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Maffoo97

Need Tactical Help - Manchester United First Season

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Hi!

 

So I've just started a new save with my team, United.  Was given £90 million which is a decent amount but not amazing in terms of buying quality players.  So my main goal was signing young players on cheap deals and improving overall squad depth, as I know the injuries are quite frankly overkill in this game.

But I need some help in regards to how I set up my squad, I wanna try a 4-1-2-3, with one holding midfielder there to provide cover for the attacking left back, Shaw or Tierney.  However most of my players are box to box midfielders and/or playmakers, which perhaps suits a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.  My right wing options aren't great, Jesse Lingard and Jesus Corona being the two natural ones, Sanchez might play there, but I wanna use Martial on the left a lot, as an Inside Forward on Attack Duty.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any good CB options, so I'm stuck with the current five, three of which are incredibly injury prone and another is Smalling.  I like a CD (S) with a BPD (C) combination, reminiscent of Vidic and Ferdinand respectively.

In the last few years I've always favoured direct wing play, but with a previous save that got yeeted, the approach was very inconsistent, and my midfielders, unless they scored, got **** poor ratings for some reason, as well as one of my two fullbacks getting a 6.2 more often than not.  Feel like I wanna use the playmaking abilities of the likes of Pogba, Bentancur etc. (Mata was shocking in the previous save and I kinda intend to sell him on for some money) in the midfield, to play balls over the top to guys like Martial, Rashford, Sanchez etc.  Perhaps Lingard as a 10 could work, with Pogba as the Mezzala, Bentancur as the deep playmaker, and someone like Fred or Herrera being the box to box.

So yeah, what roles, formations and tactical approaches would you recommend?  Cheers xo

image.thumb.png.74dd2970b3c2bc67cf774d0c808abdf7.png

Edited by Maffoo97

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Try the presets and develop from there.  I would stick to ones that focus on counter attack / direct style rather than possession / tiki taka due to the team generally not being great mentally but having excellent pace and technique.

Fluid Counter-Attack has a preset 4141DM Wide and a lot of the players fit those roles.  A lot of older players aren't worth much but can do a job for a season to spread the squad changes out. Slightly awkward in that two of your midfield purchases are more playmakers but should be able to fit two attacking skilled MC into team against weaker teams and use Herrera against stronger ones.  Even though you have play makers that doesn't change the style of your forwards, I think lingard has the best off the ball and rest of forwards are 15 or less so when combined with there other mental attributes might struggle to give the playmakers options against packed defenses if trying to play a possession style where players have to work in tight spaces rather than using there quickness in open spaces.

Edited by summatsupeer

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Interesting... I kinda want to make Pogba a goalscoring midfielder, so maybe Mezzala on attack, as the right sided midfielder, so the left isn't too congested.  I'd go with a direct wing play strategy but this game is horrendous when it comes to crossing, they'll dribble, stop and wait for a defender to come to them, get back in space but still refuse to cross when the opportunity is there.

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2 hours ago, Maffoo97 said:

Interesting... I kinda want to make Pogba a goalscoring midfielder, so maybe Mezzala on attack, as the right sided midfielder, so the left isn't too congested.

Consider what the rest of the team and the players in it can do.  Martial, Rashford and Lukaku are all goal scorers, there creative attributes are much lower.  Sanchez and Lingard are more all rounders.  If your making Pogba a goalscorer you can't really play 2 other goalscorers.  Also what type of chances do you expect him to get on the right when he's right footed?  Do you want him trying to get past the forward, if so what role is the forward to enable and combine with him?  Can score plenty of goals in and around the area as BBM/RPM type roles, he just won't try to get past the forward as often, probably only when AF is in a channel or when counter attacking.

2 hours ago, Maffoo97 said:

I'd go with a direct wing play strategy but this game is horrendous when it comes to crossing, they'll dribble, stop and wait for a defender to come to them, get back in space but still refuse to cross when the opportunity is there.

Cross quality and quantity I think is fine. I wouldn't read too much into the graphical representation of whats happened when a cross doesn't come in.  Sometimes there might be no target, sometimes there control might of meant they needed extra touch(s) before could cross, maybe the defender shouldn't of been shown so far away...

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I am a big fan of Man Utd, and tried a lot in FM. I think the existed squad is strong enough. The tremendous feature of Man Utd is that they have a squad with mobility, power and good technical ability. So I think it is suitable to try tactics based on higher pressing and dribbling. Not only the forward and wing players, they also have Pogba, Fred in midfield who are also good at dribbling, and Herrera one of the best choice for both BWM and other midfield roles.

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1 hour ago, Dr.Y said:

I am a big fan of Man Utd, and tried a lot in FM. I think the existed squad is strong enough. The tremendous feature of Man Utd is that they have a squad with mobility, power and good technical ability. So I think it is suitable to try tactics based on higher pressing and dribbling. Not only the forward and wing players, they also have Pogba, Fred in midfield who are also good at dribbling, and Herrera one of the best choice for both BWM and other midfield roles.

Thanks for the help!  I'm considering using a midfield three of Herrera/Bentancur/Matic/Fred (any two of those) and Pogba, with Pogba as either a Mezzala, AP or RPM, and the other two forming a CM (D) or DLP (D) and B2B.  I like having two playmakers, as if one's getting marked out the game and closed down, I've always got another creative fulcrum, be it from deeper areas to pass to the attacking full backs.  I've experimented with "Run at defence" tactic, however it's a bit extreme, find it easier letting the attacking players do their thing, and have some flair to create chances, be it out wide or through balls behind the defence.  I'll probably go with a poacher up top, so Pogba can get forward more and supply them, and the AF sometimes drifts out too much.

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3 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Consider what the rest of the team and the players in it can do.  Martial, Rashford and Lukaku are all goal scorers, there creative attributes are much lower.  Sanchez and Lingard are more all rounders.  If your making Pogba a goalscorer you can't really play 2 other goalscorers.  Also what type of chances do you expect him to get on the right when he's right footed?  Do you want him trying to get past the forward, if so what role is the forward to enable and combine with him?  Can score plenty of goals in and around the area as BBM/RPM type roles, he just won't try to get past the forward as often, probably only when AF is in a channel or when counter attacking.

Cheers for the update!  As I'll go with most likely IF (A) on the left, and a poacher up top, as the AF drifts out too much and I need more of a consistent presence in that area.  What role would you say Pogba is best for.  My response to the other one has the midfield roles I might experiment with.  Quite like the prospect of Mezzala on attack, but if he's on the left side it might interfere with Martial/Sanchez, as well as Shaw/Tierney going forward.  While it might create an overload it won't provide Pogba with the space he needs at times.

 

In FM 18 I used Pogba as a 10, behind Lukaku, either a Target Man (A) or a Poacher, and he got bags of goals.  His poor positioning stat makes me reluctant as a B2B, as he'll be asked to do more defensive work, something I'd rather trust Herrera and Fred with as their defending is better and they both have good work rate, as well as a limited creativity (Fred less so compared to Ander).  Need someone in the middle to sit a bit deeper, and defend counter attacks, maybe fill in to the left side when Luke Shaw or Kieran Tierney gets forward more.  Creating a left sided overload could work, as it'd free up Lingard or Corona to run up and down the right side in possession, and allowing Pogba to play splitting passes to them.  I guess with more experience in friendlies I'll get a better insight.  Tried Wing Play, and while it created lots of highlights it didn't amount to many genuine scoring chances, Vertical Tiki Taka worked well, won 3-1 against a Mexican side, Pereira did fantastic, as well as Sanchez exploiting the channels, but he pretty much played as a P compared to AF.

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27 minutes ago, Maffoo97 said:

 Cheers for the update!  As I'll go with most likely IF (A) on the left, and a poacher up top, as the AF drifts out too much and I need more of a consistent presence in that area.  What role would you say Pogba is best for.

The age old question, with his traits (Gets Into Opposition Area, Shoots From Distance and Dwells On Ball) its a bit mixed.  Due to Gets Into Opposition Area he won't hold position like a DLP-S is expected and will get into the area more often even without a "Get Forward" role.  This could conflict with what other roles do around him and congest the area on that side.  He should be a good playmaker with his passing+vision etc but his poor Decisions (for a playmaker) and Shoots From Distance means focusing play through him isn't consistent like other playmakers since he won't make good decisions and is a bit selfish.  He does have much better physical attributes than normal for a playmaker though and you don't have to use a playmaker role for a player to create chances.

What is "best" depends on the system.  In my test save he does well in either the RPM (MCR) or BBM (MCL) role in the default 4141 Wide formation under the Fluid Counter Attack style.  His physical attributes allow him to launch + catch up with counters and be a presence in/around the box for pullbacks or headers, plus you have balance the number of defensive players in midfield with him without having to change the roles.  Strong teams I put him in RPM with Herrera adding defensive grit to the BBM role with Matic holding behind them.  Vs weaker teams he can move to BBM and bring in another creative player to play RPM.

27 minutes ago, Maffoo97 said:

 My response to the other one has the midfield roles I might experiment with.  Quite like the prospect of Mezzala on attack, but if he's on the left side it might interfere with Martial/Sanchez, as well as Shaw/Tierney going forward.  While it might create an overload it won't provide Pogba with the space he needs at times.

I wouldn't focus too much on his role, look at the big picture, not just on the left side but the team style as whole.  Whats the right side doing? How are you going to build attacks, attack/create space etc? 

I see no point in him being a MEZ if you have a IF-A and AF-A or P-A like you mentioned earlier.  Even if IF-S + AF-A like in my system I see no point in him being a MEZ.  Whilst its the most attacking role I think its used way too often even though its not new anymore, we had central mids who can attack and score before the role existed.

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52 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

What is "best" depends on the system.  In my test save he does well in either the RPM (MCR) or BBM (MCL) role in the default 4141 Wide formation under the Fluid Counter Attack style.  His physical attributes allow him to launch + catch up with counters and be a presence in/around the box for pullbacks or headers, plus you have balance the number of defensive players in midfield with him without having to change the roles.  Strong teams I put him in RPM with Herrera adding defensive grit to the BBM role with Matic holding behind them.  Vs weaker teams he can move to BBM and bring in another creative player to play RPM.

Very interesting, I feel like I probably need two playmakers, to accommodate the likes of Pogba, Matic (DLP maybe), Bentancur, De Jong, and Pereira all being in and around the squad.  Feel like the engine room will be suited to Herrera and Fred more, or perhaps Fred could be a DLP (D) and Bentancur being a physical box to box player.  Perhaps a DLP (D), or CM (D), and B2B and AP (S) or RPM (S) either side, to create a dynamic transition into the attack.

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I wouldn't focus too much on his role, look at the big picture, not just on the left side but the team style as whole.  Whats the right side doing? How are you going to build attacks, attack/create space etc? 

I see no point in him being a MEZ if you have a IF-A and AF-A or P-A like you mentioned earlier.  Even if IF-S + AF-A like in my system I see no point in him being a MEZ.  Whilst its the most attacking role I think its used way too often even though its not new anymore, we had central mids who can attack and score before the role existed.

My right side will be Valencia (unfortunately) and Lingard, with Dalot and Corona as backups, both starters have good work rate and will be more defensively solid than the left wing.  Both aren't the best players but I wasn't able to strengthen there, which might be a slight concern.  Since Lingard will be in a front three, most he'll need to be able to make runs in behind the defence, as well as come deeper, collect the ball, and create wide chances.  Wanted someone with better crossing than him, to whip in some far post ones so Lukaku or Martial can get to them better, but I'll have to live with his average stat in that department.  Will probably put him on support as I do still want him to link up at times when he needs to, with the midfield.  Valencia will likely be something like a WB (S), or FB (S), not quite as attacking as Shaw and Tierney who might end up being CWB (S) or FB (A).

As for the Mezzala, yeah I get you, I find the Mezzala to be helpful in the build up play, as he can ghost in and around the opposition deep areas well and provide creative options.  I'm guessing the RPM is similar to the AP but with a bit more of an attacking intent, or likely to appear in positions where he can help more in attack, but then again it all depends on the players around him and the PI's.

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51 minutes ago, Maffoo97 said:

Very interesting, I feel like I probably need two playmakers, to accommodate the likes of Pogba, Matic (DLP maybe), Bentancur, De Jong, and Pereira all being in and around the squad.  Feel like the engine room will be suited to Herrera and Fred more, or perhaps Fred could be a DLP (D) and Bentancur being a physical box to box player.  Perhaps a DLP (D), or CM (D), and B2B and AP (S) or RPM (S) either side, to create a dynamic transition into the attack.

Why do you need playmakers at all?  Why not let players pick the best option without preference?  Do you want multiple players moving towards the ball to collect it and more often than not being behind the ball?  How does that fit with your formation and what the others are doing since it sounds like you want a IF-S, P-A and W-S?  If both CM players are available, does having the team favor one over the other affect your transitions?  I have mine on the right so play often transitions on that side with the W-S passing inside to the RPM or the RPM collecting and carrying it himself and the BBM working behind the IF-S and AF-A when play is switched.  If he was on the left then the moves would be different, might not be worse but depends what is wanted.

51 minutes ago, Maffoo97 said:

My right side will be Valencia (unfortunately) and Lingard, with Dalot and Corona as backups, both starters have good work rate and will be more defensively solid than the left wing.  Both aren't the best players but I wasn't able to strengthen there, which might be a slight concern.  Since Lingard will be in a front three, most he'll need to be able to make runs in behind the defence, as well as come deeper, collect the ball, and create wide chances.  Wanted someone with better crossing than him, to whip in some far post ones so Lukaku or Martial can get to them better, but I'll have to live with his average stat in that department.  Will probably put him on support as I do still want him to link up at times when he needs to, with the midfield.  Valencia will likely be something like a WB (S), or FB (S), not quite as attacking as Shaw and Tierney who might end up being CWB (S) or FB (A).

W-S mixes up his play a bit more than previous years, whilst still has a focus on dribbling and crossing he will pass it more often than i've seen in previous years.  Depends on the overall setup and options he's given.

With two of the front 3 on attack duty they will stay high, is your team style setup to give them space and to use it quickly?  If you use multiple playmakers as you've mentioned how does there movement help this? Whilst they might play the risky pass, how deep will they be when they do so. Can they catch up or will it isolate the attacking forwards?  Whilst your talking about combinations, need to consider the full tactic, pressing, ball movement etc.

51 minutes ago, Maffoo97 said:

As for the Mezzala, yeah I get you, I find the Mezzala to be helpful in the build up play, as he can ghost in and around the opposition deep areas well and provide creative options.  I'm guessing the RPM is similar to the AP but with a bit more of an attacking intent, or likely to appear in positions where he can help more in attack, but then again it all depends on the players around him and the PI's.

RPM carries the ball more often and moves around the pitch more than a AP.  Quite a few times Pogba will run with it into the channel to pull it back / cross or if narrower sometimes shoots.

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On 25/11/2018 at 22:21, summatsupeer said:

Why do you need playmakers at all?  Why not let players pick the best option without preference?  Do you want multiple players moving towards the ball to collect it and more often than not being behind the ball?  How does that fit with your formation and what the others are doing since it sounds like you want a IF-S, P-A and W-S?  If both CM players are available, does having the team favor one over the other affect your transitions?  I have mine on the right so play often transitions on that side with the W-S passing inside to the RPM or the RPM collecting and carrying it himself and the BBM working behind the IF-S and AF-A when play is switched.  If he was on the left then the moves would be different, might not be worse but depends what is wanted.

W-S mixes up his play a bit more than previous years, whilst still has a focus on dribbling and crossing he will pass it more often than i've seen in previous years.  Depends on the overall setup and options he's given.

With two of the front 3 on attack duty they will stay high, is your team style setup to give them space and to use it quickly?  If you use multiple playmakers as you've mentioned how does there movement help this? Whilst they might play the risky pass, how deep will they be when they do so. Can they catch up or will it isolate the attacking forwards?  Whilst your talking about combinations, need to consider the full tactic, pressing, ball movement etc.

RPM carries the ball more often and moves around the pitch more than a AP.  Quite a few times Pogba will run with it into the channel to pull it back / cross or if narrower sometimes shoots.

So I've spent the last week playing some games, sorting out formations and to be honest I'm not finding this game anywhere near as fun as previous FM's, like 17 and 18.  Whenever I make tactical changes I barely notice a single thing - my forwards get absolutely terrible ratings.  It's like the game sees a good game as getting a goal, and ignoring other aspects of play when giving someone a match rating, which in turn lowers their morale and value.

But my biggest pain of all, I can't score regular goals.  About 40% of my goals have come from a nice corner routine I sorted, and other quick set pieces, and while it's satisfying seeing that, I very rarely ever score from open play, unless the opposition make a terrible mistake.  I'm dominating the stats in terms of shots and overall attacking play, but Lukaku can't finish his dinner, Rashford puts in clangers every game, and my right winger, Corona or Lingard, contributes to absolutely nothing at all, same could be said about my right side in general.  Midfield doesn't do enough, I tend to have a DLP (D) playing as the number six, with two of either a BBM, AP (S) or MEZ (A) in front, and one in every five games they'll do something, otherwise, they're pitiful.

Another thing that pisses me off to no avail is the fact that every time we get possession from deep, whoever is on the ball just blasts it up the field, into nowhere - even when I mix up the passing, change the mentality etc.  Nothing can stop that.

The screenshot shows my overall tactics, which I've been constantly tweaking, but what you see is a rough guide as to how I set up my team.  Any tips on how to get this team to play more efficiently, and overall score more goals would be appreciated massively mate.

 

image.thumb.png.68d1f3f47a9965edff5e0bdb3fae09da.png

Edited by Maffoo97

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Next game was against Bayern at the Allianz, a great 2-0 win, but it didn't come without its frustrations.  Another bad game from Pogba, the fact we're 2-0 up against one of the best teams and he still gets a 6.5 just shows how awful he was, wayward passes, no goal threat, dribbling his way into the opposition.  Herrera has been simply shocking for me, 6.2.  The ratings are what infuriates me the most - and Bayern were down to ten men so that was fortunate too.

image.thumb.png.e641526c6f44c860f5a5f5b7558ba97d.png

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22 hours ago, Maffoo97 said:

image.thumb.png.68d1f3f47a9965edff5e0bdb3fae09da.png

Firstly if your constantly tweaking i'm a little worried you might be taking individual bad performances or opponents who counter your tactic/players well into account and never really having a "base" tactic to just tweak slightly but always returning to that base system.

Looking at the above system, i'm going to be a bit of a broken record here as I see this often.  TLDR: Your focusing on attacking quickly + in behind opponents but also pressing high so limiting how often there is space behind opponents. You also have limited early attack options and lack early deep runners to create space.

Your on a positive mentality, players will look to play forward more often and things are more urgent purely due to the higher mentality, plus it will be wider, higher, faster by default.  You've then added more pressing, higher lines, even wider and faster plus trying to focus on passes in behind and more dribbling.  W-S + IF-S already dribble often, do you want Herrera dribbling more?  Lukaku is a P-A so has a locked in PI to not dribble more.  Pass Into Space again will affect Herrera but also Lingard, do you want them doing that?  Lukaku has Less Risky Passes locked in and Martial + Pogba already have More Risky Passes.  Overall your system is very urgent, "play it forward quickly with 1-2 touches and try and pass in behind opponents, if you can't play it behind them then run at them" is how I imagine the manager would address the team.

Baring in mind this overall style your telling the players to do lets look at the roles+duties to see what combinations you've made and how the player movements works compared to the ball movement.  Your only high early runner is a lone P-A, if the pass to him isn't on then you'll likely get individual runs.  MEZ-A isn't really a early runner, as a MC he will still help transition then once the ball is in the final third will try to make runs.  But who's making space for the runs?  WB-S will likely be deeper and IF-S will likely be trying to use the same space, in the final third IF will play more like a forward than a wide player.

With the MEZ-A being the runner in midfield and pushing high, the DLP-D and BBM-S are likely the deepest two.  Herrera is good at ticking things over (14 passing + vision I think) but he's not a playmaker or ball carrier (10 dribbling and not that fast) but your team instructions will make him try to be one.  DLP-D by default will be a bit safer, ticking things over until the creative freedom playmaker get make him spot something worth taking a chance on.  With your team instructions how often will players stop, think and decide to pass backwards to the DLP-D for him to build an attack?  They'll more often than not take a pot shot or run/pass it forward or get the ball into the box.

Now if your fast forward thinking style can get behind opponents early when your moving into the final third you could create lots of chances, but your early high running options are limited.  Your also pushing up and pressing higher than normal for the mentality, if effective you'll be reducing the number of times you can attack behind opponents because they aren't pushing up or commit players forward, especially defensive teams who won't let FBs get forward until the ball is in the middle or final third.

What would I do?  I've already put what I did do with this team in early post so won't repeat that.   With this team your always going to have issues if trying to make Pogba a goalscorer from midfield making runs past players like Martial, Rashford and Lukaku, they lack the teamwork, passing and vision to find him, plus he starts so deep.  If he's able to get past the ST early, its almost certainly going to be a full on counter attack so I wouldn't try to set him up to do that all the time.  Let him launch attacks then catch up with play to get on the end of pullbacks / crosses rather than making runs past players who lack the creative skills to use his runs, especially when no one is really making space for the runs.  I think you'll be better off removing Pass Into Space + Dribble More so players keep more to what the role tells them to do. I'd probably relax the engagement and/or d-line but maybe add Counter Press which can cause mistakes in risky areas but lets opponents push up a bit for you to counter attack.  I'd probably remove the focus on the flanks and instead look for one or both wingbacks to get forward earlier by adding attack duty(s).  Then give the Herrera role less freedom so he sits more and is a bit safer (CAR-S / BWM-S) or move the DLP to central midfield as a DLP-S and have a role like DM-D / BWM-D form a double pivot to cover the FBs and let Pogba roam the attacking midfield area with an wide forward giving early and more runs with an attack duty.

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