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Help me to create the kind of football I want (please)

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Hello guys, I'm new to the forum but I certainly am not new to Football Manager. I've been playing it with love and dedication for a decade.
And yet, since a few years, I'm having some difficulty in recreating *my* kind of football. I like the fact that the IA is now actively trying to counter your tactics, and I like spending my time to watch the games in "extensive mode" and do the nedeed tweaks to win a match.

What I don't like is my inability to recreate the kind of football I want with my team.

---SMALL COMPLAINT ABOUT THE GAME-- (skip it if you want to read the actual tactical question)
I think it's because you don't have the freedom with tactics you had in previous versions.
Stupid example: I can't ask my wingers to dribble less. All wingers must dribble a lot, that's it. If I want them to simply stay wide and pass back instead of going on their little adventures on the flank all on their own, I can't do that without completely changing their role and  mentality - thus changing the overall tactics and positionings, too.
Other examples: fullbacks with attacking mentality will always cross a lot, you can't ask them to go up and yet cross less at the same time. Or, you can't have a creative player with "flair freedom" (which has become a "secret" instruction, but I'm sure it's still there in the game engine) without making him a playmaker, or raising the flair freedom for the whole team.
It's a bit frustrating, and it's very unrealistic.

This is the main focus of this thread.

I want to make my team play like this:
- patiently keep the ball, with quick but simple passes, until you bottle your opponents in their own box
- break the opponent's defense with quick one-twos, movement off the ball and through balls, with the main objective of feeding the striker with easy, one on one chances with the opponent's keeper
- off the ball movement is therefore very important; most of my attacking players, even the creative ones, should regulargly attempt to make runs past the defense and give their teammate a passing opportunity
- my flank players should stay wide to prevent the opponent's box from becoming too congested, but attacking on the flanks should be limited as I don't like to force crosses until one connects... it's not my philosophy and I think there's no place for such a tactic in modern soccer.

What shape should I use to obtain this? Which instrusctions should I prefer? Because I can't, for the love of me, create such a kind of soccer, that ironically should have its main strenght in its semplicity.

I'm playing with Lazio, and I'm on my third season. I'm actually competing for the first place, but results are not an issue. 
I play with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with three very creative and techinques center offensive midfielders. I have Immobile as a striker, and he's a guy who scores most of the chances he gets - even though he's not extremely fast and mostly useless with headers.

Most of the time my opponents park the bus, completely isolating him, and my offensive midfielders either try to reach him with long passes (in spite of me trying every way to tell them to be patient and slowly cover the distance) or pass to the fullbacks, who inevitably make bad crosses to my aerial inept lone striker. Moreover, my three creative players rarely do one-twos, or through balls into the box for that matter, even though I can see many opportunities to do so - and besides, my opponents do that just fine, so why can't I?

What am I doing wrong, what should I look for? 

Is my kind of foobtall still feasible in football manager, or is the game made so that if you don't like a certain kind of football (which is, in my opinion, old-fashioned and ineffective, at least in real life) you'll get punished?

Thank you for reading all this, I'm eager to read your opinions on the matter :)

Edited by Muja

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Hi and welcome.

Maybe you can add a screenshot with your player roles and one with your team instructions? There could be a number of reasons why it's not working as you intend it. If I have to guess based on your text, maybe you are playing too attacking or you lack players making runs. Hard to say without more info though.

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For your wide players, I think a WM (A) with PIs to stay wider and cross less often would work. It makes your formation a 4411, but for what you are asking them to do they don't really need to start high up the pitch. And a lot of real-life 4231s are best represented by 4411 in the game anyway.

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Welcome to the forum.

If you need specific help, we need to know what your detailed system is.  What you've tried, what works, what doesn't.  Please read this pinned thread to see what I mean https://community.sigames.com/topic/264734-asking-for-help-please-read-this/.

In terms of your complaints, if you are talking about players positioned in the AML/R slots then I agree, I'd like to see a role that gives us a little more flexibility there as well.

For players at ML/R, you can use the Wide Midfielder role and adjust Player Instructions accordingly.

For Fullbacks, whilst on the face of it you can't give one an attack duty and then tell them to cross less, you can try telling them to make less risky passes.  Alternatively a wingback (support) can still be very attack minded, especially when combined with a player who has the PPM (Trait) to get forward often.  However, do also remember that suitable passing options are important - just because you tell someone to cross more or less doesn't mean they will, they need to be able to do something else with the ball otherwise they will just cross it regardless (or try to dribble and get tackled).

Finally, your creative midfield player with "flair freedom" is simply a player with a high Flair attribute and perhaps other complimentary attributes based on your requirements (eg., good Vision and Passing, or great Dribbling skills and so on).  You can also give him suitable Player Instructions to shape his role and/or PPMs.

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Thank you for your feedback, guys! I'll try to be more specific!
I have uploaded an image of my current tactic. Unfortunately I'm playing the game in italian, so I'll try to translate the rest of the infos you need.
(The players are all enraged because I HAD to sell Felipe Anderson, or I would lose him at the end of his contract, lol)

As a basic rule, I always use the most common and customizable roles such as central midfielder, offensive midfielder and so on. The forward is a poacher.

I use control mentality and flexible shape. I always like to keep team instructions simple, and I use only four: play a bit wider, more closing down, bring ball into box, lower crosses ('cause all my attacking player are fast but small)

Individual instructions are pretty simple, too. I ask my fullbacks to stay wider and my central defenders to mark tighter. One midfielder focus on defending and winning the ball back, the other one is on support duty but I ask him to keep his position rather than running up. The offensive midfielders should shoot less (but they still try long shots quite a lot) and move into channels, so as to create space for the striker or the other two in the same role. The poacher is continuosly looking for through balls.

With teams facing me openly, the tactic works quite well. As you can see in the picture, Immobile scored 27 goals in this season, most of them from short distance. And we're still in February.

Lower teams parking the bus can totally destroy me. I don't know if it's a psycological problem or what not, but there are two scenarios that repeat themselves and keep making me lose important points for the first place race.

- I dominate the game and possession in their half of the pitch, and that's exactly what I'm aiming for. But my creative players don't create chances; they don't attack the space when they're off the ball, they don't try one-twos, they keep passing the ball to themselves than lose it or shoot from the distance, without ever trying to pass the ball to the poacher. I figured this was because the opponents's box was too crowded. Then I put my fullbacks on attacking duty. My aim is to widen the opponent's defense, instead I end up overusing the flanks.
I get that it happens in real games, too: the weaker team stays deep and behind the ball; but eventually, very creative players can create a chance or two either way. Instead, that rarely works for me.

- the opponents actually dominate the game, even though their players are way worse than mine. They have possession, while my players rarely make more than four consecutive passes, as when one of my attacking midfielder has the ball he either runs forward like crazy on his own, consequently losing the ball, or he tries to reach the striker with an uneffective long pass, wich often results in losing the ball or my striker ending up in offside. Lower tempo doesn't seem to fix this.

I hope I could be of more help this time. What do you guys think?


Edited by Muja

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I think with all three AMC's on attack duty you might lack a creator/passer in the attacking third as all three join the striker with aggressive forward runs rather than feeding him or starting a one two, and possibly crowd the spaces for the poacher. Both full backs on attack duty also tend to attract lots of passes in wide areas and probably it's not what you want to achieve the style of football you're pursuing.

With that said, my opinion is that Serie A teams tend to play way too defensive in FM, and this is probably the main issue to successfully implement that style of football.  I made this thread a few weeks ago, would like to know your opinion as a fellow serie A fan :)


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