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Coming back to FM16 - Is it all about crossing?


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Not played much FM since Christmas last year, I tend to have my best saves on the final patch anyways. Iv noticed in the half season or so playing thus far as Liverpool that I score and concede most goals from crosses. Is this a Tactical thing or a know occurrence in the current ME?

Plus side of this is that Benteke is scoring like a man possessed :D

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It's a combination of how AI managers setup tactically & issues with how the ME copes with defending against crosses, tactically the best options is to find a way to stop the ball getting to the wide players/overlapping fullbacks to prevent the cross being played.

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It's a combination of how AI managers setup tactically & issues with how the ME copes with defending against crosses, tactically the best options is to find a way to stop the ball getting to the wide players/overlapping fullbacks to prevent the cross being played.

So playing a narrow tactic with no midfielders covering the flanks is basically suicide now? Will need to dust off my 4-4-2 handbook I think. Should be fun.

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More a case of can you score more from crosses than the opposition if you want to go down the narrow wing-back based path, the key is developing a system that has your midfield & forward line doing their bit to stop the ball being played out wide or into the corners. It's all a little too early 90's for my liking but I'm sure others have found different ways of approaching the challenges presented by the current match engine.

I'm currently trying a 3-5-2 formation that uses a sweeper with a flat 5 across midfield & 2 forwards in an offset tandem, it's not going too well as 9 of the 14 goals my team have conceded are directly from crosses with a couple more from the secondary scrambles.

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The best way to defend against width and crosses then will be to counteract it by having my own FB/WB and Wingers pushing them back in their own half? That would in turn mean im exploiting this defect in the ME though!

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The best way to defend against width and crosses then will be to counteract it by having my own FB/WB and Wingers pushing them back in their own half? That would in turn mean im exploiting this defect in the ME though!
Which is why this ME is my least favourite but conversely the most challenging as that's how my tactics have evolved over recent releases & this time I've spent what feels like too long looking for an approach that does not exploit the defensive issues while not leaving me woefully exposed to them at the other end.
Would you say that GK's with great Aerial Reach and Command of Area are essential now also?
That or a keeper with great reflexes who can quickly react to the inevitable defensive clangers & get you out of trouble.
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AI managers do like an attacking right back.

True, but I also got better results with attacking right back than with attacking left back, tried using different players but there was this trend, don't know why. Maybe AI was more vulnerable on its left side?

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Which is why this ME is my least favourite but conversely the most challenging as that's how my tactics have evolved over recent releases & this time I've spent what feels like too long looking for an approach that does not exploit the defensive issues while not leaving me woefully exposed to them at the other end.

That or a keeper with great reflexes who can quickly react to the inevitable defensive clangers & get you out of trouble.

If its Defender mistakes that cause the problem then a Striker with amazing anticipation will be a fox in the box in this ME? I am reverse engineering a championship winning side here :D

So far -

GK - Command of Area, Aerial Reach and Reflexes

FB/WB & WM/Wingers - Crossing

ST - Anticipation and Finishing

Going to Moneyball my way to a EPL title.

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True, but I also got better results with attacking right back than with attacking left back, tried using different players but there was this trend, don't know why. Maybe AI was more vulnerable on its left side?

They tend to be more passive on the left side & use a defend duty player, this then allows more time & space to get a player into a good crossing position.

If its Defender mistakes that cause the problem then a Striker with amazing anticipation will be a fox in the box in this ME? I am reverse engineering a championship winning side here :D
It's more a case of defenders not recognising the danger, being less than efficient at anticipating where an attack will go & being too slow in reacting to attacking movement. Essentially it's a number of little things that in isolation have never been a major problem but for this version all those isolated issues have combined in a rather unexpected way.
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I wouldn't try to game anything unless you know for sure what you're doing. Firstly, AI manager tactics aren't created to build around ME issues, they just do their stuff. Secondly, the overall cross completion has gone down this year, which might be a knock-on from someplace else. It ranges between 10 and 20 % or thereabouts whereas in real football it's quite some higher (and had been on previous releases too).

epl-crossers-600x448.png

That's overall cross completion rates, which might not fully compare, but it's lower than in some previous releases. As a human player you can be that creative that all of your stuff goes down the flanks. However I'd expect that you can easily create something that leads to overall quite shoddy chance conversion as a result, and as a result, a much higher likelyhood of an influx of those 30 shots no goals matches due to the one dimensionality. Like so many tactical downloads do.. at least in individual matches either way against certain types of opposition due to their sheer aggressiveness. It's not that top forwards would miss additionally stuff or become horrible, of course that isn't "tactical", it's more like that any tactics pretty much determine what kind of chances you would create in the long term which is logical as on FM the options you have determine movement (where players are at all available) and patterns of play.

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Competition rates are lower but the cross attempt rates are much higher than real life, on the save I have open now there are already some players with over 200 attempted cross in 11 to 13 matches. On a team basis the last assessment I conduction showed that the team with the fewest number of crosses attempts in the FM Premier League almost matched the number of posted by the team with the most crosses in last season's Premier League campaign.

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True, but I also got better results with attacking right back than with attacking left back, tried using different players but there was this trend, don't know why. Maybe AI was more vulnerable on its left side?

Maybe but I get the same too. I have two FB/WBs who are quite young, Guillermo Varela and Charlie Taylor. They have different qualities but both are great getting forward and I find that Varela (18 assists in 58 games), who plays RB, creates considerably more than Taylor at LB (10 in 56). Taylor is better technically and Varela more suitable mentally so not easy to compare that closely in terms of ability but Taylor's the better crosser and is also more natural playing further up the pitch so I would have expected him to provide more chances.

Only one exampe though so hardly proof.

I'm still tinkering with tactics but have pretty much settled on two formations: 4-1-4-1 and 4-4-1-1. My FBs seem to attack a lot pretty much no matter what I tell them so have them both set on Attack duty with my wide 4-4-1-1 midfielders on Support or my 4-1-4-1 wingers set as IF(S). Seems to be working so far.

I don't think there's much of a way to fully deal with conceding goals from crosses tbh the way the ME is set up this year, so I've sort of given up trying and gone on the attack instead. Not quite a Keegan/Ardiles approach of "if they score 3, we'll score 4" but pretty close sometimes. We did just beat Man City 4-3 and beat Derby 5-4 at the start of last season but these are not regular occurrences.

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Competition rates are lower but the cross attempt rates are much higher than real life, on the save I have open now there are already some players with over 200 attempted cross in 11 to 13 matches. On a team basis the last assessment I conduction showed that the team with the fewest number of crosses attempts in the FM Premier League almost matched the number of posted by the team with the most crosses in last season's Premier League campaign.

That's a huge load, what I also meant that tactics can firstly become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go down the flanks in creative ways pretty much locking any possible play through the middle (doable) it speaks to reason that any assist is going to be of a specific type. However if you only create a very specific type of chance exclusively, for which you would need to be pretty creative, a type which might not all be a huge conversion chance overall, then that would rub off big deal in the long-term, no matter the player quality, man management, anything and could give AI mans an edge in conversion itself simply because going by their play/movement they aren't programmed around issues, but always create a multitude of chances. Of course you wouldn't need to be the most efficient team to win stuff if you simply spam stuff often enough, and have the most attempts in general.

But it can still lead to the classic FM frustration, individually matches either way, not only due to the hugely unrealistic and one dimensional chance type focus, but also because if players miss, as the widget reveals they can become frustrated or nervous, which can rubs off further if several - better chance types - are out of the equation. I'd expect crosses rarely lead to much tap-ins, for instance (not sure though). The principel is that, let's cut this down purely to Maths: You could have shots spammed from your crosses all season, all of which say lead to a conversion of 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 on purely average (everything above 1 in 2 should be super rare, as the keeper outside of aforementioned tap ins or penalties is in the advantage to save usually unless he's totally caught off-guard and out of position). However anything that may be a better type is out of the window, and 1 in 5 at very best isn't that super hot. Individual match comes along: crosses are spammed, and as random chance has its way too, coupled with frustration and stuff, whilst your op may have 5 shots in total, two of which actually tap-ins, there you go. Not that I've tested personally though, it's not my style of play.

The common issue naturally with those incredibly amount of shots getting missed is that, which is a constant, seen another set of pkms , that quite incredibly all of those shots of 25+ tend to be from set pieces exclusively, which isn't intentional, but oft caused by the bid to overload defenses / trying how the ME would cope by pushing everybody into the box. That principle applies here also too. As the AI visibly never plays in such crazy ways, it will never have matches were every shot of 25+ comes from set pieces. Your average set piece chance is a blocked shot or header made under pressure, which may be on target, but in the game anyway oft a comparably easy save too. I somehow doubt that spamming crosses in FM regularly leads to the best / easiest to convert types of chance you can have in the game, as it's a comparably static thing when let's say runs into the box or dribblings cutting inside from wide binning central defenders are out of the window, plus through balls causing the keeper to rush out of his goal in an attempt to worsen angles, but that's gut feeling. IN real football there is a lot of goals from crosses, but that doesn't mean they are in itself super efficient (afaik the game is tried to be modeled after football research here as close as possible).

Point being, unless you would know and aim to game the ME, it's probably best be prepared to face at least individual "freak" matches and frustration. This is also from some recent experience, talking to somebody who was hell-bend on gaming perceived and actually ME issues likewise, including the defending of wide areas, which only caused him to have horrible long-term conversion stats (anything below 1 in 5 shots in target converted as outlined in the team reports is just that.) Plus heaps of [individually] frustration. Which is also like the story of many of those tactical downloads overloading too. Has been for years.

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There are certainly ways to win while not exploiting the defensive flaws in the current ME, it's just rather unfortunate that the most common current tactical approach to creating defensive solidity while still having a creative option out wide is a near perfect match for the best way to exploit the ME.

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They tend to be more passive on the left side & use a defend duty player, this then allows more time & space to get a player into a good crossing position.

Exactly.

This is another issue with ME: too often the best way to defend is to play offensive.

I played football in a team, as right back and later as central defender. If the opponent had an offensive left back and winger, I had to play defensive. Also because you need to keep the right distance with defensive midfielder of your team for many reasons.

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I started and stopped obsessing over flaws and idiosyncrasies with early FM 2015 as that has managers playing number games they weren't aware of (like when SI made it so that duty determined whether at all attacking players tracked back). That was crazy watching in some AI matches as well. It's fun registering flaws in its own way, and watching matches back to back. However at the same time it kept me months off actually playing the game and made it less appealing to play "proper". However this has got to be one of the more creative things I've seen in a while. It's known that wide areas are an issue, but this created by somebody is so simple and effective you've got to admire it. The core appears that possible left hand players like bonafide left midfielders are tricked and trapped into marking the centrally guys as the mcr is seen and treated as the MR would be, which makes the wbr the completely show runner opening up the flank completely... should the ball get to his he has guys dragged his way which opens up the central of the pitch again which then can be overloaded by what is effectively loads of guys (both the support guys have the get further forward PIs enabled manually)... seems particularly effective against formations defending off flat lines then.

6mvkfhQ.jpg

Why buy or develop Thomas Müller and keep him motivated when you can turn the average guy appearing into space? You don't have to exploit a thing but it's a bit sad that you can turn so many modules put effort in and meant to proper interact with one another drawn redundant to a degree, which includes the match play naturally, and hopefully the solution one day won't be to completely lock the formations you can pick to what is available from the db/drop-downs which are the ones used by AI. A couple of positions available on the pitch were already axed throughout the years. Should FM ever go competitive/MMO multiplayer again though, who knows, and balancing it all must be hell. Would be interesting to know how that Korean MMO is going so far.

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Svenc, that tactic you showed is made by a guy who's been actively trying to find weaknesses in ME to exploit since FM 16 beta. He's been doing it for years with every FM. As a result, it may not be representative of what an average user will experience or discover. Then again, an average user may go to the relevant site and just download the most popular tactic, which the above currently is.

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10 hours ago, shirajzl said:

Svenc, that tactic you showed is made by a guy who's been actively trying to find weaknesses in ME to exploit since FM 16 beta. He's been doing it for years with every FM. As a result, it may not be representative of what an average user will experience or discover. Then again, an average user may go to the relevant site and just download the most popular tactic, which the above currently is.

to be honest,  there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the above screenshot. Black number 6 should really be more  central to cover blue 32 but that could be down to individual poor positioning. blue team in attack transforms into sort of 4-3-3/3-5-2/3-4-3 how you want to see it. Two banks of four (black team) tries to cover what they can but they are overrun in CM area since they fail to bring back one of attackers to nullify the disparity in midfield.

IMAGE_3.jpg

 

It is kind of same situation in euro U19 finals played last sunday. above you can see white team defending with two banks of four against 4-3-3 and they are at disadvantage in central area. also they lack men to cover cross field passes to the weak side which is always open.

 

 IMAGE_2.jpg

above you have white team that, going forward, transforms into 3-5-2. However, blue in defensive phase changes from 4-3-3 to 4-5-1 and covers the pitch perfectly. White failed to adapt whole game, just as black in FM example probably did, and lose 4-0.

Now, I am not saying the FM engine is perfect, however, you see in real life managers fail to adopt to fairly basic disparities and are punished for it. Where engine really is lacking, is the freedom to instruct your players to move and position themselves on the pitch as you want. Therefore you have strange formations like above FM example when people try to outplay the game with resources they have. 

Furthermore, defending in FM works nothing like real life and is another very weak point. Particularly the defending of wingers and inside forwards is left to be desired (although it was improved) to a level that people were saying you can't have wingers on attack duty and make them also defend. 

 

 

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I thought the crossing issues were bad when I was playing as Liverpool but since trying out lower league management it's ridiculous.  I don't want to have to build a tactic specifically designed to stop crosses and I don't want to try and build something that spams the opposition with crosses, but I can't see another way.  I've conceded at least 3 goals per season on average from mis-hit crosses sailing over the keeper as well, it's just taking any fun out of the game.  Keepers are all over the shop at this level when a cross comes in.

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11 hours ago, MBarbaric said:

 

Now, I am not saying the FM engine is perfect, however, you see in real life managers fail to adopt to fairly basic disparities and are punished for it. Where engine really is lacking, is the freedom to instruct your players to move and position themselves on the pitch as you want. Therefore you have strange formations like above FM example when people try to outplay the game with resources they have.

 

 

 

If you would have more costumization, you would have even more of that. There is even historical evidence of the FM kind for that (though the arrows were also unrealistic mind as they basically made players exhibit two positions at once). :D

taktyka_4.jpg

Plus other management games, I think the drills and set piece creators in the last CMs was a wholly terrific thing. However as stuff like that can easily draw the entire game moot in a sense, it's likely not to be picked up again in such forms.


Fifa Manager's 3d match days based on Fifa engines don't at all respond to much, you'd always have the same roughly gung-ho direct style attacking game from both sides even if you went time wasting or when Burnley were taking Arsenal away, but custom formations and arrows and coming up with the undefendable no matter the players... doable. As matches last but a couple minutes on Fifa, that's indeed almost a goal per minute. With a side just freshly promoted.

06TLHPy.jpg

Even with the current level of input, the above is a numbers game that unlike in real football no AI would ever respond to. It isn't recognized as such and would only face opposition likely if it happens to come against a defensive AI that picks a formation packing say the defensive, in particular the centre, with players. A couple of possible AI formations do that. In a sense the entire thing only works when you and the AI can roughly be on even terms, and I think if at all were quite a few years away from AI managers recognizing areas they are currently being overloaded in. If it ever would, it would be a terrific idea to also link it all to the in-match analysis available, which then can be linked to assistant managers likewise. The counter argument naturally is that FM isn't strictly but a tactics simulator as such, it's the wholly management package, though ironically "exploit" tactics turned the game into a game of tactics 100%, as they override everything else. That's basically "I win" buttons, and with crazy arrows on FM Live playing against that, you likely had to be very creative to counter that if such was possible. Including every workaround you can find, such as manually man marking the guys who would always appear in space unmarked else. No fun.

 

shirajzl, totally agree, I mainly brought this up as it was linked to the "crossing issue" which isn't so much a crossing issue but a  "defending of wide areas" issue, and this one utilizes wide areas in simple but very creative ways. :D It's also more effective than just spamming crosses or fielding certain combos of roles that would hit on ME weak areas, as was suggested in previous. The guy gets plenty involved himself, but he also draws guys for the central guys to overload, which then causes the centre backs to be pulled all over, and when that happens, game over.

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/31/2016 at 11:04, shirajzl said:

Svenc, that tactic you showed is made by a guy who's been actively trying to find weaknesses in ME to exploit since FM 16 beta. He's been doing it for years with every FM. As a result, it may not be representative of what an average user will experience or discover. Then again, an average user may go to the relevant site and just download the most popular tactic, which the above currently is.

 

On 7/31/2016 at 01:48, Svenc said:

I started and stopped obsessing over flaws and idiosyncrasies with early FM 2015 as that has managers playing number games they weren't aware of (like when SI made it so that duty determined whether at all attacking players tracked back). That was crazy watching in some AI matches as well. It's fun registering flaws in its own way, and watching matches back to back. However at the same time it kept me months off actually playing the game and made it less appealing to play "proper". However this has got to be one of the more creative things I've seen in a while. It's known that wide areas are an issue, but this created by somebody is so simple and effective you've got to admire it. The core appears that possible left hand players like bonafide left midfielders are tricked and trapped into marking the centrally guys as the mcr is seen and treated as the MR would be, which makes the wbr the completely show runner opening up the flank completely... should the ball get to his he has guys dragged his way which opens up the central of the pitch again which then can be overloaded by what is effectively loads of guys (both the support guys have the get further forward PIs enabled manually)... seems particularly effective against formations defending off flat lines then.

6mvkfhQ.jpg

Why buy or develop Thomas Müller and keep him motivated when you can turn the average guy appearing into space? You don't have to exploit a thing but it's a bit sad that you can turn so many modules put effort in and meant to proper interact with one another drawn redundant to a degree, which includes the match play naturally, and hopefully the solution one day won't be to completely lock the formations you can pick to what is available from the db/drop-downs which are the ones used by AI. A couple of positions available on the pitch were already axed throughout the years. Should FM ever go competitive/MMO multiplayer again though, who knows, and balancing it all must be hell. Would be interesting to know how that Korean MMO is going so far.

I'd love to read more about the findings of this person you mention, Shirajzl. Would you or someone be able to direct me with a link where I can read/find out more? 

 

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45 minutes ago, Arkim said:

 

I'd love to read more about the findings of this person you mention, Shirajzl. Would you or someone be able to direct me with a link where I can read/find out more? 

 

Check the tactics download section of fm-base.co.uk

Loads of his tactics and discussion about the same there.

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