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Posted (edited)

Other tactics

- Suicide Squad - Breaking scoring records

- The Magnificent Four - Strikerless crying havoc

 

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1 goal conceded in 15 league games so far. This is unique sequence that  happened to me the first time since I’ve been playing fm. Luck, and overall team superiority has played a role to some extent surely.  Nonetheless, I want to show my set-up tactic, and reasoning the way I approach different opposition.

Defensive solidity wasn’t my primary target, but came as accompanying bonus.  My primary interest is always to have a shining striker whose average goal return is more than a goal a game. This gives me the most joy playing fm. So my whole team should set-up to suit his goalscoring appetite.

Let’s start from the central defense

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when opposition is attacking in my own half, both variants defend quite similarly, forming a compact 3man defense, once wide defenders join the defense. BPD with cover duty will still charge forward to make interceptions, as I can see in the stats, he usually makes the most interception per game.

When I'm attacking deep in opposition half, my HB positions himself in area where opposition AM should be playing.

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So I'm expecting when oppositions plays with AM, my HB most of the times should be naturally close to him, thus cutting out straight passes, or putting immediate pressure on him once in possession.

One drawback of 2 man defense, that none of DCs marks out the opposing striker. So visually it looks troubling.

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My eye-pleasing idea of good defending is when all offensive players are marked out, or positioned close to them to prevent straight passes.

Playing against 1 striker, 3man defense naturally almost always keeps the striker in pocket.

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PIs for central defenders would be "pass shorter", "mark tighter". PPMs are "play simple passing game", "mark tighter"

 

Now to wide players

 

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I want my both wide players to participate in defense, to link up the DCs to MCs, but one with predominantly having defensive nature, and the other with license to be more adventurous going forward. Defending deep they form one line of 5 man body shield. IWB does well to link up DCs to MCs. Positioned little higher then DCs, it offers short safe passing option, so less pressure on DCs when playing out of defense. When ball played near the middle of the pitch, the IWB moves more centrally, increasing midfield presence. When opposition pinned in deep in their half, both wide players starts to hang out with their wide defenders, moving into channels to receive a through ball. So IWB will still join attack, when necessary. PIs - pass shorter, tackle harder, mark tighter. PPM - mark tighter.

Left defensive winger is specialist position in this set-up. DW in this strata has the deepest starting positions of all the roles. And he does remarkably well defensive wise. This must be my only player who will naturally mark out oppossing winger most of the times. Looking to fill this position, I will look for natural AML players who are on average have the best combination of Acceleration, Pace, Crossing, Dribbling. Being quick helps to catch up wingers receiving a through ball. Crossing, Dribbling attributes makes him a threat from the wide position. Having decent marking, positioning, work-rate attributes would be  complimentary bonus. Positioned on one line with center mids makes pressuring opposition easier in one wave. When having an outstanding performance he manages 19 dribbles a game. Visually it's very pleasing on the eye.

PIs for DW - dribble more, get further forward, cross more often, cross from byline, mark tighter, tackle harder. PPMs - dribble down the left flank, knock ball forward, run with ball more often, mark tighter, play one-twos.

 

And now to central Mids. The magnificent four

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Ourcrowding the center insures dominating the possession against almost every opponent. And that happens every time even without TIs such as "retain possession", "pass shorter", "dribble less".

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Dominating possesion isn't the primary target, but it ensures your players don't waste stamina chasing, closing down opposition. Less booking. Less possession in most cases translates that opposition makes fewer shots. So that's a bonus.

Giving playmaking role to each and every one in center ensures that play and attack will originate from the middle as playmakers attract the ball. I want to give them additional freedom to decide when to make a risky pass, as on average CMs and AMs has the best combination Vision and Passing attributes. Having additional decent attributes for technique, composure and decision will result in  that the center Mids will spot openings more frequently and have the attributes the execute a neat through ball. 

PI- more risky passes. PPM - try killer ball often.

 

And finally the striker

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Most roles would play out just fine. AF has the most advanced positioning. He doesn't roam. Doesn't come deep. Has very little involvement in build-up and defending. That's fine, I don't want him to waste stamina. It ensures he will start almost every game in a season, as he doesn't lose much energy outside of his chore of shooting the ball. PI- shoot more often. The rest of the players also have PI - shoot less often.

One hindrance of having a lonely striker is when he is out of form, goalscoring responsibility is put on rest of the team. My striker scored 52 goals in 47 games last season. As expected super clubs are interested in his services now. So he moans and in perpetual flattered/pressured/discontent state of mind - which obviously reflects on his goalscoring stats.

 

Team instructions

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Shape - Flexible. More fluid presents too much freedom to defensive players, the wide players too adventurous going forward, More players take the shots insuring less opportunity for my primary striker. So flexible shape is a compromise. I need to check the structered shapes someday.

Tempo - normal. I don't wan't it to be rushed, nor be artificially slowed down. I trust my Mids decision making abilities to dictate the tempo based on the situation.

Width - Narrow. Otherwise wide players are too far and closed down oftentimes. I like to have them in close proximity to each other to ensure neat passing game. the offensive players will do the majic.

Defensive line - Normal. Deep in the opposition half, my DCs crosses the halfway line. No need to be more agressive.

Closing down - much more. Hmm. Cause we can.

Passing directness - Mixed. Again I want center Mids to decide for themselves what's the best usage of the ball based on the onfolding situation on the pitch.

Be more expressive - to maximise center mids visionary capabilities.

Low crosses - I expect opposition DCs will oftentime be better positioned, have advantage in height and arial prowess. But my striker is usually quicker with nice off the ball atribute. So presumably he is better in reacting to quick ball, or fast low cross.

As in my league Anderlecht is the best team. I can without fear play with CONTROL mentality against any opposition.

In Europe, I face similar or oftentime better opposition, where word-class wingers who will win individual battles. So caution is required. COUNTER  mentality in europe. The opposition will often play attacking, adventerous game, so I will have my chances with oppenings.

This is a usual otcome in league games

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Edited by Barbosa04

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jc577   

Very unusual system but I like your thought process and how you put the tactic together, good work. How do you fair in Europe?

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36 minutes ago, jc577 said:

Very unusual system but I like your thought process and how you put the tactic together, good work. How do you fair in Europe?

Thanks. Glad you liked it. Regarding europe, this set-up evolved through the middle of last season. So I was probing, tweaking in winnable knock-out matches in Champions League, but sticking with my previous fluid tactic in latter stages. This is my 7th season in, so I have a competent squad to compete with superclubs. This season having maxed up the familiarity of the tactic, I am playing with COUNTER mentality and I just finished the group stage, featuring Inter (currently leading in Seria A) and Monaco who attacked me aggressively. I won 5, drew 1. 18 scored, 6 conceded. Let quite a few, but that's understandable, as I can't negate totally the individual brilliance of some players. On other hand, opposition's boldness in going forward increases my own chances of successful counter-attacks.

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Bjick   

Looks very interesting, I will give it a run myself ;)

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First phase of Belgium league is over. All in all my team conceded 4 goals in 30 games.

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2 from direct free-kicks. 1 fortunate long shot, and 1 because my inverted wing-back failed to properly mark the scorer. Remarkably the defensive winger did exceptional job protecting his side, and on top of that being constant threat from the wide position.

I think one of the reasons of such defensive consistency was in part to opposition rarely playing with more than 1 striker. Every team acknowledging Anderlecht's superiority packed defensively, which resulted in isolated striker. Even when I faced relatively offensive set-up such as this

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it didn't help, as two units of players connected poorly because of distance between them and relentless pressing from my side resulted in cheap interceptions.

Now I'm in the knock-out stages of Champions League. It'll be interesting how it fares against better opposition.

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Posted (edited)

After storming through the group stage of Champions League, luckily or not my first opponent came in Sporting from Portugal. To keep things interesting my specialist defensive winger decided to injure himself and play an absentee card for 3 long months. To add things to the worse, the last year's flying swan striker turned into a lumbering goose this time around. trying to earn himself a move to PSG. My second choice striker followed the suit of trying to force a move for himself. So factually my system heavily relying on single striker, had to  bear those misfiring so called strikers.

Away at Sporting 0-0. At home 1-0. The score didn't reflect the actual walkover my team produced. The opponent didn't have a sniff at goal at both games. I missed 2 penalties. And an actual profligacy in front of goal mastered by my striker kept the scoreline respected. I played a full strength team in league games before the european games, as I was still pursuing the league defensive record. So, despite the ineffectual strikers, I found solace that defensive solidity continued in Champions League against an opponent who played with two recognized strikers unlike I usually face in league.

At quarter finals I faced Atletico Madrid. in first game at home opposition fielded this way

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Their both FBs are on defend duty. His right sided winger is on attack duty. So I gave a personal instruction to my DW to mark him closely.

It worked.

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They had only 4 crosses the whole game. the winger had the least touches. As my DW prevented the straight passes most of the times.

Fun-fact. Their keeper's name Lorenzo Moron.

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I won 1-0. Up until now my defensive fortitude isn't breached even in European knock-out stages, mostly because the team producing an incredibly job of restricting the opponent to a very few shots. Now if I had half a striker willing to put a goal into the net.

In the second game they started with same set-up but with more adventurous fullbacks. This time around my central defender put on marking job on one of their more reserved striker to try to break-up the link-up play. I wasn't sure how effective this measure would be. In the first-half I led 2-0, thanks to their more opened defense featuring running full-backs and higher D-line. In the second half they went nuts and played the FM's most dangerous/desperate AI tactic.

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The problem with this tactic is their offensive players are glued in higher positions most of the times. So when I play a throw-in or free-kick, if they suddenly break-up my play, at that very moment they have 4 vs 3 situation, as even my IWB can be caught-up high up the pitch, and won't prevent the wingers making a successful cross. So they scored 2. I returned the favor with additional two, as their defense cracked-up even more.

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In the semis I faced Liverpool. It fielded AI's arguably second best set-up.

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I lost 0-1. I can't much complain. My strikers barren spell continued. I saw a red. But Liverpool turned out to be my first proper opposition in a whole season.

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In the second game I knew  AI would make Liverpool's player appear tired, as it doesn't properly rest in midweek league game. So for a return home game, I well rested my whole first choice team players in between game. And played with CONTROL mentality, relying on home soil effect and opposition fatigue.

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Great. Their whole midfield should look  half-dead by the end of the game. I won 2-0.

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Would I be whining if I said I hate my strikers?

In the final I met Chelsea. By the final my DW recovered, but my AM chose to rehab to final, So I fielded two my failing strikers in AM and ST position. Incredibly my striker who scored 52 in 47 games last season, now is on 2 goals in 17 games prior to final. And that having the best service in the world.  Second choice striker didn't impressed much more. Partly this is because of strict wage budget I like to have in my teams, so I guess I will be always raided by superclubs. Interestingly 9 first team players are having "wanted" tag, and more than half looking for a leave, or better salary. So I guess it affects motivation and effort put in game even if it's in Champions League final.

Chelsea played with 3 at back, which tampered the efforts put by my already failing striker. But 3 CDs meant they played with only 2 wide players, and those wingbacks didn't connect well with their isolated 2 strikers. For the whole 120 min snoozefest they had only 6 shots, and none on target.

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So to the penalties

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At the end I'm happy with defensive solidity produced by  this set-up. If I sorted my striker issues, the results would be more desirable.

I will take a break from FM for some time, and then come up with another unconventional tactic next time around. Thanks for your attention and sorry for any possible grammmmmar errrrors.

Edited by Barbosa04

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It's amazing what you have achieved and you explain it very well. I'm surprised about the two-stopper defence, can you post their attributes? It's something I'd like to give a try myself. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, PonjaConRulos said:

It's amazing what you have achieved and you explain it very well. I'm surprised about the two-stopper defence, can you post their attributes? It's something I'd like to give a try myself. 

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As you can see in the stats he does less than 1 foul a game. My midfield does a great job of pressing, resulting in opportunistic kicks forward from their defense, which makes my stopper DCs a good interceptors. Besides, it's much safer to play stoppers in 3 man defense, as when one of them leave their spot to meet onrushing winger, there are still 2 CDs in heart of defense. And flexible shape ensures that one of CM will slot into the defense to cover, while stopper is engaging opposition far from his starting point.

If you try it yourself, please post your results. I'm interested how it will play out when your best players aren't constantly poached.

Edited by Barbosa04

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Kawee   

Great read that. Always enjoy a good read on unconventional tactics.

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Ghents   

Was bored and fired FM back up, gave this a try with a fresh Newcastle save in the Championship. It was a very interesting setup and took a little bit for it to gel with the players, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I ended up changing the striker to a DLF-A, as the AF just wasn't getting it done. They got too isolated and caught offside all the time on the break. The DLF actually ended up playing in the midfield while also bagging goals, so it's working out nice.

I was really worried I'd just get obliterated on the wings, but it hasn't been the case even in cup matches against premier league squads. At the winter window we're comfortably in first place with a +25 GD. In the EFL cup we thrashed Southampton 4-1, Liverpool 6-1 and Leicester 5-1. All the goals were very late and they just got destroyed by counter attacks, be it the DLP launching a long pass to the striker or the BPD catching them sleeping with a long ball over the top. The DW has been consistently one of my best players and rather than convert wingbacks to the role, I've been looking at really hard working wingers with pace. I feel like their ability to simply track back is much better than their ability to mark/tackle.

I like the idea of flipping the defensive 3 based on what you're facing. Basically any time there is an AMC, I use the halfback to mark out that space. I'm also planning on experimenting using a sweeper in lieu of a BPD to kind of close up shop when I have a lead.

Anyway, very fun tactic and it seems like one that could be great to build to long term.

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14 minutes ago, Ghents said:

 I ended up changing the striker to a DLF-A, as the AF just wasn't getting it done. They got too isolated and caught offside all the time on the break. The DLF actually ended up playing in the midfield while also bagging goals, so it's working out nice.

I had a similar trend of AF getting into offside a lot. In fact he led league offside charts twice as much as 2nd placed player.

I also like strikers who are heavily involved in build-up, as my usual role for striker is F9 in my other systems. But here my target was maximazing goals/games ratio of that striker, so AF(a) role seemed as most suitable to achieve this.

29 minutes ago, Ghents said:

 The DW has been consistently one of my best players and rather than convert wingbacks to the role, I've been looking at really hard working wingers with pace. I feel like their ability to simply track back is much better than their ability to mark/tackle.

That's so true. Unless its opponent is way better or has raumdetter style advanced position, the DW can almost nullify opponent's input with personal marking instruction.

 

39 minutes ago, Ghents said:

I I'm also planning on experimenting using a sweeper in lieu of a BPD to kind of close up shop when I have a lead.

Interestingly, my next tactic features a sweeper/libero. If it's clicks as I want it to play out, I will report on it hopefully this week. So stay tuned.

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Ghents   
Posted (edited)

Excellent. I'm a sucker for a Libero, so I will definitely check it out.

I haven't even tried man-marking a winger with the DW yet, but will look into doing that. The defense has honestly been pretty great and I haven't felt the need. That may change when we go up to the Premier League, though.

Edited by Ghents

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My I congratulate you on this system, it's one of the best that I have read about. Nice and easy explanation and we'll presented. I am interested to here if you use opposition instructions. 

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@totalfootball71 Thanks. It's much appreciated.

No I don't do opposition instruction. I may give man-marking job to my wide players in important matches. But that's about it.

PS. Early results are looking promising for my next tactic, which I'm very excited about. I will post about it today or tomorrow. Don't miss it.

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Posted (edited)

I have finished experimenting with this tactic. And I'm left slightly curious as how much has TI "be more expressive" influenced the football on show. I didn't quite liked centre mids trying to dribble down the center, which resulted in numerous silly dispossessions. But that what you get with AP on attack duty. Average chance creation, and heavy reliance on single striker's mood was a big drawback.

But it biggest strength was rock solid midfield, which greatly eased the defenders job.

This time I'm going to break the myth that you need solid base at the heart of midfield to be successful. I going to play without central midfielders and will still dominate. Check my new system in the tactics forum.

Edited by Barbosa04

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Ghents   
Posted (edited)

I'm still plugging along with this and in cruise control in first place headed to March in the first season with Newcastle. We won the EFL cup and qualified for EURO, which was pretty cool. Extra games next season to bleed some of the youth I invested in.

Overall, everything is great. The biggest issue is still finding a happy medium with the striker. Ayoze Perez in the AMC spot as the AP-A is my leading goal scorer and assist make with 20/13 right now. Gayle has pumped in 14 and Mitrovic has netted about 8, IIRC. James Wilson netted 10 while I had him on loan when all my strikers got hurt early.  Anyway, the striker either grabs a brace or floats a 6.3 rating for the match. It doesn't really seem to matter the formation he's up against, either. The AF seems to get too isolated and the DLF-A is very hit or miss. I'm not really sure what to try or if I should fiddle with some of the midfield and maybe turn one of the AP-A's to a CM-A for a runner? Kick the CMR AP-A to a WP-A? Or maybe it's time to move from counter to control? I've even thought about going strikerless and moving the striker to an SS in the AMCR spot.

I think the fact that my two main strikers being total opposites is a factor, too. I've been contemplating removing "exploit the middle" and "be more expressive" as well, since the play making midfield should naturally attract the ball.

Edited by Ghents

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@Ghents

I’m happy to hear you are having success so far. I’m bit surprised you went with counter mentality, as Newcastle being freshly relegated, should have been quite strong for Championship, No?

While most of your opponents would be wary against you, playing deep with increased body count in defense, it’s imperative to impose yourself on opponent, and move the ball with increased urgency so not to give them time to restructure into solid defensive shape. On lower mentalities the ball progression is relatively slower, and opponent has more time to position themselves to mark out your only striker.

Yet you are cruising as you say, so maybe it’s not such a big deal. I just feel that to get consistent results you’d better go with higher mentalities against inferior opposition. I’d go with CONTROL mentality. The midfield is positioned so well, that it easily recycles the ball and negates possible mistakes that would arise from quicker transitions.

As for repositioning players such as moving striker to SS and AP to WP – they are all viable options, but I’m not going to suggest anything. For this particular project I went with clear idea in my mind to what kind of brand of football should play out, and those positions are rigid for me to express the flow of football I was looking for.

And yes, strikers will occasionally get low ratings, as they mostly rated for scoring goals. Even my goal machine in one of the seasons scored 52 in 47 games, would stink in every 2-3rd game. Lashing out on him after the game is good way to bring a response in him for the next outing (provided he has a good professionalism attribute to withstand my harsh criticism).

As for removing “exploit the middle” and “be more expressive” I’m also curious how it will affect the game. I suspect “be more expressive” also increases the long shots from your many central midfielders, which I’m not fond off. While they’re legitimate, they are not a consistent source of goals.

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Analog   

Very intersting threads.  I'm not really into breaking the match engine, but these are very informative from a thought-process perspective.  Some great achievements.   :thup:

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craigd84   
6 hours ago, Barbosa04 said:

@Ghents

I’m happy to hear you are having success so far. I’m bit surprised you went with counter mentality, as Newcastle being freshly relegated, should have been quite strong for Championship, No?

While most of your opponents would be wary against you, playing deep with increased body count in defense, it’s imperative to impose yourself on opponent, and move the ball with increased urgency so not to give them time to restructure into solid defensive shape. On lower mentalities the ball progression is relatively slower, and opponent has more time to position themselves to mark out your only striker.

Yet you are cruising as you say, so maybe it’s not such a big deal. I just feel that to get consistent results you’d better go with higher mentalities against inferior opposition. I’d go with CONTROL mentality. The midfield is positioned so well, that it easily recycles the ball and negates possible mistakes that would arise from quicker transitions.

As for repositioning players such as moving striker to SS and AP to WP – they are all viable options, but I’m not going to suggest anything. For this particular project I went with clear idea in my mind to what kind of brand of football should play out, and those positions are rigid for me to express the flow of football I was looking for.

And yes, strikers will occasionally get low ratings, as they mostly rated for scoring goals. Even my goal machine in one of the seasons scored 52 in 47 games, would stink in every 2-3rd game. Lashing out on him after the game is good way to bring a response in him for the next outing (provided he has a good professionalism attribute to withstand my harsh criticism).

As for removing “exploit the middle” and “be more expressive” I’m also curious how it will affect the game. I suspect “be more expressive” also increases the long shots from your many central midfielders, which I’m not fond off. While they’re legitimate, they are not a consistent source of goals.

In regards to the bold part. Using counter doesnt actually make you more defensive it seems to ME that it makes your forward passes a bit more thought out, combine it with a player with "tries killer balls often" and it should be effective.

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1 hour ago, craigd84 said:

In regards to the bold part. Using counter doesnt actually make you more defensive it seems to ME that it makes your forward passes a bit more thought out, combine it with a player with "tries killer balls often" and it should be effective.

True that. But I didn’t say counter means defensive. Playing against inferior opposition who beforehand decided to play deep defensive structure – you won’t get added benefit of counter mentality. You won’t draw out their defense, if they are happy sitting deep. Tempo is lowered, forward runs are reduced. “killer balls” are harder to come by playing against deep opponent. Considering this particular system has only 1 striker, quicker transitions with increased forward run from midfield are preferred. And that comes with higher mentalities.

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craigd84   

Maybe so, but i have in some games come up against a normally counter team changing the way they play because i have selected to go counter.

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Mutumba   
Posted (edited)

Is there a download availible for this? Ive tried to copy this frame by frame but I dont get anywhere near the same results, despite the fact that my team is the best in the league. I just get mixed results and concede pretty much the same amount aswith any other tactic.

 

Edit: tried it with another top team, didnt go well at all. 10 games in, 3 wins 3 draw and 4 losses and -3 in GD. This with a team that is expected to win the league.

Edited by Mutumba

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@Mutumba

Do you check your opposition’s fullback role? Before your team gets fully familiar with the tactic, your wide areas are vulnerable from FBs who are joining the attack.

Your CDs are on stopper duty, so they will be frequently discharged from their primary position to close down opposition in wide areas, so an excellent teamwork is required from your MCs to instantly slot into CD’s position for cover.

Playing cautiously (counter mentality), especially in tough away matches, before players gell together to play as one unit is a safer bet. The description in tactics tab (players are willing to die for each other) will likely translate into match, where your players will have supreme understanding when/how to cover for each other.

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