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herne79

Attacking and Possession

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Good reading, congrats Herne

A little curious about the TI's. Did you use the lower tempo instruction? I ask this because everytime i try to use a mentality above the standard one i always have to lower the tempo so that my team don't start making silly long shots.

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49 minutes ago, Keyzer Soze said:

Good reading, congrats Herne

A little curious about the TI's. Did you use the lower tempo instruction? I ask this because everytime i try to use a mentality above the standard one i always have to lower the tempo so that my team don't start making silly long shots.

No I don't touch tempo.  It could be used for sure, but when using a high mentality it may take a little too much away from the attacking intent.  The only other TIs I tend to use are higher def line or dribble less, but they can be a bit situational.  Retain Possession is the only one I always use.

I should also mention pressing, I'll add it to the post.

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A really good post. I've covered some of this very briefly in a piece I'm writing about shot conversion. I particularly like how you stress 'In combination with' as too many people talk about tactics and its pieces in isolation and ignore the bigger picture imo. 

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Nice stuff, I hope you keep us posted, would be nice to see how the tactic plays out. Also interesting to see someone using attacking mentality but balance it out using less aggressive roles and TIs. Often you see people trying to play attacking football so they choose attacking mentality with higher tempo, more direct passing and so on, not realising that choosing the attacking mentality already increases the tempo and passing, and also makes all the players look for aggressive decisions.

The way I like to think about it is that the mentalities give the framework to the system, and you can elect to go more aggressive or passive within the context of the mentality. As the attacking mentality is already aggressive as a context, combining it with aggressive TIs makes it overly attacking in most situations. I like the approach taken here, where the attacking framework is combined with TIs and roles that balance out the aggressiveness.  I have done this occasionally, pushing players forward with attacking mentality, but then combined it with shorter passing and lower tempo to bring more players into the attack rather than go forward as quickly as possible. My efforts have only been sporadic though, so would love to see how you manage having that sort of strategy as your base system. 

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The Opposition Team

Something I feel that can be overlooked when wanting to create a possession based tactic (or indeed any tactic) is how the opposition play and the quality of their players.  To try to demonstrate this, look at these two match results - the first against Udinese (we won 2-0) and the second against Juventus (we lost 2-0):

fXtvNbJ.png

iUhMZvv.png

Udinese sat back.  They stood off us and let us play our passing game.  We simply ran rings around them for 90 minutes and completely dominated despite our poorer quality players.  They used a deep 4-4-2 formation with 2 x DMs.  Our midfield bossed the match, with all 4 of my "midfielders" making over 130 passes each (my Regista made 198 passes), constantly recycling the ball with back or side passes when attacking lanes became blocked.  And whilst our shooting could have been more accurate, two thirds of the shots were from inside the box and good quality.

Juventus on the other hand didn't stand off us.  They played an aggressive game using a 4-3-1-2 formation, pretty direct in attack with lots of pressing.  Combine that with the quality of their players and their strength in midfield, and we simply didn't stand a chance.  Almost 600 passes with few but decent quality shots show we still tried to play our own game, but we were simply overwhelmed.  Well over 900 passes against Udinese vs c.600 here shows how little time on the ball Juventus were allowing us.  I also purposely didn't change anything during the match (it probably wouldn't have made much difference anyway given the gulf in quality) because I wanted to compare our performance on a like for like basis - I used the same players and tactical instructions throughout.

So 48% possession against Juve might on the face of things show our possession plan didn't work, but drilling down into the analysis and (of course) watching how things played out on the pitch reveals not only a different story but also reasons behind the "failure".

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Great stuff. I’m using an attacking mentality with mostly support roles (and no attacking duties at all) in FM2017 and been having great results. Combined with a very fluid mentality, I find our team is very compact, good at keeping possession but also lethal in counter-attacking. We’re also surprisingly solid at the back, keeping lots of clean sheets. It’s so effective I worry I’ve accidentally found a ME exploit 😂

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This is one thread after my own heart. Speaking as one who sometimes loves Overload mentality, the logic here in how to drive possession is  very sound.

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Ive been waiting on you to pop up with something for fm18.

Its not long and convoluted, but precise and to the point. (Especially the bit about shape)

Very good post. 

Really interesting formation too

 

 

 

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On 23/02/2018 at 15:37, herne79 said:

 

Player Roles - picked mainly to try to provide passing options and offensive/defensive support whenever possible.  eg., an Inverted Wingback to provide some width but also help boss the midfield; a Fullback on the right rather than a Wingback to provide a little more caution against the forward thinking Mezzala ahead; a roaming and dropping "striker" ahead of a runner from deep at AMC; and so on.

 

 

2 minutes ago, Bunkerossian said:

Question-why the IWB on the left side?

See above

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1 minute ago, zlatanera said:

 

See above

I read that an IWB will default to a Wing Back if there is nobody in front of him on the flank. This is why I'm sort of surprised at seeing @herne79 going for that role.

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9 minutes ago, Bunkerossian said:

I read that an IWB will default to a Wing Back if there is nobody in front of him on the flank. This is why I'm sort of surprised at seeing @herne79 going for that role.

The IWB won't operate like an IWB if there is no other player providing width or if there are already 2DMs in the system

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1 hour ago, Bunkerossian said:

I read that an IWB will default to a Wing Back if there is nobody in front of him on the flank. This is why I'm sort of surprised at seeing @herne79 going for that role.

I started off using a regular wingback but he wasn't providing the type of midfield support I wanted.  The IWB doesn't come inside here as often as he might do in other systems so I'm using him to provide some width on occasion (I don't want him always staying wide) but mainly to help control the midfield and offer a passing option.  I don't use an IWB on the right as well because a) that would reduce variety of play and b) it's a different structure of roles on the right flank so I want the right back to be a little more defensive.

And hey, it's fun to experiment :).

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12 hours ago, BrianMunich said:

What a mess of a formation. Trying to be clever for the sake of being clever. 

 5a95748c2511f_ScreenShot2018-02-27at11_08_21PM.thumb.png.707b772a880850bad47278b82296bb38.png

Out of curiosity what do you think of these two formations? They were used in a head to head match a few months back. Being too clever?

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This is a great topic. I have 3 attacking roles in mine, but I use similar possession retention to try and work on a more measured approach from the attacking mentality.

Attack / Structured

Slightly Narrower, Use Offside Trap, Play out of Defence, Retain Possession, Work ball into Box and Roam from Positions.

It's a 4-3-3 with an AF (A) flanked on each side by a F9 (S), then a DLP (D) in midfield flanked by two MEZ, one on support and one on attack both with the instruction to run wide with the ball. Then two BPD (D) flanked by WBs, one on attack and one on support (alternating the sides with the MEZ on A/S). Finally the GK is a SK (D). It's probably the most successful tactic I've used in FM18 and I'm a little worried that's down to the 'exploit'  of having 3 strikers (is this an exploit? I've seen so many 3 defender, 3 striker formations this year which I've been trying to steer clear of) so I want to try it out with a F9 and 2 SS (A) behind it, but it's more the team instructions and set up that I enjoy.

Edited by Curtinho

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9 hours ago, Rashidi said:

 5a95748c2511f_ScreenShot2018-02-27at11_08_21PM.thumb.png.707b772a880850bad47278b82296bb38.png

Out of curiosity what do you think of these two formations? They were used in a head to head match a few months back. Being too clever?

Now I'd say it's you the ones who's trying to be clever... 

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4 hours ago, BrianMunich said:

Now I'd say it's you the ones who's trying to be clever... 

The formation on the left : Ronald Koeman - Manager of Everton at the time
The formation on the right: Paul Collyer - Co creator of Football Manager

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Interesting read, @herne79

I used Attacking mentality with Retain Possession a couple versions ago, and it seems a good balance between wanting to look forward and playing high percentage passes. I found someone who'd dribble lots added variety and more directness.

How do you find playing Attacking with a defensive looking formation? Is that where Retain Possession comes in - no point playing direct if you've not got players upfield to play direct to?

Also, a sweeper and a high line is intriguing - the combination doesn't seem an intuitive one to me?

Edited by Park

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3 hours ago, Park said:

How do you find playing Attacking with a defensive looking formation? Is that where Retain Possession comes in - no point playing direct if you've not got players upfield to play direct to?

Plenty of defensive formations in Italy.  In a nutshell we pass the ball around fairly patiently probing the defence.  We don't always create a lot of chances but when we do they tend to be good quality.

3 hours ago, Park said:

Also, a sweeper and a high line is intriguing - the combination doesn't seem an intuitive one to me?

The Sweeper is kind of a Central Defender with a Cover duty on steroids.  He'll sit a little deeper (especially with a DM in front) and provide cover.  It screws up any offside trap (iirc the Attacking mentality sets that by default, could be wrong there) but in this system I'm more interested in a Sweeper covering those pesky lone strikers or runs from deep without stepping up out of line and leaving gaps behind.  Bear in mind as well that having a player in the DMC position pushes the def line a little deeper, so it's not quite as high as it might otherwise be.

Player attributes are important too (as ever).  I don't like high levels of Aggression; Positioning and some Acceleration can be handy.

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Herne, you say you have been using these principles with other formations such as the 4-4-2 and the 4-1-2-2-1 how do you set these formations up in regards to roles etc? Thanks

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4 hours ago, False 9 said:

Herne, you say you have been using these principles with other formations such as the 4-4-2 and the 4-1-2-2-1 how do you set these formations up in regards to roles etc? Thanks

No, no clues ;).

Seriously though, it's just about applying similar principles.  Think about the formation, how your players can link up and create variety in attack.  You could also check Cleon's original thread I linked at the top where he uses a 4123DM (don't just copy it though) and I wrote about developing a 442 a while ago (linked in the Please Read thread at the top of the forum) where whilst I wasn't really trying for possession it was certainly a by-product of the system (60%+ possession).

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Thank you @herne79 for this thread, it inspired me to tinker with similar possession focused attacking tactics and I’m really enjoying the end product.

In truth I have made some compromises; my first few attempts at creating an attacking possession focused tactic (on FM Classic) frustrated - whilst I consistently achieved high possession percentages I was having real problems converting this into chances and goals.  The earlier iterations of my 4-4-1-1 tactic utilised 2/3 players on a defensive duty,  6/7 on a support duty and 1 on an attacking duty (an AMC); I found the team lacked variation, predominately attacked down the middle and relied too heavily the AMC to provide the goals.  It was only when I made a few changes that I struck upon a balance that I was happy with - trading a little possession for greater attacking intent.  I achieved this by switching up the left winger’s mentality from support to attack and by employing an IWB on a defend duty behind the winger and the Mezzala.  The IWB (defend) provides a solid platform behind those two more aggressive players whilst offering just enough support; perfect for recycling possession.  Not convinced?  Try comparing the mentalities of an IWB (defend) in an attacking team with an IWB (Support) in a counter team and you'll see what I mean…

5a9fabcaa2919_ScreenShot2018-03-07at08_48_41.png.3ec0fc743ff3b62e1bf70348eb98d52f.png IWB with defend duty in a team with an attacking mentality

5a9fac5f6faca_ScreenShot2018-03-07at08_47_17.png.3344a47333909faaed2f8e1a36747230.png IWB with support duty in a team with a counter mentality

On 23/02/2018 at 15:37, herne79 said:

The overall plan here is to use the inherent forward thinking profile of the Attacking mentality in combination with appropriate roles and duties to help manage the risk (ref. all those Fullback mentality bar graphs above).  I stress "in combination with" because the two are intrinsically linked.  It's a partnership.

 

My 4-4-1-1 uses an attacking duty, a structured shape and 5 team instructions: Retain Possession; Play Out Of Defence; Work Ball Into Box; Use Offside Trap; Prevent Short GK Distribution.  Okay, so I am only six games into a proper save with Lazio but I wanted to post because we are achieving decent possession percentages and carving out plenty of real goal scoring opportunities.  I also wanted to give this thread a little bump because, if you get it right, this can be a really fun and rewarding way to play FM.

5a9faccc168d2_ScreenShot2018-03-07at08_41_04.thumb.png.22b4f0fa3e3c0f74c0475507be036f8c.png

My Lazio team have the second highest possession average and the third highest number of completed passes... we have also created more clear cut chances than any other team in the division.  Our attacking mentality also encourages a quick tempo to our passing - this is not possession for possession’s sake, which I think was the point of this thread and the original by @Cleon

CC707962-CCE6-47B7-B02F-DDBC30D85E8A.thumb.png.5df957124005814f26b4c0f762abcb4a.png F7CD8376-6377-403C-91EF-4C8650A07775.thumb.png.4b830e4560e20dbcd632f21e89cb2063.png

Edited by Pompey_Dan

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Nice thread very helpfull. I try to recreate Milan Diamond ans I think that it coulb beaucoup a good start for the possession part. 

@Rashidi do you think that the lowblock that you explain on YouTube could be added on this attacking/retain possession way in order to get both fast Milan counter attack and possession game ?

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46 minutes ago, Pompey_Dan said:

The earlier iterations of my 4-4-1-1 tactic utilised 2/3 players on a defensive duty,  6/7 on a support duty and 1 on an attacking duty (an AMC); I found the team lacked variation, predominately attacked down the middle and relied too heavily the AMC to provide the goals.  It was only when I made a few changes that I struck upon a balance that I was happy with - trading a little possession for greater attacking intent.

Spot on :thup:.  You can tippy tap the ball around all day long, but goals are what matters.

48 minutes ago, Pompey_Dan said:

5a9fabcaa2919_ScreenShot2018-03-07at08_48_41.png.3ec0fc743ff3b62e1bf70348eb98d52f.png IWB with defend duty in a team with an attacking mentality

5a9fac5f6faca_ScreenShot2018-03-07at08_47_17.png.3344a47333909faaed2f8e1a36747230.png IWB with support duty in a team with a counter mentality

It's great you're looking at the player mentality.  So many people ignore this yet it's one of the most important factors (imo) when building and balancing a system.  Good job.

Gotta love the bar graphs too :D.

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@herne79 forgive me if i have missed this point but, the MENTALITY bar... what is it actually telling me? how mental my player is? :p 

 

Seriously though is it telling me how much my player is likely to attack? 

I do ok at tactic building, and i have won quite a lot on CM/FM over the years but I rarely check what the mentality is, especially when my players are doing what or close to what i want.

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1 hour ago, craigd84 said:

@herne79 forgive me if i have missed this point but, the MENTALITY bar... what is it actually telling me? how mental my player is? :p 

 

Seriously though is it telling me how much my player is likely to attack? 

I do ok at tactic building, and i have won quite a lot on CM/FM over the years but I rarely check what the mentality is, especially when my players are doing what or close to what i want.

I don't really check it either, as long as you understand what overall mentality does and how shape redistributes that between the lines you're all good.

Edited by NabsKebabs

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6 hours ago, craigd84 said:

@herne79 forgive me if i have missed this point but, the MENTALITY bar... what is it actually telling me? how mental my player is? :p 

 

Seriously though is it telling me how much my player is likely to attack? 

I do ok at tactic building, and i have won quite a lot on CM/FM over the years but I rarely check what the mentality is, especially when my players are doing what or close to what i want.

Do you have to look at the mentality bar?  No, but it's a useful tool if you want to better understand how your player may behave on the pitch and how it may balance with the rest of your chosen roles.  Personally I rarely look at it these days but only because I have the experience now.

What does it tell you?  For me the main thing is it can define how willing a player may be to get forward and thus how it may affect his transitional play.  A role/duty with a lower mentality will be more cautious in venturing forward.  Team Shape isn't the only way to influence transitions.

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17 hours ago, craigd84 said:

@herne79 forgive me if i have missed this point but, the MENTALITY bar... what is it actually telling me? how mental my player is? :p 

 

Seriously though is it telling me how much my player is likely to attack? 

I do ok at tactic building, and i have won quite a lot on CM/FM over the years but I rarely check what the mentality is, especially when my players are doing what or close to what i want.

Mentality tells a lot about how a player is going to play. A player with more attacking mentality positions higher, makes more forward runs, looks to pass the ball forward more often, is more aggressive going into challenges and so on. It basically affects everything, and you can use it in combination with other instructions. For example, if you want a player who constantly makes aggressive runs forward from midfield, you can put him on an attack duty (this increases mentality compared to a support duty). However, if you think the player is not a good passer and you don't want him to look for though balls as much, as higher mentality encourages players to look for more decisive passes as well, you can put him on shorter and/or less risky passing.

It's not really necessary to always look at the player mentalities though. For example, central midfielders on any role have the same mentality if they are on an attack duty (e.g. CM/A, MEZ/A, AP/A all have the same mentality). Same goes for other positions as well. The three things that (can) effect player mentality are team mentality, player's duty and team shape.

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Great addition and explanation.

With a DM on Defend, you can afford to have two more involved fullbacks, especially in possession based system.

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On 16/03/2018 at 17:26, yonko said:

Great addition and explanation.

With a DM on Defend, you can afford to have two more involved fullbacks, especially in possession based system.

It's still really risky though, as center backs in FM are really bad at covering the wide areas. Your center is secure, but they might still break through the flanks if you are not careful. I always start with supporting fullbacks rather than attacking ones when I play 4-3-3 and whenever I switch one to attacking they tend to get caught out of position on the counter quite often. Hence Herne balances this out using a counter mentality - with an attacking mentality he might leak a lot of goals through the wings.

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6 hours ago, juusal said:

It's still really risky though, as center backs in FM are really bad at covering the wide areas. Your center is secure, but they might still break through the flanks if you are not careful. I always start with supporting fullbacks rather than attacking ones when I play 4-3-3 and whenever I switch one to attacking they tend to get caught out of position on the counter quite often. Hence Herne balances this out using a counter mentality - with an attacking mentality he might leak a lot of goals through the wings.

You can still use Carrileros if you're worried about exposing the flanks. Thats what I do with a 433. Get one or two Carrileros out wide and that allows my Regista and FBs to create havoc

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15 hours ago, juusal said:

It's still really risky though, as center backs in FM are really bad at covering the wide areas. Your center is secure, but they might still break through the flanks if you are not careful. I always start with supporting fullbacks rather than attacking ones when I play 4-3-3 and whenever I switch one to attacking they tend to get caught out of position on the counter quite often. Hence Herne balances this out using a counter mentality - with an attacking mentality he might leak a lot of goals through the wings.

By "supporting fullbacks" do you mean FB-S or WB-S?

Playing Attacking mentality is more risky by nature anyway. 

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7 hours ago, yonko said:

By "supporting fullbacks" do you mean FB-S or WB-S?

Playing Attacking mentality is more risky by nature anyway. 

FB/S. WB/S have get further forward and they are more aggressive anyway.

 

16 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

You can still use Carrileros if you're worried about exposing the flanks. Thats what I do with a 433. Get one or two Carrileros out wide and that allows my Regista and FBs to create havoc

Sure, but they still aren't as good as DM or CM/D on the side of the fullback. Of course there are ways to improve the coverage down the flanks, my point is that no other role can fill in the role of a fullback consistently/effectively so having attacking fullbacks is risky regardless. Hence I only use them if chasing a goal or if my other roles and team mentality compliment them.

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On 3/18/2018 at 13:50, juusal said:

FB/S. WB/S have get further forward and they are more aggressive anyway.

I know. That's why I asked.

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Great thread, joined specifically to say excellent job with it.

Just a question: Is there a difference between ticking retain possession with mixed passing or just playing with short passing? The passing length bar seems to end up around the same spot, so I'm just wondering whether one has additional byproducts or are they essentially the same?

Thanks.

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On ‎22‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 07:29, LooseFirstTouch said:

Great thread, joined specifically to say excellent job with it.

Just a question: Is there a difference between ticking retain possession with mixed passing or just playing with short passing? The passing length bar seems to end up around the same spot, so I'm just wondering whether one has additional byproducts or are they essentially the same?

Thanks.

Welcome to the forum :).

Retain Possession reduces tempo, passing length and through balls (aka risky passes).

Shorter Passing reduces passing length and tempo.

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I don't really have a lot to add to the thread as such, I just wanted to thank you for your efforts in these kind of threads. I still look back on some of your previous threads, the 4-4-2 one, and the complete complete club strategy are still go to threads for me, when I am struggling for inspiration. I have to admit, I have struggled with FM18 more than any other version so far. The key is always to know what you want to do and stick to that plan, adjusting little at a time, so you can see changes. I have actually ruined one long term save by moving away from this, I reminded myself of a few managers who have managed my club, who just tried all different things in the hope something might work.  Despite the fact I'm not really interested in using the formation you have chosen this time, I have taken some nuggets of gold from the thread anyway.

The fine balancing acts to get things to work how you want, and the fact the AI appear to be quicker to react this time, makes it challenging (for me at least) but the feeling when you get it all to come together is why I still play the game.

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8 hours ago, herne79 said:

Welcome to the forum :).

Retain Possession reduces passing length and through balls (aka risky passes).

Shorter Passing reduces passing length and tempo.

Doesn't shorter passing also decrease the width?

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12 minutes ago, yonko said:

Doesn't shorter passing also decrease the width?

A side effect of shorter passing / retain possession is your team is a little more compact (width and depth) when in possession - kick a ball shorter and your players need to be closer to each other.  That's one of the more subtle aspects of @Cleon's original Art of Possession article: using a structured shape and control (or attacking) mentality moved players a little further apart but shorter passing / retain possession brought them closer again.

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I can understand why Shorter Passing brings the team closer, but while the width change is displayed in the TI panel, the depth change is not so that’s poor because most people don’t know about it or they couldn’t guess. Of course it’s not a massive change but it complicates even more the under the hood mechanisms of the game that were only recently displayed in FM (change of mentality for example, which affects a lot of things).

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1 hour ago, herne79 said:

A side effect of shorter passing / retain possession is your team is a little more compact (width and depth) when in possession - kick a ball shorter and your players need to be closer to each other.  That's one of the more subtle aspects of @Cleon's original Art of Possession article: using a structured shape and control (or attacking) mentality moved players a little further apart but shorter passing / retain possession brought them closer again.

That's why I asked because I remembered his thread on the subject. I also think there is something else about Retain Possession that is specific and hidden. 

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4 hours ago, yonko said:

That's why I asked because I remembered his thread on the subject. I also think there is something else about Retain Possession that is specific and hidden. 

Retain possession reduces risky passes (or through balls) which isn't directly visible on the TI screen. And of course reduces passing length and tempo.

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