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Great read again Cleon.

Would you say as a very general rule that Attacking formations with lower mentalities and Defensive formations with higher mentalities are more likely to produce balanced tactics due to the space players occupy and should try to exploit?

I know it depends on lots of different factors like 'how you want to play' the opposition etc, I'm just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible and thats what I've picked up when reading this article

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1 hour ago, scwiffy said:

Great read again Cleon.

Would you say as a very general rule that Attacking formations with lower mentalities and Defensive formations with higher mentalities are more likely to produce balanced tactics due to the space players occupy and should try to exploit?

I know it depends on lots of different factors like 'how you want to play' the opposition etc, I'm just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible and thats what I've picked up when reading this article

Not really no. The second part is more true though. You can't use an attacking/shape/mentality and make it act like a defensive one. Sure you can slow it down a little bit but it's still attacking underneath and will be aggressive than using a lower mentality. While if you start with a lower mentality you can make that much more attacking with the roles and duties and while it'll not be as attacking underneath like an attacking mentality would, it will still be really aggressive at times and you don't give up the defensive side of things, which you do in attacking ones. That's the main difference.

Attacking formations still generally push high up and occupy space high up the pitch and it's harder to get players to drop off the front to where the space is available. It's one of the reasons why when people post on here with attacking set ups, they have really bad chance creation and shots on target ratio's due to lacking and proper movement and balance in the sides.

 

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2 hours ago, scwiffy said:

This is pretty much how I hope to set-up my Brighton save when I get it going as its currently how they play. I've been trying to study Hughtons tactics for a while. But it's quite difficult to replicate on FM for many reasons (emphasis on stopping opposition first, the ying-yang of central midfields and 2 strikers).

Glad to know i’m along the right lines :thup: I think the difficulty setting up the tactic is the lack of proper CM’s brighton have until Kayal is back from injury. Also, Groß often drifts out-wide a lot but the only way to replicate this is to have him in the CM strata as an outer CM :idiot:

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On November 25, 2017 at 10:56, Siven said:

How would you incorporate 2 Inside forwards into the formation?

I play as Liverpool and have Mane and Salah as inside forwards as they seem to be the best role for them considering the PPMs (cuts inside etc).

 

I'm thinking have the striker on support, the AM as APs for more through balls. I would also think both the fullbacks need to offer width but also not be too attacking so WBs, then the SV to be support too so he can support both the IF and sometimes run into the box. But then i just feel with all the support roles behind the inside forwards, theres maybe not enough forward runs coming from deep?

FYI, Mane and Salah will use their PPMs regardless of roles. Play Mane on the left and Salah on the right, both set as Wingers. See what happens. Do not think what is the best role for the player. Think what is the best role for your tactic, the way you want to play and how each role will link with the others. Sometimes you have to pick a role the player is not very suited for, but it works for the set up. Think differently. This is what @Cleon is trying to teach in every thread.

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18 hours ago, jc577 said:

Glad to know i’m along the right lines :thup: I think the difficulty setting up the tactic is the lack of proper CM’s brighton have until Kayal is back from injury. Also, Groß often drifts out-wide a lot but the only way to replicate this is to have him in the CM strata as an outer CM :idiot:

 

He doesn't drift wide that often, Gross plays like cross between and Trequista (off the ball) and Shadow Striker (with the ball), but also puts in a decent shift defensively, so i don't know how to set him up on FM. 

But definitely agree about players. I think SI have really got a lot of the Brighton players attributes completely wrong.

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Agree I've found now that Standard mentality works best for me.  Then from there I use more aggressive roles with attack etc and fluid shape to get a bit more impact. 

 

Would love to see you do a defensive mentality tactic Cleon. If you have not already I may have missed it?

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38 minutes ago, Pablo Sanchez said:

Agree I've found now that Standard mentality works best for me.  Then from there I use more aggressive roles with attack etc and fluid shape to get a bit more impact. 

 

Would love to see you do a defensive mentality tactic Cleon. If you have not already I may have missed it?

Already wrote about them. Check the ‘Art of defensive Football’ over on the blog :)

https://teaandbusquets.com/category/defensive-football

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Fantastic thank you. 

 

I am starting with Everton and thinking about doing a 4-2-3-1 as it suits the players but worried I am going too top heavy as you mentioned. Standard mentality 

 

Ive got a Carrilero and Deep lying playmaker on defend together in CM. In front a inside forward support, attacking mid support and winger attack. Would something like this work. Worried about that CM combo?

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6 hours ago, Pablo Sanchez said:

Fantastic thank you. 

 

I am starting with Everton and thinking about doing a 4-2-3-1 as it suits the players but worried I am going too top heavy as you mentioned. Standard mentality 

 

Ive got a Carrilero and Deep lying playmaker on defend together in CM. In front a inside forward support, attacking mid support and winger attack. Would something like this work. Worried about that CM combo?

Try it and see how it plays out.

My thoughts would be who is the winger aiming for? Will you have enough in box to have a good target to aim for?

Will the midfield get forward enough to link up?

Watching the game should show this.

Edited by Solo171013

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10 hours ago, Pablo Sanchez said:

Fantastic thank you. 

 

I am starting with Everton and thinking about doing a 4-2-3-1 as it suits the players but worried I am going too top heavy as you mentioned. Standard mentality 

 

Ive got a Carrilero and Deep lying playmaker on defend together in CM. In front a inside forward support, attacking mid support and winger attack. Would something like this work. Worried about that CM combo?

I've started with Everton too and am going with Cleon's structure. I actually think it suits the players well. I know you'd pick those roles as more of the midfielders would suit it according to how used to playing those positions they are. But I think stats wise they suit Cleon's midfield setup well. For the SV role against better teams you've got Schneiderlin who can play alongside Gana. When you want to be more attacking I think both Davies & Klassen could be turned into quality players in that position. It's the AM role I'm struggling to start with but will work on that as it's very early days.

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any ideas on how to alter Cleon's formation that would put the striker in a better position to score more goals?  I'm starting a Bayern save and think that Lewandowski could play as a CF but am not sure if an IF would not mesh...

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18 hours ago, Tcufrog said:

any ideas on how to alter Cleon's formation that would put the striker in a better position to score more goals?  I'm starting a Bayern save and think that Lewandowski could play as a CF but am not sure if an IF would not mesh...

Lewandowski can't play as DLF-A? Why not? Why do you have to change the role for Lewandowski? Role suitability? How do you know it won't get the best of him?

IMPORTANT: Any player can play any role! The difference is how that role connects with the rest to form a working partnership. Each player plays the same role differently based on their attributes and PPMs.

When choosing roles, don't think of how it will suit the player. Think how it will suit the tactic and the style you're trying to create, plus how it will interact with the other roles. Don't think in isolation, think in cooperation.

This is the biggest lesson I have learned from Cleon, Rashidi, Herne and O-zil.

 

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9 minutes ago, yonko said:

Lewandowski can't play as DLF-A? Why not? Why do you have to change the role for Lewandowski? Role suitability? How do you know it won't get the best of him?

IMPORTANT: Any player can play any role! The difference is how that role connects with the rest to form a working partnership. Each player plays the same role differently based on their attributes and PPMs.

When choosing roles, don't think of how it will suit the player. Think how it will suit the tactic and the style you're trying to create, plus how it will interact with the other roles. Don't think in isolation, think in cooperation.

This is the biggest lesson I have learned from Cleon, Rashidi, Herne and O-zil.

 

I can't emphasis just how important this is. People need to stop thinking players can't play roles and start thinking instead about how 'he will play the role'. Any player can play anywhere.

I did a post about this the other week and used a player who was more suited to being a creative midfielder/striker but instead I used him as an advanced forward. Many thought I'd wasted his abilities but what I really did was make the advanced forward role play a different way to what you'd expect. The post can be found here;

 

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1 hour ago, Cleon said:

I can't emphasis just how important this is. People need to stop thinking players can't play roles and start thinking instead about how 'he will play the role'. Any player can play anywhere.

I did a post about this the other week and used a player who was more suited to being a creative midfielder/striker but instead I used him as an advanced forward. Many thought I'd wasted his abilities but what I really did was make the advanced forward role play a different way to what you'd expect. The post can be found here;

 

I know, I know. I feel the same way. It is probably the most important lesson to learn about tactics in FM. I think many people go by the role suitability pie chart, which is very useless and confusing. I have removed it from my tactics screen completely so it doesn't distract me. 

Formation, Mentality, Shape, Roles, Duties and Instructions all go together harmoniously. They should never be thought of in isolation because it is pointless. And unfortunately the majority of the questions in this forum are regarding those things in isolation - "what is the best role for such and such", "what is the best shape to use for....". Everyone looks for quick formula to win matches. There is no magic formula. It is all down to logical combination of the above to represent the style of play you want your team to play. I don't think people realize how all those things combine to represent style of play in the game.

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2 hours ago, Cleon said:

I can't emphasis just how important this is. People need to stop thinking players can't play roles and start thinking instead about how 'he will play the role'. Any player can play anywhere.

I did a post about this the other week and used a player who was more suited to being a creative midfielder/striker but instead I used him as an advanced forward. Many thought I'd wasted his abilities but what I really did was make the advanced forward role play a different way to what you'd expect. The post can be found here;

 

Apologies, I didn't specify why I was thinking of another role for Lewandowski. 

Cleon pointed out that although the DLF would score goals, this tactic is better suited toward the AMR being in a better scoring position.  Although I think that Robben and Muller(Ramdeuter) would score from the AMR position, I like Lewandowski's PPM's and finishing ability more and would like to test out ways I could put him in a more suitable scoring position.  I'm going to toy around with this in preseason but wanted to see if anyone had ideas i can try out.  Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, Tcufrog said:

Apologies, I didn't specify why I was thinking of another role for Lewandowski. 

Cleon pointed out that although the DLF would score goals, this tactic is better suited toward the AMR being in a better scoring position.  Although I think that Robben and Muller(Ramdeuter) would score from the AMR position, I like Lewandowski's PPM's and finishing ability more and would like to test out ways I could put him in a more suitable scoring position.  I'm going to toy around with this in preseason but wanted to see if anyone had ideas i can try out.  Thanks!

My striker scores a lot of goals, I just said I wanted the IF to be the main scorer. That doesn’t mean the striker doesn’t score. There isn’t much between them; in my first season my striker scored 32 goals and my If 38 goals 

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1 hour ago, Cleon said:

My striker scores a lot of goals, I just said I wanted the IF to be the main scorer. That doesn’t mean the striker doesn’t score. There isn’t much between them; in my first season my striker scored 32 goals and my If 38 goals 

Got it, excited to try it out. really looking forward to arturo vidal in the SV position

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4 hours ago, yonko said:

Lewandowski can't play as DLF-A? Why not? Why do you have to change the role for Lewandowski? Role suitability? How do you know it won't get the best of him?

IMPORTANT: Any player can play any role! The difference is how that role connects with the rest to form a working partnership. Each player plays the same role differently based on their attributes and PPMs.

When choosing roles, don't think of how it will suit the player. Think how it will suit the tactic and the style you're trying to create, plus how it will interact with the other roles. Don't think in isolation, think in cooperation.

This is the biggest lesson I have learned from Cleon, Rashidi, Herne and O-zil.

 

Same here. I had this guy: Alper Ademoglu. He didn't have much pace but I put him out wide as a playmaker in my Trabzonspor save and he came to life. Playing a key pass to unlock my AF every time he got the ball. Best loan w/ option to buy ever? :D

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3 hours ago, jc577 said:

Can anyone see any flaws with this set-up?

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 23.59.20.png

I guess my issue is that the AF may be on his own island in attack. You're gonna have to watch the game closely but I doubt the SV and the AM is making any runs to the box otherwise that Winger will only have one guy to whip the ball into

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7 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

I guess my issue is that the AF may be on his own island in attack. You're gonna have to watch the game closely but I doubt the SV and the AM is making any runs to the box otherwise that Winger will only have one guy to whip the ball into

I was torn between a W-a or an IF-a, maybe the latter would be the better option? If i wanted to keep the W-a i could perhaps change the AP-a to an IF-s to provide another option in the box for crosses, but using the AP-a was the main reasoning behind this tactic.

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1 hour ago, jc577 said:

I was torn between a W-a or an IF-a, maybe the latter would be the better option? If i wanted to keep the W-a i could perhaps change the AP-a to an IF-s to provide another option in the box for crosses, but using the AP-a was the main reasoning behind this tactic.

I honestly don't mean to sound an arse here but instead of seeking approval for everything so minor and looking for advice, why not just try your ideas out? Then see what issues you have and then post specific issues if needs be, with what you've seen or if people can then improve it. This isn't only aimed at you but far too frequently people ask for feedback on their own ideas without even trying them. Just try them out and experiment, not enough people seem to do that on these boards anymore and always seek approval for absolutely everything.

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19 minutes ago, Cleon said:

I honestly don't mean to sound an arse here but instead of seeking approval for everything so minor and looking for advice, why not just try your ideas out? Then see what issues you have and then post specific issues if needs be, with what you've seen or if people can then improve it. This isn't only aimed at you but far too frequently people ask for feedback on their own ideas without even trying them. Just try them out and experiment, not enough people seem to do that on these boards anymore and always seek approval for absolutely everything.

That’s fair enough, i just wanted to ensure I had a solid base before testing but you’re right - will give it a test run today and see how it plays out.

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@Cleon. What level do you do your testing at on a whole? Myself don't get a huge amount of time on FM these days so really stay on my Liverpool save. If I get chance I would like to do Tamworth, local club, with this as a base.

If i get chance will feedback on how it plays. Gut is it might struggle going forward but solid at back.

Just wondered. I see you do Sheffield United but wondered if you went lower league at all?

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10 minutes ago, Solo171013 said:

@Cleon. What level do you do your testing at on a whole? Myself don't get a huge amount of time on FM these days so really stay on my Liverpool save. If I get chance I would like to do Tamworth, local club, with this as a base.

If i get chance will feedback on how it plays. Gut is it might struggle going forward but solid at back.

Just wondered. I see you do Sheffield United but wondered if you went lower league at all?

How do you mean? I don't go out of my way to use tactics with clubs I'm not managing. All tactics are relevant to the current club I am. However it'll work fine and the same principles apply regardless of the league you play in or the level you're at. It'll not struggle at all. Tactics are universal not level specific or dependant. 

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I have learnt a lot regarding your explanations to the 4-2-3-1 tactic. Thanks Cleon. Really good stuff & well written to boot.

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Okay, so I'm Liverpool & I just beat Stoke 1-0 at home but the problem is the fact I had 18 long shots out of 31 (58% of my shots). A lot of the time it seemed completely unnecessary & a waste of possession. Most of the time it seemed like it was my two central midfielders. A Roaming Playmaker (Coutinho, who does have the annoying PPM) & a Mezzala; Attacking (Wijnaldum).

I have 'Works Ball Into Box' & I told them both to shoot less. Any other ideas on how to stop it? 

EDIT: Wrong Thread. Can a mod please delete? 

 

Edited by retrodude09

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So I'm using Cleon's tactic with Bayern and to open up the season I've lost 8 of my last 9.  Just got destroyed by RBL 3-1(see screenshots) and it should have been much much worse.  I'm having a very hard time getting any shots on goal from build up play, the only goals I'm getting are rebounds or mistakes in the opponents own third.

Vidal has been decent as a SV but other than him my WB's are getting burned by crosses and my attack can't get anything going.  It seems like Lewandowski is getting stuck too often up front with few options.  I'll pause the game when I gain possession then when I get the ball in the opponent's third, and it seems like my players don't have many passing options.

Unfortunately Robben, James Rodriguez, and Ribery are all out which is leaving me limited up front.  I've stuck with Cleon's exact same formation and TI's and was hoping to see similar movement/results that I saw in his examples. I've watched almost every game in full and am out of ideas.  I've toyed with tempo when teams camp in their own half trying to move the ball around more quickly and that doesn't work.  I've tried moving my line further back after mediocre strikers beat me over the top and that hasn't worked either.  Overall I've done my best to stay consistent.  Everything I've changed hasn't given me any encouragement and I'm back to square one.

I really like the theory of this tactic and think that Bayern should be able to execute because of a strong, pacey back line and technical attack.  

Any help is much appreciated! 

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.29.38 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.29.48 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.31.36 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.34.11 PM.png

Edited by Tcufrog

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Thanks Cleon, I have finally managed to get something up and running but I am only about 80% of the way there (further than I have ever got before tbh) I have Fiorentina second but miles behind AC and for some reason Juve and Napoli have imploded making my position look better than it probably should be

 

This is my base tactic, the only PIs I have are fewer risky passes on the two CD and the front 4 all have close down and tackle harder

 

image.thumb.png.8a3778a74a0a04b634f3dc5614bd5fbc.png

 

The two things I would really appreciate some help with are

  • I don't think I have the St and AMC quite right. Chiesa is a beast playing on the right wing and is whilst my strikers and AMC are getting goals they tend to come in bunches and not consistently. Any ideas on how to play round with them?
  • The other thing is i really struggle to break teams down who play with 10 men behind the ball. I have a deeper 4411 as seen below but any ideas on how to alter the the base 4231 would be great

image.thumb.png.d1ee0ad75c8b028ac2bed5c4f6cceb3c.png

Cheers in advance

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On 06/12/2017 at 03:49, Tcufrog said:

So I'm using Cleon's tactic with Bayern and to open up the season I've lost 8 of my last 9.  Just got destroyed by RBL 3-1(see screenshots) and it should have been much much worse.  I'm having a very hard time getting any shots on goal from build up play, the only goals I'm getting are rebounds or mistakes in the opponents own third.

Vidal has been decent as a SV but other than him my WB's are getting burned by crosses and my attack can't get anything going.  It seems like Lewandowski is getting stuck too often up front with few options.  I'll pause the game when I gain possession then when I get the ball in the opponent's third, and it seems like my players don't have many passing options.

Unfortunately Robben, James Rodriguez, and Ribery are all out which is leaving me limited up front.  I've stuck with Cleon's exact same formation and TI's and was hoping to see similar movement/results that I saw in his examples. I've watched almost every game in full and am out of ideas.  I've toyed with tempo when teams camp in their own half trying to move the ball around more quickly and that doesn't work.  I've tried moving my line further back after mediocre strikers beat me over the top and that hasn't worked either.  Overall I've done my best to stay consistent.  Everything I've changed hasn't given me any encouragement and I'm back to square one.

I really like the theory of this tactic and think that Bayern should be able to execute because of a strong, pacey back line and technical attack.  

Any help is much appreciated! 

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.29.38 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.29.48 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.31.36 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 9.34.11 PM.png

If you don't have passing option, then why don't you have them? Surely its easy to spot who should be options and the one who is passing the ball? If you paused the game then you look at the players positioning and work from that.

In the tactic you've tweaked, how does the AM/RMD receive the ball?

Moving the ball faster when someone is camped in their own half or dropping your defensive line due to balls over the top isn't actually addressing the issues is it? Breaking sides down falls on the roles and duties you use. Being exposed at the back is also a by product of roles and duties and being exposed. It's all about creating balance. If people go forward then who covers for them? and so on.

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Thanks Cleon, I have finally managed to get something up and running but I am only about 80% of the way there (further than I have ever got before tbh) I have Fiorentina second but miles behind AC and for some reason Juve and Napoli have imploded making my position look better than it probably should be

Maybe this is a realistic expectation though? Your second and could have maybe been 4th if the other two hadn't imploded. That would still be good with Fiorentina, maybe you need to take some perspective and not expect to perform miracles straight away? All those sides you mention have much better squads and depth than you do. You have good players and a lot of them are young, but it could take a season or two to really get the side up to speed in terms of matching the bigger clubs.

Quote

This is my base tactic, the only PIs I have are fewer risky passes on the two CD and the front 4 all have close down and tackle harder

Why do all the front 4 have that? What's the benefit? Maybe all 4 go closing down really heavily and leave the midfield exposed because of a simple ball, which would take all those players out of the game then instantly you are on the back foot and none of those 4 players are able to contribute in the defensive phases?

Quote

I don't think I have the St and AMC quite right. Chiesa is a beast playing on the right wing and is whilst my strikers and AMC are getting goals they tend to come in bunches and not consistently. Any ideas on how to play round with them?

Quote

The other thing is i really struggle to break teams down who play with 10 men behind the ball. I have a deeper 4411 as seen below but any ideas on how to alter the the base 4231 would be great

Well the DF isn't really a goalscoring role. Yes he will score but that isn't his main aim. Also both him and the AM are coming away from the box, so that isn't likely to help. It's hard to score goals when both players are coming out of the box or arriving very late, it's easy for the opposition to defend against.

I spoke about breaking sides down earlier in the posts, it all relies on the movement of your players. You don't have any real runners getting into the box initially though. Your DF drops off the front, your AM will make late runs and the winger/AP aren't going to provide that much support by running into the box constantly.

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46 minutes ago, Cleon said:

If you don't have passing option, then why don't you have them? Surely its easy to spot who should be options and the one who is passing the ball? If you paused the game then you look at the players positioning and work from that.

In the tactic you've tweaked, how does the AM/RMD receive the ball?

Moving the ball faster when someone is camped in their own half or dropping your defensive line due to balls over the top isn't actually addressing the issues is it? Breaking sides down falls on the roles and duties you use. Being exposed at the back is also a by product of roles and duties and being exposed. It's all about creating balance. If people go forward then who covers for them? and so on.

Also @Cleon would you agree that perhaps moving Lewandoski to the left striker role would allow for Muller the room to operate more efficiently?

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3 minutes ago, craigd84 said:

Also @Cleon would you agree that perhaps moving Lewandoski to the left striker role would allow for Muller the room to operate more efficiently?

No it won't make any difference as Muller should already have room and space to work in.

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9 hours ago, Cleon said:

If you don't have passing option, then why don't you have them? Surely its easy to spot who should be options and the one who is passing the ball? If you paused the game then you look at the players positioning and work from that.

In the tactic you've tweaked, how does the AM/RMD receive the ball?

Moving the ball faster when someone is camped in their own half or dropping your defensive line due to balls over the top isn't actually addressing the issues is it? Breaking sides down falls on the roles and duties you use. Being exposed at the back is also a by product of roles and duties and being exposed. It's all about creating balance. If people go forward then who covers for them? and so on.

Cleon, both points that you raised here are issues I haven't been able to spot.

Muller, my RMD, seems to receive the ball from either my SV Vidal further up the pitch or from my WB-S Kimmich closer to midfield.  When Vidal passes him the ball, it seems like Vidal stops and doesn't continue to break forward.  When Kimmich passes him the ball, there aren't enough forward options as my AMC and SV are not getting forward.  My issue has been getting my attack to find space in between the defense.  Instead, my players stand around and my AMR/AML either make bad crosses or simply lose possession.  My AMC seems to be an extra deep CM instead of providing support up top, especially to Lewandowski.

Against opposing teams who camp in their own half, do you have any suggestions as to how to better break them down or what to look for?  I've read articles about increasing tempo, that's why I gave it a go and it's backfired.

As you see in my pictures above from my game against RBL, Werner destroyed me over the top and their wingers got early crosses right over my CD's.  If I need my WB's in support because I have too few options attacking already. How do I also prevent against the opponents wingers killing me?  In regards to getting beat over the top, to my naive eye it just looks like Werner made straight runs past my CD's... With Martinez as a DM-S he was to do anything; how would I have stopped this without dropping my line back?

Thanks for your feedback, just want to make sure I'm properly identifying my issues which I'm clearly not doing.

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Cleon, both points that you raised here are issues I haven't been able to spot.

You can and have to some extent hence your post. Fixing them might be more difficult buy you have spotted the issues already and know something isn't right.

Quote

Muller, my RMD, seems to receive the ball from either my SV Vidal further up the pitch or from my WB-S Kimmich closer to midfield.  When Vidal passes him the ball, it seems like Vidal stops and doesn't continue to break forward.

Is he stopping because play it too advanced? To offer support? Or does he have no space to continue his move? I use a SV and he is always running and supporting players, as well as taking the initiative to bring the ball forward. He is definitely a forward thinking type of player. I should say role rather than player tbh.

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When Kimmich passes him the ball, there aren't enough forward options as my AMC and SV are not getting forward.

Even without those two players you still have 3 other players, two wide ones and a striker. What are they doing? 

Looking at how you've set up the SV, he might be limited by the Raumdeuter wandering into the same kind of space? Why not reverse your DMC roles, it should flow better imo.

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My AMC seems to be an extra deep CM instead of providing support up top, especially to Lewandowski.

If you know he is too deep then why haven't you changed it? Give him an attacking duty or change his role to give you the thing you think you are currently lacking?

You've identified the issue here and you should know how to fix it. You've basically answered what you need to do yourself here if you read your reply back :)

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Against opposing teams who camp in their own half, do you have any suggestions as to how to better break them down or what to look for?  I've read articles about increasing tempo, that's why I gave it a go and it's backfired.

I wrote about it on my blog before. It was for a different shape but the principles are the same. I'll try and find the article after,

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If I need my WB's in support because I have too few options attacking already.

You have 4 players in the oppositions half, no idea how that equals too few attacking options. You shouldn't need the WB's to provide the attacking intent, they should be supporting/aiding it. You have 4 players who are very high up the pitch already. I spoke about this in the opening posts.

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With Martinez as a DM-S he was to do anything; how would I have stopped this without dropping my line back?

Is it really a case of Martinez doing nothing? Or is it a case of him having to over compensate for the SV when he goes forward and it being unrealistic for him to be able to carry out his normal duties because he is too busy covering for someone else?

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Thanks for your feedback, just want to make sure I'm properly identifying my issues which I'm clearly not doing.

You have identified them though. Read your replies back to me, you've identified the issues and not only that, you have also pointed out what the player should be doing instead.

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@Tcufrog This was the article;

 

Breaking sides down has to be one of the biggest downfalls people suffer with on Football Manager. On the forums, blogs and Twitter, I see this mentioned a lot. I see posts that mention one week they beat top of the league then the week after get hammered against the club bottom of the league. People can’t seem to get their head around why it happens, so hopefully this will explain in detail why it can happen. I’ll not be focusing on one game in particular but instead I’ll be focusing on several to highlight the common issues you are likely to come up against when facing these types of teams. Then I’ll be focusing on how I try to combat this and give you some ideas that you might be able to try in your own save. Remember everything you see below is with me using the 4-4-2 that I discussed earlier in the series.

Space and Movement

One of the main reasons, we find it more difficult against these types of team is because they don’t give space away too easily in the final third. Space is the key to everything, if a player has space then he also has time and allows him to take his time and pick out runners. Against a side who defends deep and is quite compact, it’ll be really hard to play through balls, balls over the top, crosses and so on into the box as there will be no real space for the player to gain that half of yard they need. So you need to think of different ways to break them down when the above isn’t working.

A lot of people like to go more attacking when sides sit deep but for me this only makes the issue even worse because you are making the little space you do have even more compact. That’s not to say it doesn’t work for some but for me it’s not really something I would do. The way I see it is if you push players further up the field space is reduced and its less likely you’ll have anyone making any runs that will really stretch or hurt the opposition due to their compactness.

Let me show you an example of what I’m talking about:

1-1-1.jpeg?resize=474%2C160&ssl=1

This side was more than happy to defend deep which means all the space I have to work with exists in front of the defence and I’ll struggle to get in behind them. I was playing with a low mentality here in this game but if I’d been more attack minded and had players in the positions where the numbers are on the pitch it would become even more congested. Now this might give the opposition a bit of defending to do and needs them to keep their concentration but for me that’s no way to play, hoping the opposition makes a mistake or has a lapse in concentration. It also means where would my late runners be arriving from or where would I get movement from in general that could hurt the opposition if I was higher?

Plus we are ignoring one major significant fact here, you’d also leave yourself vulnerable to counter attacks. Ever seen a post by someone claiming they dominate the game with like 20+ shots and fail to win because the AI has 3 shots and scores 2 from them? It’s because they get hit on the counter. I don’t like to play this way and like to use space that I have to create movement and get runners from deep involved and also minimise the risk of being hit on the counter.

So what I like to do is play deeper myself, so I can use the space in front of the opposition that they give up so easily and have no interest in defending properly. This then allows me to commit men forward from deeper positions which can instantly put the opposition onto the back foot, defenders dislike players running at them no matter how good/poor the players might be. They risk giving fouls away and even picking cards up and risking the dreaded red card.

Let me show you an example of what I mean:

2-2.png?resize=474%2C237&ssl=1

The opposition is happy to have eight men back behind the ball here. The solid red arrow shows where my player will run and the broken arrow represents a passing move my side will make. This is a video of the move;

It results in an under hit pass and the move comes to nothing on this occasion but do you see the use of space I was talking about and how quickly stretched the opposition became?

Let me show you another example but this time when my team is pushed up playing high.

3-9.jpeg?resize=474%2C214&ssl=1

The circled players are too advanced to cause any real issue and the Rochdale defence is quite solid. So when Baxter gets the ball he doesn’t really have a clear option to pass to in front of him. The two circled central player aren’t options at all because he can’t see them and they’re marked even if he could.

1 – He’s on the wrong side of Baxter so again he’s not a realistic option.

2 – The ref is blocking his view here but even so the player next to the ref  (less so than the 2nd player tbh) or the one player on his own outside the box can easily move across and cut out the pass.

3 – If Baxter controls the ball well the first time then this could be an option. But with the refs positioning and the seemingly free roaming Rochdale players, I don’t think he is a safe option.

4 – This leaves number 4 as the only real possibility because I have three static player positioned way too high up the pitch.

The lack of movement and runners from deep is a big issue as I’m relying on the opposition making a mistake before I can do anything useful. I’d much rather take matters into my own hands and be in control, so I play a less attacking mentality against sides who sit deep, I normally go Standard or Counter instead.

The next screenshot shows what I was talking about a little earlier about leaving myself exposed if I am positioned high up the pitch.

4-9.jpeg?resize=474%2C189&ssl=1

Baxter attempts the pass but the Rochdale player cuts it out and then I get hit on a quick break. I am still playing attacking in this screenshot btw to highlight the issues and show why I avoid being so aggressive.

5-9.jpeg?resize=474%2C193&ssl=1

One simple ball down the channel and I’m completely exposed. I’m lucky in this instance and the sequence comes to nothing. Yet when you are high up the pitch or over commit men forward, this is the biggest risk you face and something you’ll see often should you give the ball away cheaply.

If you’ve noticed one prominent thing so far in all the examples and all the screenshots is Baxter seems to be involved in everything. The reason for this is the amount of space he has to play in, he’s basically unmarked due to the opposition not caring about giving space away due to them sticking to their strict positions and being deep. The next screen shows the amount of room he actually has during a counterattack that I have just done myself but now the opposition are trying to clear their lines.

6-8.jpeg?resize=474%2C184&ssl=1

Even if the opposition do clear the ball like they intend on doing the chances are Baxter will still end up with the ball. He has lots of space and time and doesn’t come too high up the pitch. He actually does get the ball and smashes it home to make it 1-0.

This is another example of Baxter’s influence in a move started from deep. You can also see me attacking with numbers.

7-6.jpeg?resize=474%2C206&ssl=1

This shows Baxter yet again pulling the strings after we break from deep. The raumdeuter has checked his run, the complete forward is going to drop off to create space which the wide playmaker (haha just noticed on the image I put RPM instead of WPM opps) will run into and the complete wingback is busting a gut to get forward. Baxter passes the ball into the wide playmaker’s path who then feeds the complete wingback in.

8-5.jpeg?resize=474%2C211&ssl=1

Then my complete wingback has a few options, he can put in the cross (which he does) or he can pull it back. Either way I’ve created space and broke them down by movement its why I always bang on about space and movement, it’s this what wins you game.

I also like to use the width of the pitch when breaking sides down as this can create space and also catch the opposition on the back foot. This can cause players to be caught out of position or catches them in a lapse of concentration. Defensive sides tend to be narrow which makes them really compact so using the width of the pitch makes sense.

9-4.jpeg?resize=474%2C206&ssl=1

Now Harris is about to receive the ball, this means the opposition have to go and close him down.

10-3.jpeg?resize=474%2C205&ssl=1

In the image before this one the space I had, was in front of the defence but now it’s behind as two defenders have gone across to deal with the wide threat so all this space has now opened up. The striker on the side nearest to the ball is completely free so my left back has the option to play him in or cross the ball.

11-3.jpeg?resize=474%2C211&ssl=1

He crosses it in the end and the wide playmaker slots it home into the bottom corner.

What’s Important

As you can see from the above the important aspects of breaking a side down for me are;

  • Space
  • Movement
  • Width
  • Don’t overcrowd areas of the pitch than can work in your favour by being less aggressive.

To achieve all of these and make the most of those I always play on a low mentality, so either standard or counter. Obviously the roles you select will also play a part but for most parts if you can create and use space then you’ll force the opposition into making decisions. Which in turn will mean people have to leave their position to deal with the threats you pose. Movement is important because it snowballs and causes a chain reaction of events plus its harder to mark someone who is moving (especially from deep) compared to someone who is static or too advanced to really do anything.

By using a lower mentality it alters my tempo, defensive line and closing down to match meaning I can be more patient in my build up. And from what you can see above it works due to the movement and space both in creating and using it.To achieve width you can either changes the roles/duties of the players or do what I did above and used the exploit the flanks shouts. That is all I did.

It sounds really simple and basic but honestly this is how I approach such games. Some of you might have been expecting something really extreme but this is how I play, I like to keep it simple and not over think things because then you get lost and end up focusing on what the opposition is doing. Instead I focus on the things my own side do and try to make the best of that. This way I feel like I’m always in control regardless of how limited my squad might actually be or how strong.

If you don’t concentrate on your own side and always over think things then you are endlessly changing things that you might not need to change. Plus you then have no real identity or style because you constantly give in to the AI. So for me I always base any changes on what I see happening in a match and never try to guess what might happen by changing stuff before. I’d much rather change due to being forced into the change as then it means I can stick to my own style that I’m trying to create plus I have faith in the tactic I’ve made. I want the AI to worry about me not the other way around, after all they’re the ones being defensive.

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7 minutes ago, Cleon said:

You can and have to some extent hence your post. Fixing them might be more difficult buy you have spotted the issues already and know something isn't right.

Is he stopping because play it too advanced? To offer support? Or does he have no space to continue his move? I use a SV and he is always running and supporting players, as well as taking the initiative to bring the ball forward. He is definitely a forward thinking type of player. I should say role rather than player tbh.

Even without those two players you still have 3 other players, two wide ones and a striker. What are they doing? 

Looking at how you've set up the SV, he might be limited by the Raumdeuter wandering into the same kind of space? Why not reverse your DMC roles, it should flow better imo.

If you know he is too deep then why haven't you changed it? Give him an attacking duty or change his role to give you the thing you think you are currently lacking?

You've identified the issue here and you should know how to fix it. You've basically answered what you need to do yourself here if you read your reply back :)

I wrote about it on my blog before. It was for a different shape but the principles are the same. I'll try and find the article after,

You have 4 players in the oppositions half, no idea how that equals too few attacking options. You shouldn't need the WB's to provide the attacking intent, they should be supporting/aiding it. You have 4 players who are very high up the pitch already. I spoke about this in the opening posts.

Is it really a case of Martinez doing nothing? Or is it a case of him having to over compensate for the SV when he goes forward and it being unrealistic for him to be able to carry out his normal duties because he is too busy covering for someone else?

You have identified them though. Read your replies back to me, you've identified the issues and not only that, you have also pointed out what the player should be doing instead.

Thanks for the advice Cleon, still not sure I have any ideas on how to stop long balls over the top... but everything else looks spot on and I'll give it a go.  Much appreciated!

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11 hours ago, Tcufrog said:

Thanks for the advice Cleon, still not sure I have any ideas on how to stop long balls over the top... but everything else looks spot on and I'll give it a go.  Much appreciated!

Dropping the d-line could help, but what is more important is stopping the source of the balls being played over the top: who is playing them? why have we afforded them that much time and space? etc. 

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Hi @Cleon

You said in your opening post that with the right roles we could use the 41221 formation simulate the same ideas. 

Thinking of this, I was wondering what roles would that be. 

Looking at the tactic I would probably only change 2 roles:

The AM(s) to a CM(a) 

The Volante(a) to probably a CM(s), with PI to more risky passes. 

Is this right, or there must be more changes? 

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11 hours ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Hi @Cleon

You said in your opening post that with the right roles we could use the 41221 formation simulate the same ideas. 

Thinking of this, I was wondering what roles would that be. 

Looking at the tactic I would probably only change 2 roles:

The AM(s) to a CM(a) 

The Volante(a) to probably a CM(s), with PI to more risky passes. 

Is this right, or there must be more changes? 

The roles depends on how it is you would have wanted the 4231 to play. You'd use roles in the 41221 that would give you the attacking shape you'd have gone for in the 4231.

If you made the changes you mention, how would that impact the rest of the system and change how it is currently set up to play?

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On 6-12-2017 at 05:48, Pablo Sanchez said:

Two DLP next to each opther could it work or would they compete?

Sure, could work. Just like two BPD or two Poachers. Just try it. 

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On 11/21/2017 at 12:27, Cleon said:

Why is it overpowered? Based on what, what he does? If you think it's over powered then I think you don't really understand how the role works in real life and the hundreds of players who play this role on a daily basis in Brazil for example. It's a demanding, physical role. The SV does everything hence why I labelled it the 'complete midfielder'. He doesn't always perform though and your system is vital to just how effective or ineffective he'll be. It's more suited to some systems than others. In the shape I'm talking about in the thread then he is supposed to be the heartbeat of the team so it makes sense. He should score goals, he should get assists and so on.

And the player does get tired based on how much he is doing, I often have to sub him almost every game in this set up as stamina and condition drop fairly quickly during the latter stages of a game 60+ mins.

People need to stop throwing the word exploit around because of a lack of understanding about what the role actually entails and should do.

Also he's nothing like a playmaker at all. 

Totally agree I have to sub of my 17 stamina SV almost every game as well since he is threatening to fall below 65% around the 80 minutes mark which is too much of injury risk for my liking given the players importance for my team. So yes the players pays a toll for the role he is playing.

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All the examples you posted from goals seem to be goals from counters or fast transitions. The AI isn't in position yet. I wonder if you have examples of goals against an organised defense. I find it hard to get the IF productive against defensive teams, because the space he moves into is almost always occupied. 

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4 hours ago, Jommelb said:

All the examples you posted from goals seem to be goals from counters or fast transitions. The AI isn't in position yet. I wonder if you have examples of goals against an organised defense. I find it hard to get the IF productive against defensive teams, because the space he moves into is almost always occupied. 

 

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2 hours ago, Cleon said:

Thanks, didn't see that one yet. Another request: I wonder if you could show us a whole match from this team. I think lots of players get frustrated because you show the moments where it all connects perfectly, but I think there are a lot of moments when it doesn't (since you're not winning 25-0;)) I don't know if it's hard to upload a full match, but I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the work you're doing btw!

 

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8 minutes ago, Jommelb said:

 

It works 99% of the time. What you see happening and the examples I give are what happens throughout the games. They are not one offs. That’s the whole point. You have to know how everything links together, hence the threads. Showing a game won’t help as people can’t see these kind of things happening in their own games. All they’ll see is me scoring goals but not understand how the goal was created I.e like highlighted in the IF thread above.

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I'll show you my struggles in the video below. A little context:

Mentality: Control (sometimes standard), shape: fluid   TI: Shorter passing, play out of defense, sometimes more wide.

Formation

GK (d)

WB (a)----CD (d)------CD (d)--------WB (s)

                    Anchorman (d)

          CM (a)                     CM (o)

W(o)                                                 IF (a) (PI:stay wider)

                          DLF (a)

How I want to play: control the game, have possession, create chances.

Ways to attack:

1. Crosses from the right side of the pitch DLF(a), CM(a), IF(a) in the box

2. Through balls to IF, mostly from the CM(o) who is the most creative player and has PI's: dribble less, stay in position (otherwise he gets too deep), more risky passes

3. Through balls to CM(a), from CM(o) or DLF(a), that went very well last season

Problems I see: Overcrowding the area just outside the box. The IF comes inside and stays inside so there's no movement anymore. Is that normal? I think it's better when he goes wide again and tries to infiltrate again. The winger(s) isn't wide enough, but I wouldn't know how to keep him wider so there's more space for the cm(a). 

The movement isn't that bad in my opinion, especially the cm(a) has space now and then, but the timing is bad, he goes deep when he can't get the ball. When he comes back in the midfield he gets the ball, but that's way too late. 

I'd appreciate feedback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZzFqytailk

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