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herne79

Tactical Challenges #1: The Poacher

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^ If there's anything curios in there and worth watching it's surely rather how West Brom managed to get 2nd first season, rather than what's happened thereafter, imo though, which is only to be expected rather than a big time struggle. The exceptional thing is the first season, so the second can only be a perceived struggle. That's borderlining 3 goals per match with one of the poorest squads in the league. That said, it certainly is likely connected to how AI on this operates. Starting to not gift space anymore based on reputation, which goes up a big deal with such an overachievement, and only then keeping it tighter so that it may be harder to score. In real football, managers may have adapted a bit differently to the situation at hand.

Edited by Svenc

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6 hours ago, Rashidi said:

 

Everything is clear to me, expect the last colum in the excel sheet. How does the formula work to get a % of the Good Shots Indicator

It's a nice way to work though, this way you learn more about the game and help why you can't preform. Something I struggled with allot and still am. 

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2 hours ago, Rooks said:

Everything is clear to me, expect the last colum in the excel sheet. How does the formula work to get a % of the Good Shots Indicator

It's a nice way to work though, this way you learn more about the game and help why you can't preform. Something I struggled with allot and still am. 

I really should relabel those last 2 columns. GCI should be for the Shots inside the box, and GCI Weighted should be for Good Shots inside the box/Total shots

 

*edit* I have since revised the last column, its now purely a check on proportion of good shots to all shots inside the box, excluding set piece routines.

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11 hours ago, Rashidi said:

I am not suggesting that people follow my methodology, this is a large amount of work, which requires you to go through each and every match,


The game should do that, as managers have far better stuff here than what the game has on offer -- and they have a few education and years of experience, rather than ranting and raving about every second crap. :D Heck, it's slowly starting to enter the concious of mainstream TV audiences. I can't take the numbers of FM seriously, no less as they don't even make the most simplistic distinctions possible, like attempts from open play, set pieces -- and counter attacks. This affects far more, as the post match reports draw heavily from those stats. E.g. once a side on FM has more shots, it is either unlucky or wasteful if it doesn't win that match according to the post match reports. I've watched a load of FM matches through the years, I've often approached matches with the intentions of (successfully) forcing oppositions to worse attempts, sitting deep and soaking them all up fairly easily -- and can only still conclude that's just insane. If you factor into this that the text commentary is treated as objective "gospel" oft too, when it's clearly SI's successful attempt at mimicing sensationalist punditry -- it's a bit of a  mess. :D "HOW DID HE MISS THAT?" Because it's not hard to do, that's how.

Edited by Svenc

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14 minutes ago, Svenc said:

The game should do that

No the game shouldn't, you don't go to clubs and find that is the case either. The methodology is new and even at different clubs the emphasis is different. It's something that comes with experience and knowledge. The information is in the game, its up to the individual manager to choose whats important to them. In any field of study you have statistical analysis, but different people will always read different metrics differently. This thread however is not meant to discuss that and we shouldn't derail it any further.

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7 hours ago, Rashidi said:

I really should relabel those last 2 columns. GCI should be for the Shots inside the box, and GCI Weighted should be for Good Shots inside the box/Total shots

 

*edit* I have since revised the last column, its now purely a check on proportion of good shots to all shots inside the box, excluding set piece routines.

I made a sheet just like yours to test it out. First match of the pre-season was a 3-4 victory. Without looking at anything, I would say: ''Improve my defence without sacrificing attack and we are looking solid. '' 

After that I am looking at our shots/shots on goal and that of our rivals. 19-7 (37%) for us against the 8-3 (38%) for them. With my minimum on 50% on target, that's a problem we need to solve.

Going in to your sheet and creating the GCI and GCIW, I would say we are looking alright. 11 shots are ISB and our GCI is 58%. When I looked over our shots and had the indicator from Stats Bomb (link) next to me, I came to the conclusion. We were horrible with only 11% in our GCIW box.  

Conclusion, you really helped me look deeper in to the game and using stuff to my advantage that the game gives with a mix of your own findings. 

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Second season as predicted was a lot more tricky, however I stuck to my guns and used the same tactic again without any changes since the start of the first season. The goal was to qualify for europe, but getting to the first knock out stages even in an easy group is quite the feat for my squad.  

Rondon playing as poacher again was my top scorer bagging 29 in all competitions this time. 

I have brought in Pinamonti now, so a much better player will hopefully give us a much better return :D

European Champions Cup_ Overview Stages-3.png

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Playing as Arsenal in Season 1 and Aubameyang has been killing it in my 4-2-3-1.

Just received a bunch of awards:

World Player of the yeay

Nominated for FIFA World 11

BBC African Footballer of the year

CAN Footballer of the year

Nominated for African 11

CAF Striker of the year.

 

He's at 15(2) matches played with 19 goals scored. Was injured for 6 weeks.

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52 minutes ago, PequenoGenio said:

Could this set-up work?

Can you give some advice to improve it?

4001c4856e8e2ee75eed736d074e6ac0.png

The best way is to watch matches yourself and see what's going wrong or right. However I don't think the Poacher will be getting much service, with a SS looking to get beyond him and two wingers cutting inside rather than providing him service. Also 6 attack duties is a tad much for a Standard mentality.

Playing with a Winger (S/A) could provide you a different route of attacking, and make one of the fullbacks a support duty for balance. Also Lower Tempo + Sort Passing could be very slow, perhaps too slow build up play. Also making Gribbin a AM (S) or a role looking to provide for the Poacher will be helpful for making him score more goals, especially since he's one of the best creative players around! 

Edited by FlairRA
advice

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1 hour ago, PequenoGenio said:

Could this set-up work?

Can you give some advice to improve it?

4001c4856e8e2ee75eed736d074e6ac0.png

 

I'm not saying those roles and duties can't work, but they are interesting.  It's basically a 4-4-2 set up in shape, I feel you are going to get awfully exposed with such attacking duties.  It would be helpful if you could explain your reasoning behind choosing what you have,  so we know what you are trying to achieve. 

I'm confused by the team instructions, it doesn't look a set up to play a low tempo short passing game to me, but only you can know what you are trying to do.

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Me and the Viola have unfinished business. Going to go on the old database (Khouma Babacar and Ianis Hagi still kicking around) and try build a working 4231. Watch this space...

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On 23/03/2018 at 14:44, herne79 said:

If you want to go down that road, consider individual player mentality and what you can use to influence that.

So, sorry to bother you with a double-quote. I'm just wondering if you mean tinkering with team instructions etc. I rarely mess about with that, too many instructions ruin the soup.

 

Anyway, I was thinking on this recently, how to utilise a poacher as the lone forward, and thought about cheating it really; If I worked 'backwards', as in start from upfront rather than from the defence... I'd do something like this:

 

Up top: The poacher (duh), as it's a requirement.

 

In the midfield:

 

An Inside Forward, on support. This is my 'cheat' really, since technically that makes it a two-striker set up. Then back in the midfield strata: An advanced playmaker (support) alongside a B2B (support), with an MR - not sure what to use here, I guess winger actually, to stretch the play.

 

So, the idea is that the playmaker, being the ball magnet is in a position to dictate the game. A pass should be on via either the IF or the Poacher, and alternatively the B2B who should be mobile enough that he can either hang about in the middle or move up with play, or in rare cases be ahead of play along the right hand-central side. And then the winger is that long ball, switch of play option who hangs out so far right that he offers a straightforward direct option that could cross for the poacher, or alternatively the late arrivals of the IF and B2B. 

 

I debated on a DLP over an AP, and may need to watch some matches on that, but my thoughts were he needs to be up in the more dangerous areas, unless I'm playing more direct.

 

Behind that midfield:

 

A plain Jane, DM - This is to hold things down a bit, and to allow the front two midfielders more freedom to get forward and do their own thing. 

 

Then a Wing Back (support, probably), CD/CD, Full back. The wing back is to be the 'extra' passing option out wide, and backwards alongside the DM really - the 'out' passes. I suppose, I could probably be riskier with that WB, but I'm not very ruthless in terms of aggression to be quite honest with you, but I'm thinking he doesn't need to be shooting up the field, just providing another passing option, *and* getting forward when the space opens up.

The full back on the other end is there to backup the winger, who I think, I would put on attack duty so he can do his own thing safe in the knowledge that he has a fullback to clean up after him if things go wrong.

 

That's how I've thought about things. Maybe, too 'safe' on the role selection, maybe it's not very logical, it sort of makes sense in my head really. I'm not entirely sure about the instructions or mentality side of things though, not really my forte. I might test this out sometime, once I get a new save going. :)

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On 09/03/2018 at 15:24, Jambo98 said:

 

15a9ced696dbc1702f0c64fc9d9ff98e.png

This is my backup / rotation / 2nd choice poacher. His anticipation is lower than i would like, but i chose him mainly because i am intrigued by the player trait "Static Target Man" - Obviously the name immediately makes you think TM not P, but iirc this very same trait was previously known as "stays in side the opposing box" or "Penalty Box Player" (I could be wrong on that). Either way, an individual player trait should not influence how the rest of the team chooses to feed him, so i am really curious as to how he will play out. 

 

How did this guy work out for you? Did you find the trait beneficial? 

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yep. it looks abit strange. he appears to play deeper then stay there instead of staying in and around the box

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On ‎07‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 16:57, isignedupfornorealreason said:

I'm just wondering if you mean tinkering with team instructions etc. I rarely mess about with that, too many instructions ruin the soup.

Nope - Team Shape & Mentality, not Team Instructions ;).

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I also just switched to a 442 with a poacher upfront based on the limitations of my best striker. However, the F9 is absolutely not behaving as described in the tactics screen. I often find him almost on par with my poacher despite him having the PPM "Comes Deep to Get the Ball". So I decided to move him back into the AMC as a Trequartista.

Has anybody else had the same issue with his F9 or DLF(s)?

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5 minutes ago, Saris said:

I also just switched to a 442 with a poacher upfront based on the limitations of my best striker. However, the F9 is absolutely not behaving as described in the tactics screen. I often find him almost on par with my poacher despite him having the PPM "Comes Deep to Get the Ball". So I decided to move him back into the AMC as a Trequartista.

Has anybody else had the same issue with his F9 or DLF(s)?

 

Yes, defensive forward is much the same, they don't drop as deep, as often as I'd like, it's still workable, and creates space in a different way, but I think you need to make the change you already have, if you want a player who plays in a deeper position.

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41 minutes ago, Saris said:

I also just switched to a 442 with a poacher upfront based on the limitations of my best striker. However, the F9 is absolutely not behaving as described in the tactics screen. I often find him almost on par with my poacher despite him having the PPM "Comes Deep to Get the Ball". So I decided to move him back into the AMC as a Trequartista.

Has anybody else had the same issue with his F9 or DLF(s)?

No mine dropping deep even without added PPM. Make sure that you are playing with at least structured mentally if you want all your players to play as their role describes

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54 minutes ago, Saris said:

I also just switched to a 442 with a poacher upfront based on the limitations of my best striker. However, the F9 is absolutely not behaving as described in the tactics screen. I often find him almost on par with my poacher despite him having the PPM "Comes Deep to Get the Ball". So I decided to move him back into the AMC as a Trequartista.

Has anybody else had the same issue with his F9 or DLF(s)?

No harm at all moving him back to the AMC position, I do this myself at times.  Remember, the "442" (or indeed any formation) is just a label and chalk board formation.  What is far more important is how your players move on the pitch and if you find a 442 with one of the "2" at AMC gives you the movement on the pitch you want then 100% go for it.

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2 hours ago, Saris said:

I also just switched to a 442 with a poacher upfront based on the limitations of my best striker. However, the F9 is absolutely not behaving as described in the tactics screen. I often find him almost on par with my poacher despite him having the PPM "Comes Deep to Get the Ball". So I decided to move him back into the AMC as a Trequartista.

Has anybody else had the same issue with his F9 or DLF(s)?

Yeah, I don't like how the F9 or DLF-S don't drop deep enough.

AMC - Trequartista and ST - Poacher is a devastating combo up front.

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb crusadertsar:

No mine dropping deep even without added PPM. Make sure that you are playing with at least structured mentally if you want all your players to play as their role describes

With "at least", do you mean either structured or highly structured or do you mean: structured or higher shapes?

Edited by Saris

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28 minutes ago, Saris said:

With "at least", do you mean either structured or highly structured or do you mean: structured or higher shapes?

 

Personally, I think that advice is wrong. Structured would make the striker less likely to drop back (imo) As the players enter less phases of play. I have been using structured, and my defensive forward definitely stays forwards, more than he drops back, not saying he never does, but not like I expected. For the maximum effect, if we are talking team shapes, I would say Flexible is your best bet, but... I wouldn't expect it to make that much difference.

 

As said above, nothing wrong with using the AMC slot if it gives you what you want/need.

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23 hours ago, herne79 said:

Nope - Team Shape & Mentality, not Team Instructions ;).

Oh, then I absolutely wouldn't have a clue. I stick to standard/flexible and that's it. My head goes wobbly when getting into the specifics of team shape! And staying on standard seems safer for my sanity. :)

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3 hours ago, Saris said:

With "at least", do you mean either structured or highly structured or do you mean: structured or higher shapes?

I meant highly structured or structured 

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3 hours ago, Torskus77 said:

 

Personally, I think that advice is wrong. Structured would make the striker less likely to drop back (imo) As the players enter less phases of play. I have been using structured, and my defensive forward definitely stays forwards, more than he drops back, not saying he never does, but not like I expected. For the maximum effect, if we are talking team shapes, I would say Flexible is your best bet, but... I wouldn't expect it to make that much difference.

 

As said above, nothing wrong with using the AMC slot if it gives you what you want/need.

Structured does make a difference when you use specific roles that are hardcoded to drop deep like false 9 or DLF. In my experience playing on fluid makes all the roles act more like Jacks-of-all-trade. So poacher will just act like complete forward trying to go back and help in transition while dlf will spend as much time near penalty area as he will in midfield. Which is what I don't want from them. I want players to stick to their roles only

Edited by crusadertsar

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Just now, crusadertsar said:

Structured does make a difference when you use specific roles that are hardcoded to drop deep like false 9 or DLF. In my experience playing on fluid makes all the roles act more like Jacks-of-all-trade. So poacher will just act like complete forward trying to go back and help in transition while dlf will spend as much time near penalty as he will in midfield. Which is what I don't want from them. I want players to stick to their roles only

 

Fluid will do that yes, but my take on structured was players were more likely to stick to their positional role, for example "Forwards are only responsible for the attacking phase" Not saying they wont drop deep, but I would imagine flexible would be the one to choose.

 

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23 minutes ago, Torskus77 said:

 

Fluid will do that yes, but my take on structured was players were more likely to stick to their positional role, for example "Forwards are only responsible for the attacking phase" Not saying they wont drop deep, but I would imagine flexible would be the one to choose.

 

But in flexible I believe attacking forwards will still help with transition (as in description) which is what I don't want my poacher to do.

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So I decided to have another stab at this, with the same club - Fiorentina - but on the original database. No outrageous deal to sell Babacar for me! 

The starting squad basically remained the starting squad - I signed a free backup gk, Xabi Irureta, with the intention of loaning Dragowski but nobody came in so he became my u20s / cup goalkeeper whilst Irureta sat on the bench losing match sharpness. 

Tactically - last time my attempts to get a Roma 2000-01-esque Treq-2 strikers partnership with 3 at the back working eventually failed disastrously, so this time I decided to go for something more ordinary, but one that I haven't actually made myself since FM16 - a 4231. We started out with a Control mentality, Trequartista behind the striker and wingers / inside forwards depending which players played there. After an abysmal start changed to Attacking, then later dropped the CMs into the DM strata before finally changing my DLP to a RGA giving us this:

5acbeefdc1de0_ScreenShot2018-04-09at23_53_34.thumb.png.a6d511ebe817a96cf967286deba403c8.png 

Attacking / Flexible, Retain Possession, Whipped Crosses

I left the wings blank as depending who plays there I could have W-W, W-IF, IF-W or IF-IF - all about playing players in roles they're most suited for, and it mostly works although often my left-wing player is the lowest rated in the match. So, to the criteria of the challenge: 

1) Meet / Exceed your pre-season media prediction. Predicted: 7th Result: 11th FAIL

2) Meet / Exceed board expectations. Expectations: mid-table finish, QF in the cup. Result: mid-table finish, semi-finals in the cup SUCCESS

3) Poacher to end season as top goalscorer. I had three poachers. The club scored 64 goals in all competitions. 14 off set pieces which is pretty good. My poachers scored 26 of those, with Babacar (15) top scorer, followed by Simeone (8) with Giuseppe Rossi scoring 3 (a hat-trick and then nothing but not entirely his fault). SUCCESS

 

Interestingly I actually finished 9 points and 1 position lower than my last attempt, although in that one it was a Pardew-esque season of two halves, so I'm hoping as I continue to tweak this will lead to further improvement and a success on all three criteria for 2018-19. 

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Well, I've clearly been playing far too much FM as I've finished my 2nd season! 

The tactic:

5aceb8991e57d_ScreenShot2018-04-12at02_38_14.thumb.png.e4ceba28c30ddac18282a123451f7dfc.png

I only came up with this in the last three games of my first season, but boy was I on to something!

We lost in the cup to Juventus in a mad 5-3 where Higuain somehow managed to incorporate Mega Evolution from Pokémon into FM and turned on Messi mode - just one of those ones where you feel completely helpless to intervene and help your team. In the league...

5aceb8a175d7a_losetheleaguetoan89thminuteequaliser.thumb.png.891e4c22fd9cae3a26c9fccabc4248b0.png

We led Juve on head-to-head (beat them home and away) but Rafa Benitez was so thrilled at escaping Newcastle he decided to spoil our party. Anyway, to those challenge criteria!

1) Meet / Exceed your pre-season media prediction. Predicted: 7th / Result: 2nd SUCCESS

2) Meet / Exceed your board expectations. Expectations: EURO Cup qual, Coppa QF / Result: 2nd, 1st round (but accept we had a hard draw) SUCCESS

3) Your Poacher should end the season as your top goalscorer. Babacar hit 22 in 25 starts to rank 2nd overall in the league and Simeone hit 16 in 17 starts. Chiesa (33 starts, 11 goals, 17 assists) was MVP but yeah I count this as SUCCESS

So as I count that as the completion of the challenge I'll no longer update here unless I do something ridiculous like win the treble. One last thing: I was really happy in the variation of the goals my Poachers scored - we were playing a possession tactic so there were some lovely team moves, but at the same time the Poacher's willingness to be constantly off the shoulder of the last man also meant we could go much more direct, especially with Simeone's "likes to beat offside trap" ppm. Some examples:

5acebb8df1b6f_11.25SimeonevsNapoli.thumb.png.7cb1e4c39f01330f76b6d669a40e4d48.png

A wonderful team goal with 9 players involved - only the RCB and LW missing.

5acebc39a9797_2.23SimeonevsRoma(1).thumb.png.1c06bbd7c0e6def28ded589af03ca671.png

Here my left back wins it back and plays it over the top for the poacher, who pings it out wide in order to get back to what he does best...which he succeeds at.

5acebc6b948de_3.24BabacarvsPescara.thumb.png.cc906d8a75eaeb82999652c0a4f3b841.png

I just like this one because it goes straight from a throw in. Incredibly frustrating when you concede one like this (so much so there's a thread about it) but we scored enough goals like this that I didn't mind that much.

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@herne79 cheers! Yeah I definitely benefited from sticking to my guns as opposed to last time with all the constant chopping and changing. Better for squad building too.

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On 3/25/2018 at 03:40, FlairRA said:

I always enjoy going for Messi-esque stats in FM, so I went back to my Dortmund save (FM17 in 2060) and made a few tweaks to make the central striker score EVEN MORE, as he's scored 103 and 91 in the previous two seasons. It was in a 3-striker tactic but obviously that doesn't work for this challenge so I decided to play wingers out wide, and creative CM's in the middle, all to do one thing: supply the poacher! It's working fantastic so far, he's scored 24(!) in only 6 games since the changes were made, far more than before. He's got "Shoot More Often" ticked too, I feel like the other two strikers before were stealing his glory a bit, now it's all about him! 

image.thumb.png.db70c866ecaf60008e736be2fb891787.png

image.thumb.png.179fc750d2b62becc4c948a3acf7f326.png

I'll try this with another team, maybe Liverpool or Inter, because this obviously a bit exaggerated by being in 2060 with world class players. The Poacher role is easily my favorite though, you can score so much! 

This is interesting because I often struggle with poacher roles with only 1 striker/2 wingers as the forward is a bit too isolated (I almost always use DF or DLF now haha).  Although your formation in general looks interesting and I'm curious to experiment with something similar.

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So been slowly chugging along with an Arsenal save trying out the poacher. This will likely be my long term save, hence going a bit slow investing time in most aspects of the game. 

The plan was to have Auba as a poacher and Lacazette as a DLFs/CFs. 

Performance wise, from a long term save it has been a huge success. My first proper attempt at a 4-4-2 and we are quite simply rolling. However, on the tactical challenge front, it is far more touch and go right now. Both strikers have simply been brilliant! Its neck and neck half way through the first season between the two forwards. 

The total tactic off the top of my head is:

GK

WBR-CD-CD-FBL

DMS-VOLa

WPs---------Wa

CFs-Pa

Standard/Flexible with a pressing setup. 

Occasionally tweak the tempo and passing length depending on how well we are using the ball. 

Will have a more detailed update when I am at home and the season has progressed some more. 

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Just wanted throw in some things I've seen when using a Poacher or Advanced Forward. Feel free to question my thoughts - I am no FM tactical expert. 

Playing with an attacking mentality and a structured shape - the poacher/advanced forward is offside a lot! I'm not sure changing shape to be more fluid would help as the mentality of the poacher would remain very high. Would this suggest a Poacher would benefit from using a less attacking mentality to reduce being caught offside? 

On a similar theme but a different angle - a lower mentality might invite the opposition's defensive line further forward allowing the Poacher to run into the space in behind. I've found trying to use a Poacher against very cautious teams difficult as there is simply no space for the Poacher to work in. 

I'm mostly playing with Man Utd at the moment (boring i know) to test tactical thinking etc. As a general rule I have found using more cautious mentalities very dangerous! They become so passive to the point where weaker teams on paper tend to dominate. Therefore I have become resigned to using more attacking mentalities to make sure this doesn't happen. As a result I am tending to use a lot of support duties in forward positions because their individual mentalities are already very high. No room for the Poacher...

What do you guys think?

 

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One thing I'm curious about: could the Poacher role be used on a more static player? I'm talking about those Target Man sort of players: excellent finishers, strong in the air but not fast nor that technical. Look for Bas Dost from SCP as an example. Since the Target Man role has some big cons attached to it, could a Poacher be used? (given that he has the right support)

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4 hours ago, FMWolf said:

One thing I'm curious about: could the Poacher role be used on a more static player? I'm talking about those Target Man sort of players: excellent finishers, strong in the air but not fast nor that technical. Look for Bas Dost from SCP as an example. Since the Target Man role has some big cons attached to it, could a Poacher be used? (given that he has the right support)

I don't see a reason why not. It all depends on the set up and the service provided to the Poacher. He could be a great penalty box player who feeds off crosses and passes inside the area, rather than someone who breaks behind defense for through balls with his pace. That penalty box Poacher can be very useful against sides who sit deep and defend in numbers, actually. 

Deferent poacher have different qualities, which you can take advantage of with the correct set up. If I remember correctly, Bas Dost was great when playing with KDB behind him.

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@yonko Yeah, I have to try it! Maybe an AMC behind, one W-A on one side and one WB-A on the other to provide for him. And yes, Bas Dost is very effective. Since joining Sporting, he has 58 goals in 56 appearances!

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22 minutes ago, FMWolf said:

@yonko Yeah, I have to try it! Maybe an AMC behind, one W-A on one side and one WB-A on the other to provide for him. And yes, Bas Dost is very effective. Since joining Sporting, he has 58 goals in 56 appearances!

I was talking about before he moved there, when he was playing for Wolfsburg with KDB.

Yes, winger on one side and wingback on the other side should be good. Also, someone who can run through the middle with the ball - either IF-S from the side or AMC from the middle.

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I have had a more than successful season with a poacher in a 4-4-2 where my team ended up in the 4th spot of the German Bundesliga whilst being predicted to be relegated. I have to say that this was also down to some big teams struggling (Dortmund, Schalke) and some lucky wins.

What I'm still not liking, however, are my two center midfielders. Currently, I'm using a CM(s) and a CM(d) but it just doesn't look too good. Does anybody know how Atlético Madrid are using their two CMs in real life?

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I just have a go at this challenge as I have not set up any tactics for poacher since FM16 and it is a lot of fun. Here's a bit of sharing:

Club: West Ham

Final Ranking/Seasonal Expectation/Media Prediction: 1st/ qualify for euro cup/ 10th

Team Stats: Rank 1st with 94 points, 111 goals 40 conceded 94 points, 4 draw 4 loss

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Poacher: Javier Hernandez

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Poacher Stat: 33 Appearance 33 goals (3 penalties), 8 assist average rating 7.55, Top Scorer of the league.

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Tactic: 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree

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Here are the thoughts I go for when setting up the tactic:

How to set up a Poacher?

A poacher only wait for chances closer to the goal, does not participate in defense and does not make dribbles. Therefore, the best way I could see to set up a Poacher is to set up a heavily attacking inclined tactic with enough balls being fed to the Poacher in dangerous position. It is not the most efficient way of winning games or playing football, but the poacher's impact is at its maximum.

Why 4-3-2-1 and the respective roles?

There could have been more strikers, but then the chances would be divided between the strikers. To maximize the Poacher's effect, I would play 1 striker.

Since advanced playmaker does not participate in defense, it can ensure they have good positions when attacks initiate, which in turn would feed more chances to the poacher. Since advanced playmaker has inherent ball magnet mechanism, the balls would not go directly to the poacher which is very important due to the fact that Poacher cannot make dribbles and picking up the ball down the field really hurt the poacher's positioning.

Carrilero is used to cover the flanks in defense. Deeplying playmaker has the deepest poistion that I can get from a CM, and I would not put him in the DM poistion since in CM it would push the 2 CAR wider during both attack and defense phase.

I need the crosses (low cross chosen in tactic) to create chaos and I tried out the Full Backs on both Attack and defense duty, and it turned out FB(A) are very noticeable in having better positions to cross whilst the drop in defense is acceptable.

Sweeper keeper is to compensate for the high defensive line.

Why this set of team instructions?

This set up is to compensate for the loss in pressing pressure for playing a Poacher. Therefore to acheive high pressing, Close Down Much More, Use Tighter Markings, Much Higher Defensive Line and Use Offside Trap are chosen. I am not a fan of high pressing but during tests in freindlies, this proves to be most successful based on observations:

- Much Higher Defensive Line actually gives more time than Higher/ Normal Defensive Line for the central defenders to chase back an opposition striker that had ran away

- Use Tighter Markings is neceesary since if it is dropped, too much space are given for opposition to shoot or cross, partly because of 3 front players sacrificed for attack quality

The remaining instruction are to craft out better chances for the Poacher. Attempts on dropping Play Much Wider, Pass Into Space and Work Ball Into Box are made, but without them the resualt are not as good.

Why Atttacking Mentality with Fluid?

Attacking Mentality is for the players to take risks in attempting an attack and this should craft out as much opportunities for the Poacher as possible. Fluid is a balance between Flexible and Very Fluid, whereas I do not want the striker to participate in defense but I also do not want the attacking midfielders to completely gives up pressing.

Advanced Playmakers

Before analysing the Poacher, it needed to be mentioned that the Poacher played well on the basis of the advanced playmakers playing well. If both of the advanced playmakers failed to perform, the Paocher usually would not perform as well. Here are some stats on these players:

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Both Advanced Playmakers played very well during the season, and Lanzini has the most assists in the league. 

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Both of them on the top of Chances Created and Key Passes charts of the league.

Poacher Analysis for Javier Hernandez:

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56% on target ratio is just a little bit above average for non-AI tactic. Goal Conversion rate 18.4% (57/201) is above my expectation. However I don't see this as a success by sheer ability of the Poacher, it is just the whole tactic crafting out enough chances for the Poacher and he converted them at an average rate. If the tactic crafted out more chances than the opponenet then this whole machine just starts winning games.

83% passing rate hugely exceeds my expectation. For the position that a Poacher should be in I expect him to lose possession more often, the expected rate should be less than 75%. I think this is the benefit of having the whole team pushingup, including the full backs, to give the Poacher a lot of easy passing options. Since Poacher has the fewer risky passes option PI preselected, it can be gurantted that the Poacher will not lose possesion too often.

This is the goals scored location for the whole team (could not get a single player version):

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AS expected, most goals are converted in the box with the Poacher's existence. After a bit of grouping Hernandez's goals, the goals usually comes in three ways:

Type 1/ Running on the back of the offside trap

Type 2/ Receiving a pass in the box and convert it

Type 3/ Converting a cross

Ending Words

After finishing this challenge, my understanding was that Poacher takes dedicated effort to run in a tactic, because of its small play area, minimal defensive and pressing effort, and its lack of creativity. Comparing to the efficiency of other tactics that I have set up, Poacher is not an effective way of winning football matches, but it certainly is a fun way to get the most out of a star player.

P.S. I really think that this challenge is a very good way to gather a lot of  information from others on a specific topic in one go. Can we have more of this kind of challenges? Does not even have to be role specific. Could be TI or PI specific.

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@moolochicken Great write up there, thanks for taking the time and glad you've found it fun :thup:.

34 minutes ago, moolochicken said:

Can we have more of this kind of challenges?

I'll be starting a new one soon :).

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Nothing really to add other than I'm so thankful for this thread, I've been playing a 4-3-3 with two outright wingers and a poacher through the middle and am having a lot more success than my usual DLF-s with inside forwards. The poacher really isn't as limited as I thought it'd be

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Goddamnit. I looked into this thread earlier today and been brewing an idea for a Christmas Tree formation. :D It's a different idea though, so let's see if it works...

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