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russell9

FM18 simply hates Pep Guardiola Possession-Style Tactic

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First of all, to be consider a pep style tactic it has to have at least 65% possession and total passing of 500-700 per match.
A normal tactic (4123  DM WIDE) with such stats in FM18 often produce the following results UNLESS we use non realistic formation with multiple strikers OR if we lower the possession of the tactic, in fact the lower the possession the more goals it produce! FM18 simply hates possession!

A picture worth a thousand words, lets see some examples...

mc2-1.jpg

mc2-2.jpg

Edited by russell9

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And this an interesting example where it closely resembled one of the recent real life match. In real life this only happened to Man City once in a long long while but in FM18 it happens quite frequently.

 

mc3-1.jpg

mc3-2.jpg

real_mc-1.jpg

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One more thing I forgot to mention. To finish chances created with such possession tactic, even when the goal keeper is not in god mode or the striker is not aiming for corner flag the woodwork will work it's magic to stop the ball going in :brock:

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Well,  the real Guardiola is probably one of the better managers in his job. Alternative proposition: You've brought up multiple forward tactics. Some of those are acknowledged to be quite powerful. Can't change that. But keeping that in mind: Rather than finding that "possession tactics" may be utterly toothless, you may simply find that without playing such a tactic you're more frequently on a level playing field with AI opponents. I don't think you'll find anybody in the tactics forum that would argue "possession tactics" wouldn't work as such. Additionally, without providing the complete fixture list, nobody but you can see how often something actually happens either way (on FM's stat level, match stats also only mean this much, sadly). The multiple forwards are an acknowledged issue anway, AFAIK!

 

Edited by Svenc

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I could pull up a tonne of counter examples to this, from my current Benfica save. I am not aiming to replicate Pep, but I use a 4123 and regularly dominate both possessions and shots on target. I have no problems in winning matches, however. For instance, I just played away to Valencia and absolutely destroyed them. So clearly, it is not a matter of it not being possible, it is a matter of setting things up properly. 

Look at your own stats from these matches, because I do not think you are reading them properly. You are only dominating the ball in the middle third of the pitch. You have sterile, pointless possession. You are playing more like Martinez than Guardiola. Possession for Pep is not for the sake of it. They do not keep the ball aimlessly, they keep it primarily as a defensive measure (if you have the ball, the other team absolutely cannot score, ever). However, they keep it in and around the box. They get it forward quickly. They are willing to surrender possession if there is a risky pass that may unlock a defence. I get the feeling you are trying to keep the ball for the sake of it, using instructions like slow tempo, retain possession, shorter passing, etc. Doing that you are allowing the opposition to get set defensively, and as soon as you overcommit they will be ready to counter you.

Here are the match stats for my game against Valencia, which I won 2-0 (as I said, I am Benfica, second season).

5a777737dc581_matchstatsvalencia.thumb.png.fc834e9cea1f65f5bc510bbfc8a8c877.png

Notice that I did not have as much possession as you like, but we attempted 645 passes (completing 546 of them). I did have 53% possession, which is all I needed. Now before you go about saying how this proves your point, Valencia were playing a patient passing game of their own (they also attempted 537 passes). I actually average 57% possession in this current season, and regularly get told I play a patient passing style. 

If you are interested, we can discuss the specifics of setting up to be successful like this (although I am not one to share tactics on here unless I am specifically analysing something). 

 

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When your aim is dominating possession first then scoring goals and winning games second this is what happens. Possession should be byproduct of winning games not the main objective. And possession in FM is calculated differently to the Opta stats so comparing those is pointless.

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Possession works fine to me,Unfortunaly I don't have a tactic that can achieve more then 64% possession in the end of the season,but my players put possession first,you just need the right combination of roles and instructions.

But one thing everybody seen to agree is that AI managers that try possession tactics always go really bad.

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The way FM counts possession is a bit different than the standard way if I remember correctly, so you may be closer than you think, well, barring the results.

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I think the biggest issue here is the low shot conversion ratio...

But without knowing how many of those shots were long-range, blocked or the infamous 45° banana shot to the corner flag, it's hard to tell if your possession was actually useful buildup or was merely pointless keep-away.

Seeing it's not an uncommon occurrence, and knowing FM18 a bit, I bet half of those shots were forced ones that a well-done (by you) and better implemented (by SI) possession-oriented tactic wouldn't have had.

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12 hours ago, s1111 said:

When your aim is dominating possession first then scoring goals and winning games second this is what happens. Possession should be byproduct of winning games not the main objective. And possession in FM is calculated differently to the Opta stats so comparing those is pointless.

^ 100% on the money. I think you are perhaps seeing something different than me when you watch how Pep has his teams play. Having 65% of possession and total passing 500-700 doesn't really define his style I feel.

From my perspective, it has more to do with how he drills his players to play off the ball. It is the off the ball movement which kills opposing teams by dragging players all over the place disrupting their defensive shape which naturally lends itself to having a higher percentage of possession because his players are intelligent enough to constantly find space and make themselves available for a pass. As for an explanation as to why you may be having loads of long shots well I think a major reason would be that the instructions which go with "possession" based play in FM reduce risk. 

This is a big problem because in order to create better opportunities and not have as many non-threatening shots you need to take chances. More than likely what is happening is that you are patiently working the ball up the pitch then getting into the final 3rd and because there are no players taking chances by making runs or being willing to dribble at the defenders your players then go for the safer option and that is to shoot even when the chance created isn't that great. This leads to massively inflated shot counts and the impression that you are dominating the game when actually the scoreline suggests you aren't. What tactic are you using exactly?

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14 hours ago, s1111 said:

When your aim is dominating possession first then scoring goals and winning games second this is what happens. Possession should be byproduct of winning games not the main objective. And possession in FM is calculated differently to the Opta stats so comparing those is pointless.

Oh come on, everyone knows that if you get less than 60% possession, then you don't get any points.  Got to play the game in the right way :rolleyes:

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What are people talking about when they say the guy is keeping position meaninglessly for the sake of it?  Judging by the screenshots, his team is averaging 4 clear cut chances and 5 half chances every game, so how is that meaningless position?  He is clearly creating lots of good chances but his strikers can't convert them into goals which is the exact same thing that happened to Man City last season. Pep talked about this  on many occasions that his players were missing too many chances last season and at the start of this season.  
I personally don't think ME favors a specific style of play because missing chances happens IRL as well but saying that the guy's team is keeping position meaninglessly when his team actually creates a lot of good chances is wrong. 
https://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/guardiola-unhappy-with-118-city/98558
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2674321-manchester-city-missing-too-many-chances-as-their-home-form-suffers

Edited by YO97

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20 minutes ago, YO97 said:

What are people talking about when they say the guy is keeping position meaninglessly for the sake of it?  Judging by the screenshots, his team is averaging 4 clear cut chances and 5 half chances every game, so how is that meaningless position?  He is clearly creating lots of good chances but his strikers can't convert them into goals which is the exact same thing that happened to Man City last season. Pep talked about this  on many occasions that his players were missing too many chances last season and at the start of this season.  
I personally don't think ME favors a specific style of play because missing chances happens IRL as well but saying that the guy's team is keeping position meaninglessly when his team actually creates a lot of good chances is wrong. 
https://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/guardiola-unhappy-with-118-city/98558
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2674321-manchester-city-missing-too-many-chances-as-their-home-form-suffers

Agreed and look at the number of woodworks in his screenshots. It's very common in this forum whenever someone posted something against the ME the answer is always his tactic.

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39 minutes ago, edk77 said:

Agreed and look at the number of woodworks in his screenshots. It's very common in this forum whenever someone posted something against the ME the answer is always his tactic.

When the biggest input into the static match engine are your tactical decisions, you shouldn't be surprised when they're causing anomalies.  Not all of them of course, but some.

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1 hour ago, YO97 said:

What are people talking about when they say the guy is keeping position meaninglessly for the sake of it?  Judging by the screenshots, his team is averaging 4 clear cut chances and 5 half chances every game, so how is that meaningless position?  He is clearly creating lots of good chances but his strikers can't convert them into goals which is the exact same thing that happened to Man City last season. Pep talked about this  on many occasions that his players were missing too many chances last season and at the start of this season.  
I personally don't think ME favors a specific style of play because missing chances happens IRL as well but saying that the guy's team is keeping position meaninglessly when his team actually creates a lot of good chances is wrong. 
https://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/guardiola-unhappy-with-118-city/98558
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2674321-manchester-city-missing-too-many-chances-as-their-home-form-suffers

I'd be very cautious about taking the CCC & HC stat as the defining factor when determining how good a chance was created. At best I'd say the screenshots that have been posted are inconclusive as they provide no context and without context are largely meaningless. The only way to know for sure is if the OP posts the .pkm of those matches along with the tactic Man City and the opposition used.

Additionally, the result may have nothing to do with tactics at all. The Man City players could be complacent, the morale in the squad could be poor, the opposition could have parked the bus which requires a different strategy to break down. There are a number of other different factors which need to be considered before you can come to the conclusion that it's a fault of the ME which is causing these results. It could well be a fault with the ME but until other possibilities have been explored you can't give a definitive answer based on the match stats of 4 games. 

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For what it's worth it very possible to win with a possession based tactic. I'm doing it with my Liverpool side at the moment and I'm cruising through the season. 

IgvthXK.png05QloWo.pngRv3KOIC.png

Those are just a couple of matches were I had around 60% possession and won comfortably. Does this happen every match? No, because I try to focus on not conceding at the moment. Only conceded 2 goals in the last 14 matches.

QM2o8at.png

I feel that is more the essence of Pep, rather than having possession for the sake of it. By going up and then simply controlling the game and don't let the opponent have the ball more than necessary. I still have some improvements to breaking down the likes of Burnley and Stoke, but overall it should replicate Pep, or rather Klopp since this is Liverpool.

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Of course it is.

Playing possession without the players to fit won't work, or play posession with the worst team in the league won't work.

But every style can give good results, even if limited by its own tactical choices. For example I love a direct 4-4-2 but I understand it can only take me so far because it's a very rudimental approach to the game. However with the right players I can still have some success.

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1 hour ago, XaW said:

For what it's worth it very possible to win with a possession based tactic. I'm doing it with my Liverpool side at the moment and I'm cruising through the season. 

IgvthXK.png05QloWo.pngRv3KOIC.png

Those are just a couple of matches were I had around 60% possession and won comfortably. Does this happen every match? No, because I try to focus on not conceding at the moment. Only conceded 2 goals in the last 14 matches.

QM2o8at.png

I feel that is more the essence of Pep, rather than having possession for the sake of it. By going up and then simply controlling the game and don't let the opponent have the ball more than necessary. I still have some improvements to breaking down the likes of Burnley and Stoke, but overall it should replicate Pep, or rather Klopp since this is Liverpool.

I'd love to see the tactic you're using for that, my winning Liverpool tactics always seem to have less possession but more goals.

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3 hours ago, YO97 said:

What are people talking about when they say the guy is keeping position meaninglessly for the sake of it?  Judging by the screenshots, his team is averaging 4 clear cut chances and 5 half chances every game, so how is that meaningless position?  He is clearly creating lots of good chances but his strikers can't convert them into goals which is the exact same thing that happened to Man City last season. Pep talked about this  on many occasions that his players were missing too many chances last season and at the start of this season.  
I personally don't think ME favors a specific style of play because missing chances happens IRL as well but saying that the guy's team is keeping position meaninglessly when his team actually creates a lot of good chances is wrong. 
https://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/guardiola-unhappy-with-118-city/98558
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2674321-manchester-city-missing-too-many-chances-as-their-home-form-suffers

We have absolutely no idea what the chances he creates are, or how they come about. Without that context you cannot say either way, really. The fact that he is not scoring suggests that these chances are not "good" chances. The CCC stat is dodgy at the best of times in FM - I am always told it is a CCC and "he missed an absolute sitter" when my player shoots from the goal line with absolutely no angle with which to hit the net. There are other examples of this. Further, you can hit the woodwork from not CCCS, that does not mean anything by itself.

We also have no idea how the chances are created. If they all come from set pieces, or from quick counter attacking transitions, then these are in no way related to his possession based approach. There is nowhere near enough detail here. The point is that does appear as though he has sterile possession, and that is why he is not scoring enough goals. I play a possession based 4123 tactic too. We average the most possession in the league, but I do not use it for the sake of it. I favour quick transitions first, and then if they fail my team play around and probe to create a chance.

There is a balance to be made, and he is clearly not quite got the balance right. So it is wrong to say that "possession tactics never work, it is a ME problem". It is not, because I use one, and it works very well. Hence, it is a tactical issue. The reason why people say most things are tactical issue is because mostly, they are. 

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15 minutes ago, JordanMillward_1 said:

I'd love to see the tactic you're using for that, my winning Liverpool tactics always seem to have less possession but more goals.

c7SqPgk.png

In addition to this I have a couple of player instructions. GK to roll out and distribute quickly, left back to stay wider and shoot less. The CM-A to move into channels, and the LW to dribble more and sit narrow. Against the good teams I drop the CM-A to a box-to-box midfielder. And I also have a counterattacking version when I want to keep the opponent way from our goal.

I do tweak just about every match, but only small ones if we somehow are struggling.

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 13:26, russell9 said:

FM18 simply hates possession

You absolutely can do this and be effective - and yes even with the 4123DM formation.  You haven't included your tactical set up in any of the screen shots, or your 4123DM that you're struggling with.  I'd suggest you head to the Tactics forum and make a new thread there including your detailed tactical set up.  I'm sure someone will be able to help.

You could also click on the "Please Read" thread pinned to the top of the forum, hit Guides and check out "The Art of Possession" article :thup:.

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Actually I don't have problem with developing an efficient 4123DM with lots of goals. What I want to highlight in this thread is when I try to match pep's statistic in real life the tactic doesn't work well and btw in all of my 20+ saves so far Man City and Barcelona consistently under perform. To me this clearly shows that FM18 is not reflecting proper possession based tactic efficiency.

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4 hours ago, russell9 said:

Actually I don't have problem with developing an efficient 4123DM with lots of goals. What I want to highlight in this thread is when I try to match pep's statistic in real life the tactic doesn't work well and btw in all of my 20+ saves so far Man City and Barcelona consistently under perform. To me this clearly shows that FM18 is not reflecting proper possession based tactic efficiency.

I can't help but to notice that you completely disregard my post about winning with high possession. It's possible to do, as I've shown with the same amount of basis as you. You have not given any info regarding tactics other than a hint to a formation. Is this your tactic? AI Pep?

While I do agree that Pep underachieves in FM quite often, I don't think the blank "doesn't work" is the right way to put it. If this "clearly shows" anything, then it's that it's much harder to win by playing pretty possession based football than playing ugly hoofball. Quite similar to reality, really.

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Has anyone had seen Pep's City actually win the league, or even come close? They're always rubbish on my saves. Not even top 4.

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