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fidelitywars

No key passes, no completed dribbles, no chances

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Hi all,

Hoping somebody can help pull me out of the swamp here - as the title suggests, i’m playing dull, unadventurous, stultifying...yet somehow successful football in my first season at Hamburg (part of the issue is likely the ludicrously negative approach of all my opponents...).

Anyway, i’ve tried several variants of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, all of which have resulting in the same pattern - dominance of possession, loads of shots (mostly from range and worryingly, largely from my playmaker), very few genuine ‘chances’ and an entirely ineffectual centre forward.

Currently playing the below - which swept all aside in FM18 but is winning in an elephant man-ygly style only now:

Formatting will dreadful on my phone but this is in a 4-1-2-2 (one each flank) - 1 formation. The game interprets it as ‘4-1-4-1 dm wide.’

SK (support)

Wb (su)   Cd (def)  Cb (def)  Wb (su)

Dlp (def)

Rpm (su)   Mez (Att)

If (att)              Ap (su)

Cf (su)

Playing vertical tiki-taka with a positive mentality lower tempo, play out of defence, work ball into box and be more expressive as my only in possession instructions.

Out of possession, i’ve gone for  take short kicks, dist to cbs, counter and counter-press.

I’m using a higher line, higher line of engagement, extremely urgent press and prevent gk dist.

What I want is for the advanced playmaker to drift inside to become my key creator, making chances not only for the complete forward but also the onrushing mezzala as well as the inside forward, with the roaming playmaker always available to receive the ball and the dlp receiving from and patrolling in front of the defence. Not at all interested in attacking through the full-backs and instead want goals from through-balls and passing moves.

Despite my whinging, i’m top of the league having won each of my 12 games, conceding only 2 but scoring just 15 - most of which have been from set-plays or direct free-kicks (i’ve scored 3 of the latter; unprecented ratio for FM!).

Anyway, any suggestions as to how to break down massed defences and any daft errors i’m making, please speak up!

Edited by fidelitywars
Poorly explained issue

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Further to the above, something I find especially frustrating is that roaming playmaker and advanced playmaker both have an obscene number of stupid long shots every game; doubtless i’ll be told it’s my tactic but in a patient set-up, why aren’t they just ciculating the ball if there is no opening? Both seem almost compulsively adverse to trying positive passes too - especially to my eternally-uninvolved striker. 

So yeah, in short, please help! Bored witless by how this is playing out!

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1 hour ago, fidelitywars said:

Further to the above, something I find especially frustrating is that roaming playmaker and advanced playmaker both have an obscene number of stupid long shots every game; doubtless i’ll be told it’s my tactic but in a patient set-up, why aren’t they just ciculating the ball if there is no opening? Both seem almost compulsively adverse to trying positive passes too - especially to my eternally-uninvolved striker. 

It really is frustrating, isn't it? I mean what I tell myself is that I don't have the roles and combinations right, they aren't creating movement, but when I want them to pass it back, wait for it, not counter (even ticking hold position) and they do the opposite, I too feel helpless. My impression from FM 19 beta and the full release is that crosses are easier blocked, teams are harder to press and players just really like the switch of play, none of which really help my possession game style.

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You are very hard working with the defensive instructions and then slowish in possession.  Due to you suffocating the opposition so much you probably aren't leaving yourself a lot of (attacking) space in which to manoeuvre.  This could be a reason for all those long shots.

Can you pull the block back slightly, make your pressing less intense and still be successful?  If so it may help offensively.

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3 hours ago, Robson 07 said:

You are very hard working with the defensive instructions and then slowish in possession.  Due to you suffocating the opposition so much you probably aren't leaving yourself a lot of (attacking) space in which to manoeuvre.  This could be a reason for all those long shots.

Can you pull the block back slightly, make your pressing less intense and still be successful?  If so it may help offensively.

Thanks for the tip - have pulled the press back a couple of notches and it has indeed reduced the number of stupid long shots. That said, it hasn’t unlocked any creativity; my games remain sterile, joyless affairs and i’m still enormously frustrated.

In fairness, teams that don’t play almost comically defensively against me (Cologne and Bochum) have both been taken apart 3-0 - it just seems staggering simple for poor teams to close out games and defend deep. Played so many games where there’s barely a chance for either team despite my team being very gifted techncally. 

Getting close to just throwing the towel in and hoping a future patch improves creativity - there’s just nothing even vaguely enjoyable about this currently.

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3 hours ago, robot_skeleton said:

It really is frustrating, isn't it? I mean what I tell myself is that I don't have the roles and combinations right, they aren't creating movement, but when I want them to pass it back, wait for it, not counter (even ticking hold position) and they do the opposite, I too feel helpless. My impression from FM 19 beta and the full release is that crosses are easier blocked, teams are harder to press and players just really like the switch of play, none of which really help my possession game style.

Yeah, does seem that way. My full backs are consistently my highest rated players and once again, it seems that wing play and counter-attacking - styles of play I have no interestvin - are the route to success in FM. 

In fairness, I felt similarly when FM18 was released and things did improve with future patches. Hoping for something similar this year; the ME does seem tremendously boring at the moment. 

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At the risk of being accused of "trolling" by certain individuals, I'll tell you what I suppose could be one of your key problems with this tactic (aside from overly aggressive defensive (out of possession) instructions): too many playmakers (DLP, RPM, APM), plus a CF (who is also a sort of quasi-playmaker), too many roaming players (RPM, MEZ, CF) and, on the other hand, virtually nobody to "nail it down" (unless you expect the attacking IF to do the entire job on his own while being surrounded by tight and packed opposition defences).

In short, you need to make the tactic more straightforward, so to speak. In that respect, I also think there is no need for the "Be More Expressive" team instruction, especially with so many "expressive" roles already deployed.

 

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8 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

At the risk of being accused of "trolling" by certain individuals, I'll tell you what I suppose could be one of your key problems with this tactic (aside from overly aggressive defensive (out of possession) instructions): too many playmakers (DLP, RPM, APM), plus a CF (who is also a sort of quasi-playmaker), too many roaming players (RPM, MEZ, CF) and, on the other hand, virtually nobody to "nail it down" (unless you expect the attacking IF to do the entire job on his own while being surrounded by tight and packed opposition defences).

In short, you need to make the tactic more straightforward, so to speak. In that respect, I also think there is no need for the "Be More Expressive" team instruction, especially with so many "expressive" roles already deployed.

 

Yeah, I did wonder that but in previous versions, i’ve found so many non-playmaking roles to be entirely ineffective (ie i’d never play a raumdeuter or wide target man as they’re anathema to the style i’m after). Still, as non these playmaking roles are equally blunt, i’ll have a play around experimenting with less elaborate roles.

Essentially, i’d like to have my wide players staying very wide to allow space for the creative central players and then cut in to play through-balls/one twos or run in behind the defence; i’ve tried both as inside forwards with the ‘stay wider’ instruction but this just seems to congest play and result in a festival of stupid shooting. Hence why I reverted to my fm18 approach of having one as a playmaker - it’s not really what i’m after but only really ‘trust’ the inside forward and advanced playmaker wide roles to any degree whatsoever - all others i’ve found to be limiting. Again - am i dismissing things incorrectly?

The complete forward is similarly the only striker role i’ve ever really enjoyed in FM - find any attack duty striker’s role to end up isolating them whilst certain roles, ie poacher, target man or pressing forward seem better suited to less possession-orientated approaches. Maybe i’m interpreting this incorrectly? My striker in my current save (Fiete Arp) does actually seem better suited an advanced forward role but i’ve never, never, never had any joy with that role.

As for the defensive intensity, think that the default line of engagement for possession styles is far too aggressive - have taken that back a fair bit as the high line and urgency settings still see quite aggressive pressing and it has improved things somewhat. Think that’s a little misleading - high line, high engagement and urgent intensity seems to make for an awful mess or rushed, erratic football.

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So, i'm now lining up as below:

tactics.thumb.png.ba2a635b3b0a9200dbcaa866fa015038.png

A typical game: my goals were a penalty and a rebound, both players with a playmaker role had an obscene amount of shots and the finishing was wretched.

typical.thumb.png.dfd5740aae76133fa3c89f97bcd0632b.png

stats.thumb.png.4e030625de0bee6e99204d82c5284a87.png

The stats for completed dribbles and key passes have improved under my revised set-up but the number of awful shots is absurd and finishing in general seems atrocious; like I say, rebounds and dead-balls are virtually my only source of goals. 

Fully expect it's all my fault but this match engine seems horrifically dull and one-dimensional from my experience. Any suggestions in how to improve this experience very, very welcome.

Have bought the in-game editor with the sole intent of giving all of my midfielders the 'refrains from shooting from distance' ppm in an attempt to get them to curb this insanity...

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I am not a tactical genius whatsoever (which you don't need on FM anyway, just basic team sports common sense). But I personally don't understand this plan. Traditionally you are going to face a lot of AI oppositioin that is going to keep things tight and compact and central itself (at least on previous releases). Yet the setup looks as if not stretching the pitch overly much including two inverted wing backs on both flanks. The key stat (or one of them) has been traditionally the corners. That is a corner for basically every 3rd to 4th minute the balli s actually kicked, and that's just the corners. Usually one of the tell tale signs that the defending team, positionally, has it easy to get a foot into every other move from open play (as they have no area to cover) Based on prior releases I would be very surprised if the majority of those on target attempts wouldn't be headers from corners (and set pieces) in general. At least traditionally, most of them are easily saved (and should be).

Any possible ME issues may only further exaggerate this -- some of the purely trial&error button mashing download super tactics on these boards have traditionally exagerrated the issue the most (up to 60 shots for ZERO goals). I can't check to see how this looks like from an overview / in motion as to FM 2019, but that's just my guessing.

Edited by Svenc

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8 minutos atrás, Svenc disse:

At least traditionally, most of them are easily saved (and should be).

Not anymore IMO, killing the opposition through sheer number of corners is now a thing.

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10 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Not anymore IMO, killing the opposition through sheer number of corners is now a thing.

I hope it's not overtoned, having not played FM 2019 yet. If you dropped deep yourself, you would face added set pieces by definition. If it's overtoned, at some point you'd simply crack. The same applies to free kicks, which seemed to be converted every other match on the SI Twitch demonstration (naturally too small an amount of matches to judge) However, in football, even sides perceived as "set piece" specialists can only score this regularly. As of the averages, AFAIR teams need 30ish or 40ish corners to score a goal (generally, 2% of all corners lead to goals -- from The Numbers Game (book)). However, such data published naturally doesn't reveal the methods of how this is measured -- at which point does a goal stop being the result off a corner directly?

Edited by Svenc

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18 minutes ago, Svenc said:

I am not a tactical genius whatsoever (which you don't need on FM anyway, just basic team sports common sense). But I personally don't understand this plan. Traditionally you are going to face a lot of AI oppositioin that is going to keep things tight and compact and central itself (at least on previous releases). Yet the setup looks as if not stretching the pitch overly much including two inverted wing backs on both flanks. The key stat (or one of them) has been traditionally the corners. That is a corner for basically every 3rd to 4th minute the balli s actually kicked, and that's just the corners. Usually one of the tell tale signs that the defending team, positionally, has it easy to get a foot into every other move from open play (as they have no area to cover) Based on prior releases I would be very surprised if the majority of those on target attempts wouldn't be headers from corners (and set pieces) in general. At least traditionally, most of them are easily saved (and should be).

Any possible ME issues may only further exaggerate this -- some of the purely trial&error button mashing download super tactics on these boards have traditionally exagerrated the issue the most (up to 60 shots for ZERO goals). I can't check to see how this looks like from an overview / in motion as to FM 2019, but that's just my guessing.

I'd really hope that from 15 corners, I wasn't having 13 efforts on target. That surely is a bad ratio that the ME should not be allowing, right?

My team instructions are set to wide and i'm paying a winger and an inside forward with 'stay wider' set as an individual instruction - the idea is for them to spread across the pitch and allow the playmakers space to create. The inverted full-backs are chosen as it seems too easy and far too boring to just stick them on attack duties and rack up assists; besides, the plan is for them to drift centrally to help control possession when the more roaming playmaking roles I have in centre midfield vacate their areas (with the half back dropping to assist defensively). That's the theory, in any case...

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A narrow but comfortable 2-0 win with less than beautiful goals is actually how good sides usually win matches.

2. Bungesliga sides are actually pretty good defensively, and Hamburg's attacking players are better than average rather than blessed with supernatural skill and vision. Add slow buildup and a playmaker with "shoots from distance" and you're going to spend a lot of time passing the ball from side to side in midfield before having a crack.

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3 minutos atrás, Svenc disse:

I hope it's not overtoned, having not played FM 2019 yet. If you dropped deep yourself, you would face added set pieces by definition. If it's overtoned, at some point you'd simply crack. The same applies to free kicks, which seemed to be converted every other match on the SI Twitch demonstration (naturally too small an amount of matches to judge) However, in football, even sides perceived as "set piece" specialists can only score this regularly. As of the averages, AFAIR teams need 30ish or 40ish corners to score a goal (generally, 2% of all corners lead to goals -- from The Numbers Game (book)). However, such data published naturally doesn't reveal the methods of how this is measured -- at which point does a goal stop being the result off a corner directly?

Nah, free kicks are alright now, you get a healthy dose of them scored (it's not a once in a lifetime event as it was in FM18) but it doesn't feel disproportionate/unrealistic. I see maybe, I don't know, 4 or 5 of them scored per season?

I'm starting to think there's a few too many corners though, and too many of them scored. To compensate for how difficult it feels to break down compact defensive teams from open play. The end result is a bit frustrating, if you're the defensive side it's annoying to nullify the attackers successfully only to concede from corners; and if you're the attacking side you win but it's unfulfilling to do so from set pieces instead from open play.

This doesn't apply to every single team every single settings obviously, it might just be how rubbish I am building tactics :D but I'm starting to see this pattern a bit too often.

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1 minute ago, enigmatic said:

A narrow but comfortable 2-0 win with less than beautiful goals is actually how good sides usually win matches.

2. Bungesliga sides are actually pretty good defensively, and Hamburg's attacking players are better than average rather than blessed with supernatural skill and vision. Add slow buildup and a playmaker with "shoots from distance" and you're going to spend a lot of time passing the ball from side to side in midfield before having a crack.

I'm not sure that's true; good sides are good because they have the quality to break down defensive opponents. It's very early days for my Hamburg side but they have the quality to surely break down teams in Germany's 2nd tier. My issue is that they're not even trying to do this; little in terms of key passes, chance creation and even dribbles completed - every game is just sterile possession, mindless shooting and set-piece ricochets. I also get a statistically improbable number of penalties, which is just as well as Arp's stats would be dreadful without them.

Xadas did have that PPM but i'm a long-term hater of that tendency so he was asked to unlearn it early in pre-season and it is now gone. Not that it seems to have any impact on his approach to the game...

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16 minutes ago, fidelitywars said:

I'd really hope that from 15 corners, I wasn't having 13 efforts on target. That surely is a bad ratio that the ME should not be allowing, right?

I agree, and set piece defending was an issue on several releases imo. Some of the tactics published on download sides don't have a plan whatsoever expect "dominating" the simple stats FM has on offer. Naturally, keeping things compact for instance makes it way easier to have superior possession numbers -- if players spread out over the pitch, the distances between them increases, and with such, the likelyhood of dropping the ball / the opposition intercepting the attack. That's a real thing, has always been as to FM, visibly. However, keeping things overly compact also means that the area your side can operate in, if you would draw a circle around your side once advanced into the final third, is really small. In generally, the smaller that circle, the easier to defend that area is. Added deflections, speculative efforts and fouls followed, as no matter who receives the next pass, he's immediately pressured. And with such, at the more extreme ends, all shots inside the box looking like this...

 

A typically such FM download "super tactic" (and the circle to draw around players) in action. As the AI has loads of central players defending in this case (depends a little), there is no space whatsoever. Depending on the release, some players repoted back with 30+ corners a match plus. :D

won5LZe.jpg

Edited by Svenc

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5 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Nah, free kicks are alright now, you get a healthy dose of them scored (it's not a once in a lifetime event as it was in FM18) but it doesn't feel disproportionate/unrealistic. I see maybe, I don't know, 4 or 5 of them scored per season?

I'm starting to think there's a few too many corners though, and too many of them scored. To compensate for how difficult it feels to break down compact defensive teams from open play. The end result is a bit frustrating, if you're the defensive side it's annoying to nullify the attackers successfully only to concede from corners; and if you're the attacking side you win but it's unfulfilling to do so from set pieces instead from open play.

This doesn't apply to every single team every single settings obviously, it might just be how rubbish I am building tactics :D but I'm starting to see this pattern a bit too often.

Yeah, bit in bold chimes entirely with my experiences. Unfulfilling, joyless, repetitive.

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Bringing an IWB into this 4141DM Wide system is something I like because it gives you more passing options centrally during build-ups , though not on both sides. Having one is quite enough IMO. HB is also a good role in this system (provided you have the right player). 

In addition to certain team instructions, I would further adjust a couple of roles and duties. For example, the IWB on the left could be even given an attack duty, in which case your APM in MCL position would become a DLP on support and thus both provide defensive cover for the attacking IWB and dictate play from deeper areas. The AML would remain winger on support. The roaming playmaker would be changed into either BtBM or CM on attack. In the former case, the right FB could be WB on support, while the AMR would remain IF on attack. In the latter case (with CMa), the AMR could turn into an APM on support, whereas the right FB would become a bit more conservative as either FB on support or WB on defend. The striker's role is the most tricky here IMO. If you want him exclusively on attack duty, I would recommend either DLFatt or PFatt. Actually, trequartista would be ideal, but it's a role that really requires a top player. But if you are willing to try him with support duty, then you can choose between more potentially good options (F9, DLPsu, PFsu, CFsu).

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I wouldn't have 2 playmakers in cm, one is enough. I use this formation and I have a mezzala/AP and BBM combo. The BBM get's up and provides extra passing options around the pen box

Edited by Powello

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15 minutes ago, enigmatic said:

A narrow but comfortable 2-0 win with less than beautiful goals is actually how good sides usually win matches.

I fully agree on this. Why are Liverpool now a more serious title contenders than they have ever been before in the EPL? Because they are able to win even when they play "ugly" football. This season they are obviously playing less attractive football overall than they did last season, and yet have better results (and haven't yet suffered a defeat). And, what's also extremely important for any team competing for the title, they have improved their defending considerably.

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Yep. And even Man City and Barcelona get a significant proportion of goals from set pieces, rebounds, penalties, tap ins and speculative long range strikes (difficult to work out what sort of goal the OP would actually like to break down a parked bus with...)

The actual Hamburg are 13 goals from 11 (and mounting a credible title challenge...) with their talented teenage striker yet to score in the 2.Bundesliga

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Just now, Experienced Defender said:

I fully agree on this. Why are Liverpool now a more serious title contenders than they have ever been before in the EPL? Because they are able to win even when they play "ugly" football. This season they are obviously playing less attractive football overall than they did last season, and yet have better results (and haven't yet suffered a defeat). And, what's also extremely important for any team competing for the title, they have improved their defending considerably.

I agree to an extent but winning ugly *every* match shouldn't be anybody's intention; to what extent are you a 'good team' if you only ever play/win ugly? As Cruyff famously quipped, 'results without quality is boring.' Fully agree with the great man and besides, what seems to get lost a lot here is that FM is a game - escaping the confines of reality is entirely plausible, yes? This is why people on FM win the Champions League with Alvechurch Town; playing beautiful football consistently is far less fanciful but as things stand, seems more far-fetched.

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17 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Bringing an IWB into this 4141DM Wide system is something I like because it gives you more passing options centrally during build-ups , though not on both sides. Having one is quite enough IMO. HB is also a good role in this system (provided you have the right player). 

In addition to certain team instructions, I would further adjust a couple of roles and duties. For example, the IWB on the left could be even given an attack duty, in which case your APM in MCL position would become a DLP on support and thus both provide defensive cover for the attacking IWB and dictate play from deeper areas. The AML would remain winger on support. The roaming playmaker would be changed into either BtBM or CM on attack. In the former case, the right FB could be WB on support, while the AMR would remain IF on attack. In the latter case (with CMa), the AMR could turn into an APM on support, whereas the right FB would become a bit more conservative as either FB on support or WB on defend. The striker's role is the most tricky here IMO. If you want him exclusively on attack duty, I would recommend either DLFatt or PFatt. Actually, trequartista would be ideal, but it's a role that really requires a top player. But if you are willing to try him with support duty, then you can choose between more potentially good options (F9, DLPsu, PFsu, CFsu).

Thank you for the reply - the full-back switch is thelogical  starting point and i'm only really impeded by my stubbornness here. I'll give it a go...

As for other roles, feel that i'm possible held back by problems i've encountered in previous FMs - the generic CM (att)/CM (supp) roles have always been nothing roles for me, offering little of anything much but maybe I should revisit. Ideally, I would prefer to have the striker on a support duty but feel that his particular strengths lend themselves to a more goal-centric, narrower role. Complete forward (support) has always been my go-to but Arp just isn't developed enough to fulfil that currently, unfortunately. Perhaps pressing forward on support could be considered but again, think I have a bias against this as I just picture someone like Okazaki - a limited player with little to offer above nuisance value and energy; not attributes I particularly value. Still, maybe i'll give it a try as admittedly, back up striker Hwang Hee-Chan has had a few decent cameos in the role.

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1 hour ago, fidelitywars said:

Thank you for the reply - the full-back switch is thelogical  starting point and i'm only really impeded by my stubbornness here. I'll give it a go...

As for other roles, feel that i'm possible held back by problems i've encountered in previous FMs - the generic CM (att)/CM (supp) roles have always been nothing roles for me, offering little of anything much but maybe I should revisit. Ideally, I would prefer to have the striker on a support duty but feel that his particular strengths lend themselves to a more goal-centric, narrower role. Complete forward (support) has always been my go-to but Arp just isn't developed enough to fulfil that currently, unfortunately. Perhaps pressing forward on support could be considered but again, think I have a bias against this as I just picture someone like Okazaki - a limited player with little to offer above nuisance value and energy; not attributes I particularly value. Still, maybe i'll give it a try as admittedly, back up striker Hwang Hee-Chan has had a few decent cameos in the role.

Well, you know your players, i.e. their attributes and PPMs, so you should be most competent to decide which role/duty suits (or does not suit) each of them. I admit that I am an advocate of a more "pragmatic" style of football (perfectly happy with a 1-0 win or 0-0 in tougher matches), whereas you obviously prefer a more beautiful and attractive game, so I am probably not the right person to give advice on the type of issue you are having :)

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15 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Well, you know your players, i.e. their attributes and PPMs, so you should be most competent to decide which role/duty suits (or does not suit) each of them. I admit that I am an advocate of a more "pragmatic" style of football (perfectly happy with a 1-0 win or 0-0 in tougher matches), whereas you obviously prefer a more beautiful and attractive game, so I am probably not the right person to give advice on the type of issue you are having :)

Current ME must be manna from heaven for you then! :lol:

Anyway, appreciate your efforts and having taken some of your feedback on board, things have improved but am still so, so, so, so, so soporifically bored with this ME. Still producing football for insomniacs and hating every second of it.

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9 minutes ago, Sneakygie said:

Im having the exact same issue 

Feel for you; would love to offer help but am becoming resigned to the fact that it'll take a ME patch to make any serious improvements.

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ShaME. It was rewritten in FM13... five years later and still so far from FM12 playability (yes, old ME was so limited, but at least it seemed a football game).

The problem is not your tactics. The problem is the ME.

Edited by fasmercurio

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Nobody can help us ??

 

also all my crosses are blocked by a defenser et i have around 20 corner per game with a tactics not very offensive wich is very unrealistic

Edited by Sneakygie

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I haven't played FM19 long enough yet to make bold statements about the match engine, so pinch of salt on this one... 

I have noted that you have

  • Much higher defensive line
  • Much lower line of engagement
  • Counter press
  • Counter

(SI are probably waiting for someone to say this)…I don't thing you have those four things set compatibly. 

I'll just put this out there for now.  Do you think counter goes with a much higher line?  Do you think counter press goes with much lower line of engagement?  Does that sound right to you? \o/

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1 hour ago, Robson 07 said:

I haven't played FM19 long enough yet to make bold statements about the match engine, so pinch of salt on this one... 

I have noted that you have

  • Much higher defensive line
  • Much lower line of engagement
  • Counter press
  • Counter

(SI are probably waiting for someone to say this)…I don't thing you have those four things set compatibly. 

I'll just put this out there for now.  Do you think counter goes with a much higher line?  Do you think counter press goes with much lower line of engagement?  Does that sound right to you? \o/

Oh absolutely not; it seems counter-intuitive but I tried the default settings for my chosen tactical style and had the same issues; some of adjustments were made as the result of suggestions in this thread and the lower line of engagement did actually seem to help, at least a little.

Rest assured, I only came onto the forums to seek help after trying a few approaches to resolve it myself!

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20 hours ago, enigmatic said:

Yep. And even Man City and Barcelona get a significant proportion of goals from set pieces, rebounds, penalties, tap ins and speculative long range strikes (difficult to work out what sort of goal the OP would actually like to break down a parked bus with...)

Sure. No doubt they score a couple crucial goals even in such a way, such as the opening goal of the match. If they'd rely on such goals every other week though, they'd drop much more additional points than they do. Unless they work out a magic formula that makes Tony Pulis' sides (a set piece goal on average up to 1 in 4 matches) look like beginners in comparison. That would be an unheard advantage which, technically, on FM shouldn't be doable by the way.  SI have never supported overly much control over how set pieces play out -- they realize how easy it is oft to exploit set piece creators, for instance, such as Champ Man's 2010. If you remember older releases, only in hindsight I really realized how powerful the corner bugs/exploits were. Even if the defending team successfully deflected things for a corner over and over -- they'll crack almost every single time.

Because that's how a set piece ultimately comes about: A (successfully) defending action -- an overly amount of set pieces is the telltale sign of a team struggling to break down a defense from actually open play. And it's usually not a good one, as no team in the world scores from a set piece, etc. every other week, let alone off screamers of any kind. I agree it should be a tactic, but there's a limit how far this can take you. There's a reason why it's typically relegation strugglers that hugely rely on set piece goals a plenty. This highlights one of the core things as of balancing FM though: DIfferent people hold (viable) different perceptions of how football plays out. It's not an exactly researched science quite yet. :D On the topic at hand though, the OP naturally doesn't even want to specifically rely on set pieces though.

Question is, is this ME inherent, or is it tactical? Also considering the AI here, which from reports can shut up shop like silly even if managing the top teams (which never happens in football anywhere). Oftenly it's a combination of both. F'r instance, the OP argues he intends to make his advanced wide players stick out wide so that they would stretch the pitch in the final third. After all, both full backs are inverted backs that play centrally by their definition. That's legit. But does that actually happen? From my experience off prior releases, once play has moved into the final third
, the MR/ML and AML/AMR positions traditionally narrow in front of goal as of FM. At which point we're back to my suggestion as to drawing that magic circle around your team once play has moved into the final third... That's the area the opposition has to defend. The smaller it is, the easier it may be. Simple sports. Ajax/Holland had worked this out since like the 1970s.

won5LZe.jpg

Edited by Svenc

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From what I've seen of FM19, actual wingers play extremely wide in the final third and usually head straight to the byline with the bal (cutting inside with the ball a bit as well if they have the PPM). Inside forwards obviously don't.

Early hints are that this year's exploit tactics revolve around attacking with narrow WMs anyway, so the ME is still kind to throwing extra bodies into the channel between the fullback and centre half, especially if you have an overlapping fullback to take over.

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I just see so many players try to run the ball  and almost every player except the back try to create something 

 

What is the plan in your mind ?

Why you need that many players run / create ?

 

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46 minutes ago, Mintah said:

Given the fact that so many people, no matter what tactics they are using or what teams they are using are having their games turn into dice-rolling crossfests with no scoring by strikers indicates that this is a problem beyond tactics and more likely ME-related. If someone has managed to create an even half-decent looking tactic that does not suffer from these issues, please share some tips for us poor folk who are being crossed and set-pieced to bored death.

try to set the tactics to play more counter attack. Dont press too high. 

 

In this ME, your players has no creative in final third.

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With regard to the long shots, I am not at all surprised you are seeing lots of them. You have 2 central play makers, and only 3 passing options for the two of them to get the ball forward. Th AF(A) is often going to be pressed right on the defensive line, so if a team plays a low D line he will not have space to run onto the ball and passing to feet will probably see him lose it with defenders close by. The IF will suffer similarly, and there is nobody creating any space for him. The winger will probably provide an outlet ball, and at least has two players in the center to cross to. But he has absolutely no support and is isolated on the wing alone, so if the AI is competent at closing him down they will shut this down too. Thus, your front 3 is not really going to cause huge problems, I think. There is not that much in the way of interesting movement, and almost no mutual support. One option would be to abandon the passing outlook and try to be more direct. Get the ball to the strikers close to the transition so the defense is not yet set and they players have more space.

This will mean that your midfield duo often have no option better than taking a long shot. So that is exactly what they do. Assuming there is no PPM for "shoots from distance", excessive long shots are usually a symptom of more attacking movement and no good passing options. You have nobody coming from deep to get beyond the midfield to help out the strikers. You will see long shots until you play around with the roles and duties of everyone.

Another thing is that it is clear you will dominate possession, probably with sterile (and as you note, boring risk free) football. Two IWB plus the two central midfielders mean you have 4 players in your central midfield when you have the ball. This will outnumber anyone and could probably keep the ball indefinitely if they wished. I assume this is what you were going for with this, and it is actually a pretty sound way to keep the ball. It is also an extremely defensive way to keep the ball. It is possession as a defensive tool rather than an offensive weapon.

As to why it is successful, I cannot really answer that one for you. I have yet to play FM19 so I am not sure how the new tactical system interacts with the match engine to produce results.

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2 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

This will mean that your midfield duo often have no option better than taking a long shot. So that is exactly what they do. Assuming there is no PPM for "shoots from distance", excessive long shots are usually a symptom of more attacking movement and no good passing options. You have nobody coming from deep to get beyond the midfield to help out the strikers. You will see long shots until you play around with the roles and duties of everyone.

Thanks for the analysis; i do appreciate that it's a set-up with ball retention at its heart. I'm largely happy with that but what i'm struggling with is how risk-averse my creative players are when advancing up the pitch - they just never try to take their man or try a killer pass (unless they're deep, in which case they try killers ball habitually and staggeringly wastefully). Shooting from range just seems their sole intention; all else is eschewed.

The part i've quoted you in bold is something that i've never been able to understand - if there's nothing on, pass backwards and retain possession; that is more in-keeping with my overarching tactical approach and instructions. Nothing says 'if there is not an opening, just thoughtlessly put your head down and give it some welly' - that's an unspeakably stupid approach and something I really do see as more as a limitation of the ME rather than something tactical. It just shouldn't be happening, let alone in the industrial quantities i'm seeing.

I've pretty much downed tools with FM19 for now; fully accept that my issues are partly tactical but given the number of approaches i've now employed, I really do feel that a lack of central creativity and movement are limitations of the current ME build so i'm effectively holding out in the hope of a patch. For someone who is only interested in patient play based on central creativity, the game is just not enjoyable in the slightest as things stand so for the good of my mental health, i'm leaving it alone.

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1 hour ago, fidelitywars said:

if there's nothing on, pass backwards and retain possession; that is more in-keeping with my overarching tactical approach and instructions. Nothing says 'if there is not an opening, just thoughtlessly put your head down and give it some welly' - that's an unspeakably stupid approach and something I really do see as more as a limitation of the ME rather than something tactical. It just shouldn't be happening, let alone in the industrial quantities i'm seeing.

A possible reason for this can be playing on a high (offensive) mentality (positive in your case), which tends to discourage players from passing backward. In other words, they are willing to take more risks due to their more attacking mentality, which means that unless they have a good passing option, they will likely try a shot from distance. However, I think that even more than the high mentality you are using, it's the "Be More Expressive" that is causing them to attempt those "stupid" long shots in the absence of a better option (or even when they do have a better option).

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30 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

A possible reason for this can be playing on a high (offensive) mentality (positive in your case), which tends to discourage players from passing backward. In other words, they are willing to take more risks due to their more attacking mentality, which means that unless they have a good passing option, they will likely try a shot from distance. However, I think that even more than the high mentality you are using, it's the "Be More Expressive" that is causing them to attempt those "stupid" long shots in the absence of a better option (or even when they do have a better option).

Yeah, fair points; the 'be more expressive' choice is based on the dearth of final 3rd creativity so was hoping that help a little - as it doesn't, perhaps de-selecting that could reduce the long shots but then, it runs the risk of making an already sterile possession game even more boring... 

As for the mentality influencing mindless long-shots; the team may be instructed to play 'positive' football but they're also being told to work the ball into the box and shoot less often - if mentality is overriding this, then it's perhaps a little overpowered?

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23 minutes ago, fidelitywars said:

As for the mentality influencing mindless long-shots; the team may be instructed to play 'positive' football but they're also being told to work the ball into the box and shoot less often - if mentality is overriding this, then it's perhaps a little overpowered?

It's not to say that the mentality is overriding that, just the fact is that the higher the mentality, the more likely players are to attempt more "risky" moves when they lack better options. Sometimes the "risky move" means they will attempt more long shots, sometimes they will attempt more killer passes, and given that a killer pass is a low-percentage pass, it is not likely to succeed every time (actually, it is more often likely to fail). So I suppose that either roles and duties aren't set up in the right way, or some of other tactical instructions (such as the aforementioned "BME"), or simply the system (formation) you are using is perhaps not the one that suits your players best. I don't know what changes (if any) you have made in the meantime to this setup:

On 04/11/2018 at 13:29, fidelitywars said:

tactics.thumb.png.ba2a635b3b0a9200dbcaa866fa015038.png

Playing on much higher d-line can also be a reason for the lack of passing options - simply because the playing space is too compressed (thus increasing the riskiness of backward passes, which could explain why your two PMs prefer a long shot over a backward pass).

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11 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

It's not to say that the mentality is overriding that, just the fact is that the higher the mentality, the more likely players are to attempt more "risky" moves when they lack better options. Sometimes the "risky move" means they will attempt more long shots, sometimes they will attempt more killer passes, and given that a killer pass is a low-percentage pass, it is not likely to succeed every time (actually, it is more often likely to fail). So I suppose that either roles and duties aren't set up in the right way, or some of other tactical instructions (such as the aforementioned "BME"), or simply the system (formation) you are using is perhaps not the one that suits your players best. I don't know what changes (if any) you have made in the meantime to this setup:

Playing on much higher d-line can also be a reason for the lack of passing options - simply because the playing space is too compressed (thus increasing the riskiness of backward passes, which could explain why your two PMs prefer a long shot over a backward pass).

I appreciate that but 'positive' is not the same as 'rushed' or 'stupid;' there are 2 mentalities which are more aggressive (from memory) so it should only be a moderately-aggressive approach, right? 

I seriously can't shake the suspicion that the ME as-is lacks creativity, movement and as a consequence, forces bad decisions onto players whose traits, attributes and rough tactical approach should see them reject such options. Of course, on occasion, players will do daft things and undertake actions in opposition to their instruction/attributes but for this to happen with such regularity is a problem, IMO. Playmaker roles simply should not produce such shot volumes; it's anathema to their entire purpose. Conversely, playmaker roles should not show such a flagrant lack of creativity/creative intent.

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I second what ED says!!

@fidelitywarsPostive does mean rushed in FM terms though, it gives players a more attacking mentality which isn't a "lets slow things down" mentality & a higher tempo which means they're going to want to get shots off at goal rather than take their time & weigh up their options. 

Higher the mentality of your team, the more attacking they're going they're going to "think" ie getting forward, getting the ball forward, getting shots off 

The higher the Tempo, the quicker they're going to want to get the ball forward

They tie in together in the Tactics Creator, the more attacking you go, the higher the standard Tempo is, the wider the standard wide is, the higher the standard lines are etc

 

  

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6 hours ago, fidelitywars said:

The part i've quoted you in bold is something that i've never been able to understand - if there's nothing on, pass backwards and retain possession; that is more in-keeping with my overarching tactical approach and instructions. Nothing says 'if there is not an opening, just thoughtlessly put your head down and give it some welly' - that's an unspeakably stupid approach and something I really do see as more as a limitation of the ME rather than something tactical. It just shouldn't be happening, let alone in the industrial quantities i'm seeing.

I agree with Experienced defender on this, mentality dictates that your players will look to create chances. The higher the mentality, the more direct they will be. I assume if you went to contain, players would aim to keep the ball and not shoot. But this is, as you note, not conducive to scoring goals.

The main reason why players tend to shoot when there are no options is also due to the area of the field they are in. Just outside the box, they may not have time to turn and pass backwards. They may see an opening. Heck, you can even imagine they do not see the point of constantly recycling the ball. I would not worry about mentality when trying to fix these particular problems, what you need to do is change how your team makes space up front.

Here is a look at how I would normally set up a 433 like yours

GK(D)

FB(A)

CB(D)

CB(D)

FB(A)

DM(D)

DLP(S)

CM(A)

IF(A)

W(S)

DLF(S)

Now, some of these roles are specifically designed to exploit particular players in my squad, and should not be taken as a definitive way of playing. I will also not discuss any TIs or PIs, since they do not impact what I talk about here.

Look at the different ways I can create movement and space with this tactic. Firstly, I have only a single play maker, who is sitting relatively deep. With the roles and duties I select, he will regularly have 6 players as advanced or more advanced that he is. On the right wing he will have the option of the winger and the FB. These two players will create an overload, and hence they create space for each other. Pass the ball to the winger, he draws a player, the FB has more space to exploit. And vice versa. On the left, the movement of the IF will always create space for the FB, particularly if the opposition FB follows my IF. Conversely, if the ball is played to my FB on the left, and the opposition FB has to move out to deal with him, the IF gains space.

In the middle, the CM will shuttle between midfield and attack. He will pop up in midfield, AM, and STC. Here, he is working with the DLF to create space. The DLF drops deep to get a ball, a CB comes with him, opening space at the back. The CM(A) can rush into that space. Equally, if the CM(A) gets the ball in an advanced position, a defensive player from the centre has to deal with him. This will create space for the DLF (and the IF, do not forget he will also look to exploit central space). Everything about the roles and duties I have chosen is based on how they can support each other, and create space for each other and themselves. Nobody is working in isolation. Here, my DLP will almost always be able to find somebody in space. His last resort outlet ball can always be to the full back. I have much fewer shots from my playmaker (the CM(A) can get into situations where there is little option but to shoot, but this cannot really be helped).

I hope you see how I have designed my tactic around trying to make space. It is the thought process I want to try and get across here. This tactic will not work for all teams, because it demands a huge work rate from most of the players, and if they lack if you can get horribly exposed defensively. In your tactic, I cannot see how anybody is working together in the way I described. I know it is not an easy thing to think about, it took me years to fully grasp all this.

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58 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I agree with Experienced defender on this, mentality dictates that your players will look to create chances. The higher the mentality, the more direct they will be. I assume if you went to contain, players would aim to keep the ball and not shoot. But this is, as you note, not conducive to scoring goals.

The main reason why players tend to shoot when there are no options is also due to the area of the field they are in. Just outside the box, they may not have time to turn and pass backwards. They may see an opening. Heck, you can even imagine they do not see the point of constantly recycling the ball. I would not worry about mentality when trying to fix these particular problems, what you need to do is change how your team makes space up front.

Here is a look at how I would normally set up a 433 like yours

GK(D)

FB(A)

CB(D)

CB(D)

FB(A)

DM(D)

DLP(S)

CM(A)

IF(A)

W(S)

DLF(S)

Now, some of these roles are specifically designed to exploit particular players in my squad, and should not be taken as a definitive way of playing. I will also not discuss any TIs or PIs, since they do not impact what I talk about here.

Look at the different ways I can create movement and space with this tactic. Firstly, I have only a single play maker, who is sitting relatively deep. With the roles and duties I select, he will regularly have 6 players as advanced or more advanced that he is. On the right wing he will have the option of the winger and the FB. These two players will create an overload, and hence they create space for each other. Pass the ball to the winger, he draws a player, the FB has more space to exploit. And vice versa. On the left, the movement of the IF will always create space for the FB, particularly if the opposition FB follows my IF. Conversely, if the ball is played to my FB on the left, and the opposition FB has to move out to deal with him, the IF gains space.

In the middle, the CM will shuttle between midfield and attack. He will pop up in midfield, AM, and STC. Here, he is working with the DLF to create space. The DLF drops deep to get a ball, a CB comes with him, opening space at the back. The CM(A) can rush into that space. Equally, if the CM(A) gets the ball in an advanced position, a defensive player from the centre has to deal with him. This will create space for the DLF (and the IF, do not forget he will also look to exploit central space). Everything about the roles and duties I have chosen is based on how they can support each other, and create space for each other and themselves. Nobody is working in isolation. Here, my DLP will almost always be able to find somebody in space. His last resort outlet ball can always be to the full back. I have much fewer shots from my playmaker (the CM(A) can get into situations where there is little option but to shoot, but this cannot really be helped).

I hope you see how I have designed my tactic around trying to make space. It is the thought process I want to try and get across here. This tactic will not work for all teams, because it demands a huge work rate from most of the players, and if they lack if you can get horribly exposed defensively. In your tactic, I cannot see how anybody is working together in the way I described. I know it is not an easy thing to think about, it took me years to fully grasp all this.

Thanks for this; it does highlight that i'm perhaps being a little(/an awful lot) quixotic. Think that my stubborn determination to utilise multiple playmakers is harming the overall dynamic of my team - a midfielder in any of teams is there primarily to create and I look for passing/dribbling/technique/vision/touch over any other attributes whereas your tactic has a more varied distribution of skills. Trouble is, in your midfield set-up, there's a largely functional, dour player (the DM(d)) and an end-product midfield runner - the sort of player we talk about 'bombing on' in English football so frequently (the CM(a)). I have a peculiar hatred of the latter role; it just brings to mind players I couldn't stand IRL (Tim Cahill, Frank Lampard, Kevin Nolan) and think of as limited, functional and largely inexpressive. I also think that the set-up you posted places too much emphasis on the full-backs, which some people obviously enjoy but personally, I really don't want the character of my teams to be based on attacking in that manner - i've grown up contrarily hating watching Brazil as they sacrifice midfield craft to allow full-backs to attack! I just want full-backs to tuck-in and offer midfield projection so that my midfielders can roam and create - appreciate my attempts at creating this may be a little clumsy but that's the intention; more than happy for the ball to never, never, never be crossed, frankly. Now, it may be that I just need to bin my prejudices and rethink my entire philosophy but in previous FMs, i've always been able to find a way of making multiple playmaker systems flourish and have the overwhelming majority of my assists coming from through balls and short passes - this just seems an impossible dream as things stand.

My touchstones of what i'd like to achieve are teams where the midfield are not responsible for scoring goals or even necessarily stopping them per se; their function is to get on the ball, keep it, probe intelligently and when the opportunity presents, create chances/feed the more offensive players. I want my roles to more closely resemble the Busquets/Xavi/Iniesta triumvirate; I don't want to have to use Makelele/Ballack/Lampard in order to achieve success in FM. I'm sort of happy for the defence/midfield structure to keep the ball and to then rely on the quality of the attackers to win games but I don't feel that is really happening in this ME - as like I say, inside forwards are ineffectual and strikers' movement isn't dynamic. My above post includes a winger too - this role is actually fairly productive but its presence in my line-up at all is already a concession - it's a role I can't stand but as all the other wide AM strata roles aren't delivering, I felt condemned to include!

Am I asking too much? Am I being unreasonable? I'm sure plenty would argue that I am...but FM is a game and it's surely not unreasonable to expect it to cater for those who value this style (as well as for those who value others, like IRL); compromising and achieving success with somebody else's vision isn't really what I paid my £35 for, ultimately. 

Really sorry if any of the above sounds unduly harsh/ungrateful and i'm conscious that i've possibly just outed myself as a lunatic... but here we are!

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5 hours ago, fidelitywars said:

I appreciate that but 'positive' is not the same as 'rushed' or 'stupid

Have I ever said anything like that? Absolutely not. Please quote me correctly :brock:

The thing is, you need to put your tactic into proper perspective. In other words, don't look at different elements of the tactic as separate entities, but as parts of an integrated whole. 

If we assume that your mids (PMs) are attempting too many long shots because they are frequently lacking better options, what could be the cause of these lacking options? Given that most teams tend to defend against you (as you said), they are likely looking to maximally reduce the space available for you to exploit in the attacking third. In other words, they are putting most of their players behind the ball, which makes it harder for your players to find some space in more dangerous areas from which they could pose an effective threat to the opposition defence. Now, I cannot know what is actually going on in your matches and whether your attacking players are able to find this space, so I can only speculate. But maybe these speculations might give you some idea on what is wrong with the tactic you are insisting on.

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13 hours ago, fidelitywars said:

Trouble is, in your midfield set-up, there's a largely functional, dour player (the DM(d)) and an end-product midfield runner - the sort of player we talk about 'bombing on' in English football so frequently (the CM(a))

Oh I definitely do not suggest you have to play like this. I am actually more of a defense first kind of guy. I like my dour DM(D) sitting deep and doing nothing but breaking up attacks and making short passes :D. Each to their own, after all.

 

13 hours ago, fidelitywars said:

My touchstones of what i'd like to achieve are teams where the midfield are not responsible for scoring goals or even necessarily stopping them per se; their function is to get on the ball, keep it, probe intelligently and when the opportunity presents, create chances/feed the more offensive players. I want my roles to more closely resemble the Busquets/Xavi/Iniesta triumvirate; I don't want to have to use Makelele/Ballack/Lampard in order to achieve success in FM

Actually, this is great, because for the first time I really get a sense of what you are trying to do. I do think this can be successful, but probably more difficult to implement. There is a reason why more teams play with the Makelele/Ballack/Lampard setup than the Busquets/Xavi/Iniesta. Of course, the latter are all supremely talented players, which helps.

Let me suggests this to you then, which maybe can keep your ideas alive, but add something new to your attacking. If you are going to tuck in both full backs, you absolutely can free one of your CMs to get further forward and support attacks. This would be Iniesta, in your perfect example, who was regularly the most advanced of the three. Now, you do not want to use a CM(A) (and your justification is perfectly reasonable). How about a Mezzala? They perform similar functions, but in very different ways. It should in no way diminish the creativity of the player if they play in this role. I think that getting some movement in attack is key. You could keep the RPM, for instance, as this is a more dynamic role and offers a bit of X-factor.

I would also suggest a support role for the striker, or trequartista. Something that is not always pushing against the lines. You need to have someone who is creating space for the players around him. For me, a CF(S), DLF(S), or T(A) could do this job (although I am less familiar with the trequartista role, I rarely use it).

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On 04/11/2018 at 13:29, fidelitywars said:

So, i'm now lining up as below:

tactics.thumb.png.ba2a635b3b0a9200dbcaa866fa015038.png

A typical game: my goals were a penalty and a rebound, both players with a playmaker role had an obscene amount of shots and the finishing was wretched.

typical.thumb.png.dfd5740aae76133fa3c89f97bcd0632b.png

stats.thumb.png.4e030625de0bee6e99204d82c5284a87.png

The stats for completed dribbles and key passes have improved under my revised set-up but the number of awful shots is absurd and finishing in general seems atrocious; like I say, rebounds and dead-balls are virtually my only source of goals. 

Fully expect it's all my fault but this match engine seems horrifically dull and one-dimensional from my experience. Any suggestions in how to improve this experience very, very welcome.

Have bought the in-game editor with the sole intent of giving all of my midfielders the 'refrains from shooting from distance' ppm in an attempt to get them to curb this insanity...

I've also playing as HSV and also had a set up of control possesion and also had much problems with creating anything. I was on the verge of a sack actually and then I decided to change my approach.

So I went to fluid counter attack style which had me  go on a 14 game unbeaten run with a win in the last game securing promotion to the Bundesliga. I still had some issues when playing home against teams that park the bus but started to switch roles a bit more attacking and it did show some promise but now in Bundesliga I will have the luxury of playing my preffered cautious style which looked very very good.

I'm looking at the following roles and instructions for my 1st season in Bundesliga:

GK - Sergio Romero- SK/S

DR - Santiago Arias - WB/S

DC - Gary Cahill - CD/D

DC - Papadoupolous - CD/D

DL - Rogerio - WB/S

DM - Sebastian Rode - HB/D

MC - Lewis Holtby - CM/A

MC - Vasilije Janjicic - AP/S

AMR - Jairo - W/S

AML - Trezeguet - IF/S

ST - Fiete Arp - DLF/A

 

Mentality: cautious/balanced

In Possesion: Higher tempo, pass to space, shorter passing

In Transition: counter, counter press, roll it out, distribute quickly

Out of possesion: higher def.line, higher line of engagement, more urgent pressing

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4 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Oh I definitely do not suggest you have to play like this. I am actually more of a defense first kind of guy. I like my dour DM(D) sitting deep and doing nothing but breaking up attacks and making short passes :D. Each to their own, after all.

 

Actually, this is great, because for the first time I really get a sense of what you are trying to do. I do think this can be successful, but probably more difficult to implement. There is a reason why more teams play with the Makelele/Ballack/Lampard setup than the Busquets/Xavi/Iniesta. Of course, the latter are all supremely talented players, which helps.

Let me suggests this to you then, which maybe can keep your ideas alive, but add something new to your attacking. If you are going to tuck in both full backs, you absolutely can free one of your CMs to get further forward and support attacks. This would be Iniesta, in your perfect example, who was regularly the most advanced of the three. Now, you do not want to use a CM(A) (and your justification is perfectly reasonable). How about a Mezzala? They perform similar functions, but in very different ways. It should in no way diminish the creativity of the player if they play in this role. I think that getting some movement in attack is key. You could keep the RPM, for instance, as this is a more dynamic role and offers a bit of X-factor.

I would also suggest a support role for the striker, or trequartista. Something that is not always pushing against the lines. You need to have someone who is creating space for the players around him. For me, a CF(S), DLF(S), or T(A) could do this job (although I am less familiar with the trequartista role, I rarely use it).

Again, thanks for your patience and reply!

As for the mezzala, it's a role I really liked in FM18 and had great success with - in the opening post here, my initial tactic actually had that role. I've found it somewhat less potent in FM19, however - the player I assigned was chipping-in with a few goals (mostly rebounds) but wasn't really fulfilling the creative brief. In effect, I thought it actually resembled the CM (attack) role so shelved it in preference for a more overtly playmaking role. Like you suggest, in theory, I really like the combination of RPM and Mezzala in front of inverted full-backs but i've not managed to get any joy out of that set-up; similarly that midfield set-up with standard full-backs hasn't really performed. After seeing a very good post elsewhere on these boards, i'm starting to think that the solution may be to strip-out the vast majority of my team instructions, lower my mentality to balanced, reduce the overall creative freedom and allow the individual player roles to function largely unfettered. This approach does sort of feel like trying to workaround the ME rather than imposing my team with an identity as i'd have liked but i'll give it a go at next opportunity and report back as to how well that goes. 

As for the striker role, my preference has always been for the CF (support) role but as i'm playing with Hamburg, Arp is very much the golden boy and his profile at present doesn't really fit the role. I have tried using him with that role but aside from penalties, he contributed very little and seemed to be just as isolated and ineffectual as he is as an AF. Still, i'm clutching to the hope that the abovementioned team instruction/mentality changes will reap reward - we shall see...

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