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Jambo98

Rebooting the 451 for FM 2016

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i really really struggle to get any enjoyment out of the current ME. I actually went back to FM15 and had a great time, because i could tweak and it did what i expected. This time round......less so. That and i dislike the balance towards crosses this year (personally i dont think it is about the crosses as such, but more penalty box defending).

Not much to add tactically, but just so you know you're not alone... your last point is one I've come to believe myself. It's not that crosses are overpowered; it's that your defenders and goalkeeper simply can't deal with them. I see floated crosses that the keeper should just pluck out of the air and they stand rooted. The AI crosses to an empty box, and none of your (my) defenders will track the in-running opponent, resulting in an easy tap-in. You have crossing situations where all of the opponents are marked, and one or more of your defenders will suddenly run towards the crossing player, leaving their opponents unmarked.

Even worse is the difference between the way your (my) wide players behave, versus the AI equivalents. I've tried multiple tactics to force my wide players to cross more and they still either pass back to a deep team-mate, wait until they're closed down (often double-covered), or try to work the ball onto their weaker foot and then hit it straight against the marking defender, or over-hit it beyond the area. Meanwhile, the AI wide players will either cross first time, or simply take a touch beyond the closing-down defender and then make the cross, often to an empty box inviting their team-mates to attack the ball and score.

And before anyone posts the obvious, I know all of the arguments about the ME not recognising any difference between human and AI teams, but (according to Steam) I have nearly 1,000 hours in FM16(?!?) and I haven't yet found a way to make my wide players cross the way that AI teams cross. On the other hand, I'll certainly grant that the AI defence doesn't deal with crosses any better than my teams do. I just can't exploit that weakness the way that AI teams do.

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My point is that your idea of "how it should work" is inherently linked to your role selection from last year rather than actual football logic. As you say yourself, your idea is flawed and it probably accounts for more than 20% of your problems if you're honest.

For what it's worth (I know you've given up), here are the problems I can see with the basic system:

  • In attack, your shape is essentially a 2-2-6 so you are relying on bludgeoning the opposition with weight of numbers in their third. Could work but who's giving the defence structure? Two playmakers and a pair of defenders? Seems suicidal unless you have world class footballers in those positions.
  • There's no layering of your attack and players aren't offering support from different areas. All four wide men and one of your midfield three are looking to get forward ASAP and create something. As I said in the last post, the F9 might be a bit too loose minded for a system with such an aggressive midfield. Yeah he may drop deep but he likes to dribble and won't be as focused on hold up play and supporting the attack as a DLF.
  • You could sort of think of your system like a deeper 4-3-3/4-1-2-2-1. Would it look balanced with two inside forwards on attack, both wide defenders on attack and one of the midfield three? This is essentially my wider point. Where's the balance? You can be assertive and attacking but without a well thought out structure the opposition will find holes in transition and cause you problems.

The solution? Well that's obviously up to you and fair enough if you've given up but i was a big fan of your threads last year and it'd be great to see you succeed with a bit of work on your basic idea. I'd be tempted to start out with supporting wing backs, a BBM instead of the CM (A) and a DLF instead of the F9. Probably will have its problems too and there's always tweaking to be done but you would have attacking intent with better layers and a much sounder structure.

And one last thing, I'm not having a go at you and I don't claim to be a whizz at the game. Just hoping you keep this going and try not to let some silly ME thing derail a great project.

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My point is that your idea of "how it should work" is inherently linked to your role selection from last year rather than actual football logic. As you say yourself, your idea is flawed and it probably accounts for more than 20% of your problems if you're honest.

For what it's worth (I know you've given up), here are the problems I can see with the basic system:

  • In attack, your shape is essentially a 2-2-6 so you are relying on bludgeoning the opposition with weight of numbers in their third. Could work but who's giving the defence structure? Two playmakers and a pair of defenders? Seems suicidal unless you have world class footballers in those positions.
  • There's no layering of your attack and players aren't offering support from different areas. All four wide men and one of your midfield three are looking to get forward ASAP and create something. As I said in the last post, the F9 might be a bit too loose minded for a system with such an aggressive midfield. Yeah he may drop deep but he likes to dribble and won't be as focused on hold up play and supporting the attack as a DLF.
  • You could sort of think of your system like a deeper 4-3-3/4-1-2-2-1. Would it look balanced with two inside forwards on attack, both wide defenders on attack and one of the midfield three? This is essentially my wider point. Where's the balance? You can be assertive and attacking but without a well thought out structure the opposition will find holes in transition and cause you problems.

The solution? Well that's obviously up to you and fair enough if you've given up but i was a big fan of your threads last year and it'd be great to see you succeed with a bit of work on your basic idea. I'd be tempted to start out with supporting wing backs, a BBM instead of the CM (A) and a DLF instead of the F9. Probably will have its problems too and there's always tweaking to be done but you would have attacking intent with better layers and a much sounder structure.

And one last thing, I'm not having a go at you and I don't claim to be a whizz at the game. Just hoping you keep this going and try not to let some silly ME thing derail a great project.

Hmm, well first of, re your last sentence - I totally welcome the debate. It makes the game / forum more interesting than the fawning over the maestro's :D (with no offence meant to the maestros...).

On to the questions at hand, some interesting points.

  • You mention that my vision is linked to my role selection from last year, but i disagree. Note the ordering of the OP here. I probably made a mistake by putting role titles in the first image, but if you remove those role / duty titles. The picture is the WIB / WOB that i see for my team. The principles listed in post 1 were my football logic. Its a little bit the reverse of how you put it - The role selection last year, came from my football logic. I wanted 2 guys that "sit", i found in FM15 that DLP was the role that translated that. I wanted a striker who came deep, very deep at times. I wanted him to also turn and run. In FM15, F9 translated that vision.
  • Where i think you might be coming from a bit, and where my mistake is (Which, in my defence.....i predicted in my own first post!!) is that rather than start FM16 with a vision and a blank tactics screen, i started with a vision and a set of roles from last year. I am very willing to take that point on board and discuss.
  • The 2-2-6 shape in attack - I see where you are coming from. I could suggest that your bog standard 4231, which tends to have attacking fullbacks, is actually the same formation in attack.........However, i think i see where part of the issue is. My vision is not to have 6 men stood in a line across the attack. My vision mentioned "movement - lots of it". I like your comparison to the 433 with 2 x IF(a). I agree, that would not work too well. Last year, i moved the players back in the "formation" screen to give defensive balance. But i also moved them back to give them a "lower" starting point in the field and better chance to run into space. In essence, in many ways last year "IF(s) = WM(a)" - Now i accept that is probably not a good literal translation, and likely this years ME doesn't translate it that way either. Runners from deep often terrify a defence. More often IRL its from the centre of the park (Lampard / Gerrard in their pomp, Kevin Nolan...well now and then) but i had the vision of runners from deep and wide.
  • The striker is an interesting one. I very originally modeled this using Sturridge. A striker who could crop off, due to his role/duty, but also be explosive and yes, i wanted dribbling to be a part of it. As strange as it sounds, dribbling in itself can be an effective way to hold the ball up. A lot of my issues in the posts above were less about the lack of hold up play, but more around failure to get the striker to every drop deep enough in the first place. PPM might be the answer, another role might also be.
  • Last point, re whether the "football vision" i have is more than 20% of the problem. Whilst browsing a few weeks ago (after i got bored of FM16, had gone back to FM15 and had great fun), i came across the following article about the current Napoli side. I like Italian football, watch a fair bit of it so it caught my eye. What caught my even more though, were the similarities between how Sarri's system is described and depicted, and my own vision of the game. There is not as much analysis around the striker, but the way the midfield 5 and the fullbacks perform, is very interesting to me. There is one key aspect Sarri seems to have which i fully admit never occured to me, and i suspect is less possible in FM, which is the use of a WM to come inside and cover a pressing CM(usually Hamsik).
    http://thesefootballtimes.co/2015/11/16/tactics-of-napoli-under-maurizio-sarri/

Anyway, that is a bit of ramble, but in summary, there are a lot of things you are clearly right about. I mean at the end of the day, the proof is in the results. It didnt work, at least not the first attempt. I got bored with the entire ME (not only related to this tactic) which stopped me spending enough time to further tweak it to actually realise my football vision, as opposed to copying last year. I suspect a lot of the tweaks i would need would be around reducing the mentalities. THe striker role i am less sure about, and the wierd behaviour in defence of the 2 x DLP at times i am still not sure i understood, but those could be ironed out im sure.

Thanks for the input and always good to hold a discussion.

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Not much to add tactically, but just so you know you're not alone... your last point is one I've come to believe myself. It's not that crosses are overpowered; it's that your defenders and goalkeeper simply can't deal with them. I see floated crosses that the keeper should just pluck out of the air and they stand rooted. The AI crosses to an empty box, and none of your (my) defenders will track the in-running opponent, resulting in an easy tap-in. You have crossing situations where all of the opponents are marked, and one or more of your defenders will suddenly run towards the crossing player, leaving their opponents unmarked.

I was having precisely the same frustrations when I first picked up FM 16, going from formation to formation and not seeing the football I wanted (it didn't help that I kept changing my footballing philosophy in the hope that something "worked!"). I kept reading the same old "understand your system to avoid weaknesses", "it depends on roles" etc and got rather peed off as I never encountered these common issues on previous FM's, much like many others here! Inspired from my "Jambo-esque" save of FM 15, I finally found some success with the following shape:

pM9VffM.png

Control, flexible. My CMa has the roam from position PI, but that's it - no other PI's.

This is by no means perfect and still a work in process (not sure on mentality, DLPs, DLFs roles, few other things)

Key points:

  • My two "holding" midfielders shift towards the wing when needed, which is aided by the "flat" central 3 I think. The opposition has less time in those deeper, wide positions resulting in less crosses being conceded. The amount of goals I've conceded from crosses has substantially decreased.

  • My APs and IFs track back and offer the defensive behaviour I want; that is "marking" the opposition FB rather than helping my WB defend against the opposition winger. Players tracking back from the AMR/L positions has signficantly increased in FM 16 compared to previous versions. Even an attack duty tracks back at times (depends on mentality though), but I've noticed players with support almost always do.

  • The APs on the right wing helps significantly with possession, coming inside to allow more passing options but also darting at his man when the right opportunity allows.

  • My CMa essentially acts a AM and provides support to the lone striker.

  • I've noticed the behavior of the striker to drop deep depends on the support behind him. I used to have no PI set to my CMa which resulted him being far less in that AM strata. In turn, I was frustrated to see my DLF/F9/CFs not dropping deep (unlike FM 15!!). It's like the ME forced him to "occupy" the oppositions CB's. I then tinkered with moving my CMa to the AM slot and to my surprise, saw horizontal movement of my ST. Obviously the AM provided far less defensive support, so shifting him back to CMa and added the "roam from position" PI. This has offered the right balance between the movement of both my attacking CM and ST, without compromosing on defensive shape.

Even worse is the difference between the way your (my) wide players behave, versus the AI equivalents. I've tried multiple tactics to force my wide players to cross more and they still either pass back to a deep team-mate, wait until they're closed down (often double-covered), or try to work the ball onto their weaker foot and then hit it straight against the marking defender, or over-hit it beyond the area. Meanwhile, the AI wide players will either cross first time, or simply take a touch beyond the closing-down defender and then make the cross, often to an empty box inviting their team-mates to attack the ball and score.
I'm pretty sure this is linked to the "retain possession" TI. I recently removed this from my tactic and found considerably more of those first time crosses being attempted. Before, I saw exactly what you described which was bloody frustrating when there was 3, sometimes 4 players in the box to aim for. In some regard, I guess we can't argue as by not crossing the team are following instruction and "retaining possession". But even in quite obvious opportunities to cross, they either pass back, revert to their weaker foot to cross or delay in front of the opposition player and have their cross blocked. As a result, I've had to concede possession for more penetrating play. Lowering the tempo and "play out of the back" shortens pass length by default, so I still (mostly) see the passing game I want to play but the ME still allows crossing.

Morale is: Keep experimenting as you will eventually create a balanced system. Hopefully 16.3 will help in this regard, but it's entirely possible to play football you want to envisage on this version. Well, at least the football you "sort" of want to envisage in my regard. (work still in progress, I'm very much a FM amateur compared to most of you! :))

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Jambo, as a big fan of the 2015 451 thread I am glad to see you're doing this once again. I have a lot of reading to do since I only just got FM 2016

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Hey Jambo,

Really loved your thread from last year. So is that in then for this year´s version? I have gone back and forth with this year´s FM (I have both installed on the computer at the moment) I really enjoyed last year´s version but find it very slow compared to this year´s. I suppose I´ll make do with the speed being as I find myself seeming to dread firing up the new one knowing I will inevitably struggle too much to find it enjoyable. I hope you do pick this back up though.

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Hey Jambo,

Really loved your thread from last year. So is that in then for this year´s version? I have gone back and forth with this year´s FM (I have both installed on the computer at the moment) I really enjoyed last year´s version but find it very slow compared to this year´s. I suppose I´ll make do with the speed being as I find myself seeming to dread firing up the new one knowing I will inevitably struggle too much to find it enjoyable. I hope you do pick this back up though.

Yeah i dont see any motivation to do much more this year. I keep trying to get into saves but since we have the last patch and cross manager 16 remains the name of the game, there is little prospect of anything fun.

I am reasonably sure with enough tweaking and continuing to watch full matches, something akin to a 451 shape could be made to work, but i doubt with the same concepts as last year (false 9 / central winger not effective, WM very different, crossing defending so vital). If i had the motivation for another save id maybe try a totally different 451 setup, but not sure i will. Anyone else should feel free to take up the reigns! I dont hold the patent on good 451's :D

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Inspired by this thread, I've put together a few attempts of the 4-5-1 with similar ideas to the OP. The one recurring issue is that I'm find the forward is always isolated and the more attack minded midfielders resort to attempting longer balls up to him. 2 defenders v 1 forward without immediate support doesn't often end well. I'm creating little and not keeping the ball particularly well.

Any thoughts of a 4-5-1 tactic being successful without focusing on a patient, slow build up have been put to bed. Getting the ball forward with any kind of speed isolates the forward and doesn't allow the attacking midfielders time to get up in support, and the full backs, coming from their deep position aren't getting the opportunity to do their primary role, create from wide positions. Keeping passing short isn't getting it done, too much space between midfield and the forward.

So, the vision has changed somewhat. he 4-5-1 in 2016, with the right squad, needs to be a possession tactic. Here's where I'm starting from:

GK: We are now building more slowly from the back, so looking to roll it out. The GK should never go long in a 4-5-1. If I find this slows the build up too much, we can make an adjustment to short kick, so that the starting position is slightly further up the pitch.

DC: We don't really want ball players here. Find one of your midfielders and let them do their job. BPD may attempt too many longer passes. To reiterate, I don't believe this is a viable option with a lone striker with no immediate support.

DR/L: Our wide defenders are still a vital part of the attack, I used them to great effect in a 5-3-2 in FM15. Given, with 3 DCs and a regista, my tactic from last year had much more protection on offer, but it still allowed an attacking 6. (I've tried and failed to recreate this concept for FM2016). In FM2016, it appears that width is too important. Allowing our WBs so much freedom to move forward will almost certainly leave the defense vulnerable, something that I'll continue to monitor.

MC: So, with the defense clearly open to vulnerability, we definitely need a midfielder who's main focus is to offer them some protection. As previously mentioned, I'm not a huge fan of DLP (D) here, they don't seem to offer much anywhere using this tactical setup. I'll assume, most teams will try to get through my 5 man midfield quickly once they have possession. If they hold up the ball too long and allow me to retreat, there will be nowhere to go. So, I want my most defensive minded midfielder to be aggressive. I want him to get in there before the opposition forward(s) has the opportunity to control, turn or do whatever. We'll try a ball winner here. This player will be our central of the 3. He can aid in muscling out a deep lying lone striker or put a number 10 under immediate pressure. I don't want him going after a number 8 or number 6 midfielder, so I'll definitely start him as a BWM (D)

MC2: So, these are going to be the more creative/supporting midfielders. We'll use an AP(A). He's less likely to take long range shots than a CM(A), and will hold onto the ball a little more. This player should still look to play cross field passes to an advancing WB or play it into the channel for the striker when the opportunity is there. You can't win games by simply keeping the ball, occasionally a higher risk longer pass will be on and this is, theoretically, the role to use.

MC3: We have our sitting player and we have our supporting maestro. As a possession based tactic, I think I want a fairly static supporting player who will primarily recycle possession and be an available out for the more attacking minded players when the forward or wide ball isn't really on. A good old fashioned CM(S) seems like the obvious choice.

MR/L: These guys are often a trick, so many FMers struggle (myself included, see 5-3-2 tactic reference above ;)) to find the most effective way to use their wide players. We''ll start with WM(S) here. They will sit a little narrower than a winger, allowing them to link up easily with their teammates and leave space for the WB to move into. I don't really want them attempting too many "risky" passes, thus why I'm not using them in an attack role, but I'll use the PI "get forward more often" in hope that they'll still push into the box.

STC: Obviously we want a guy to bang in a few goals, but his primary role will be to bring others into play during build up then attack the box. So, almost certainly a supporting role will be used. We'll start with DLF (S). It's description suits what we want from him. There's no number 10 in this formation, so there should be space for him to drop into, and if his movement is good, he should be able to make the most of it. He can play it back into midfield, try through passes into one of the oncoming WMs or spread it wide to an advancing WB before hitting the box. That's the theory, we'll see. Obviously, the right player is required to pull this off effectively.

So, there are the basic roles I'm going to begin with. In terms of team instructions, I'm going to start with standard and fluid. Lot's of movement within the 4-5-1. I'll push "slightly higher" in an attempt to keep the gaps between defense, midfield and attack closer and "work ball into the box" in an attempt to keep possession in the final 3rd until the right runs are made.

That's the idea in theory. Could be a disaster, or I could be a genius.

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4wOZv0a.jpg

Wmfp0Ue.jpg

Unsurprising results I suppose. The striker is still isolated. The wide midfielders are attempting the long angled passes rather than playing keep ball and utilizing the wing backs. When the wing backs do get into an advanced position and receive the ball, they tend to dwell and lose possession, so it's tweak time already.

TIs:

Higher Tempo

Shorter passing

Slightly higher line

Hit early crosses

The build up is a little on the slow side, too much dwelling on the ball. Still looking to develop a more possession based tactic, but there's a combination of slow play resulting in loss of possession and too many long balls from my wide midfielders with the same results. The TI work ball into the box is possibly a problem and needs to go. On top of the Tis we'll adjust the following.

DR/L: We'll switch to FB(A). We should still see plenty of advanced play with this role, but hopefully a quicker delivery when the receive the ball.

MR/L: We'll switch back to WM(A). I want to eliminate the long angled through ball. On top of the TI shorter passing, this should help prevent wasteful long passes to the lone forward.

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