more possession? It can come in handy once I take the lead by 2,3 goals. I hate that I often kill teams in the first half, but then in the second half they even out the possession, get a goal back and I end up with below 60% overall possession but winning 3-1, 4-2. I want that 2-0,3-0 lead to stay, along with possession control and if the opponents tries to be too cheeky that 3-0 lead to turn to say 5-0. You know what I mean?

If you're a good technical and mental side then you can go to a lower mentality structure, drop the defensive line, take a breather and you should see possession shoot up. It can be risky if the squad isn't capable though but you should have no problems.

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I'm not sure I understand the question? If you change the system how can players understand the system? Unless you mean getting things right when creating a tactic? Then you carry on changing until you are satisfied with things.

I just remember. I used to take notes a very long time ago but I've done it so often and understand that much about the game now it just comes natural. Plus I'm a reactive manager, I react to events that are happening based on visuals, I couldn't play the game any other way :)

Sorry for being inarticulate with the question. What I'm tying to ask is, do you being to tweak your tactics more towards what you envision before your team is fluid in the tactic? Or do you wait until the team has the tactic understood, and then begin to make changes?

For instance, say it's the second game using your tactic. And you notice your cd collect the ball from the goalie on a goalkick. His fullback is open to the outside. The dm is covered. And a cm is open. Two players available for the cd to pass to, and the instruction is to play out of the back and retain possession. Instead the center back boots the ball up the pitch to a st that's marked.

General, and with zero context, I know. But is a situation like this, where a player has the opportunity to fulfill you tactical vision but instead takes a different option. Because the tactic isn't fully understood by the team yet, do you hold off making changes. And allow a few more games to be played. Or do you go into the next match with a slower tempo right off the bat so as to test if the decision in a similar situation will be better made next time around. Hope that makes sense.

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Sorry for being inarticulate with the question. What I'm tying to ask is, do you being to tweak your tactics more towards what you envision before your team is fluid in the tactic? Or do you wait until the team has the tactic understood, and then begin to make changes?

If I changed TI's once it was fluid it would become un fluid again so we'd be back at square one. Always build towards what you want straight away, if not you're doing it twice for no reason at all.

There is no reason at all why your tactic wouldn't be fully fluid before the first competitive game unless you're a semi pro club. If you're a full time club and start the season with a tactic that isn't fluid then you've used the preseason poorly and wasted it.

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If I changed TI's once it was fluid it would become un fluid again so we'd be back at square one. Always build towards what you want straight away, if not you're doing it twice for no reason at all.

There is no reason at all why your tactic wouldn't be fully fluid before the first competitive game unless you're a semi pro club. If you're a full time club and start the season with a tactic that isn't fluid then you've used the preseason poorly and wasted it.

Don't forget us poor saps who are taking over in the middle of a season though! :D

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If I changed TI's once it was fluid it would become un fluid again so we'd be back at square one. Always build towards what you want straight away, if not you're doing it twice for no reason at all.

There is no reason at all why your tactic wouldn't be fully fluid before the first competitive game unless you're a semi pro club. If you're a full time club and start the season with a tactic that isn't fluid then you've used the preseason poorly and wasted it.

Your changes could be closer to what the players are used to so will understand it better/sooner, rather than waiting till they're fully used to playing with lower creative freedom then giving them more creative freedom which they might of had previously.

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Your changes could be closer to what the players are used to so will understand it better/sooner, rather than waiting till they're fully used to playing with lower creative freedom then giving them more creative freedom which they might of had previously.

Changing TI's makes tactic familiarity take a hit no matter how close it is to what they were using before. The point still stands, it's pointless developing something else and then developing your ideas after. You should just start off implementing those ideas from the start.

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Hi Cleon,

I totally understood the purpose of this thread, and the counter-attacking one too. I just want to ask one question: do you think it's feasible to maintain two very different tactics throughout the season, one more possession based and another for counter-attacking? I'm just asking this because one does not rely on the same principles of the another but that way I can have two different systems for different games (for example, if I struggle to control a game with my possession based tactic, I switch to the counter-attacking one).

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What about CF in possession football ? What do you think about his link play ? Also cleon this is for you; CF is the far option to you even with right PPMs like drop back for ball ? f9 is better option but CF can still link play with support duty ? what do you think about CF-s? Also What will be different with CF ? What I need to ask my player to link CF-s ?

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I have been having pretty good results with the philosophies from this thread, but the biggest issue I have very poor away form. At Crystal Palace I am 2-2-9 with a -15 GD away from home. I win possession ost of the time, but lose on the scoreboard away from home. I'm chalking it up to my defenders not being high enough quality to keep the ball out of my own net against the better opponents.

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What about CF in possession football ? What do you think about his link play ? Also cleon this is for you; CF is the far option to you even with right PPMs like drop back for ball ? f9 is better option but CF can still link play with support duty ? what do you think about CF-s? Also What will be different with CF ? What I need to ask my player to link CF-s ?

Sometimes it is possible to ask too many questions :)

Cleon's threads are always about sowing a seed in peoples' minds and letting them explore the game by taking ideas from his systems and allowing them to interpret them in their own way. You've asked seven questions in one post, and every single one of them you could have answered yourself if you had experimented. I would encourage more people to try to find things out for themselves; start a FMT game with no tactical familiarity and just experiment. Play full matches and test the things you want to know about. It's good reading about stuff, but it's great to try for yourself.

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I implemented to my Beşiktaş save but with 4-2-3-1 wide.My best players plays in AMC so i want to use AMC on AP-S. But what about the central duo. I've gone with BWM-D first but changed it to CM-D later because i don't want him to be too aggressive and i want from him to sit deep so my other players can pass to him once they struggle. And for the other one i've gone with DLP-S. What would you suggest for central duo? I have all types of players so you can suggest any role.

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I implemented to my Beşiktaş save but with 4-2-3-1 wide.My best players plays in AMC so i want to use AMC on AP-S. But what about the central duo. I've gone with BWM-D first but changed it to CM-D later because i don't want him to be too aggressive and i want from him to sit deep so my other players can pass to him once they struggle. And for the other one i've gone with DLP-S. What would you suggest for central duo? I have all types of players so you can suggest any role.

Well - what happens when you watch a match? What can Cleon tell you about how your own players perform in those Roles that your own eyes can't?

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Sometimes it is possible to ask too many questions :)

Cleon's threads are always about sowing a seed in peoples' minds and letting them explore the game by taking ideas from his systems and allowing them to interpret them in their own way. You've asked seven questions in one post, and every single one of them you could have answered yourself if you had experimented. I would encourage more people to try to find things out for themselves; start a FMT game with no tactical familiarity and just experiment. Play full matches and test the things you want to know about. It's good reading about stuff, but it's great to try for yourself.

I did play 90 min but I can't understand it. I asked here because SI told me I could ask. With all respect, I guess I am gonna ask one more question RTH;

Why my 7 question bother YOU ? You seems OK with 6 question :D It might bother Cleon( I guess it was bother him) then he can ask me no more question and I will be OK with it. Thats interesting. I really wonder why did it bother you. If it is really bother people, I could stop comment or question simply. I just thought it was no wrong with my question but it seems it was not.

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What can't you understand? 90 minutes typically isn't enough to see whats consistently happening. What are the problems your seeing? There isn't a magical combo of players that will just work whatever the situation, your theory is logical so try it out. I find 4231 with no DM's people focus on the MCs but really the star players need to be the DC's as they have to defend the space in front of them, the MC's will not be shielding them like DM's whatever role you give.

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What can't you understand? 90 minutes typically isn't enough to see whats consistently happening. What are the problems your seeing? There isn't a magical combo of players that will just work whatever the situation, your theory is logical so try it out. I find 4231 with no DM's people focus on the MCs but really the star players need to be the DC's as they have to defend the space in front of them, the MC's will not be shielding them like DM's whatever role you give.

First of all I don't have a problem, my question is not about a problem. I don't understand 4231 example, I have no business with 4231 right now. If you look at my question; I can't understand what is the different with CF-s and f9 in build up play, especially with van persie who has 'comes deep to get ball' PPM, and I wanna ask it if am missing something. It is just that simple. I am not sure my question really that disturbing. I think extension of this discussion is more disturbing than my questions. It is pointless, has no relation with this helpful article. So I will stop asking question and I am sorry if I bother all of you that much.

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First of all I don't have a problem, my question is not about a problem. I don't understand 4231 example, I have no business with 4231 right now. If you look at my question; I can't understand what is the different with CF-s and f9 in build up play, especially with van persie who has 'comes deep to get ball' PPM, and I wanna ask it if am missing something. It is just that simple. I am not sure my question really that disturbing. I think extension of this discussion is more disturbing than my questions. It is pointless, has no relation with this helpful article. So I will stop asking question and I am sorry if I bother all of you that much.

I think what RTH is getting at is, that Cleon made this thread to inspire/encourage ideas, not ask endless questions that you could answer yourself. He put a lot of work into this thread and it would take you a few hours to watch and analyse a group of games to see what is different between the CF/S and the F9. If you read the description of the roles and the instructions they have applied as default, you'd be able to get a rough idea of how they'd act. If you watch the games, you'd see it with your own eyes.

This is a great post, it's made me think a lot about how I play. I'm not really bothered about possession as a style, but there are other elements of the idea that I can implement into my tactics. The role combinations are excellent and the way it's explained is really good. Keep up the good work Cleon.

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I saw you (Cleon) mention that you had adapted the tactic from the original so that you now have an IF-A on the left and an FB-A on the right.

You mentioned the reasons behind this - more attacking support for the F9 from the IF-A and more support for the APM-S from the FB-A.

If your understudy isn't as good as your first team player then would that be another reason to compensate and switch to a more attacking role?

Halilovic is clearly no Neymar but Neymar does a great job as an IF-S where as Halilovoc struggles in that role as far as I can see. So is the logical upgrade to IF-A the right choice ?

Going on the basis that the majority of his attributes are of course inferior as are his PPMs.

When the replacement is not as good should the role be adapted ?

... Rather than chance the tactic completely which will of course affect the cohesion/familiarity etc.

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Totally agree with you, this is great post ! I see, I shouldn't ask for help in Cleon's post because I can bother other people more than Cleon. It's my last comment/question on Cleon's posts. But to be clear, I was not mean bother you. Also, I wish I didn't ask questions and there was not irrelevant comments with this nice article.

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I saw you (Cleon) mention that you had adapted the tactic from the original so that you now have an IF-A on the left and an FB-A on the right.

You mentioned the reasons behind this - more attacking support for the F9 from the IF-A and more support for the APM-S from the FB-A.

If your understudy isn't as good as your first team player then would that be another reason to compensate and switch to a more attacking role?

Halilovic is clearly no Neymar but Neymar does a great job as an IF-S where as Halilovoc struggles in that role as far as I can see. So is the logical upgrade to IF-A the right choice ?

Going on the basis that the majority of his attributes are of course inferior as are his PPMs.

When the replacement is not as good should the role be adapted ?

... Rather than chance the tactic completely which will of course affect the cohesion/familiarity etc.

I don't see how making him a IF with an attack duty makes him a better player? Things will be faster, more rushed etc. It's worth doing it if the striker can't lead the line on his own but I'm not sure about making someone an attack duty just because their a poorer player than the first choice. I don't see the logic or sense behind it.

Totally agree with you, this is great post ! I see, I shouldn't ask for help in Cleon's post because I can bother other people more than Cleon. It's my last comment/question on Cleon's posts. But to be clear, I was not mean bother you. Also, I wish I didn't ask questions and there was not irrelevant comments with this nice article.

What RTH means is people are asking silly random questions that can easily be answered in seconds if you watched in your own games. People are now asking me questions about how they should play the game, which let's be frank, only you can answer stuff like that. I'm happy to guide and answer questions but at times it's like the questions are more aimed at me playing your game rather than you. This isn't aimed at just you btw, there's a few posters in the past few days doing a similar thing.

Feel free to carry on posting but just think about what your asking and ask yourself do you really need to ask me what roles you should be using? After all, only you know what roles work for your set of players by experimenting and watching games. RTH didn't say the comments to be nasty, he said them to make people think a little bit more on their own without needing constant validation for everything they do in the game :)

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I don't see how making him a IF with an attack duty makes him a better player? Things will be faster, more rushed etc. It's worth doing it if the striker can't lead the line on his own but I'm not sure about making someone an attack duty just because their a poorer player than the first choice. I don't see the logic or sense behind it.

What RTH means is people are asking silly random questions that can easily be answered in seconds if you watched in your own games. People are now asking me questions about how they should play the game, which let's be frank, only you can answer stuff like that. I'm happy to guide and answer questions but at times it's like the questions are more aimed at me playing your game rather than you. This isn't aimed at just you btw, there's a few posters in the past few days doing a similar thing.

Feel free to carry on posting but just think about what your asking and ask yourself do you really need to ask me what roles you should be using? After all, only you know what roles work for your set of players by experimenting and watching games. RTH didn't say the comments to be nasty, he said them to make people think a little bit more on their own without needing constant validation for everything they do in the game :)

Hi Cleon I have used your thread and advice to try and create a possession tactic for Arsenal. I have the right players for the roles but I am bit confused about the F9 role for Giroud or Walcott. Now Giroud seems to be more of a target man who plays with his back to goal and will get in the box to score headers and seems to be at his best when reviewing crosses from the wings. I have watched a few games with him as a F9 and he seems to try and play balls into players coming from deep. Giroud is no Messi so I am struggling to make him play as a F9. I can see you use Swansea and I guessing you are using Gomis as a F9. He seems to be a similar player to Giroud (big target man who likes to get in the box and score goals) Could I ask how you find Gomis playing the F9 role. Walcott is another player I need to figure out how he can play as a F9. He has pace and feeds of through balls in behind the defence. I have watched Giroud play has CF Support and he seems to be more comfortable in that role. I think I might be trying to fit players into a role that does not really suit them. I would like to get your thoughts and feedback

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If you use a F9 it ideally needs to be someone creative. I didn't use Gomis I sold him as he didn't suit the role in the slightest. I used Malcolm and Gabriel Jesus as they suited the role better. You need the players in roles that allow you to play the type of football you need. I don't know how you're set up so like I mention above really, I can't help with questions like that.

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Gomis has the "Tries to beat offside trap" ppm which probably isn't ideal for a possession-oriented false 9. Plus he's too thick and slow to beat the trap consistently.

Giroud at least has some technical nous.

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L

I don't see how making him a IF with an attack duty makes him a better player? Things will be faster, more rushed etc. It's worth doing it if the striker can't lead the line on his own but I'm not sure about making someone an attack duty just because their a poorer player than the first choice. I don't see the logic or sense behind it.

Rereading this I can see I didn't articulate this particularly well :)

My tactic works very well for the majority of the squad but a few of the younger players (who I know will in a few years be great players) seem to struggle in their roles as far as I can see.

I can appreciate that it is a case of being patient until they have learnt a few more PPMs specific to the roles I wish them to play in and also to see an increase in the key attributes in that role.

I was just wondering what you or anyone else did (if anything) during that 1-2 year period whilst the younger players are going through that improvement to deal with their initial shortcomings when using them in the team .... Albeit intermittently.

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First of all I don't have a problem, my question is not about a problem. I don't understand 4231 example, I have no business with 4231 right now. If you look at my question; I can't understand what is the different with CF-s and f9 in build up play, especially with van persie who has 'comes deep to get ball' PPM, and I wanna ask it if am missing something. It is just that simple. I am not sure my question really that disturbing. I think extension of this discussion is more disturbing than my questions. It is pointless, has no relation with this helpful article. So I will stop asking question and I am sorry if I bother all of you that much.

Sorry, the 4231 bit was @Egecann. I reworded it so many times I forgot the content was at two different people.

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If you use a F9 it ideally needs to be someone creative. I didn't use Gomis I sold him as he didn't suit the role in the slightest. I used Malcolm and Gabriel Jesus as they suited the role better. You need the players in roles that allow you to play the type of football you need. I don't know how you're set up so like I mention above really, I can't help with questions like that.

Thanks Cleon. I am set very similar to you because I have Ozil who can play as the Advance Playmaker on the left, Cazorla plays really well as a RPM, Ramsey seems to be ideal for the BBM role and Coquelin does a really good job in DMC position. Alexis Sanchez can play either as Inside Forward Support or Attack. This is a very similar to your set up. I did not set out to copy you. The players I have for my Arsenal team seems to fit the roles. The only think I am struggling with is the Center Forward position. That is why I am struggling to find out if GIroud or Walcott fits the F9 role. On watching the games neither seems to fit the role well. I think their PPM impacts on the way they play the role. Have ever tried playing with a Complete Forward instead of a F9.

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Thanks Cleon. I am set very similar to you because I have Ozil who can play as the Advance Playmaker on the left, Cazorla plays really well as a RPM, Ramsey seems to be ideal for the BBM role and Coquelin does a really good job in DMC position. Alexis Sanchez can play either as Inside Forward Support or Attack. This is a very similar to your set up. I did not set out to copy you. The players I have for my Arsenal team seems to fit the roles. The only think I am struggling with is the Center Forward position. That is why I am struggling to find out if GIroud or Walcott fits the F9 role. On watching the games neither seems to fit the role well. I think their PPM impacts on the way they play the role. Have ever tried playing with a Complete Forward instead of a F9.

It's interesting because if I was carrying on the save I could buy Ozil for £16 mill and I'd have used him as the world class striker I lacked........

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What RTH means is people are asking silly random questions that can easily be answered in seconds if you watched in your own games. People are now asking me questions about how they should play the game, which let's be frank, only you can answer stuff like that. I'm happy to guide and answer questions but at times it's like the questions are more aimed at me playing your game rather than you. This isn't aimed at just you btw, there's a few posters in the past few days doing a similar thing.

Feel free to carry on posting but just think about what your asking and ask yourself do you really need to ask me what roles you should be using? After all, only you know what roles work for your set of players by experimenting and watching games. RTH didn't say the comments to be nasty, he said them to make people think a little bit more on their own without needing constant validation for everything they do in the game :)

I guess I misjudged it because of my poor English. I should try harder then asking question. Thanks all of you, I will try harder to understand myself. You(cleon) have an article about observe the game, I guess I should look at it carefully one more time

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There is no reason at all why your tactic wouldn't be fully fluid before the first competitive game unless you're a semi pro club. If you're a full time club and start the season with a tactic that isn't fluid then you've used the preseason poorly and wasted it.

How would one go about this? Ordinarily I'll get to the first competitive match with my tactic(s) at about 75%, even with playing 8 to 10 pre-season matches (I usually set up friendlies every 3/4 days of July and into August).

I usually leave General Training to my assistant manager because I would forget about it otherwise. Is this the key?

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How would one go about this? Ordinarily I'll get to the first competitive match with my tactic(s) at about 75%, even with playing 8 to 10 pre-season matches (I usually set up friendlies every 3/4 days of July and into August).

I usually leave General Training to my assistant manager because I would forget about it otherwise. Is this the key?

It takes 13 games to get fluid. You also need the match training set to tactics and you need to set the schedule bar at 50% so match training and general training is split evenly.

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It takes 13 games to get fluid. You also need the match training set to tactics and you need to set the schedule bar at 50% so match training and general training is split evenly.

Just to clarify, by 50% do you mean 50% of the slider or at the 50% notch which from memory is all the way left?

I would say go with Ozil as striker if you continue. Got all the right attributes for a world class f9. Worked really well for me in the past. Just wondering if some of his ppms could be a bit off. Doesn't he have comes deep, which with the nature of the f9 already doing that could that be overkill?

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Just to clarify, by 50% do you mean 50% of the slider or at the 50% notch which from memory is all the way left?

I would say go with Ozil as striker if you continue. Got all the right attributes for a world class f9. Worked really well for me in the past. Just wondering if some of his ppms could be a bit off. Doesn't he have comes deep, which with the nature of the f9 already doing that could that be overkill?

Training needs to be split evenly 50% each, so the slider is all the way to the left.

I actually want a player who comes deep as possible for the f9 role as it will mean the inside forward becomes more prominent and score more.

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It takes 13 games to get fluid. You also need the match training set to tactics and you need to set the schedule bar at 50% so match training and general training is split evenly.
Training needs to be split evenly 50% each, so the slider is all the way to the left.

I actually want a player who comes deep as possible for the f9 role as it will mean the inside forward becomes more prominent and score more.

Ah right, thanks, thought so, but couldn't remember if the top of my head.

So the f9 coming deep you really would be wanting an attack duty on the wrong to make the most of that space. I'm not that familiar with the ramdeuter role but it aggressively hunts space doesn't it? (Sorry don't have the game on hand, but feeling much more up for tactical discussion than reconciling a budget!)

So that could work quite well with a f9 dropping extremely deep.

Might have to try that out in an upcoming save.

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Ah right, thanks, thought so, but couldn't remember if the top of my head.

So the f9 coming deep you really would be wanting an attack duty on the wrong to make the most of that space. I'm not that familiar with the ramdeuter role but it aggressively hunts space doesn't it? (Sorry don't have the game on hand, but feeling much more up for tactical discussion than reconciling a budget!)

So that could work quite well with a f9 dropping extremely deep.

Might have to try that out in an upcoming save.

It could yeah. I prefer the inside forward though as they are such a goal threat. The raumdeuter is as well but that role is more focused on finding and using space where as the IF will look to get into the box at every opportunity and majority of my goals come from through ball so I think it should work well.

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If you use a F9 it ideally needs to be someone creative. I didn't use Gomis I sold him as he didn't suit the role in the slightest. I used Malcolm and Gabriel Jesus as they suited the role better. You need the players in roles that allow you to play the type of football you need. I don't know how you're set up so like I mention above really, I can't help with questions like that.
It's interesting because if I was carrying on the save I could buy Ozil for £16 mill and I'd have used him as the world class striker I lacked........

Cleon that was going to be my next plan. I was going to retrain Ozil to play as a False 9. Have you ever retrained a player like Ozil and do you know how long it would take for player to become fully accomplished in such a role. Now that leaves me with AP Left position to fill. Do you have any suggestions on players for this role.

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Cleon that was going to be my next plan. I was going to retrain Ozil to play as a False 9. Have you ever retrained a player like Ozil and do you know how long it would take for player to become fully accomplished in such a role. Now that leaves me with AP Left position to fill. Do you have any suggestions on players for this role.

At a club like Arsenal the world is your oyster. But to name a few Carzola/Gotze or maybe James Rodriguez all will be able to do an immense job for you.

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Interested in trying something like this as I'm finding it a tad tricky at the minute. Just one question though and forgive me if I'm sounding a little stupid (fm16 has stumped me so far) but how high do you have your defensive line ? Apologies if I've missed it somewhere....it's only to give me a guide really

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Interested in trying something like this as I'm finding it a tad tricky at the minute. Just one question though and forgive me if I'm sounding a little stupid (fm16 has stumped me so far) but how high do you have your defensive line ? Apologies if I've missed it somewhere....it's only to give me a guide really

It is just the standard of the control mentality.

I always thought I was a possession fiend but after applying some of the ideas to my tactic I found it rather frustrating to watch, keeping a hold of the ball for the sake of it, my FB getting into great positions for a cross but not crossing it due to the 'retain possession' shout so I decided to go ahead and remove it, yes I'm not getting high percentage of possession but I am seeing a smoother passing game. Which is something I much prefer.

Now this could be misreading the ME because there are that many different factors which could apply, but I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for applying what I think is a successful change to my tactic.

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/sigh.

I'm getting really frustrated with the game and myself to the point I might just pack it in. It seems no matter what I do, I flounder from one extreme to the other. I can rack up the possession numbers sometimes, though at the expense of chances.

At the moment though, no matter what formation I try, I seem to completely lose the midfield battle, so much so I have no idea what it is that is the problem. Teams (even the local pub team) appear to pass with ease, often finally getting it out wide for a lovely cross and goal.

Myself? I'm lucky if the players pass to each other at times, either it is a floundering long ball, or if they do pass it short, they build up to nothing in the end. Often, I find where the AI can get its full backs up by the corner flag for a nice cross-field ball, mine are nowhere to be seen, or when they do get forward are double-teamed out of the game. On the flipside, where I win the ball back and progress slowly (or just flat out lose the ball again), the opposition appear to throw forth the entire strike force, midfield and both their full backs, with alarming ease and speed that they're basically pinning me back into my box, even in games where it should be the complete opposite.

It is frustrating. I'm not sure *what* is causing it, and it appears to happen, whatever shape I choose; The last two I've been trying to get work are;

A 4-4-1-1 (Standard, play out of defence), which was lined up as so: GK/D, CB/D, FB/A, FB/S, WM/S, WM/A, CM/D, CM/S, AP/A, AF/A - I thought it was rather sensible, the WM/A was modified to be an 'inside forward', with defensive cover on that side as well.

The other set up was a mock up of a 4-2-3-1 (Control) lined up as GK/D, CB/D, WB/S, DM/D, DLP/S, AP/A(or S), IF/S, W/S, DLF/A - With this one, I find myself getting ruined by simple passes in the middle or long balls down the wings, the holding midfielders are basically bypassed with some ease - I'm not entirely convinced they're locking down the middle as intended. When the team DOES get out of the half and into the opposition, it plays like a dream, with good passing going on and good options available for the players. The problem is ever getting forward in the first place - In both set ups, the midfield takes forever to get up to join the attack.

I must be missing something, perhaps something I've overlooked? Is it my roles that are causing the players to take too long to move up? I'm at a complete loss. :( (Apologises if it seems ranty! I'm just frustrated!)

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I wrote this last year, I'd use this as a base.

The Passing Game



Over the last few years lots of teams have gone possession crazy with the likes of Barcelona and Spain both settings the tactical trends. This type of game often involves a slow meticulous build-up of play where the ball is patiently passed around the pitch, often being played out from the back. The aim is to keep possession at all costs until an opening is created and there is a possibility of a shot at goal. This does require highly technical players who are composed on the ball so they can keep the ball at their feet until an opening occurs. It also requires patience and needs to have runners so you can do something useful with the ball. Having possession is easy but can you create something that retains possession and uses it in dangerous positions? This part is hard and might require a lot of time watching games and seeing how the players and roles interact with each other.

Technical Attributes

  • First Touch – You need people who can control the ball and won’t risk giving it away by having an heavy first touch.
  • Passing – You want people in the side who can distribute the ball well to take advantage of situation in the game. Poor distribution will lead to missed opportunities.
  • Technique - As you are creating a passing game you need to ensure you have players who are comfy with the ball at their feet and can actually do stuff with it.

Mental Attributes

  • Anticipation – You’ll want the players to anticipate the movement of others around them as well as the type of ball they might be about to receive.
  • Composure – Quite a vital attribute for me this as someone with low composure will have their decision making rushed and could become flustered if they are being pressed/closed down heavily or have little time on the ball. You don’t want players who are likely to panic to have lots of possession as they will likely always be forced into making a quick decision that they aren’t capable of doing correctly.
  • Concentration - Players need to be switched on for the full 90 minutes, any lapse of concentration could see them making more mistakes and these can be costly especially if you intend of retaining possession.
  • Vision– Again this is important as you need a player to be able to see his options around him. Someone with low vision is unlikely to see all the available options and could miss seeing the obvious choices.
  • Decisions – Low decisions will mean the player is picking the wrong choices more often than he is the better choices. So the higher this attribute the better. You don’t want the player to decide to dribble if passing was the better option do you?!
  • Off The Ball – You need players who are able to move around and find a bit of space so they aren’t static. This will help keep possession if players move around losing their marker etc as it means the player on the ball will have free options around him to pick out a pass.
  • Teamwork – Again this is needed to play as a unit. But if you have a few special talents in your side that might be better playing as individuals then this isn’t as important. But very few teams have that kind of luxury.

Physical Attributes

  • Agility – Provides the player the ability to turn fast if needed. Ideally all attacking players should be agile when playing an attacking game. As they’ll be receiving the ball a lot and sometimes might find themselves with it when they wasn’t expecting it.
  • Balance – You don’t want players who can’t stay on their feet to see much of the ball as they’ll give possession away far too cheaply. You have to be confident that players who see lots of the ball don’t fall over or go to ground easy.
  • Strength – Not everyone needs this but it can be a good idea to have a few physically strong players in the side especially in those positions where you might need the player to be creative and get stuck into certain battles. The higher the attribute the better as it means they should be able to shrug certain challenges off and not lose the ball so easily.

I remember reading this when you first posted it cleon, but I cannot remember which thread it was. Do you mind pointing me in the right direction? Sorry for the off topic question but if I remember correctly you posted the vital attributes for counter attacking, attacking, defensive, etc.

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It is just the standard of the control mentality.

I always thought I was a possession fiend but after applying some of the ideas to my tactic I found it rather frustrating to watch, keeping a hold of the ball for the sake of it, my FB getting into great positions for a cross but not crossing it due to the 'retain possession' shout so I decided to go ahead and remove it, yes I'm not getting high percentage of possession but I am seeing a smoother passing game. Which is something I much prefer.

Now this could be misreading the ME because there are that many different factors which could apply, but I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for applying what I think is a successful change to my tactic.

Hit early crosses can sort that problem out, i have retain possession and often use the early cross shout to get the full backs to deliver a cross before they get stuck on the byline.

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Hit early crosses can sort that problem out, i have retain possession and often use the early cross shout to get the full backs to deliver a cross before they get stuck on the byline.

I do the same and it has helped me also, though sometimes the little buggers ignore my directions :D Something else that can help with the retain possession shout is to activate the shoot on sight, which is not the crazy bomb them from anywhere things we used to see, and it will prompt more decent shots from around the edge of the area where they might be prone to passing it off otherwise

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Cleon that was going to be my next plan. I was going to retrain Ozil to play as a False 9. Have you ever retrained a player like Ozil and do you know how long it would take for player to become fully accomplished in such a role. Now that leaves me with AP Left position to fill. Do you have any suggestions on players for this role.

No offence here but surely you can decide that for yourself? Cleon can't make every decision for your game.

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