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MBarbaric

Where is the defensive phase, and this game, going?

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An interesting idea. I would like to be able to make more specific instructions to players I leave up the pitch, in order to try to exploit something I see. For example, I may want my striker to drift into space vacated by a wing back, so he has space to run into if the ball can be delivered quickly to him.

I will say one thing contrary to what you state though. In your example of a 433, I would interpret that as a formation with a DMC, two CMs, AMRL and a STC. When I play with this formation, it definitely already defends like 451 (or a 4141, which is just a special case of the 451). You do not really need special instructions to set up a defensive shape, you can already do that. Indeed, it is argued that the formation you set on your tactics screen is closer to your defensive setup than your attacking one. Take the 451 as an example as a base tactical setup. This will defend as a 451. However, I can make it attack like a 433, a 4231, a 4321, and many other things between. Tactics in FM are set up to provide tactical flexibility when you are attacking by setting different roles. Or at least that is how I see it.

For what it is worth, I think TV formations do it in reverse. They show a formation similar to the attacking formation, or just plonk players on the pitch roughly where they expect them to play. I would not draw too many parallels between TV formations and what we input to FM.

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@MBarbaric

Thanks for taking the time to make this thread.

Unfortunately after seeing the issue ignored (until a different user from me bumped the thread.

They mention to be actively working on it, but I am not holding my hopes very high on it to be honest. It was supposed to be a new feature for this year's version, and it was broken since the very beginning of the beta, nothing changed until now, with only the last post January transfer window update remaining.

A shame because overall I have enjoyed FM 2018 more than the previous installment, and if this feature worked properly it would have helped the defensive phase quite a lot.

I liked your suggestion to have directly a "stay behind the ball line" button, but I did not even dare think about it, for now I would have been happy with having a working feature :)

To be honest, I would have preferred even more if marking position worked as zonal marking. Meaning, even if the opposition isn't fielding a DM for example, by putting mark position "DM" the player would position himself between the defensive line and the midfield line. Needless to say this would have helped a lot organizing a better high press tactic as well.

Anyways, I dream... :)

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So, your idea is excellent, we need a better defensive system in this game, but they need to fix somethings before. I noticed the FM 18 ME act different when you are in home,and away, and this is a thing we need to consider.

Another detail,they need to do a revamp on the descriptions of the instructions, unless you are a tactical genius in the game,you will probably have some hard times because one instruction actually triggers other, and normal/New players struggle a lot because of this.

 

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8 hours ago, masno said:

 I noticed the FM 18 ME act different when you are in home,and away,

 

The ME is exactly the same regardless of whether you're playing home or away. Your tactic may work differently in those circumstances, however. 

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13 ore fa, Pendraz ha scritto:

I would have preferred even more if marking position worked as zonal marking. Meaning, even if the opposition isn't fielding a DM for example, by putting mark position "DM" the player would position himself between the defensive line and the midfield line. Needless to say this would have helped a lot organizing a better high press tactic as well.

indeed, you should be able to set the player to mark specific zone. So setting your player to mark opposition DM (even when the opposition plays 4-4-2) would assure you have the zone covered which what zonal mark, in essence, is. However, I don't think that would help with pressing in any meaningful way. Pressing works on few basic principles that need to be hardcoded into the ME (like defensive positioning, certain off the ball movement...). Until that is done, there will be no meaningful way to organize pressing within a team. In other words, pressing is a secondary problem as SI first needs to cover basic defensive positioning that would be separate from attacking shape. Only then, they can work on pressing triggers and implementation. 

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I do this pretty much already, I just use generic OIs to achieve it. It allows to create specific areas of the pitch where you want to close down (or not), where you want your players to mark tighter (or not), etc. It can also be used to efficiently set up zones for high pressing. Obviously, this is not quite the same as what you propose, because it is position specific rather than area specific, so as the AI advances up the pitch with the ball, the area where players do what the OIs tell them to do also changes. It can, however, be very effective and is probably one of the key facets to how I play tactically. I would argue that it is entirely possible to set up a sensible pressing regime in the game currently, it is just not very easy or obvious how to do it. Anything that makes things easier is, of course, welcome.

I would also like to make a counter argument here. In the post directly above this, you mention being able to mark a DM, even if the AI goes not use one. How exactly would you do that? You cannot mark a non-existent player, and I think it is relatively pointless to do so. If you want a player to occupy that space, put a player in that space (play an AMC in this example). You can then change how your player behaves in the attacking phase, to get him to do what you want him to do. The suggestions here are kinda thinking about FM the wrong way around. You set up how you want to defend, and you modify players so they perform what you want to do in attack.

For example, if I want a player who will attack the AMC space when I attack, but who drops deep and marks /closes down midfielders in defense, I would choose to play a CM(A), for instance. He will drop in and behave like a midfielder when I defend, and will burst forward as an auxiliary AMC/STC when we attack. He will be in a position to press defenders if we lose the ball naturally, for instance, if this is feasible for him to do. Your suggestion seems to be the reverse of this. To play an AMC who you would modify to behave differently in the defensive phase. This is entirely a variation on a theme that already exists in FM.

I'm also going to disagree with you on the idea of thinking about attacking shape. The shape you see on the tactics screen is you defensive shape, not your attacking one, more or less. The more or less comes from the fact that players will deviate from the positions you give them based on roles, duties, TIs, etc. However, the modifiers for the attacking phase seem to be quite a lot stronger than for the defensive phase. This goes back to the point I made above. You can easily position a player in a tactic around where you want him to defend, and change his role and duty so his attacking is how you want it. I play a base 4123 tactic at the moment. It looks very much like a 451 in defense, although one of the wide players stays further up the pitch that the other, so it is lopsided. In attack, it is some hybrid between a 424, 4231 and a 343. It depends where exactly players go during a particular phase of play. I often modify so that I always have 3 defenders back, and then the formation definitely resembles a 3312 formation (skewed relative to the base formation, but that is how you would call it). The flexibility in attacking shape is already in the game. There is a lot less flexibility in defensive shape, but that is also true in football in real life.

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39 minuti fa, sporadicsmiles ha scritto:

you mention being able to mark a DM, even if the AI goes not use one. How exactly would you do that? You cannot mark a non-existent player, and I think it is relatively pointless to do so. If you want a player to occupy that space, put a player in that space (play an AMC in this example). You can then change how your player behaves in the attacking phase, to get him to do what you want him to do. The suggestions here are kinda thinking about FM the wrong way around. You set up how you want to defend, and you modify players so they perform what you want to do in attack.

 

The point isn't to mark a man, but to mark the space. Opposition players will move around and I don't necessarily want my players to man mark and follow them around. This creates holes and disorganizes the defensive unit. 

I was talking about opposition AM so, in this example, I think you'd want to suggest me to simply use a DM. Fair enough. However, that creates a chain effect. I push my CM to DM, I push my AM to CM, then I need to push my SC to AM. there is no AM role that could behave as a poacher in SC slot while still being in AM position.

 

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10 hours ago, MBarbaric said:

The point isn't to mark a man, but to mark the space. Opposition players will move around and I don't necessarily want my players to man mark and follow them around. This creates holes and disorganizes the defensive unit. 

I was talking about opposition AM so, in this example, I think you'd want to suggest me to simply use a DM. Fair enough. However, that creates a chain effect. I push my CM to DM, I push my AM to CM, then I need to push my SC to AM. there is no AM role that could behave as a poacher in SC slot while still being in AM position.

 

I'd argue that marking a space would be to play a DM, in this case. I can see your point, and I do not want to seem like I am rejecting it out of hand (I am definitely not). I rather want to create debate.

In football you cannot mark every single part of the space. No team does this outside of the exceptionally talented ones. It all boils down to what you want to achieve, and how you go about it. A DMC can be an attacking player when you attack and a defensive player when you defend. You do have to make a choice about how you want the player to behave most of the time. If you want a player to be more defensive, you can make him so. To make him more attacking, you can make him so. To have a player who can do both equally well is hard, and requires a special player. You cannot have every role filled when you make a tactic. If, in your example, you want to play a poacher, you have to accept he is not going to defend that much. A poacher is playing on the shoulder of the last man, waiting to strike. He is not supposed to defend in the manner you suggest. If you want that behaviour, you either do not want a poacher or you want something unfeasible. 

Do not get me wrong here, I am all for more flexibility. I would love to be able to designate closing down patterns where my players will close down hard in one phase, and will settle into positions in another. I would love to be able to have more flexibility within roles, and not be quite so restricted in what I have to tell players to do. However, there are limits to this. I cannot expect to play an AF(A) and have him defend deep. That is not what an AF(A) is supposed to do. I guess my point is that generic roles would be great, but playing specific roles and expected them to do things they are clearly not designed to do makes no sense. 

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"Mark specific position" player instruction has a potential to separate defensive and offensive shape. It is cumbersome but is still better than nothing.

Let's forget about the roles and just say you play 4-4-1-1 formation. Now, you tell your CMR to mark specific position "DM" when the team doesn't have the ball. Then you select your CAM and select him to mark specific position "CMR". 

With 2 clicks you have changed your basic attacking shape (4-4-1-1) into your basic defensive shape (4-1-4-1).

 

24 minuti fa, sporadicsmiles ha scritto:

If, in your example, you want to play a poacher, you have to accept he is not going to defend that much. A poacher is playing on the shoulder of the last man, waiting to strike.

ok, and what does he do when the team doesn't have the ball, which is approximately 50% of the time? Is he going to score while we don't have the ball? Sure, I can leave him, and his striker partner, to do as they please while the rest of the team tries to keep the opposition away. I might have a very good reason for it as well. but I'd prefer to have a choice of ordering at least one of them to come back and defend. Isn't that reasonable? Why am I forced to play 4-1-4-1 off the bat?

When the team defends, there are no more strikers in the team. The whole team has to defend as a unit. 

33 minuti fa, sporadicsmiles ha scritto:

there are limits to this. I cannot expect to play an AF(A) and have him defend deep. That is not what an AF(A) is supposed to do.

I'd really like to hear what are those limits. Why an AF can't drop deep when the team defends. Is it off side if he drops back, does he get blisters??? I guess the only player in the striker slot that might be willing to drop back would be the defensive forward. Fair enough, but what does he do when the team has the ball? Is there an offside if he moves forward since he is "defensive forward"? Or does he get blisters if he moves on the shoulder of the back line looking to score? Does the goal count if he is a defensive forward? :D it is ridiculous, I know.

However, I'd really like if you would take time and think of an example of a striker you think is a poacher, AF(a) or any role you like. Then, take a look at that player in his next match. Pay attention what he does once the opposition moves into middle and attacking thirds. If you don't have time,  just give me the name and I'll take a look and send you the video what he does when the team doesn't have the ball. 

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I've only read a few of the posts on this topic and it is all very interesting reading. I do think it is much harder to create the defensive behaviour you want from your team, as a pose to the attacking behaviour. Things such as pressing and defensive movement of players can for sure be improved upon (I speak as someone who does like using closing down instructions and roles). I'm only in my second year of Fm so in comparison to most people here I am relatively inexperienced.

 

One thing I have been doing an awful lot this year in the defensive phase of play is the mark specific position / player instruction on the individual player instructions screen. I've used it predominantly with wide midfielders (ML, MR, AML and AMR)Most often I've used it when using the Winger role on the Attack duty, so that I can get the best of the role offensively while getting additional defensive work that the Winger on Attack doesn't normally do. It is very satisfying to see my attacking AML slide tackling the opposition full back who has bombed forward toward the byline. Using the instruction has frequently resulted in my wingers completely marking opponents out of the game, which is very helpful especially when playing against teams that use attacking full backs and focus on the wide men. 

 

I've used the instruction a couple of times with my striker (s) and attacking midfielder (s), to get them to mark opposition centre backs or defensive midfielders, but it doesn't seem to quite have the same effect, but I've put that down to the lesser work rate and quickness the players in those positions have when compared with my wingers. I'm using Leeds, just in case anyone is wondering. 

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Wide players appear to be OK, while the problem appears to be with positions in the centre of the pitch. 

 

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