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Game makes no sense sometimes

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Im into my 2nd season and have had this happen to me both seasons.  I can be on a good run then like a light switch my players seem to be upset, cant play, cant win and then ass man suggests i switch formation. I just dont get how everything changes considsering i am sat in top 6 and achiement is only mid table

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It's something that's happened over the last few FM's. You are going well, solid tactics, consistent form, when you lose it's generally by the odd goal in close matches, then suddenly in a game, your team collapses into a heap and you get a thrashing. Nothing explains how it happens, and it won't necessarily be against a top team. I had it happen most recently in FM 17 in an EFL cup away game playing as Spurs against 23rd in the Championship, Huddersfield.  4-0 down at half time, lost 4-1.

Edited by Hilly27

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This often happens when you manage a low rated club and perform above your expectations. At the start the opponents will underestimate you and play attacking, giving your players a lot of room to play your game. If you continue to do this for a while the other managers will play more defensively because you are doing so well. Then it's your job as a manager to react to these changes. You cannot play the same against attacking teams and defensive teams, unless your players are vastly superior. Barcelona can play as they will against most clubs, because their level of skill are so high. Lower skilled teams must vary depending on the opponents.

You might not need to change the formation, but changing your tactical approach will most likely been necessary.

Oh, and the explanation is clear as the sky if you look at the games. You will see the teams are not attacking anymore, but rather sitting back and trying to catch you on the counter. If that happens a fast flowing attacking approach that leaves a lot of room might not be the best way to go forward. A slower paced game might suit the game better. That is your job as a manager to identify and remedy.

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To offer an opposing view, I'm managing Spurs. I won my first game 2-1, went on a run of draws, then got battered 6-1 by Southampton - they scored every shot they had. 

I changed my tactic to 3-4-3 and went on a 10-game winning run, and I'm now five points clear at the top of the league in January. 

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9 hours ago, XaW said:

This often happens when you manage a low rated club and perform above your expectations. At the start the opponents will underestimate you and play attacking, giving your players a lot of room to play your game. If you continue to do this for a while the other managers will play more defensively because you are doing so well. Then it's your job as a manager to react to these changes. You cannot play the same against attacking teams and defensive teams, unless your players are vastly superior. Barcelona can play as they will against most clubs, because their level of skill are so high. Lower skilled teams must vary depending on the opponents.

You might not need to change the formation, but changing your tactical approach will most likely been necessary.

Oh, and the explanation is clear as the sky if you look at the games. You will see the teams are not attacking anymore, but rather sitting back and trying to catch you on the counter. If that happens a fast flowing attacking approach that leaves a lot of room might not be the best way to go forward. A slower paced game might suit the game better. That is your job as a manager to identify and remedy.

That is indeed a very good analysis...

But the question is, how do you solve this problem?

Low-quality teams that preform good is usually because you managed to get the best out of that team.

Now suddenly you have to refocus your tactic, forcing you to ask things of your players that they are probably not any good at.

I had a very good season going with a high pressure,  fast paced tactic.  Then the famous " tactic adaption" kicks in and barely win anything anymore. And then the s**t starts because you try a lot but with very low succesrate.

I think that, its good to name the problem. But even better to actually provide a set of possible solutions.

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8 minutes ago, fraeyke said:

That is indeed a very good analysis...

But the question is, how do you solve this problem?

Low-quality teams that preform good is usually because you managed to get the best out of that team.

Now suddenly you have to refocus your tactic, forcing you to ask things of your players that they are probably not any good at.

I had a very good season going with a high pressure,  fast paced tactic.  Then the famous " tactic adaption" kicks in and barely win anything anymore. And then the s**t starts because you try a lot but with very low succesrate.

I think that, its good to name the problem. But even better to actually provide a set of possible solutions.

That is indeed the problem with having success with lower rated teams. What to do when it doesn't work anymore. Look at Leicester two seasons ago. All the other teams underestimated them, and thought that it would never last. In the end they actually won the damn league. And then, last season, when all teams stopped attacking them, they hung around the relegation zone. And they even tried to buy in better players. Granted they lost Kante, probably their best player, but still. It makes sense though, if you know your opponent loves a high pressure, fast paced game, then you will try to counter it. If course, the better players you have compared to your opponent, the less you need to adapt since the skill gap between the players is enough for your players to find the net. Though the score not because of your tactic, but despite it. The best thing is to identify when and how it happens.

I have had success in situations like this by making as small changes to my successful overachieving tactic as possible. Swap from counter to standard and lower the tempo might be all that needs to change. Or possibly some roles no longer work due to the fact that you need to be successful even if the opponent are happy to absorb the pressure you are putting on them. All though, I would keep the tactic you are having success with in hand. If you get the lead then it might work well to swap back to it towards the latter par of the match, since a lead forces the opponent to attack more and thus giving you the space the tactic needs.

I do need to say, I'm not a tactical genius, but I have had some slight success playing FM. For more in depth analyzes you should head to the tactics forum and read some of the posts there. Or write up your own with as much detail as possible and see if the tactical gurus there might help you solve the conundrum you are facing.

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9 hours ago, XaW said:

That is indeed the problem with having success with lower rated teams. What to do when it doesn't work anymore. Look at Leicester two seasons ago. All the other teams underestimated them, and thought that it would never last. In the end they actually won the damn league. And then, last season, when all teams stopped attacking them, they hung around the relegation zone. And they even tried to buy in better players. Granted they lost Kante, probably their best player, but still. It makes sense though, if you know your opponent loves a high pressure, fast paced game, then you will try to counter it. If course, the better players you have compared to your opponent, the less you need to adapt since the skill gap between the players is enough for your players to find the net. Though the score not because of your tactic, but despite it. The best thing is to identify when and how it happens.

I have had success in situations like this by making as small changes to my successful overachieving tactic as possible. Swap from counter to standard and lower the tempo might be all that needs to change. Or possibly some roles no longer work due to the fact that you need to be successful even if the opponent are happy to absorb the pressure you are putting on them. All though, I would keep the tactic you are having success with in hand. If you get the lead then it might work well to swap back to it towards the latter par of the match, since a lead forces the opponent to attack more and thus giving you the space the tactic needs.

I do need to say, I'm not a tactical genius, but I have had some slight success playing FM. For more in depth analyzes you should head to the tactics forum and read some of the posts there. Or write up your own with as much detail as possible and see if the tactical gurus there might help you solve the conundrum you are facing.

I totally agree and support the fact that the game has a mechanic like this build in.

Teams adjust to your strenghts, trying to counter them etc..

The thing i do not agree with however (for some years allready actually), is the way this shows in the game.

Like it was said in the op: you still have a LOT of chances, possesion. But now suddely your strikers cant score easy chances and the opponents keeper makes some unbelieveble saves.

This gives the player the idea that you still are doing a good job and it is just a run of bad luck. "My striker is on a bad run" or "this keeper can't save every shot". Leicester had difficulties to develop the play they did succesfully the season before that. Wich resulted in little or no chances.

Im not ranting because I understand and support the fact that this is build in the game. But I guess what I am trying to say is that it is so difficult identifying what exactly is the solution to get over that slump mid-season when you are losing points at a moment you cannot afford to lose any.. :-)

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45 minutes ago, fraeyke said:

The thing i do not agree with however (for some years allready actually), is the way this shows in the game.

Like it was said in the op: you still have a LOT of chances, possesion. But now suddely your strikers cant score easy chances and the opponents keeper makes some unbelieveble saves.

This gives the player the idea that you still are doing a good job and it is just a run of bad luck. "My striker is on a bad run" or "this keeper can't save every shot". Leicester had difficulties to develop the play they did succesfully the season before that. Wich resulted in little or no chances.

The thing is, you might still get similar chances, but this time under a lot more pressure. Before your strikers would be all alone, now they have a defender or two on top of him and his window to take the shot is cut short. That means he cannot calmly place the ball in the back of the net, but rather take a rushed shot that will not have the same quality as before. So the chances might be similar, but the attacker will be unable to score due to the limited time and space. Leicester was just an example of how it might happen if the manager does not react to the changes other manager do to try to increase their odds of winning. 

If you are looking at statistics, then you will most likely notice a big increase in long shots and corners, and fewer clear cut chances (though the CCCs can be quite misleading in my opinion). But if you look at your statistics now and when you were winning you will see the difference. Maybe not between two single games, but for a bigger number of games I would state you will have more long shots and corners and less chances when you start losing.

For what it's worth, the tactics in itself is only half of the issue. The mental aspect of going on a losing streak might be equally damaging to your season. A team used to winning might respond poorly to losing a few games in a row and that might affect the confidence of the players. If you watch a lot of football you know that for, at least strikers, confidence is the difference between scoring and not. That is why the same player might go on an amazing scoring streak and everything he tries goes in, but after a few bad games, he can't score on an open goal! This is also something you can do something about as a manager. The team talks, private talks with players, team meetings, all those little things managers can do to improve the mood and the spirit in the dressing room. It's even easier to do in FM18 when you get feedback on a lot of these things with Dynamics.

Yes, it might be hard to notice some times, but the same happens in real life. Take Liverpool in January last year. Couldn't win to save their lives, but they managed to turn it around after a while and come back stronger. That is the nature of the beast and your mission as a manager. The game give you a lot of hints, it's just analyzing what happens and what is different from when everything worked and try to figure out how to fix it It wouldn't be any fun if the game gave you all the answers outright?

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1 hour ago, fraeyke said:

The thing i do not agree with however (for some years allready actually), is the way this shows in the game.

Like it was said in the op: you still have a LOT of chances, possesion. But now suddely your strikers cant score easy chances and the opponents keeper makes some unbelieveble saves.

This gives the player the idea that you still are doing a good job and it is just a run of bad luck. "

 

Not to be an arse ( :D ), but almost every match uploaded where it was decisively claimed the forward muss suddenly miss "easy" chances, the chances where nowhere near. Which currently is the problem though. These boards used to have a mod who created a big thread outlining what decent chances are, and was ignored in favor of theories like yours. A semi-recent experience of mine involved this match, which I also consider to be highlighting some of the more difficult chances on this, despite them all being in the box. Including the one on one in the second half, from a narrow through ball played in behind the forwards back at no angle. The keeper is typically in the edge anyhow, that is most decent chances are fluffed. Here doubly so. This match transpired also due to tactical reasons, primarily: An AI keeping it tight. The player, in a completely misguided attempt to "dominate" possession stats, did similar, playing into the AI's hands.

Thus every attack stalled in front of the oppositions box, as the defenders had no area to mark, they were positionally zero stretched anywhere. What followed was set piece after set piece, with a few isolated one on ones in now completely crowded areas (teams sitting deep), which as argued, are more difficult to put away. He still won it, but raged about why the opposition scored from one shot, whilst he needed a couple dozen. If you aren't down to the fact that the game may consider that outside of actually tap-ins like this and penalties, the keeper is in the edge, including one on ones, you have a hard time now. No less as seen in the prior link, that "tap-in" isn't even marked as a significant chance statistically, despite being logically fare more frequently put away than a dreaded narrow one on one (typically FM, sadly). The cut back from out wide already handicaps the keeper, the shot changing direction instantly off the first touch doubly so in a way that no through ball at no angle can ever.

Only if FM were ever able to approch something like this, which is able to visualize the "lesser" chances against teams parking it, would we be talking level. Dominating possession and shots means nothing. You will do so anyway! If you have never thought about how to stretch packed defenses (several ways) for more space and better shots, no dice. The goal is not to have more shots and score cheap goals, but get you thinking. At the moment, very few feedback in-game encourages such though. Some of it does the opposite. If you had a load a shots and didn't score, the post match report would confirm you your side was simply unlucky, which is more often than not, sadly, nonsensical.

Edited by Svenc

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1 hour ago, Svenc said:

 

Not to be an arse ( :D ), but almost every match uploaded where it was decisively claimed the forward muss suddenly miss "easy" chances, the chances where nowhere near. Which currently is the problem though. These boards used to have a mod who created a big thread outlining what decent chances are, and was ignored in favor of theories like yours. A semi-recent experience of mine involved this match, which I also consider to be highlighting some of the more difficult chances on this, despite them all being in the box. Including the one on one in the second half, from a narrow through ball played in behind the forwards back at no angle. The keeper is typically in the edge anyhow, that is most decent chances are fluffed. Here doubly so. This match transpired also due to tactical reasons, primarily: An AI keeping it tight. The player, in a completely misguided attempt to "dominate" possession stats, did similar, playing into the AI's hands.

Thus every attack stalled in front of the oppositions box, as the defenders had no area to mark, they were positionally zero stretched anywhere. What followed was set piece after set piece, with a few isolated one on ones in now completely crowded areas (teams sitting deep), which as argued, are more difficult to put away. He still won it, but raged about why the opposition scored from one shot, whilst he needed a couple dozen. If you aren't down to the fact that the game may consider that outside of actually tap-ins like this and penalties, the keeper is in the edge, including one on ones, you have a hard time now. No less as seen in the prior link, that "tap-in" isn't even marked as a significant chance statistically, despite being logically fare more frequently put away than a dreaded narrow one on one (typically FM, sadly). The cut back from out wide already handicaps the keeper, the shot changing direction instantly off the first touch doubly so in a way that no through ball at no angle can ever.

Only if FM were ever able to approch something like this, which is able to visualize the "lesser" chances against teams parking it, would we be talking level. Dominating possession and shots means nothing. You will do so anyway! If you have never thought about how to stretch packed defenses (several ways) for more space and better shots, no dice. The goal is not to have more shots and score cheap goals, but get you thinking. At the moment, very few feedback in-game encourages such though. Some of it does the opposite. If you had a load a shots and didn't score, the post match report would confirm you your side was simply unlucky, which is more often than not, sadly, nonsensical.

Well written and funded post!

If a mod needs to point out what a decent chance is and my own eyes can't... then either I dont know **** about football or it is displayed wrong.

This for me is a HUGE chance: ( i have to do it screen by screen because i do not have a nice video compilation like the one you showed me in your post)

20171126141637_1.thumb.jpg.0f735436e0747879c6f3b265a7ebf8ab.jpg

My left fullback has been sent deep by a nice pass of my striker.
He gives a paced cross in the box.

20171126141816_1.thumb.jpg.a8a7e46ef5e19c53a847e4c08c0af765.jpg

My striker finds himself with some nice space at the edge of the 6-yard box.
My striker has 14 finishing, 13 composure, is left footed and so on..

20171126142227_1.thumb.jpg.ef071d6df31f361a7347f0a553886890.jpg

Result: He kicks it right towards the goalkeeper who pushes it out for a cornerkick.

Now i know you will say: this is just one time, some bad luck, it was a one-time shot...
But honestly, if this happens a few times. I would not bother at all.. I would say, good game, shame we did not put away the chances..
The thing is that this happens regularly. With this example the shot was directly towards the goalkeeper, but on other occasions he really had to make an unbelieveble save to reach the ball.

I'm experienced enough allready to acknowledge that: if all my shots are blocked, shots come from out of the box, etc.. i have to change my approach.
But the kind of chance I just showed you tells me.. well nothing. Everything is done right up untill the last kick. And in this case, the kick was poorly aimed. But lots of times, it is a miss or an unreal save.(if it happens again ingame, I will post it) As a manager you cannot do anything about this.

But to my understanding, this is the game telling me: boy, refocus your attacks.
Why would I think the game is telling me this?
Well: In the first half of the season, chances like this occur to, but some are also put away.
Now you have a hard time to create a lot ofd them, your opposition scored one of their few chances and all you do is try to push for that equaliser. You think about various ways to attack the opposition but with very few results.
Wins are waaay harder to come by suddenly.

Again, I get that the AI adapts to your tactics. That you have to re-invent your tactic to keep the opposition guessing.
But i do not agree on the way this is displayed.
I'd rather have my team create no chances at all, so I atleast know where to focus my attention. But the way it is shown now just feels like you have 0 control over how your striker decides to finish.

 

In your post you talk about different ways to stretch a defense.
I would honestly really like to hear from you, ways to do this. Because you just said that there are 'several ways'. But that does not really help.

Cheers
 

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2 hours ago, XaW said:

The thing is, you might still get similar chances, but this time under a lot more pressure. Before your strikers would be all alone, now they have a defender or two on top of him and his window to take the shot is cut short. That means he cannot calmly place the ball in the back of the net, but rather take a rushed shot that will not have the same quality as before. So the chances might be similar, but the attacker will be unable to score due to the limited time and space. Leicester was just an example of how it might happen if the manager does not react to the changes other manager do to try to increase their odds of winning. 

If you are looking at statistics, then you will most likely notice a big increase in long shots and corners, and fewer clear cut chances (though the CCCs can be quite misleading in my opinion). But if you look at your statistics now and when you were winning you will see the difference. Maybe not between two single games, but for a bigger number of games I would state you will have more long shots and corners and less chances when you start losing.

For what it's worth, the tactics in itself is only half of the issue. The mental aspect of going on a losing streak might be equally damaging to your season. A team used to winning might respond poorly to losing a few games in a row and that might affect the confidence of the players. If you watch a lot of football you know that for, at least strikers, confidence is the difference between scoring and not. That is why the same player might go on an amazing scoring streak and everything he tries goes in, but after a few bad games, he can't score on an open goal! This is also something you can do something about as a manager. The team talks, private talks with players, team meetings, all those little things managers can do to improve the mood and the spirit in the dressing room. It's even easier to do in FM18 when you get feedback on a lot of these things with Dynamics.

Yes, it might be hard to notice some times, but the same happens in real life. Take Liverpool in January last year. Couldn't win to save their lives, but they managed to turn it around after a while and come back stronger. That is the nature of the beast and your mission as a manager. The game give you a lot of hints, it's just analyzing what happens and what is different from when everything worked and try to figure out how to fix it It wouldn't be any fun if the game gave you all the answers outright?

Completely agree on the fact that the game does not have to give all the answer.. :-)

About strikers finishing the chances under pressure: I dont think it happens a lot that strikers have that much space in the box.
but if this is really the case then it is nearly impossible to get out of the slump.

If you are performing good, teams tends to sit back a lot more.
Thus strikers get way less space to work in.. as a result it would be difficult to even score a goal..

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I said I was going to show you another HUGE chance:

This is a game we won 1-0 (penalty)

20171126153519_1.thumb.jpg.4743f9016ef5d35b0968ce8a9d308518.jpg

There is a free kick in the box and immediatly you see 2 unmarked players at the second post.

20171126153524_1.thumb.jpg.8449fb910140288989d3112b3c0aad57.jpg

The kick taker sees this to and lofts it towards the second post. Here my player had a lot of space to tap it in

20171126153527_1.thumb.jpg.4fa9053d52d419501401c5bb22b2800b.jpg

He kicks it, and granted, it should have been more towards to corner. That beeing said, the keeper manages to make a great save, pushing the ball against his post.

20171126153536_1.thumb.jpg.620d85b323f506dece65cb89ee275b51.jpg

My player reacts good and has an easy tap in.... or does he??

20171126153554_1.thumb.jpg.678dc4949f3781b076e7d2e5a3c5cd4a.jpg

Nope, he kicks it back in to the pack of players. Chance gone..
If this is not to be considered a chance, then i dont know what is anymore.

Luckely we managed to score a penalty afterwards to win the game 1-0.
This was the game right after the one that I posted previously btw..

With this i am just trying to point out what kind of chances are missed, combined with the fact that you barely score any other ones. This leads up to a lot of frustration.

Edited by fraeyke

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1 hour ago, fraeyke said:

Again, I get that the AI adapts to your tactics. That you have to re-invent your tactic to keep the opposition guessing.
 

Two parts of this.

1) Tactics.

You don't have to adapt to keep your opponent guessing. AI isn't on a level where it specifically can cancel some opposition out. They simply react to reputation mostly, thus watch if the team they face next is a bigger boy, a smaller boy or at their level, which they do every week. You may have some to adapt to to teams sitting deep (in this case), if your base tactic doesn't do much here. On a few occasions, you will win the matches either way (like the guy above).

The traditionally means is stretching play and encouraging movement (forwards dropping off for an inside forwards to cut inside into that space for instance, or a wide midfielder getting overlapped by an attacking back, that sort of thing). Dropping a little deeper to encourage winning the ball a little lower on the pitch so that the midfielders have more space, etc. An alternative may be a more physical, brute way of trying to overpower, with direct balls to a really dominant Target man trying to expose a deep defense by providing flick-ons. Imo, it's a bit more of a game of chance, which is why for me it's a last resort when it's 20 minutes from time and they still hang in there. All the while you need to watch not to overcommit, as teams dropping deep lure all your advancing players out on every move. That's basics, you would get good advice in the tactics forums. Also for opposition lining up in different formations, as the space will naturally vary a bit.

2) Perception/Feedback.

From the screenshots, the above looks a decent chance. To me it's still not quite like the Arsenal one in the vid above, no less as the keeper has the short corner covered which the forward approaches. If you compare it to the Arsenal cut back above, the forward is completely unmarked, centrally in the box, and the keeper initially out wide covering the short corner, as the attack comes that way. Thus the forward can fire the shot first-time in the opposite corner. It's also a bonafide cut back right into the running path of the forward, whilst  on yours he's fed from out wide. It's still a reasonably decent chance, despite the short corner covered in front of the forward covered by the keeper. But it's also one that will likely be reasonably often missed/saved, as any reasonable chance in football is from any forward. How much we cannot exactly tell, as FM doesn't provide that sort of "feedback". We can estimate it however, as if one on ones aren't converted at much higher rates than 1 in 3 shots on average, and "big chances" in football start at 1 in 5 expectations, then it follows that you must provide them some consistently, as FM tries to model football. In football, there is the paradoxon that sides that consistently create the most are oft also the ones that miss the most, as the defense/keeper has the edge (defending is easier than attacking). From my experience this is the case in all such matches uploaded (well, almost): The quality isn't near as consistent. That's all I can say without looking, with the most frequently "overrated" being pressured one on ones at no angle (the keeper has but to come out to worsen it further), plus almost any set piece attempt. If you don't follow much "analaysis", trying to estimate things is even harder, as any "simulation" must take similar studies into account, or it is a fantasy, and TV pundits tend to overdramatize as they are, eventually, selling "exciting" TV football as a product.

From experience, the "issue" is oft also hugely exaggerated, how oftenly it actually happens too. Even with tactics completely playing into the hands of sides sitting deep from the West Ham guy above, looking at the save "it" would happen every other match (and even on this, he won). Maybe it's a few harder now though. However, bad luck is meant to be part of the game. The key is in being able to estimate what is bad luck and what isn't, which at the moment is very subjective. What makes it harder that FM struggles to display "pressure" on the forward, as there is no real shoulder charging or body contact as such. Things to check, once the frustration has cleared and you are able to look at things in calm manners.

- Going through your schedule and looking how often this really happens. Usually the tagline is "all the time", when ioft at best every other match
- Taking a look at your forward's convertion ratios (in his profile under reports -> stats, also comparing that to opposition forwards)
- Taking a look at your team's conversion ratios, to be found in the team reports under stats, ditto

If there's nothing off here, you know you have no general issue. At least not any that wouldn't affect all the same. It's then a matter of specific opposition approaches in certain matches. Consistently dropping matches has typically a common cause, though, and is naturally not "hard-coded" as such. The most common root causes are primarily tactical. Hopefully will get a few better feedback in the future.

Edited by Svenc

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7 minutes ago, Svenc said:

Two parts of this.

1) Tactics.

You don't have to adapt to keep your opponent guessing. AI isn't on a level where it specifically can cancel some opposition out. They simply react to reputation mostly, thus watch if the team they face next is a bigger boy, a smaller boy or at their level, which they do every week. You may have some to adapt to to teams sitting deep (in this case), if your base tactic doesn't do much here. On a few occasions, you will win the matches either way (like the guy above).

The traditionally means is stretching play and encouraging movement (forwards dropping off for an inside forwards to cut inside into that space for instance, or a wide midfielder getting overlapped by an attacking back, that sort of thing). Dropping a little deeper to encourage winning the ball a little lower on the pitch so that the midfielders have more space, etc. An alternative may be a more physical, brute way of trying to overpower, with direct balls to a really dominant Target man trying to expose a deep defense by providing flick-ons. Imo, it's a bit more of a game of chance, which is why for me it's a last resort when it's 20 minutes from time and they still hang in there. All the while you need to watch not to overcommit, as teams dropping deep lure all your advancing players out on every move. That's basics, you would get good advice in the tactics forums. Also for opposition lining up in different formations, as the space will naturally vary a bit.

2) Perception/Feedback.

From the screenshots, the above looks a decent chance. To me it's still not quite like the Arsenal one in the vid above, no less as the keeper has the short corner covered. If you compare it to the Arsenal cut back above, the forward is completely unmarked, centrally in the box, and the keeper initially out wide covering the short corner, as the attack comes that way. Thus the forward can fire the shot first-time in the opposite corner. It's also a bonafide cut back right into the running path of the forward, whilst  on yours he's fed from out wide. It's still a decent chance. But it's also one that will likely be reasonably often missed/saved, as any reasonable chance in football is from any forward. How much we cannot exactly tell, as FM doesn't provide that sort of "feedback". We can estimate it however, as if one on ones aren't converted at much higher rates than 1 in 3 shots on average in football, and "big chances" in football start at 1 in 5 expectations, then it follows that you must provide them some consistently, as FM tries to model football. From my experience this is the case in all such matches uploaded (well, almost): The quality isn't near as consistent. That's all I can say personally, with the most frequently "overrated" being pressured one on ones at no angle (the keeper has but to come out to worsen it further), plus naturally, almost any set piece attempt. If you don't follow much "real life analaysis", trying to estimate things is even harder, as any "simulation" must take similar studies into account, or it is a fantasy.

From experience, the "issue" is oft also hugely exaggerated, how oftenly it actually happens too. Even with tactics completely playing into the hands of sides sitting deep from the West Ham guy above, looking at the save "it" would happen every other match (and even on this, he won). Maybe it's a few harder now though. However, bad luck is meant to be part of the game. The key is in being able to estimate what is bad luck and what isn't, which at the moment is very subjective. Things to check, once the frustration has cleared and you are able to look at things in calm manners.

- Going through your schedule and looking how often this really happens. Usually the tagline is "all the time", when in fact, at best every other match
- Taking a look at your forward's convertion ratios (in his profile under reports -> stats, also comparing that to opposition forwards)
- Taking a look at your team's conversion ratios, to be found in the team reports under stats, ditto

If there's nothing off here, you know you have no general issue. At least not any that wouldn't affect all the same. It's then a matter of specific opposition approaches in certain matches.

I try to stay away from 'all the time' and 'every game' as much as possible..
Frustration usually clears right after the game/sigarette.

So i have a question for you.

Imagine you are playing a team that , according to the media, going to end up in the lower half of the league. The overal reputation of the team is average compared to the rest of the league.
You have a good time and by newyear you are leading 7 points clear of the 2nd spot.

Suddenly you drawing, losing or winning games just barely.
You have difficulties breaking up opposition, who sit very deep. Mostly having long shots, your striker is off.
You do have a high posession% cause the opposition lets you have the ball.

What would you look at first?

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The answer from @Svenc was pretty covering, so I won't go much into that. Regarding the second post:

2 minutes ago, fraeyke said:

What would you look at first?

I would look at how I play and try to identify how that plays against a defending team. How will my tactic create space and thus have the possibility of a scoring chance. How do I want my team to play and what is my general plan. I'm an average to below average team, so this means most likely other teams have attacked me earlier, but since I'm overachieving the opponents will go more defensively than before. If I played a counterattacking fast paced game, then I will often try to exploit the space the opponent leaves when attacking us. If that space is no longer available, then maybe I need to slow down the way I play, and maybe go to a controlling mentality. Now, in this hypothetical scenario we don't have any set formation or tactic, but I would try to slow things down and try to stretch the lines of the opponents. Then again, I could also maybe try to play with a big lumpy target man up top and quick players around him trying to pick up the second ball after his duels with the defenders. It all comes down to what kind of players I have available and how I feel they can play. I might want to drop my defensive line deeper to invite the opponents further up the pitch to help me have some space for a pacey striker to run behind the defense. There are many possibilities and it all comes down to what kind of players I have and what level I am at.

For my current game I started with Marine in the Vanarama North and I'm currently in my first season in the Premier League. I have gone from the poorest team with loads of space to the biggest team several times throughout the leagues, but I have changed up how I play when I have had struggles with space. I have done many different things in different situations because I have had a good variety of players throughout the tiers. At the moment I get a lot of space since I have a much lower reputation than the rest, but I still struggle since my players are barely good enough at the moment.

In FM18 though, I feel that team spirit and the dressing room atmosphere is much more important than previously. If you keep them happy and supportive of you, they will walk through fire to get a result.

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An influx of set piece attempts plus long shots is normal against teams parking the bus. You should try it yourself to get a feel for the difference. In real football about 40-50% of attempts are from range -- Barcelona at their most Tiki-Taka still 30%.

- A huge influx of ranged attempts is players running out of options, into cul de sac.

Traditionally causes: Not enough movement provided, isolating players, everything that up in the final third would make players run out of passing angles. You see AI on this that plays narrow formations (only wide players being the wide defenders) not advancing them any. Guess what's going to happen up there? They should be easily crowded out and are.

AOJCaVv.jpg

- A huge influx of set piece attempts is defenders easily getting a foot into play. Either to deflect the shot (for a corner/throw) or to foul (for a free kick).

Traditionally causes. Compressing the space going forward. This is a real life tactical problem that translates imo fairly well in the game. This can go in two dimensions, width and depth. You see AI on this that does this fairly ofently. On my current Serie A sim, I noted Lazio dropping a few added points despite regular "statistical" domination (three times in a row). Opening the match, they push every single player forward start to finish. There is absolutely no way to rebuild an attack here, as there is no back pass to be played (as the CBs on FM can't advance or they'd put the opposition forwards onsite, a back pass to the centre back is a no no). Additionally, defenders have no area to mark, outside of the advancing backs. Every player that receives the pass is immediately pushed, and such, to shoot. I personally can't believe that's actually happening again, as on earlier iterations such AI tactics were considered an AI bug. What's further discouraging that despite all there wasn't a single successful counter attack (leading to a shot) in there... still loads of poor shots.  Three inside the box from reasonably central positions, 2 of which from set pieces, one from open play (cross).

D3glT5T.jpg

How do they do this? Having not a single player encouraged to keep "sitting" in a top heavy formation that already pushes the four attacking players high up the pitch either way. Never, ever, do this. This is stuff that was covered by entry level guides in a single paragraph half a decade ago.

gO2KGWw.jpg

Those are the most frequent, and common causes for big time woes. There's naturally more, but these aren't the tactical forums. Consistently finishing woes are, have always been and will aways be tactical at the root core, naturally. As it means you're consistently making it easier for opponents to keep you to poorer shots. If you're already identifying that you have too many long shots and set piece attempts in such matches, you're already on a good track and can be send off to the tactics forums. :thup: Again, the decent chances will be missed too. However with such a big influx of the poor, you rely more on luck than needed be. Plus, if you are used to mostly seeing the mediocre, anything approaching better will be seen as some kind of "sitter" (another nonsense punditry term, btw.)

Edited by Svenc

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On 25/11/2017 at 13:04, lost2escape said:

Im into my 2nd season and have had this happen to me both seasons.  I can be on a good run then like a light switch my players seem to be upset, cant play, cant win and then ass man suggests i switch formation. I just dont get how everything changes considsering i am sat in top 6 and achiement is only mid table

Yeah this really does my head in, when I put fm on, I love to sit their and watch TV while I juggle between fit players. But on FM now you have to make sure everythings perfect and the game helps you, on my Norwich save I loaded it in 2nd, ended up winning no games all night to the point I got sacked. Name a team in real life who changes formation to keep form as often as you need to on FM. We all know dodgy formations win games and thats cheating. I like 4231, I tell my wingers less shooting, they shoot each atleast 4 times a game out the box in a crossing posistion. My top class for championship striker Olivieria was just plain pathetic, I changed roles to get the most out of him in my setup and he just shoots from 34 yards while my wingers are in banging off the ball posistions down the flanks. I was leaking goals yet going from control to standard or even counter made me also leak goals. Centre backs both on great form. 

 

Sitting their while playing and watching TV is just gone now, proberly wont play FM again now as next years will inevitably be too powerful to run on my 2.6ghz pro and 8gb ram and now 3d is gone from me. 

Way too much effort now. I’d rather just play FIFA career and manage my players fitness and formation and buy players and sell.

 

On fm, If i’m playing bottom of the league side, no wins in first 10 games, 1 goal all season. Example; I’d go control, but I no for a fact their class off form striker will find form their an then and i’ll struggle to beat them. This isn’t fun, I know it’s a simulation but having to rely on your staff so much isn’t fun. Yes I have looked at tactics before people jump on me, I haven’t moaned in a while! I love the new features but to me, FM needs to sort out it’s current features. 

Off form players/clubs findin form v you (predictable everytime)

I want to sell a player and not worry what a bad player thinks that disrupts the Messi of my squad.

I want to play attacking football with a bad side as thats my style, without leaking goals. 

I want to play control for possession and not stupid shots, not contain and time waste from 1’.

I don’t want to have to tell my winger to float balls in to Peter Crouch, as he shouldn’t be that daft.

I don’t want to go on a big losing streak and play against Jose Mourinho everygame.

I want to buy whoever I want, not somebody who fits in my team, lol. I mean honestly, this game isn’t real life.

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10 hours ago, Andrew_Goats_Gruff said:

Name a team in real life who changes formation to keep form as often as you need to on FM. 

I haven't changed my formation in almost 8 seasons and I don't have any issues. I do change my instructions and roles. And this happens in EVERY game in real life. Do you think Mourinho tells Pogba to do the same in games against Man City and Hull? No, his tasks change depending on the opposition. Against City he will have to do more defensive work, while against Hull he will have more attacking freedom to create space for the team. And that is was the instructions simulate in the game. 

10 hours ago, Andrew_Goats_Gruff said:

I like 4231, I tell my wingers less shooting, they shoot each atleast 4 times a game out the box in a crossing posistion.

Do they have any other options? Have you restricted their passing range? Are there any players to pass to? Or are everyone in a bunch together as @Svenc game a good example of above? What do you expect the players to do otherwise? Just give the ball away? All players knows is better to shoot at a poor chance than to lose the ball and give the opponent a chance to counter.

10 hours ago, Andrew_Goats_Gruff said:

Way too much effort now. I’d rather just play FIFA career and manage my players fitness and formation and buy players and sell.

Then play FIFA if that fits you better? Or try FM Touch as it is more streamlined and maybe more to your likening.

10 hours ago, Andrew_Goats_Gruff said:

I want to sell a player and not worry what a bad player thinks that disrupts the Messi of my squad.

I want to play attacking football with a bad side as thats my style, without leaking goals. 

I want to play control for possession and not stupid shots, not contain and time waste from 1’.

I don’t want to have to tell my winger to float balls in to Peter Crouch, as he shouldn’t be that daft.

I don’t want to go on a big losing streak and play against Jose Mourinho everygame.

I want to buy whoever I want, not somebody who fits in my team, lol. I mean honestly, this game isn’t real life.

It seems to me you don't want to play a simulation like FM, you want to play a win game. There's nothing wrong with that, but FM is supposed to be a simulation and real life football isn't that easy...

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I haven't bought fm18 yet (waiting till usual update in feb when transfers and bugs are fixed!). However i'd like to add to the point a couple of you have made about the AI adjusting and countering your tactics. during the best part of alex ferguson's, marcello lippi, guardiola successful spells at man u, juve and barca respectively, they all played the same players in the same system/tactics for years! If your players are good enough( an fit enough) and they suit your system/shape, then 8/10 you'll play well and get a result. However in fm if you play the same tactic/ssytem players for more than 8 games the AI, whether it's conte as manager or the fleetwood town gaffa, will counter them, and be successful! My 2 points are this: 1: just because an opposition team knows how you will play/line-up, doesn't/shouldnt mean they have a right to stop you! 2: no it doesnt seem to matter if it's a worldclass manager who's a tactical wizz or some lower league manager (who granted could still be tactically adept) with poor tactical awareness, both can still pull a tactical masterclass equally when the AI wants.

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3 minutes ago, dean66683 said:

I haven't bought fm18 yet (waiting till usual update in feb when transfers and bugs are fixed!). However i'd like to add to the point a couple of you have made about the AI adjusting and countering your tactics. during the best part of alex ferguson's, marcello lippi, guardiola successful spells at man u, juve and barca respectively, they all played the same players in the same system/tactics for years! If your players are good enough( an fit enough) and they suit your system/shape, then 8/10 you'll play well and get a result. However in fm if you play the same tactic/ssytem players for more than 8 games the AI, whether it's conte as manager or the fleetwood town gaffa, will counter them, and be successful! My 2 points are this: 1: just because an opposition team knows how you will play/line-up, doesn't/shouldnt mean they have a right to stop you! 2: no it doesnt seem to matter if it's a worldclass manager who's a tactical wizz or some lower league manager (who granted could still be tactically adept) with poor tactical awareness, both can still pull a tactical masterclass equally when the AI wants.

1 - You're mistaken if you think they didn't adjust to teams.

2 - You can have largely the same system for years in FM too. I've used systems in FM17, 16 etc all for 5+ years, without needing to change. As always - IT DEPENDS - on a lot of things.

3 - The AI can't specifically "counter" your tactics. If your tactic "stops working" it's as a result of general changes, possibly in combination with a few OIs.

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For me, generally I have a downturn in form after a period of success largely due to two factors. For one, teams defend more tightly as mentioned above. I have not yet mastered the ability to pick apart a tight defence, but I am working on it and am not about to shy away from the challenge.

But psychology is a factor as well. Players can start to get nervous and tense at the possibility of winning the league or overachieving.

This has happened in real life, just as in the game, where a team will 'bottle it' at the crucial time (e.g. Spurs in the season Leicester won the league).

I find it takes me a few seasons to find the right ways to man-manage my squad, but even then, pressure can still get to players and they start making silly mistakes and fluffing easy chances and passes. Its quite human, actually.

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Variety in attack is key, if you have multiple ways of scoring goals, it's very difficult for the opposition to counter you.

Plus being good at set pieces helps massively as they can help open up or decide a close game, having 2-3 very good corner and free kick takers is probably worth 10-15 points a season. 

Personally I have been guilty in the past of having my teams play in a very strict one way, and then when the AI counters this one way we struggle. Now, certainly attacking wise I use less instructions and I am more mixed, leaving it more to have good variety of instructions and having players who make good decisions and can do multiple things. 

As other have said above as well, often people have very attacking top heavy tactics and then make these players very attacking meaning against defensive deep teams you are just throwing your bodies into their bodies and constricting the space. 

Also Dynamics is key this year, morale, confidence and teamwork, if your players are clicking as a team they will be finding each other on the pitch more easily and quicker. 

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I think, and this is my 2 cents here, that what some of the old guys from the Chapionship Manager series time got used to (this means me to):

Choose a tactic, buy the players, give the contracts to the players, take care of the training, send the scouts out, and then "space bar" for most of the season while seeing a good movie or series in the TV, then end of season and stop the tv to sort out the sells and buys and start it all over again...

For a long time this was how i think a lot of people did it, and it worked fine, and for some years now you can still do this, but it isn't a winning strategy, not even close, (unless you have Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani, LOL), you have to make changes along the way and you have to see what the players are making in the pitch, let's say that there are more variables to the game than some years ago, and some people have a hard time to get used to them, others simply adapt better, i find it harder to play, but in the old days i had hours of free time to play, now i don't wich makes the adaptation a lot harder, but i doesn't mean that i don't understand why the old ways just don't cut it anymore.

I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, it's just my interpretation of what i hear some of the players say about the recent versions.

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