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bar333

Breaking down a parked bus.

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So giving another shot to having my tactics checked out by more knowledgable people as I'm really struggling vs packed, narrow and deep defenses and wondering if people have any tips as to how to adjust my tactics to achieve it, if there's anything glaringly wrong with them vs packed defences.

I feel like we are doing very well in most games, I just dismantled Bayern 7-0 in a freak result and more generally I'm happy with most of our match performances. I'd have loved to create more scoring chances for the striker if I was greedy, most of his goals are chances he creates for himself and as good as he has been I think he's a beast (one of the best regens i've seen in FM19) and can do even better, but I've mostly given up on experimenting with different striker roles. CF-S is the most consistent from what I've found, at least for my system even though intuitively I'd want him on attack duty.

This is my base tactic -

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It's meant to lean towards a faster, slightly more direct style with quick transitions and early runners in each strata. I used to have a higher tempo in there as well, felt like we were rushing decisions too often so took it off to good results. Sometimes I tweak the d-line and LoE, push higher with lower LoE etc, it changes. In my ideal world I'd even have my AP on attack duty but I don't have the best dribblers in that position (my 18 yo wonderkid who's going to be the long term pick there is incredible for his age, except he has 9 for dribbling) and don't want them to constantly run at people with the ball. I still want the AP to be risky and direct so I'm trying to achieve it by teaching the players certain PPM's. The AP is told to sit narrower and creates a decent overload with the BBM and the CF-S dropping deep and towards that side when the ball is in the middle third, good passing combinations between them. Low Crosses because my main striker is short and won't win headers any time soon (he has amazing heading though, ironically, if he does somehow get his head to the ball).

This is a very slight variation of the same tactic where I try to follow common wisdom vs parked buses -

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So balanced mentality, work ball into box for more patient build up since there is far less space to exploit. FB-A turns into a WB-S who is told to sit narrower, I have no idea if this a good idea but in my mind this helps the overload on the left? Want to try and isolate the winger on the right and create space for him.

Really struggling vs defensive teams as I've said, so far we've had 3 0-0 draws at home to teams that parked the bus, we seem to be knocking the ball around the edge of the box but can't find any way through, ball gets funneled out wide usually to the left where the left back tries to punt a cross in, it gets blocked and goes out for a corner.

Appreciate any thoughts.

Edited by bar333

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I'm no expert but for me, the key ingredients to breaking down a parked bus are having good depth, width and a variety of routes to goal.

With the tactics you posted these elements are lacking in my opinion.

Width - With the exception of the winger, you have very little width. In the final third, as the winger has an attack duty he is likely to be narrower especially since he is the only attack duty in your front 3. In your second tactic, the support duty fullbacks will rarely venture into the final third especially with the reduced mentality.

Depth - The two central midfielders are going to be bombing forward centrally as soon as you gain possession. This will compress the play through the middle and give less space for your players in the central areas. You are also putting pressure on your BWM(D) to pick a forward pass when he receives the ball from the defenders as the vast majority of his options will be quite ahead of the play.

Variety - You have no #9 in either tactic and a lot of players that want to attack the same space off the ball and do the same things when they get the ball. 

I'm also not really understanding some of your choices for the TIs.

- How does trying to work the ball into the box help you break through a packed defence?

- The best chances are usually created when the opposition are recovering defensively, therefore I don't see how slowing down the play by forcing your players to play the ball out of defence helps that.

- Playing a higher line compresses the space for your team which could work with the extremely urgent pressing if you want to keep them camped in but I fail to see how that is connected with having such a low line of engagement. It also runs contrary to what you have correctly identified as the issue of a lack of space to exploit as you are reducing the space you can utilize further.

- You'll likely be able to execute the low crosses through the winger but who is likely to be on the end of them considering you have nobody in the box early.

I'd suggest a few changes.

1) Put the LB on an attack duty to create width on both flanks. You can afford to be more adventurous if the team you are playing against is camping.

2) Choose a slightly more reserved role when it comes to forward runs as the support duty central midfielder to create a deeper option for recycling possession and create some depth and space.

3) Ensure there is a number 9 in the system, either the ST or an AML/R.

4) Get rid of the Work Ball Into the Box and Play Out of defence.

5) Commit to a pressing style, either press high and hard or low and light. Better still, identify where you want to win the ball back and create pressing traps with PIs to do it.

Hopefully, my thoughts have been useful to you. 

All the best

Edited by pheelf

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I prefer to stick to my main plan and make it work against all opponents. Yes I have a more defensive plan and a more attacking plan but no "anti parked bus".

Main thing that stands out is the AP being on opposite flank to the CM-A and W-A. Does he get the ball earlier enough to find them with a direct cross field pass when there's space entering final third?

Once in final third I imagine a switch of play from left to right could create space and chances, do you see this? What does the final third attacks look like?

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First of all, in FM 19 it really is more difficult to break down compact defences than it was in prevous versions. And IRL football even the best teams can sometimes struggle to break down these type of sides, and more often than people think even sides like Liverpool or Man City need a set piece, a spectacular long shot or a ridiculous opposition mistake to break the ice, looking at the scores only can be misleading. Just a few examples that pop into my mind from recent matches that I watched:

  • Liverpool - Newcastle 4-0 : 3 of 4 goals from set pieces: 2 from corners, 1 goal from penalty.
  • Vidi - Chelsea 2-2 : Both of Chelsea's goals were well executed direct free kicks.
  • Lyon - Man City 2-2: Both of City's goals  were a consequence of a set piece: a free kick and a corner.
     

I only emphasize this because I feel that a lot of people feel bad for beating parking-the-bus-teams via set pieces. Don't feel bad about it, sometimes even the best teams do it in real life. However not every match should be like this...

I'm certain there are more ways to break down compact defences, but this is the way that works for me in FM19:

I try to force the opposition into making a mistake near their own penalty area. In order to do this, I press as hard as possible. I max out defensive line, line of engagement and urgency and tick counter-press. And as summatsupeer has said, I also have a main, balanced system that provides different kinds of routes to goal (that is also important for breaking down compact defences), and I have a slightly more attacking and a slightly more defensive variation of it. In these occasions I use the more attacking system with the above mentioned pressing. To me the sweet spot for breaking down parked buses is the positive mentality, it does not rush play too much and at the same time encourages even support duty fullbacks/wingbacks to overlap the sides when there's an opportunity to do so.

This is my first season at Milan, my last 11 results for proving the efficiency of this way, most of the oppositions played defensively or very defensively (even Juventus):

milan5.thumb.PNG.b5d37ca21ba833130bc78435cba1fb60.PNG

Some may recommend the opposite (lowering def line, etc) in this situation in order to invite the opposition forward, and it may work for their system, but it didn't work out for me. All it did was leaving the opposition more time on the ball, and they were happy to waste time and pass calmly in their own half. And since they played very defensively with defend duty fullbacks, despite inviting them forward, they didn't really come forward, thus there was not too much space to exploit.

I hope I could help.

 

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Personally when i want to break down a parked bus, i think of how i can get more bodies into the box for attacks. This means not giving the opposition even a chance to get the ball out. So i end up playing on really high lines and actually choose roles that give me numerical advantages in different tiers.

Eg.

In your system i would use an IWB, this means i take another defensive midfielder with good passing, vision and decisions, and slot him into the side, this gives me the option to release  one of the central mids to attack the box, creating more options. This would still require me to think about my defence where the IWB is playing, so  I would think of the BWM, cos he has a large sphere of influence, perhaps a different role with more tactical discipline to protect the backline. A different role could help me unleash the other back. 

Now since they don't want to come out...why  not just set up shop?

Over lapping = higher mentality and higher initial positioning. Its very aggressive but if they aren't coming out at all, what am i defending? So now my backs are positioned in the opponents half, so when their mids get the ball, my backs are already close enough. Or when the backs have the ball, they are already defending.

You need to think about how you can use roles and duties more imaginatively. To break stubborn sides down that's the route i would take.

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I take @pheelf's point about lack of a 9. My biggest issue with an attack duty upfront in this system is that it always felt like they were really isolated and tended to pull low ratings for lack of involvement. However back then I was on Balanced mentality and with slightly different roles. Having tried an attack duty striker again for some games I think it's better with my current system as the W-A tends to be nearby and looking at average positions it looks almost like a 4-4-2 of sorts in possession. 

This is what I've gone with then -

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I think it's better. Main thing I've noticed is the AP-S now seems to have more options. We're most dangerous when he breaks into space in the final third during a transition and has both the striker and winger making runs in behind. The issue with my system I feel isn't during those transitions but when play has settled in the final third and we're controlling the ball in the opposition's half we can't find a way through. So to answer @summatsupeer I think the AP-S is ok and from what I've seen he does get the ball early in play, it helps that both of my players there have the 'Comes Deep to Get Ball' PPM. As I've said he operates almost like a third CM at times in very close proximity to the BBM. I also train them all to switch play through the PPM.

I've got two bones to pick with you guys. Firstly the MCR I just can't figure out the right role for him. I'm not comfortable with 4 attack duties so CM-A had to go at least for my main tactic, I realize that might be silly but yeah. I figured MEZ-S so he can link up with the winger and still make some forward runs, but he feels ineffective. What do you think I'm missing here for that position? 

Secondly the striker. This is my main guy -

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As I'm sure you can tell, he's basically the perfect AF type, the kind of striker you want running in behind. How would you use him in this system? Mostly I'm torn between PF-A and CF-A. PF-A seems a limited role, I want him to run at people and cause havoc, and he can also be useful during build up or drifting out wide as his mentals are pretty great also.

@Rashidi I know IWB would do well on the left but unfortunately I don't have the player for it and can't even find any on the market. But I take your point about being more imaginative (it's a very generic system, I realize that, but it's what I'm comfortable with) and also more adventurous against sides that park the bus. I wonder perhaps if something like Half Back for the DM who will sit between the 2 CD's + more adventurous roles for the full backs would work better in those games.

Edited by bar333

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This is the mistake I feel most people make at the game. When you look at an IWB what does the role description say? Now look at the attribute spread. What do you think he needs to do? He is obviously playing as a defensive midfielder. Now I am fairly sure you can find decent defensive midfielders who are fast

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I realize how an IWB actually plays but you still need a basic level of positional familiarity at DL\DR. If you play someone there who has no idea how to play the position it tanks their decisions and who knows what else. And training someone to play it from scratch is a very long process. 

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1 hour ago, bar333 said:

I think it's better. Main thing I've noticed is the AP-S now seems to have more options. We're most dangerous when he breaks into space in the final third during a transition and has both the striker and winger making runs in behind. The issue with my system I feel isn't during those transitions but when play has settled in the final third and we're controlling the ball in the opposition's half we can't find a way through. So to answer @summatsupeer I think the AP-S is ok and from what I've seen he does get the ball early in play, it helps that both of my players there have the 'Comes Deep to Get Ball' PPM. As I've said he operates almost like a third CM at times in very close proximity to the BBM. I also train them all to switch play through the PPM.

Your current setup is almost the current 4141 DM Wide i'm using, only instruction different is WBIB but i'm a bit more aggressive with the roles.  The strength in my tactic vs defensive teams is the W-S, WB-S and MEZ-S on the right then a switch of play inside to the AP-A, WB-S and IF-A side.  Even if we transition on the right, if we can draw defenders / DMs to that side, the CM pair have lots of space at the edge of the box for shots, but not just speculative long shots.  

I think the difficulty you'll have is with that AP being in the wide forward position so at times could have limited options compared to being in CM, so i'd look at being more aggressive with the deeper roles+duties behind the AP.  Maybe flipping the CM pair around could make the movement better.  MEZ-S (maybe change to attack duty?) acting as a narrow IF-A, the AP-S dropping inside and deeper from the AML position and the BBM-S on the right to link play to the W-A.  Another option might be making the LB even more attacking as a WB-A or a CWB-A so he bombs forward early and often. Whilst both these options go against the "more patient break them down" it could stretch defences more when your going into the final third and your defensive plan shouldn't pin them in.

Edited by summatsupeer

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3 hours ago, bar333 said:

This is what I've gone with then -

D386D09E7F1BE87F622B0F85A127EE034796FE5F

I don't see anything (particularly) wrong in this setup of roles and duties, except that I would rather opt for a HB or anchor than BWM in the DM position in order to make defense more solid. 

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I guess I haven't mentioned anything about the defence, well defense is rock solid as is so I'm reluctant to change anything for that purpose, I've had the best defence in the league every single season for a while now and am very happy with the system defensively.

2 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Your current setup is almost the current 4141 DM Wide i'm using, only instruction different is WBIB but i'm a bit more aggressive with the roles.  The strength in my tactic vs defensive teams is the W-S, WB-S and MEZ-S on the right then a switch of play inside to the AP-A, WB-S and IF-A side.  Even if we transition on the right, if we can draw defenders / DMs to that side, the CM pair have lots of space at the edge of the box for shots, but not just speculative long shots.  

I think the difficulty you'll have is with that AP being in the wide forward position so at times could have limited options compared to being in CM, so i'd look at being more aggressive with the deeper roles+duties behind the AP.  Maybe flipping the CM pair around could make the movement better.  MEZ-S (maybe change to attack duty?) acting as a narrow IF-A, the AP-S dropping inside and deeper from the AML position and the BBM-S on the right to link play to the W-A.  Another option might be making the LB even more attacking as a WB-A or a CWB-A so he bombs forward early and often. Whilst both these options go against the "more patient break them down" it could stretch defences more when your going into the final third and your defensive plan shouldn't pin them in.

I will give it a shot as it makes sense. Generally my fear has always been leaving myself vulnerable to a counter especially by being ultra attacking on one flank, which an AP-S, WB-A and MEZ-A very much sounds like to me. But the more I watch these games vs parked buses the more I realize these teams are playing even more defensively than I thought. Typically they don't register a single shot on goal as long as the score is 0-0, even their "attacking transitions" is typically a lone striker just holding onto the ball and trying to play it back, literally no effort to even counterattack. So it looks like I can be as adventurous as I want and not get punished.

Any thoughts on the role for the striker? 

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35 minutes ago, bar333 said:

I guess I haven't mentioned anything about the defence, well defense is rock solid as is so I'm reluctant to change anything for that purpose, I've had the best defence in the league every single season for a while now and am very happy with the system defensively.

I will give it a shot as it makes sense. Generally my fear has always been leaving myself vulnerable to a counter especially by being ultra attacking on one flank, which an AP-S, WB-A and MEZ-A very much sounds like to me. But the more I watch these games vs parked buses the more I realize these teams are playing even more defensively than I thought. Typically they don't register a single shot on goal as long as the score is 0-0, even their "attacking transitions" is typically a lone striker just holding onto the ball and trying to play it back, literally no effort to even counterattack. So it looks like I can be as adventurous as I want and not get punished.

Any thoughts on the role for the striker? 

Still got a DM and other FB-S supporting so it's not very open.  You could tell him to sit narrower to add more central cover.

I'd look at how they combine as I was thinking more WB-S, MEZ-A and AP-S or WB-A, MEZ-S, AP-S but depends on your players and what you see.

PF-A you have is fine, gives the AP an option, occupies the CBs rather than running channels and if can pull opponents DMs out of position space in that #10 area.

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slow tempo, high defensive line...wide wide wide wide and play around the bus...do not work into the box...due to congestion and opposition dominance in numbers...criteria number one...physical target man must be present within the bus, criteria two, cross, cross, cross, cross for 90 minutes...another way to break down the bus is play for set pieces

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Overall through all and any changes nothing actually changes, it's still a festival of 0-0's and 1-0's for me with no good chances, no shots on target and no real football. If we can't score from the initial transition then we can't score period, ball goes out wide -> cross blocked -> a nothing corner, repeat until there's no more hair left to pull or you've understandably fallen asleep in front of the monitor at the sight of the scintillating football on display. Sometimes it's a 0-0, others it's a predictable 1-0 defeat from the opposition's only shot on goal. Typically I can tell from the first 10 minutes how a game is going to go, if it goes a certain way I've taken to simply turning on fastest highlights possible & fast forward to the end of the game, take the result and move on.

I appreciate the feedback but I'm done trying. Will ride it out with the tactics I have & roll with the punches and try to enjoy the game as much as possible regardless.

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6 minutes ago, bar333 said:

Overall through all and any changes nothing actually changes, it's still a festival of 0-0's and 1-0's for me with no good chances, no shots on target and no real football. If we can't score from the initial transition then we can't score period, ball goes out wide -> cross blocked -> a nothing corner, repeat until there's no more hair left to pull or you've understandably fallen asleep in front of the monitor at the sight of the scintillating football on display. Sometimes it's a 0-0, others it's a predictable 1-0 defeat from the opposition's only shot on goal. Typically I can tell from the first 10 minutes how a game is going to go, if it goes a certain way I've taken to simply turning on fastest highlights possible & fast forward to the end of the game, take the result and move on.

I appreciate the feedback but I'm done trying. Will ride it out with the tactics I have & roll with the punches and try to enjoy the game as much as possible regardless.

I can give you an example of tactic that can help break down a parked bus, but the problem is that I (none) cannot know in advance if it would work for you because each team is different (i.e. has different types of players). So here it is, but try it only if you really have suitable players for each role:

F9

APMs                                       Ws

MEZa      DLPs

HB

WBs      CD      CD        IWBatt

Mentality - positive

In possession: work ball into box, underlap right (and experiment with tempo, but gradually - just a notch up or down to see which setting gives you the best performance)

In transition: counter, distribute to CBs & FBs

Out of possession: more urgent pressing, standard LOE (and on occasion tighter marking). 

 

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I don't want to just to copy paste a tactic, I want to create something to fit my team. I appreciate the help but I want to do things in a certain way and the frustration comes from not being able to do that and not so much from the results.

S'alright, you can't win them all and overall my tactic is doing pretty well for me. If being unable to break down the bus is it's weakness then so be it, although I maintain there are ME issues at play that I can't account for - for instance your tactic has a F9, I used to love the F9 role for breaking down a bus in past versions but in FM19 the role doesn't function like I expect it to anymore.

I realize now that my above post came off sounding a bit frustrated and bitter but it really is just about having accepted somewhat that anything I do to improve my tactics from what I've got will have very marginal profits if any, clearly me & other members of the forum don't see that much wrong with it on the face of it, no glaring issues popping out. To be perfectly honest I've got a feeling that optimizing my set piece routines will yield more points in those types of games than any changes I make to my base tactic at this point, so that's probably something else to look at.

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I've come to the conclusion that some games you just won't win. Teams that park the bus are my kryptonite and nothing I try works.

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You need some luck and\or individual brilliance. I can accept that my tactics are not super effective against a parked bus but I maintain that the parked bus in general is too effective in FM19 and those two factors will always be huge. Following some of the advice here I've had slightly better experiences against parked buses in that we tend to at least create more and put teams under the cosh more, but actually creating high quality chances and scoring is still a struggle.

Typically IRL when teams manage to park the bus to the extent the AI does it in FM19 (which is far rarer IRL than in FM19, I'm talking teams not even attempting to counter attack) against the big sides it requires top defensive performances from the players - hard work, maintaining concentration for 90 mins, positioning and discipline etc. It's incredibly difficult to do for 90 mins without one cog in the machine collapsing somewhere at some point and bringing the whole thing crashing down. In FM19 it feels easy, it's like the parked bus just stinks the place out and drags both teams down to a terrible game of football. The AI's defenders will always end up with just average ratings having not really needed to perform that well.

 

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Something I wrote a little while ago, all about breaking down a parked bus.  It's for FM16 and I used Team Shape to help, but the principles remain the same (just use other methods now rather than Team Shape).  Note in particular the part where I say "first I must understand what is happening on the pitch" before I make any actual changes.  That's very important.

 

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En ‎31‎/‎12‎/‎2018 a las 17:46, bar333 dijo:

I don't want to just to copy paste a tactic, I want to create something to fit my team. I appreciate the help but I want to do things in a certain way and the frustration comes from not being able to do that and not so much from the results.

S'alright, you can't win them all and overall my tactic is doing pretty well for me. If being unable to break down the bus is it's weakness then so be it, although I maintain there are ME issues at play that I can't account for - for instance your tactic has a F9, I used to love the F9 role for breaking down a bus in past versions but in FM19 the role doesn't function like I expect it to anymore.

I realize now that my above post came off sounding a bit frustrated and bitter but it really is just about having accepted somewhat that anything I do to improve my tactics from what I've got will have very marginal profits if any, clearly me & other members of the forum don't see that much wrong with it on the face of it, no glaring issues popping out. To be perfectly honest I've got a feeling that optimizing my set piece routines will yield more points in those types of games than any changes I make to my base tactic at this point, so that's probably something else to look at.

The game is more random than you think. Unless you cheat/distort the ME with magical tactical settings (if it's not the same…) there is not much room for improvement in your tactic.

I'd suggest accept sometimes you will lose and there is nothing you can do. Forget about IWB and forget about understading what is happening on the pitch. Just play and have fun with your already sound tactics.

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Posted (edited)

If I lost it'd be better! At least that means the AI pulled one over me and I have something to work with. I'd take losing some and winning some ahead of multiple 0-0 results every season. I just personally can't quite understand SI's thinking on this since the parked bus situation is just completely out of control. It's too negative and the AI does it far too often.

Here's an analysis screenie of my last game -

1AF27EC58FE4EDB37839700F590C737A519D22D7

Defensive 4-1-4-1, just sit ultra deep and narrow, 11 men behind the ball. This isn't counter attacking underdog football, it looks even more extreme than SI's default Park the Bus preset. There isn't even the pretense of trying to nick a goal, in most of these games (this one included) they don't register a single shot on target and sometimes not a single shot on goal at all. You'd think at least they'd play for set pieces but that doesn't happen either when you don't leave your own half. This is full on contain mode. You maybe see teams playing like this for the last 10-15 mins to hold onto a precious lead, why is the team in 6th place in the BL playing like this for 90 mins, at home?

It's frustrating because I feel like I do understand what is happening on the pitch, there's nothing out of the ordinary here, it's a team just covering every inch of their box with 10 players. It's not sophisticated. I just don't see a way around it.

I'd love for SI to engage with people more on this and explain why the AI is so much more negative and chooses to do so much more often than in FM18, but for that there needs to be a bigger mass of people asking the question which right now isn't happening unfortunately. At times I even wonder whether it's intended at all, when 80% of my games are like this then you realize it even ignores AI manager tendencies and they all just default to this, plus sometimes the AI doesn't even try attacking until the 88th-89th minute when they're losing, it's like they're playing for a 1-0 defeat and makes no sense.

Edited by bar333

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Posted (edited)

Second successive 0-0, carbon copy of the last game -

A5833FEDC427C5790A5B2B8C5EE98D3D791ADC4F

Seen maybe 3 highlights on extended during the entire 90 mins, from either team.

I've put it on full match and seen with my own two eyes the opposition striker hold onto the ball for a good couple of seconds and not a single Hamburg player crossed the halfway line to support him or get forward. This is Hamburg, 4th in the BL, Europa League winners, unbeaten in 8 league games and in great form, one of the best teams in the league at the moment. 

It's just relentless. It's this, week in, week out without fail. It's not a tactical tool, it's not situational, none of that, it's just this, again and again and again. I don't even care about the results, who does in FM? I just want to see some football.

I've followed the common route of "it's your tactics - go to the tactics forum for advice". Clearly no one can point out the obvious flaws, what advice I was given has been applied and it's actually leading to a better main tactic overall - but when the AI sets up like this it looks the same as it always has. So what's a guy to do exactly? 

Edited by bar333

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The AI isn't negative, to give you an example.

The AI is playing on lower mentalities, this means its not taking much risk with the way its moving the ball. Any breaks are measured and if they do happen they will probably result in good chances. Even City play on cautious away from home, and balanced at home. Some sides who see you as an outright target may start attacking against you and then settle on balanced after scoring a goal.

Fact is the AI uses mentality a lot more effectively in FM19. In FM18 and before it was poor at it, does this mean we need to lower our mentality? No. We can still play overload and beat the living daylights out of the AI. What many people fail to understand is football tactics irl and in the game. A lot of people may change mentality, width and use pass into space or substitute a player, but those are all 'minor' changes. They change your risky profile, but they do not dramatically change your style of play. If you are playing a 41221 on defensive and go attacking. you are still playing the same way but trying more riskier passes. 

If you don't change any duties, then you still have the same lot taking part in transitions. The AI can change mentality, roles and duties, and use the same tools as us. The problem with the average user is that he uses 10% of the toolkit. 

Its like 90% of the world. They are all 10% users of MS Word and think they are damn good at it, till someone comes along and does things 90% faster than them cos he uses 90% of the toolkit.

What do i do when I am up against a defensive side?
 

Match Prep:

1. What is the AI vulnerable against? - Last 10 games its conceded 8 goals, and 3 of these were CCCs from corners. - We practice set pieces and i make sure i check to see where i can exploit a weakness. For example, at far post they have a shorty defending

2. I watch their videos and look for patterns of attack. This is really easy, cos you will be able to see how sides beat them, and how sides lose. If I find that they are particularly vulnerable down one flank i go down that flank

3 If they like playing a high line and are compressed, i am very careful about how i play direct passes, cos my players will be offside, here what's more valuable is how i control space on the flanks and hit early crosses. I overload one side, hit and early cross cos that will take advantage of their narrow depth but high line.

4. Perhaps my system itself does not do very well against their system. I have a 4312 i like very much, but in matches were i expect to be in a battle i actually go with my 4231.

5. Adaptability - I do change duties and roles very often, there was one game where i started with 2 attacking duties but ended with 6 cos the AI simply did not want to come out. In the end we clobbered it 6-1.

Those who insist that they should win without major changes against a defensive side, well i can't really agree with them. If a side has done a good job nullifying you. Its' your job figuring a way to break them down. Its still possible. I just played a game against a side. They scored the first goal we equalised and went 3 -1 up. They came back to level the match, so i decided to stop being stupid and careless. We finished by winning it 5-3. The AI actually had 5 ccc's because i was simply not paying attention, and didn't care. 

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17 minutes ago, bar333 said:

Second successive 0-0, carbon copy of the last game -

A5833FEDC427C5790A5B2B8C5EE98D3D791ADC4F

Seen maybe 3 highlights on extended during the entire 90 mins, from either team.

I've put it on full match and seen with my own two eyes the opposition striker hold onto the ball for a good couple of seconds and not a single Hamburg player crossed the halfway line to support him or get forward. This is Hamburg, 4th in the BL, Europa League winners, unbeaten in 8 league games and in great form, one of the best teams in the league at the moment. 

It's just relentless. It's this, week in, week out without fail. It's not a tactical tool, it's not situational, none of that, it's just this, again and again and again. I don't even care about the results, who does in FM? I just want to see some football.

I've followed the common route of "it's your tactics - go to the tactics forum for advice". Clearly no one can point out the obvious flaws, what advice I was given has been applied and it's actually leading to a better main tactic overall - but when the AI sets up like this it looks the same as it always has. So what's a guy to do exactly? 

Your tactic is fundamentally weak at breaking down sides that camp, I already added in the first post that you need to think about how you can get more players into attack.  Why do you stick to doing the same thing over and over again? You could push one up in attack in midfield, because you are dominating midfield. You can play with a higher line, and drag them around. The roles and duties tell me everything i need to know about why you are not penetrating teams, you only have ONE plan. hope you control the left and open up the right, what if they are defending the right?

I have an episode of the Kop Diaries, i think its going out tonight, I had to break down a defensive side.

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Can't really add any more generic advice than rashidi has given, the only other thing I can think is for you to post images of what is happening on the pitch rather than stats. Put what you see happening and we might be able to point out things you've need noticed. I'd start with when the AP gets the ball at different stages of play. Also put what the tactic is at the time so there's no confusion.

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When people change Mentality, roles/duties and some shouts, sometimes people aren't really paying attention to whats happening in the game and are just doing things cos some guide out there said do it. 

While changing these has an effect on the game, we need to understand why. Personally i like to look at a game and ask why I am not getting better chances. I am 90% confident that i will beat any inferior side camping in their own half defensively. If they play those 10 at the back kind of systems, I am 100% sure of beating them. Here though I need to look at my own system and see whats happening.

Some teams sit back with only 2 backs, here i will just unload down the flanks and rain holy fire on their box. I may even change tactics. There was one game i was playing my favourite 4312, but realised that against their 2DMs and 5 defenders, we just needed to be more aggressive. The flanks were a natural overload location so i switched to a 4231, and went to work, with 6 attacking duties. 

Here though i asked myself why i couldn't; break sides down. I also know how my system scores goals and the conditions required for that to happen.  IRL some sides play better when other sides are attacking them, as they leave more space for their attacking players to use the space more naturally.  My side is the same. It needs the space. However when i don't get the space, its about using every advantage i can draw on.

1. Can i apply pressure to a flank where they have a yellow card
2. Are they weak on set pieces
3. Are they vulnerable to my players running at them?
4. What kind of balls will my strikers feed off well.

Here I consider all these and I look at the situtation and how my system plays out.

The game has reached a kind of nirvana for really good players, because these players may just enjoy thinking of various ways to solve the puzzle box, and i can see why others may find it hard. Naturally SI will address certain issues like the lack of central attacking play,  but even here i feel its a bit overdone. Sides are still vulnerable to good movement, when there is space. When there isn't any space, I am leveraging off my best players who can dribble and keep the ball. Your tactic has an AP on the left, while he is great at holding up the ball, does he get the support he needs, does he play early crosses to the IF, cos that's the kind of service the IF will thrive on.

If sides are camping already then you need to think about other players in central midfield who can move the ball around. 

I can't see why a 41221 can't dominate possession and win. It can be potentially even more attacking than the 4231.

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Posted (edited)

You can break down a parked bus. You just need to identify where that space is and exploit it. Typically its in front of retreating defensive line or on the flanks as they get narrow.

Take this match. 58 mins scoreless despite controlling the match. I identify where the space is and make a change to exploit it.

E1srL3R.png

Then switch my wingers from W(s) to IW(s) to get them into that space. And use my STC to drive back the defensive line.

L1iuPN0.png

This pushed the Dline deep into the box, and the space moves back with it. They can't be everywhere.

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This leaves my ML in the box with space to get the ball and take a shot.

Wl7u2Vo.png

And a game that was quickly looking to be a 0-0 snooze, turns into a 2-0 win.

These are the shots before the switch.

YRtTcy5.png

And after the switch.

Ld94AFj.png

Its not a lot of shots, as they are super defensive. But the locations are much better and you could really see the difference watching the match.

Sorry for the brevity. On my way to work. 

Edited by VinceLombardi

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Words.

I didn't get a chance to read all of Rashidi's posts before I posted because I was running out the house, but they are both spot on.

Use the whole tool box. Pause and identify what you have at your disposal. Identify what is or isn't working for you. Look for ways to exploit what's there.

I normally look to the flanks to get me around a stubborn defense. But in the match I mention above, they were playing so deep and narrow I couldn't get anything into the box without them knocking it away. So, rather than bang my wingers and crosses even harder into the wall by raising mentality or risk, I moved them from where they were completely ineffective, into space where they were able to do something.

No changes to TI were going to resolve that match for me. The opposing team had the right setup to stop what that tactic was doing. It didn't matter if I did it faster, more attacking, more defensive, more creative. They had that shape beat. So rather than stick with that shape and attack, I switched the shape and attack up with 2 role changes. W (s) -> IW (s)

But that was the solution to this defense. Next time it might be focus flanks, higher tempo, etc. There isn't a winning formula, you need to watch the match and decide on a match by match basis. 

Edited by VinceLombardi

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Few people around recommend to relieve pressure against lesser side in order to open space. I think its quite a risky tactic. It only gives the ball more to a side that does not want to use it, so they will only have more occasions to waste time. And if they decide to use the ball, relieving pressure will only gave them more occasion to bring the ball forward, and will force you to defend lower, which could be a real problem depending on how you built your team. My defense for exemple is made mostly of fast players that are not that great in the air, so it could be a risk. I do much better using high pressure because it tends to cause loads of mistakes from lower leveled players. I guess relieving pressure can be a useful tactic if you have the team well made for it, but not a general case.

As an additional general principle, I tends to restric myself on the instructions when in possession of the ball. I think its more important to define a global frame (Be more expressive, play from defense, ...) and define the correct roles to ensure that you can attack the space in diverse area of the pitch and that a sufficient number of players will participate to the building of this attack. This way your side will feel way less predictible and it will make it harder for the opposing team to defend well if the attacks are coming from everywhere.

 

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Thank you for the responses. @summatsupeer the point of the screenshots wasn't stats but to show the average positions of the opposition to illustrate what I'm struggling with.

Third 0-0 at home now having watched most of the game on Full Match and made multiple adjustments to roles + duties during the game to address what I thought I saw, this time to the team dead in last. Ultra defensive 5-4-1 this time, my thought was exploit the flanks but it didn't work.

I realize the key thing is roles and duties but most times I can't pick up on these subtleties and understand which roles + duties to change and where. I made a lot of changes during that game, especially with the players on the flanks but not just. Interestingly the one and only thing that actually made us look more likely to score was taking off my striker and subbing in a tall, strong, burly target man type and putting him on TM-A role to occupy CB's. He got some headers in and more importantly won a penalty which we missed.

I'll keep chipping away at it and refer to this thread when in need. More than anything what would help is understanding how people analyse where the problems are, I mean in actual in game terms. What do you do? Watch 2D on full match for a bit? Look at shots, or heatmaps? I don't really see what I'm missing but it is what it is. I'm glad at least some people are enjoying the FM19 AI's newfound... err.. tactical nous of putting 11 men + the kit guy + the cafeteria lady on the edge of their box.

 

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7 hours ago, bar333 said:

Interestingly the one and only thing that actually made us look more likely to score was taking off my striker and subbing in a tall, strong, burly target man type and putting him on TM-A role to occupy CB's. He got some headers in and more importantly won a penalty which we missed.

Good you are learning, these are the small things that people miss. Don't ever fall into the trap and make the assumption that your tactic will always beat everyone all the time. Maybe that was the case 20 years ago, but sides are more technically proficient, players can play in multiple positions. This forces managers to be more proactive.  This side of the game separates the top players at this game from the rest.

You looked at the game and identified a way for you to keep the ball more effectively in the opponent's third, that is a good step.

If you want to analyse a game, 2D is good, but 3D helps with the animations. The rest of the stuff, heatmaps etc, are only useful if you can see whats happening on the pitch and understand it. I would avoid all that for now. Stay with the basics:

1. Check the mentality of the team and the formation they use, with the associated roles and duties, this should come from the scout report
2. Spend some time looking at how they score most of their goals. This takes time and practice. Why? cos you will be looking at similar patterns when they play against you.

Some people have asked me for a detailed match prep guide. Would that be helpful?

 

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9 hours ago, bar333 said:

Thank you for the responses. @summatsupeer the point of the screenshots wasn't stats but to show the average positions of the opposition to illustrate what I'm struggling with.

...

More than anything what would help is understanding how people analyse where the problems are, I mean in actual in game terms. What do you do? Watch 2D on full match for a bit? Look at shots, or heatmaps? I don't really see what I'm missing but it is what it is. I'm glad at least some people are enjoying the FM19 AI's newfound... err.. tactical nous of putting 11 men + the kit guy + the cafeteria lady on the edge of their box.

The average positions doesn't show how your players move, how you move the ball and how that moves the opponents. Stats (average pos is a stat) are more to give ideas of where to analyse deeper.

Hence actual situations you see on the pitch is more helpful.  I typically watch in 2d (laptop can't do graphics well) and pause and look at the options available. Firstly i try to identify what is an execution issue from tactical. There's no point potentially ruining what you have because a player who hopefully fits the job didn't execute. Could a sub do a better job in that situation? Is it something I'll have to address in training or transfer market?

If it is tactical such as lack of options, isolation etc then I'll consider if the issue is that role+duty itself, those he's expected to combined with or a general tam issue.  Could we be more aggressive as a team or more patient? Could certain players be more aggressive/patient in there positioning and/or actions? Did we draw the opponents out of position but then didn't have anyone to exploit it, who could of exploited it?

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I had to prepare for a crunch semifinal against Barcelona. So I did my match prep. This involved:

1. Checking how they scored all their goals for the last 10 games.

They build play down the right creating space on the left for players like Coutinho to either score or create dangerous cutbacks.

2. Check how they pass the ball. Passing combinations are helpful but only in context so I had to view the games.

Messi holds the ball playing on support on the right and drifts the ball across the pitch or plays it inside to Vidal. The link was Vidal. Breaking this link was going to be important.

3. They tend to make mistakes when teams rush them into making passes quickly. So here a high line would be helpful.

I go into the game, knowing my right flank will be vulnerable, and I play my fastest pair of defenders. Then I stick a fullback who has good anticipation and acceleration on the right.

Now I do the risky thing. I ask my fullback to overlap. This positions him higher up the pitch, we elect not to play pass into space because we may lose the ball in transition. The higher placed fullback will put more pressure on Coutinho on that flank. 

Now time to work on breaking the link with Vidal. I opt for a BWM/DLP pair in midfield. Vidal is anonymous and I can afford to ignore Messi.

In the first leg we score 2 goals one is a beauty, but we concede two. One from range and another a mistake from the keeper. All good cos I maintain the same strategy in the second leg and Barcelona are destroyed 4-0.

Here my match preparation was fundamental to how we played. I was also looking out throughout the game for the vulnerability down our right. Maybe I was a bit too eager in the first leg, but the second leg we played to our plan perfectly.

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hace 9 horas, summatsupeer dijo:

Firstly i try to identify what is an execution issue from tactical.

And how do you know that?

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47 minutes ago, mrgoal100 said:

And how do you know that?

The simple one to see is if a player does what you want but fails due to his attributes or maybe just a good job by a defender.

The other simple one is a lack of options, as its most likely tactical.  Either isolating the player due to aggressive role&duty and/or team instructions or other players being to cautious.  I try to think about ball movement and player movement, if i'm using a formation with lots of deep players like a 4141 DM Wide but want to be quite vertical with the ball and attacking then i'll need the CM pair to be quite aggressive to get up and support the front 3 so they get forward quickly and not just the ball.

The harder ones are if the player doesn't select the option you want them to.  The is where watching more of the games and/or looking at a players passing analysis might show if its tactical or just poor mentals. Maybe they lack vision to see the option, maybe they lack decision to select the option, maybe they have a trait that goes against the option you want them to take.  Generally the more often something happens the more likely it is tactical.  Using the player movement vs ball movement line thought again, if playing a very short passing style but you have a high early runner its less likely he'll get a early direct through ball so that is likely to be a tactical issue.

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hace 50 minutos, summatsupeer dijo:

The simple one to see is if a player does what you want but fails due to his attributes or maybe just a good job by a defender.

The other simple one is a lack of options, as its most likely tactical.  Either isolating the player due to aggressive role&duty and/or team instructions or other players being to cautious.  I try to think about ball movement and player movement, if i'm using a formation with lots of deep players like a 4141 DM Wide but want to be quite vertical with the ball and attacking then i'll need the CM pair to be quite aggressive to get up and support the front 3 so they get forward quickly and not just the ball.

The harder ones are if the player doesn't select the option you want them to.  The is where watching more of the games and/or looking at a players passing analysis might show if its tactical or just poor mentals. Maybe they lack vision to see the option, maybe they lack decision to select the option, maybe they have a trait that goes against the option you want them to take.  Generally the more often something happens the more likely it is tactical.  Using the player movement vs ball movement line thought again, if playing a very short passing style but you have a high early runner its less likely he'll get a early direct through ball so that is likely to be a tactical issue.

I want to build patiently from the back but my cb hoof the ball. I check their atributes: passing, vision, technique, composure, decisions… They are more than ok, far better than other teams average.

I check if they have passing options and they certainly have, at least one fb alone, one cm coming to collect the ball and the gk behind.

I tell them yo play out the defense, pass short, kill risky passes...

They keep hoofing the ball.

It's frankly admirable how you guys can interve in the match and change things.

Fact is you don't need to do that to win matches and trophies but it's somewhat a mistery for me how you do it.

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9 hours ago, Rashidi said:

I had to prepare for a crunch semifinal against Barcelona. So I did my match prep.

You must have a good side if Barcelona are parking the bus. :D

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51 minutes ago, mrgoal100 said:

I want to build patiently from the back but my cb hoof the ball. I check their atributes: passing, vision, technique, composure, decisions… They are more than ok, far better than other teams average.

I check if they have passing options and they certainly have, at least one fb alone, one cm coming to collect the ball and the gk behind.

I tell them yo play out the defense, pass short, kill risky passes...

They keep hoofing the ball.

It's frankly admirable how you guys can interve in the match and change things.

Fact is you don't need to do that to win matches and trophies but it's somewhat a mistery for me how you do it.

Can you post a screenshot of your tactic, so that we could see what is your formation, mentality, team instructions, player roles and duties? Otherwise it's virtually impossible for anyone to tell you what's the reason that your tactic does not work the way you want it to.

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hace 3 minutos, Experienced Defender dijo:

Can you post a screenshot of your tactic, so that we could see what is your formation, mentality, team instructions, player roles and duties? Otherwise it's virtually impossible for anyone to tell you what's the reason that your tactic does not work the way you want it to.

Thanks for your interest but this is not my thread. I may open a new one despite I'm still on fm18.

Anyway, I could post 10 different tactics and never no tactic works the way I want. I could tell you how my wingers start cutting inside, my dlf try to beat the offside trap instead of coming ddeep to collect the ball or my playmakers take long shots for no apparent reason.

That doesn't mean my results are bad (are okay) because, fortunately, you don't need that ability to win in fm. All I said is I find admirable how you can interve in the match and turn things around because it's virtually imposible for me.

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3 minutes ago, mrgoal100 said:

Thanks for your interest but this is not my thread. I may open a new one despite I'm still on fm18.

I love FM18, so go on :thup:

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12 hours ago, Rashidi said:

I had to prepare for a crunch semifinal against Barcelona. So I did my match prep. This involved:

1. Checking how they scored all their goals for the last 10 games.

They build play down the right creating space on the left for players like Coutinho to either score or create dangerous cutbacks.

2. Check how they pass the ball. Passing combinations are helpful but only in context so I had to view the games.

Messi holds the ball playing on support on the right and drifts the ball across the pitch or plays it inside to Vidal. The link was Vidal. Breaking this link was going to be important.

3. They tend to make mistakes when teams rush them into making passes quickly. So here a high line would be helpful.

I go into the game, knowing my right flank will be vulnerable, and I play my fastest pair of defenders. Then I stick a fullback who has good anticipation and acceleration on the right.

Now I do the risky thing. I ask my fullback to overlap. This positions him higher up the pitch, we elect not to play pass into space because we may lose the ball in transition. The higher placed fullback will put more pressure on Coutinho on that flank. 

Now time to work on breaking the link with Vidal. I opt for a BWM/DLP pair in midfield. Vidal is anonymous and I can afford to ignore Messi.

In the first leg we score 2 goals one is a beauty, but we concede two. One from range and another a mistake from the keeper. All good cos I maintain the same strategy in the second leg and Barcelona are destroyed 4-0.

Here my match preparation was fundamental to how we played. I was also looking out throughout the game for the vulnerability down our right. Maybe I was a bit too eager in the first leg, but the second leg we played to our plan perfectly.

This is helpful in general and I thank you for it, but personally this kind of thing has not been an issue for me i.e big matches in the CL. We do well in big games and I actually won the CL last season having beaten Barcelona, Liverpool then Bayern in the final. I just play our normal game with maybe some slight adjustments against these top sides and trust we'll come out on top, defensively we're always good in these games and in general.

For example the game that preceded said third 0-0 of the season? A 3-0 thrashing of Bayern at their place, who were hot on my tail in the league and in great form. No special preparation, I've just had Bayern's number all along and we tend to hammer teams that give us space with quick transitions.

What I'd be more interested in is entirely from the standpoint of your attacking play and how you analyse during or before the game when you expect a parked bus or facing one and during the game you see that you're just not creating any good chances. I watched your video where you beat Huddersfield and it was pretty great to see how you managed to create that ridiculous amount of space for Gomez on the right, I think being able to do that consistently is what a lot of people really wish they'd be able to do.

I find the AI far better at getting 0-0 draws against me than it is at actually beating me with top teams. It feels highly competent in one and not so much in the other which is why people win the biggest trophies with small teams in a relatively short time frame in FM. In fact I'm almost into January and we're still unbeaten in all competitions and actually in some ridiculous unbeaten streak stretching back to last season. We don't lose, it's 0-0's at home vs teams that come to stink up the place which are the bane of our existence.

Honestly this all sounds like great results right? Cause it is. The tactic is ok on paper. It's adjusting things during a game that I struggle with.

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The AI is ridiculously negative IMO in this years game.  Teams park the bus at home, teams that are in good form, there is no real life reasoning for it, For example I went away to a 4th placed Wolves who were in good form, they had been playing an attacking wing back formation against pretty much everyone.

Against me? Nah they slip to a flat back 5 with two DMs and two normal defensive wingers sitting in front and literally play anti-football AT HOME, to a team two places above them.  

All the pre-match scouting is pointless, because it would have told me how they play normally, not their park the bus formation.

Regardless of breaking it down, the AI IMO in this years game does it far too often, I have had Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City, challenging for the title do it, and again its not more compact counter attack football, it's literally every man behind the ball packing the box like they are a non league team playing an PL team in the FA Cup away from home.  For example in one home game against Chelsea I had 39 shots to their 2, they had two long shots, at no point did they try to win the game, they just tried their hardest to not lose, which they did anyway.

They also don't see to care about actually trying to win even if they are losing, I went away to Everton, who parked the bus at home but scored two early goals against them and was 2-0 up after about 25 minutes, again the AI just sat with their same negative park the bus formation until about the 80th minute, by which time I was 3-0 up. 

I don't find it particularly challenging, most of the time I find ways to beat these teams, I have good set piece takers, tall centre backs, a very good striker in the air so we can bomb some crosses in etc. My team is currently on an 86 league game unbeaten run, and I don't feel that this is because my team is so amazing and unbeatable, I feel this is because the AI is often too negative and very rarely tries to actually beat me in any way, they play to not lose and hope they score a corner or long shot, but I have top defenders and very good consistent goalkeeper so this doesn't happen for them and because they are so negative I relentlessly attack and almost always will score at least 1 goal. 

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Agree entirely with the above post and feel that there's a massive disconnect between the way that incredibly savvy users like Rashidi approach FM and how others do.

To explain this a little, i'm not at all convinced that there are many users out there who treat each individual game as a code to be deciphered and tailor their approach game-to-game. What's more, I don't think that this should be necessary either; you should not have to be FM's answer to Alan Turing to be successful against most teams; as IRL, most teams are simply not that good (indeed, many are obviously flawed) and lack the discipline/concentration/nous to defend as resolutely and compactly as the AI in FM currently does. I've been playing in the lower leagues and am finding that even teams at this level are hugely proficient in shutting games down.

I'm really not taking aim at Rashidi as he inputs a huge amount of time into helping those encountering issues but most simply do not have his analytical brain and (in my case), wouldn't want to approach FM in such a reactive way. Setting up a balanced tactic and ensuring that you have the players with the right spread of attributes to fulfil it should be enough to break down most teams without having to abandon your core philosophy as soon as you have success as the AI responds in becoming so appallingly negative. Players usually have a set way that they want to play their teams to play and are not minded to switch it up and go more direct in order to get around the ludicrously high instances of ultra negative tactics they're encountering; of course, chucking crosses into a target man or shooting on sight could yield results but personally, i'm not going to do that as (in most cases) I shouldn't have to and I hate that style of football. There are examples of teams doing this IRL (Pep's Bayern vs Dortmund, for example) but largely, technical teams will remain patient and trust that the opposition will lose vitality, focus etc and eventually succumb. This doesn't really happen in the current ME, or at least, not often enough - teams are content to offer absolutely nothing in an attacking sense, safely insulated by the engine's lack of forward movement ensuring that they're able to hold-out for a series of stultifying bore-draws. 

Tweaking your approach is obviously fundamental to success but would we not expect that there are a sizeable cohort of games each season in which the most technically accomplished, balanced sides should win playing their 'natural' game/formation? Has FM really moved away from this or is it just that issues with movement/central play coupled with a very negative AI approach in this ME are offering this impression?

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Posted (edited)

I'm at the point now where I'm absolutely convinced it is not intended behavior of the AI and no one can tell me otherwise. I'm sorry to @Rashidi and others and this is not a dig at anyone but I'm well past the point of having it explained to me that it's just the "AI being smart with mentality". 90 percent of league games against a completely parked bus that doesn't register a shot on goal and doesn't change even when they're down? Nah, I'm not having it. It's broken code, not a design decision. File under "Bugs", of the almost game-breaking variety.

Can only echo the last two comments, these are the exact same experiences I have with FM19.

My last league game was at home vs Hertha Berlin, league leaders with a 4 point gap from me. Storming the league, trashing teams, unbeaten. Game of the season so far right?

They actually parked the bus. Full contain mode, no shots on goal, like the teams at the bottom of the table play against me. Got the 1-0, think from a penalty on a set piece. They stuck with it - didn't change their tactics a bit, didn't give a flying toss about attempting to equalize - the league leaders! 

Game ended with a comfortable 3-0 win for me. They were never near this game. It was only at 3-0 down after more than 80 minutes that they figured "hmm, maybe we should try and score a goal" and changed from the parked bus.

It's hard for the game to surprise me at this point but this was the worst I've seen yet, the sheer absurdity of the situation caught me by surprise, I genuinely wasn't expecting them to do that. It convinced me that the AI isn't even following any sort of logic. It's like somewhere in the code, half the algorithm is missing. I also happen to be a programmer and it feels to me like those instances where I debug my code and see the same things happening every time regardless of input, like I forgot to run some check somewhere and a flag is never set, ever, so the same section of code is always executed even when it shouldn't be. The type of thing that seems so obvious once you finally catch it.

It will be fixed\changed, whether in a patch for FM19 or for FM20 I don't know. But I'm convinced it cannot be intended behavior. So any discussions on it's merits, whether it's good for "challenge" (my results in FM19 haven't been any different from past FM's - it's just that the journey tends to be far more boring) etc can be shelved for now, from my point of view. We need SI to notice this, but I get that they're on holidays or just coming back or w\e.

Edited by bar333

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That's not been my experience, though I'm only 1 season in. And I play with the opposing team formation widgets up, so I am watching them in real time make constant adjustments.

I will say, there have been a few times I've wondered why they didn't go attacking a bit sooner, but normally in those games I've got their number and it wouldnt have helped them get back into the game -- just given me more space to attack. 

That said, I would definitely agree that the AI behavior described doesn't make sense and I would also be concerned it is a bug. I suggest that you upload the .pkm and make a post in the bug forum.

 

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48 minutes ago, bar333 said:

and doesn't change even when they're down?

I am sorry, but the AI does make changes, you aren't seeing it. Firstly, Your widgets don't have all the information.  I do agree that sometimes the AI is way too defensive. It's like this, we have someone with a new "toy" and they decide to go play with it a bit more than with other toys. I am pretty sure, some teams will come out to be more offensive, that's just the nature for different kinds of managers. You can try changing your skin to get roles and duties showing as well, cos they do change. I just don't use the mod personally.

Currently if you are a favorite or even close to be a top 6 side, most sides will treat you with some caution. And, attacking systems still rule in FM19, so if you have the right setup, the AI will lose more often than win if it decides to hunker down. I do believe and have always believed that the AI needs to be a lot more proactive, but that too is tied into specific manager attributes. I do believe that if you were even odds to win the game, and if the AI decided to park the bus for 80 mins, 3-0 down, then something is very wrong. Of its an even odds game then they should come out to play. Though its hard to comment on your scenario, apart from saying put in a bug report.

The AI  should change its mentality, and perhaps change the duties. I know for a fact that mentality and duties can change. The shift from defensive-cautious, cannot be told from the widget. The only shift we will see is either cautious to defensive or positive to attacking. When it goes from cautious to positive, you will never see that. Similarly I have seen the AI add TIs in a game,  but it would be the only conceivable reason why a WB(S) is so close to a W(A) on attack in a mid transition.

The AI does use shouts to change things, the demand more is a frequent one I see used against me, and it does make mentality shifts, these will be indicated more often than not by a commentary change.  If it decides to use the flanks or go through the middle, that will also be indicated with a commentary change. 

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I can only say that I would never enjoy FM anywhere near as I do if it was easy to score and/or win (just because you are managing a good/top team). There are more than enough "kiddish" games, so I am happy there is the one that really requires a lot of thinking and analysis if you want to succeed. As herne (or maybe Cleon, not 100% sure) recently said in another thread, "the game rewards logical thinking" :thup:

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Agree completely with @bar333, success not really an issue here. Just watched Man City's goals in their 9-0 win against Burton Albion, the type (rather than the number) of goals they scored is virtually impossible to replicate in FM19 against teams parking the bus, regardless of quality of opponents. Of course the fact that AI (even more reputable teams) seems to go very defensive very quick tends to be a big part of the issue, or at least this has been my experience in my Brazil save since third division.

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