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Gianni Brera

Question about Intensity and Low Block

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Hello everyone,

I've had some recent success with deploying very deep 4-4-2 systems, with a very low line of engagement - but, taking inspiration from Atletico, I employed very intense pressing as TI and lots of ball winners (2 defensive wingers, 2 bwm's, 2 pressing forwards). I felt safe to do so because the FM in-game description quite clearly speaks of pressing intensity ~after~ the line of engagement has been passed. So whether in a high or a low block, the pressing intensity does not affect where on the pitch the pressing happens.

Or so I thought. But then I checked out the FM online manual, which in seems to say the opposite. Intense pressing in a low block is ''counter-productive'' because youre supposedly conceding space. In other words, very ''urgent'' pressing intensity according to the manual does seem to suggest ~high~ pressing, high up the pitch.

 

Is the level of pressing intensity tied to having a high or a low defensive block or is it simply the intensity with which your players press the opponents ~within~ the defensive block?

Schermafbeelding 2018-12-26 om 00.47.01.png

Schermafbeelding 2018-12-26 om 00.47.52.png

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13 minutes ago, Gianni Brera said:

Is the level of pressing intensity tied to having a high or a low defensive block or is it simply the intensity with which your players press the opponents ~within~ the defensive block?

I think the latter. The manual says it's counter-productive having lower line of engagement and intense pressing, because the forwards would not press intensive at the time the ball is around them, because they are further up the line of engagement, and once the ball enters the defensive block, forwards will stay up in the field and it's somewhat too late for them to press urgently. So you have to accept that forwards would not press intensively enough using this tactical setup.

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21 minutes ago, Haiku said:

I think the latter. The manual says it's counter-productive having lower line of engagement and intense pressing, because the forwards would not press intensive at the time the ball is around them, because they are further up the line of engagement, and once the ball enters the defensive block, forwards will stay up in the field and it's somewhat too late for them to press urgently. So you have to accept that forwards would not press intensively enough using this tactical setup.

Ah yes, that makes a lot of sense. Now if FM 20 would add the concept of back-pressing we're golden.

Thanks

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On ‎25‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 23:59, Gianni Brera said:

Or so I thought. But then I checked out the FM online manual, which in seems to say the opposite. Intense pressing in a low block is ''counter-productive''

Old FM versions used to have this weird pressing TI which was either all or nothing, as I recall, a switch between Hassle Opponents or Stand Off Opponents.  I'm sure I asked someone why it was like that as to me every team applies pressure at some point.  Maybe the only time you back off a little with intensity is if you use a high LoE but a low DL giving your team a larger area to contest and making it more physical demanding to cover extra space? 

 

Edited by Robson 07

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I wouldn’t be overly concerned by the manual. Ultimately it’s about getting a system which works regardless if it’s counter productive or not according to the manual. 

Even if you don’t get your front men to join in the pressing, if your back 8 do force a turnover over, likelihood is your forwards will be in space high up the pitch and ideally positioned for a direct counter attack. 

Other options include dropping one or more strikers to AM strata. Leicester’s title winning side was almost certainly a 4-4-1-1 with the hard working Okazaki dropping deeper without the ball. It could be argued Atletico are more of a 4-4-2-0 which should get the forwards pressing from a lower line of engagement. 

Something I’ve not tried but must be worth a go is asking strikers to man mark the opponents MC’s. I’m not totally convinced by the way man marking PI’s work in FM, but intuitively this should create some sort of ‘backwards pressing’. 

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You also need to take into account the mentality on which you play, because you can play a low block both on lower and higher mentalities. With a higher mentality your players will be more eager in trying to win the ball than with a lower (more cautious) one even if all other instructions are identical. And the way you want to defend using a low block also depends on which basic style of football you are looking to implement, i.e. do you want to play a counter-attacking game or just to simply "park the bus". In both cases you need a relatively lower LOE and DL, but the former requires more aggressive defending (more urgent pressing, perhaps even get stuck in) than the latter.

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Have you tried adding the "Regroup" TI? Maybe the forwards would fall back before pressing then?

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