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Karnack

The annual "I don't understand this game"-thread

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Here we go again. 150 hours into the new FM and I've been fired 6 times by Liverpool. A multitude of different tactics, all of them containing a plan, none of them working even remotely. It's not that we are scraping by, my tactic is actually making good players turn into championship sides.

This is the last failure:
It actually didn't start out like this, but my first draft of it was even worse. My idea was  to have complete wing-backs bombing down on both sides and forcing defenders to split up giving room for the two mezzalas (one turned into a carrilero since the mezzalas just ran into each other) to wreak havoc in the middle together with the two strikers. After a poor win against West Brom(only luck) an embarrassing loss again Viktoria Plzen where we created nothing I changed from a flat midfield 3 to the shape below. I removed attacking duties on the left wing-back since we gave away around 8 fouls a game and possession on that flank. I got a good reaction and won against Bournemouth 4-0 and Viktoria Plzen 5-0 and then the good times were over. In the premier league I've had 1 win from 7 games after that. Cups are doing pretty good, beating Arsenal 3-0 in the Carabao and Sevilla 3-0 in the CL but losing against Monaco 0-2. Watford destroyed us from set piecies and it ended 0-3.


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Why is this tactic so bad? We create nothing, score nothing, and concede for fun and I have not the slightest clue as to why. I watched our 0-3 defeat against Watford and it was an endless orgy of corners and free-kicks for Watford while we had target practice on the woodwork. We created one dangerous chance but instead of Firmino just passing the ball to a completely free Mané he took a shot from 25 meters and was closer to the corner flag than the goal.

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26 minutes ago, Karnack said:

Why is this tactic so bad? We create nothing, score nothing, and concede for fun and I have not the slightest clue as to why. I watched our 0-3 defeat against Watford and it was an endless orgy of corners and free-kicks for Watford while we had target practice on the woodwork. We created one dangerous chance but instead of Firmino just passing the ball to a completely free Mané he took a shot from 25 meters and was closer to the corner flag than the goal.

On paper it doesn't look so bad but I can see possible issues.

A) Exploit the middle - why?  Your shape isn't a narrow one, its a balanced one with the wingbacks providing width.  You also need that width to breakdown defensive teams or those that operate with one or two DMs.  By directing traffic down the middle I suspect you will often be playing into your opponents hands where the space will be out wide.

B) I imagine there is a lot of passing going on without much penetration.  A DLP on defend, two wingbacks on support, a DLF on support & the new shuttler role.  That only leaves the AF & the new mezzala looking to make dangerous runs and often passes won't go to them as the other players will deem them too risky.  On top of that you also have retain possession & play out of defence ticked which will further encourage the players to keep the ball rather than trying to play a dangerous pass.

Overall against defensive sides I suspect you'll see a lot of keep ball in front of the opposition defence before they eventually win the ball and break quickly before your defence in set.  Against bigger, more attacking sides I suspect you'll get pushed back and struggle to find an out ball when you win possession, especially against opposition formations like 4231 that has an AMC sitting on your DLP.

You really need to consider the opposition formation in each match and how yours stacks up against it.  Also in the 352 formation the key players are your wingbacks, if they get pushed back into a five man defence constantly you will struggle and end up losing a lot.  If they spend more time in the opposition half attacking you stand a much better chance of winning games.

Edited by Cougar2010

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6 minutes ago, Cougar2010 said:

On paper it doesn't look so bad but I can see possible issues.

A) Exploit the middle - why?  Your shape isn't a narrow one, its a balanced one with the wingbacks providing width.  You also need that width to breakdown defensive teams or those that operate with one or two DMs.  By directing traffic down the middle I suspect you will often be playing into your opponents hands where the space will be out wide.

B) I imagine there is a lot of passing going on with much penetration.  A DLP on defend, two wingbacks on support, a DLF on support & the new shuttler role.  That only leaves the AF & the new mezzala looking to make dangerous runs and often passes won't go to them as the other players will deem them too risky.  On top of that you also have retain possession & play out of defence ticked which will further encourage the players to keep the ball rather than trying to play a dangerous pass.

Overall against defensive sides I suspect you'll see a lot of keep ball in front of the opposition defence before they eventually win the ball and break quickly before your defence in set.  Against bigger, more attacking sides I suspect you'll get pushed back and struggle to find an out ball when you win possession, especially against opposition formations like 4231 that has an AMC sitting on your DLP.

You really need to consider the opposition formation in each match and how yours stacks up against it.  Also in the 352 formation the key players are your wingbacks, if they get pushed back into a five man defence constantly you will struggle and end up losing a lot.  If they spend more time in the opposition half attacking you stand a much better chance of winning games.

A) Exploit the middle "encourages a more intense attacking mentality in the central areas". I added that in hope more risks would be taking in the middle and there would be more throughballs since I have few players who currently can do much with the crosses coming in from the width. I will think on that and try without it.

B) At first I used Mezzala (S) DLP(D) Mezzala (A) as the midfield trio and that didn't work. But I will add some risk to the passing, perhaps remove the carrilero and add someone who actually wants to make a through ball. I've also changed the DLF to a F9 during the last game and I think I saw some improvements regarding the movement from Firmino.

I would like a wing-back role that is attacking and yet doesn't Dribble More. A lot of goals against us have come from free-kicks on the left flank where Robertson or Moreno have lost the ball after an unsuccesful dribble.

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2 minutes ago, Karnack said:

A) Exploit the middle "encourages a more intense attacking mentality in the central areas". I added that in hope more risks would be taking in the middle and there would be more throughballs since I have few players who currently can do much with the crosses coming in from the width. I will think on that and try without it.

B) At first I used Mezzala (S) DLP(D) Mezzala (A) as the midfield trio and that didn't work. But I will add some risk to the passing, perhaps remove the carrilero and add someone who actually wants to make a through ball. I've also changed the DLF to a F9 during the last game and I think I saw some improvements regarding the movement from Firmino.

I would like a wing-back role that is attacking and yet doesn't Dribble More. A lot of goals against us have come from free-kicks on the left flank where Robertson or Moreno have lost the ball after an unsuccesful dribble.

I have found in past versions the F9 has more mobility than a DLF but also tends to shoot a lot.

For the wingbacks I've seen me in the past use a support duty but add a "Get forward more" PI with some success.

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14 minutes ago, Karnack said:

A) Exploit the middle "encourages a more intense attacking mentality in the central areas". I added that in hope more risks would be taking in the middle and there would be more throughballs since I have few players who currently can do much with the crosses coming in from the width. I will think on that and try without it.

1)   Your players will play through the middle anyway, as well as on the flanks or indeed anywhere they see the space.  When not using this TI, what have you noticed about their play that you didn't like to make you think you need to add it?  Or did you just add it in right from the start?

2)  You want to take more risks in the middle and have more throughballs, yet you have chosen the Retain Possession TI which discourages risky passes (aka throughballs).  Your Mentality is also quite risk neutral.

In terms of defensive frailties, what's the idea of having a stopper duty defender directly behind a DLP with a defend duty?  Why do you want your central defender stepping up out of line, potentially leaving a large gap behind him in between your outer two CDs, when you have a very deep midfielder directly in front?

In attacking terms, your Mez is running wide, so who's running into the box to support your strikers?

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  1. Your still using Lovren :lol: I like you've tried to upgrade your CB options with Rugani who can develop into a much better player, but why still use Lovren?   I don't normally suggest a formation change but I'd rather have a back 4 (Rugani + Matip) and get a better overall player (Henderson from players I can see in your list) onto the field, maybe into DM/CM to hold it with Can and let the reins off Coutinho.  Plus give A-A time at RB and have Milner rotate where needed should help develop A-A who has lots of potential.
  2. Your players are very good technically and have pace, yet your asking them to play passes to feet and to focus more on central areas.  Focusing on central areas could congest play in the center unless the opponents have a weakness there but if as an extreme example they're playing say a 4222 Box they're defensively strong in that area.  I'd let the reins off the team and let them play in wide areas if they think thats best, they can probably find more space to pass and run into and stretch the field with there speed before coming inside.

Basically, I don't think you have your best players on the field  and your not using your players at what they're best at.

Edited by summatsupeer

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5 hours ago, herne79 said:

1)   Your players will play through the middle anyway, as well as on the flanks or indeed anywhere they see the space.  When not using this TI, what have you noticed about their play that you didn't like to make you think you need to add it?  Or did you just add it in right from the start?

2)  You want to take more risks in the middle and have more throughballs, yet you have chosen the Retain Possession TI which discourages risky passes (aka throughballs).  Your Mentality is also quite risk neutral.

In terms of defensive frailties, what's the idea of having a stopper duty defender directly behind a DLP with a defend duty?  Why do you want your central defender stepping up out of line, potentially leaving a large gap behind him in between your outer two CDs, when you have a very deep midfielder directly in front?

In attacking terms, your Mez is running wide, so who's running into the box to support your strikers?

1) I saw no attempts at penetration in the middle, but that might be because I've missunderstood the Mezzala role.

2) Indeed, I've added that because everyone just hoofed the ball towards an AF that constantly was offside, I mean, 99% of the time.

3) The idea with the BPD(St) was that he would take the ball and deliver a good pass to either Mezzalas who would then be the start of an attack. 

4) I will probably add a box to box or even an AP instead of the Car.

2 hours ago, summatsupeer said:
  1. Your still using Lovren :lol: I like you've tried to upgrade your CB options with Rugani who can develop into a much better player, but why still use Lovren?   I don't normally suggest a formation change but I'd rather have a back 4 (Rugani + Matip) and get a better overall player (Henderson from players I can see in your list) onto the field, maybe into DM/CM to hold it with Can and let the reins off Coutinho.  Plus give A-A time at RB and have Milner rotate where needed should help develop A-A who has lots of potential.
  2. Your players are very good technically and have pace, yet your asking them to play passes to feet and to focus more on central areas.  Focusing on central areas could congest play in the center unless the opponents have a weakness there but if as an extreme example they're playing say a 4222 Box they're defensively strong in that area.  I'd let the reins off the team and let them play in wide areas if they think thats best, they can probably find more space to pass and run into and stretch the field with there speed before coming inside.

Basically, I don't think you have your best players on the field  and your not using your players at what they're best at.

1) I don't think Lovren is as bad as RL would imply ;) He will not stay more than a season however and I will get Aymeric in the January-window. I don't really like a back 4 so I don't think I will do that :) I absolutely despise Coutinho in FM, I've never ever had any success with him not matter what position I've used him in. There is a lot of rotation going on and I believe Salah can become a really good Mezzala, he's already the best scorer in the team from that position. I do play A-A every other game, he is great already.

2. Aye, pace is something I don't seem to be able to use. I will definitely implement som changes based on the suggestion I've recieved so far.

As I said, there is a lot of rotation so no, those are not my best players on the field.

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Here's my 2 cents about it,

1) Mentality & Shape : Since you using a standard mentality and a structured shape, your team play will depend a lot on which roles and mentalities you use individually, my guess is your MEZ will be pretty much your only runner on the middle and if he's running into a crowded area ball will most likely be lost, in my experience formations like these require a lot of movement and runners, i'd use a fluid maybe even very fluid shape, making sure the team moves as one, mentality wise i'd go for a more attacking mentality as well in order to get more runs.

2) Roles: I don't have much experience with the new roles MEZ and CAR and with the one i have i'm not sure CAR fits here, he has a lot of lateral movement, meaning if the ball is on your right flank he'll move right to support, so will your DLP, there will be no decent passing options from there to your left flank except bombing the ball to your wingback or strikers. First thing i'd do is switch MEZ & CAR sides, forming a triangle with CAR MEZ and DLF, i still think a role with less lateral movement would work better than CAR and maintaining the team shape more, a CM/S would do this while supporting the DLF.

Wingbacks, i'd add the PI to play closer to the middle, especially on the side of the MEZ, on the other side i'd actually use an attacking inverted wingback, forming another triangle in between the CM/S, DLF and himself, it's all about that geometry!

The back 3, i've tried pretty much every combination and in my experience what works better for me is having 3 blockers with the middle one pressuring more, this works on my formation as i have no DMC's, on yours tho' i'd make sure the DLP doesn't pressure much and use a regular CD/D behind him while having 2 blockers on the sides that will act as cover for your wingbacks.

Anyway, here's how i'd play that formation, best wishes and take everything i said with a grain of salt, i ain't no expert.

Untitled.png

 

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8 minutes ago, MakaveliPT said:

Here's my 2 cents about it,

1) Mentality & Shape : Since you using a standard mentality and a structured shape, your team play will depend a lot on which roles and mentalities you use individually, my guess is your MEZ will be pretty much your only runner on the middle and if he's running into a crowded area ball will most likely be lost, in my experience formations like these require a lot of movement and runners, i'd use a fluid maybe even very fluid shape, making sure the team moves as one, mentality wise i'd go for a more attacking mentality as well in order to get more runs.

2) Roles: I don't have much experience with the new roles MEZ and CAR and with the one i have i'm not sure CAR fits here, he has a lot of lateral movement, meaning if the ball is on your right flank he'll move right to support, so will your DLP, there will be no decent passing options from there to your left flank except bombing the ball to your wingback or strikers. First thing i'd do is switch MEZ & CAR sides, forming a triangle with CAR MEZ and DLF, i still think a role with less lateral movement would work better than CAR and maintaining the team shape more, a CM/S would do this while supporting the DLF.

Wingbacks, i'd add the PI to play closer to the middle, especially on the side of the MEZ, on the other side i'd actually use an attacking inverted wingback, forming another triangle in between the CM/S, DLF and himself, it's all about that geometry!

The back 3, i've tried pretty much every combination and in my experience what works better for me is having 3 blockers with the middle one pressuring more, this works on my formation as i have no DMC's, on yours tho' i'd make sure the DLP doesn't pressure much and use a regular CD/D behind him while having 2 blockers on the sides that will act as cover for your wingbacks.

Anyway, here's how i'd play that formation, best wishes and take everything i said with a grain of salt, i ain't no expert.

Untitled.png

 

A lot of interesting pointers, thanks a lot!

Just got the boot again so I will start a new save and try some of the things you've talked about here.

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1 hour ago, Karnack said:

1) I saw no attempts at penetration in the middle, but that might be because I've missunderstood the Mezzala role.

2) Indeed, I've added that because everyone just hoofed the ball towards an AF that constantly was offside, I mean, 99% of the time.

3) The idea with the BPD(St) was that he would take the ball and deliver a good pass to either Mezzalas who would then be the start of an attack. 

4) I will probably add a box to box or even an AP instead of the Car.

1) I don't think Lovren is as bad as RL would imply ;) He will not stay more than a season however and I will get Aymeric in the January-window. I don't really like a back 4 so I don't think I will do that :) I absolutely despise Coutinho in FM, I've never ever had any success with him not matter what position I've used him in. There is a lot of rotation going on and I believe Salah can become a really good Mezzala, he's already the best scorer in the team from that position. I do play A-A every other game, he is great already.

2. Aye, pace is something I don't seem to be able to use. I will definitely implement som changes based on the suggestion I've recieved so far.

As I said, there is a lot of rotation so no, those are not my best players on the field.

Mezzala: Have a read of the roles description, it says "a central player that likes to drift wide and operate in half-spaces" so he will be more around the edge of the penalty area rather than central.

AF Offside: The problem probably wasn't the through balls but who your using as an AF, he's getting caught offside so much because he lacks the mental attributes for the role.

BPD-ST: I think @herne79 was talking about why defensively your using a Stopper with a DLP-D in front of him.  If he is stepping up to close down and win the ball, then where is the DLP and whats he doing?  A normal CD would play it to the midfielders, a BPD will look to play through balls, which in your tactic is likely the AF.  If your telling your team to Retain Possession + Play Out Of Defence it doesn't really make sense to use a BPD.

Lovren: I think you might be undervaluing Positioning + Concentration for a CB.  For a team wanting to be fighting for a top finish, 13 is just not going to cut it for a player in the heart of your defence, he's going to make a lot of work for those covering for him.  Yes when he's in the right position and paying attention he can look a good defender but he's inconsistent.

Coutinho: His trait to shoot from distance annoys me (in RL and Game!) but he should still create a lot of chances as a IF-S / AP type of player, maybe it was the options given him rather than his fault for his poor performance?

I'm interested in what adjustments your going to make so good luck with the new save :brock: I

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1 hour ago, Karnack said:

A lot of interesting pointers, thanks a lot!

Just got the boot again so I will start a new save and try some of the things you've talked about here.

No worries, let us know how it goes on the new save and how the MEZ does for you!

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Are you wedded to this formation? It doesn't suit Liverpool, in my opinion. It may be more boring, but 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 would seem to suit them better.

Fair play if you fancy playing that formation though, it could be fun. Few points you might want to consider:

  • Salah probably can't make full use of his pace and dribbling from central midfield.
  • Salah and Coutinho together in midfield is pretty bold in a formation that is probably better suited to sitting deep. It could work if you keep the ball well enough, but is Salah going to be the best at retaining possession? (Perhaps a waste of Henderson having him sit on the bench.)
  • If you're after possession, will the deepish defensive line with Standard mentality be suitable?
  • Emre Can is a playmaker but Coutinho's in a workman role, maybe have Can as DM and Coutinho as AP?
  • Milner isn't particularly quick, but is expected to provide most of the width on the right.

 

 

 

Edited by Park

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I gave up on that formation and took some advice from here. Went with a bit more classic 4-3-3.

It's early days so far but it's the best start I've had so far. The Juventus blip was due to Buffon having an insane day.

I splurged the cash after selling Flanagan and Ings on Aymeric Laporte and Sergi Roberto (35,5m release clause)

Any pointers on this new approach?

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Control + Fluid + Push Higher will result in a very high line with both WB's pushing higher up it could be a bit open against counter attacking teams.

Apart from that, unless you've spotted any issues, it looks to be working for you.

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