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faith7777

Struggling for possession against teams parking the bus

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What am I doing wrong? I don't understand why anytime I come up against a team that parks the bus I tend to lose the possession battle. Moreover I am having difficulties creating chances for my front 3, most of the goals I have scored so far are from set pieces and long shots. In both tactics I have set fewer risky passes to the back 5 and roaming for the DLF and IF.

Napoli.thumb.jpg.fa34161b5e07d2c0b780477a673b05fb.jpg

This was my initial setup, the idea being that with the AP on the left I would control and draw the opposition towards the left hand side, which should free up my raumdeuter to score goals either through a switch of play from the IF and AP, being played in behind by the DLF or from crosses provided by the WB. But I noticed that this was not effective as the raumdeuter was consistently getting low ratings and not scoring goals, which lead me to believe that there was a lack of supply.

Slide1.thumb.JPG.e4ee0cddc9647d77bcdc978240b12af7.JPG

I then switched to this system, with the idea being that with the AP now on the right side behind the raumdeuter I could get immediate supply for the raumdeuter. However both systems struggle to dominate possession against teams that just park the bus and hit it long on the counter, produce few goals from open play and are struggling to create chances for the front 3.

Below are some examples:

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Slide3.thumb.JPG.a1d7cf143da4fdac0b96c759f7c8baf4.JPG

Slide4.thumb.JPG.b6c6b99e05ba5b7d7c3316a5f53e00a6.JPG

Any advice would be appreciated.

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1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

I don't understand why anytime I come up against a team that parks the bus I tend to lose the possession battle

Teams that "park the bus" generally tend to defend not only when out of possession, but also when they have the ball (that's what I call "intelligent defensive football", btw). This means they know they are too weak to try to outperform a stronger opponent by playing attacking football, but they also understand their defense lacks the quality to withstand pressure if they defended for all 90 + minutes of the game. So when they have the ball, they look to keep it as long as possible in order to maximally reduce your time with the ball (because when you don't have the ball, you cannot attack and hence cannot score). When you face this type of ultra-defensive opposition, you need to press them heavily to try to win the ball back, but taking care not to compromise your defensive solidity. In your tactic, you use more urgent level of pressing and counter-press, which can help somewhat but is obviously not enough. So what can you do?

- raise the LOE to higher or even much higher

- set the pressing level for your three most advanced players to maximum in their PIs (unless it's already on maximum), so that they put as much pressure on their back-line and thus force them to either make a costly mistake or give up possession by clearing the ball long

Alternatively, you can even try the opposite - i.e. reduce the LOE to lower to try to draw them onto you and then suddenly win the ball and hit them quickly on the counter-attack before they manage to get back into their defensive position. However, this is not likely not work against a team that has absolutely no attacking ambition.

1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

I am having difficulties creating chances for my front 3, most of the goals I have scored so far are from set pieces and long shots. In both tactics I have set fewer risky passes to the back 5 and roaming for the DLF and IF.

I saw in your tactic that you do not use counter-attacks in transition. Why? It can be a very potent weapon against ultra-defensive sides, especially as you are Napoli, which is a very good team with a lot of players capable of passing the ball quickly and with good speed and movement. 

Then you play on a (slightly) lower tempo, which gives opposition more time to consolidate their defense when they lose the ball. Again, Napoli players are good enough that they can play on a higher tempo (or at least slightly higher).

What else you could try when facing a "parked bus" is activate the "Be more expressive" instruction. You have a good number of creative and technically skillful players at Napoli, so sometimes you can allow them a bit more creative freedom, especially in this kind of situations.

1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

Napoli.thumb.jpg.fa34161b5e07d2c0b780477a673b05fb.jpg

This was my initial setup, the idea being that with the AP on the left I would control and draw the opposition towards the left hand side, which should free up my raumdeuter to score goals either through a switch of play from the IF and AP, being played in behind by the DLF or from crosses provided by the WB. But I noticed that this was not effective as the raumdeuter was consistently getting low ratings and not scoring goals, which lead me to believe that there was a lack of supply.

Theoretically, your reasoning is quite logical. However, with opposition being too defensive and hence (probably) unwilling to leave their defensive positions and press a bit more, I guess there is too little space (and time) for your RMD to exploit. But perhaps that could change with the team instructions I suggested above, even without tweaking the roles and duties. 

 

1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

Slide1.thumb.JPG.e4ee0cddc9647d77bcdc978240b12af7.JPG

I then switched to this system, with the idea being that with the AP now on the right side behind the raumdeuter I could get immediate supply for the raumdeuter. However both systems struggle to dominate possession against teams that just park the bus and hit it long on the counter, produce few goals from open play and are struggling to create chances for the front 3.

The right flank is potentially very vulnerable defensively in this particular system, so I would opt for the first one, which is clearly more solid.

Btw, Insigne certainly can play as an IF (and play very well at that), but knowing him from real-life football, I think he would be a very good trequartista as well. Of course, if you played him as a TQ, that would require some tweaking to other roles and duties. Here is just an idea you might consider and see if it makes sense (because you clearly know your players and their attributes much better than I do):

DLFsu/F9

TQ                                      Wsu

DLPsu     MEZat

HB

        WBsu      CD      CD        IWBsu/de

GK/SK

Or if you want to keep using Callejon as a RMD, maybe this could work:

DLFsu/F9

APsu                                   RMD

CMat     DLPsu

HB

IWBde/su    CD    CD      WBsu

GK/SK

 

                                        

Edited by Experienced Defender

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This is well  known long term issue where defensive tactics can outpass attacking. It's a combination of ME problems like pressing and general defending still being ineffective especially if roles and duties aren't carefully assigned. Park the bus tactics can have extra men in midfield and then it's even  more  important to think how your defensive setup looks. Too many attack duties usually mean less congested midfield, especially on flanks. You would  want the same number of midfielders as opponents but sometimes that's not  possible against some defensive formations. In such case narrower defensive width can be used and having your striker on support duty can help with numbers in midfield. 

The above structure and player roles&duties point out it might be best to use lower mentality tactics combined with aggressive defense and possession football against park the bus style, especially if possession is one of your concerns.

 

Edited by Mitja

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A couple of FMs ago semi pro team could easily dominate possession  against Barca, with improved defending things got a little  better but score issues remain.

1. In game description don't reflect with what's happening on the pitch. And actually it's the opposite. In general the more attacking the tactics it's more direct and counterattacking. The more defensive the  tactics it's easier to implement possessional football. This issue alone confuses many players and AI. It also creates strange looking games with even stranger match statistics.

2. In real football usually it's the opposite scenario, attacking team is trying to dominate the play in opponents half and defensive team relies on quick counters. There is no "park the bus" tactics in this world that would try to outpass and dominate possession against stronger teams for 90 minutes. In FM out of "confusion" such scenario happens all the time. 

3. What's even worse such scenario is more  often than not successful for defensive team. Especially against AI and people unaware of games description confusion.

4. This is my personal opinion but the football which ultra defensive mentality displays - keep it safe and not interested in scoring - simply doesn't exist in modern football as main tactics for 90 minutes. And again its the much stronger team who can afford to play that way,  not the weaker.

5. In modern football which is all about quick transitioning FM doesn't need a whole mentality to achieve such style. There are more than enough TIs, PIs and different player roles to tweak the tactics to achieve desired result. I don't think there is a such huge mentality scale and difference between mentalites irl like in FM - it's either you want to score or you're satisfied with draw (and "balanced" in between). All other tactical aspects should be covered and already are with vast numbers of instructions. I think the same is true for real life tactics. For example it's completely illogical to instruct player to try through balls often and then have strange 10 level modifier to micro tweak the instruction further.

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6 minutes ago, Mitja said:

For example it's completely illogical to instruct player to try through balls often and then have strange 10 level modifier to micro tweak the instruction further.

I know (hope, guess) that English isn't your first language, but so many of your posts simply don't make sense. The quoted sentence bears no relationship to FM as I understand it.

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4 minutes ago, warlock said:

I know (hope, guess) that English isn't your first language, but so many of your posts simply don't make sense. The quoted sentence bears no relationship to FM as I understand it.

So you think mentality doesn't affect passing decisions? Think twice. Anything else?

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1 minute ago, Mitja said:

So you think mentality doesn't affect passing decisions? Think twice. Anything else?

In what way, exactly, does mentality create a '10-level modifier' about passing?

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In riskiness way maybe, what do you think? Ever tried to play same role and duty on attacking and then on defensive mentality? You think it plays the same? And what's the difference then?

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5 minutes ago, Mitja said:

Uups there's 7 mentality levels

Why would you think that a player on, say, ultra-attacking mentality would pass the same way as someone one on, say, a defensive or very-defensive mentality? Surely the point of the TC is that as you increase mentality you can decrease passing length or aggressiveness or risk-taking? And vice-versa. It seems entirely logical to me that I can increase risk-taking (which is all that mentality affects) while adjusting passing length independently. Or the opposite. Seems logical, no?

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You still didn't answer what risk taking do you  mean, passing decisioning among some other maybe? I could ask you why do we need passing and tempo and many other instruction if we could just use mentality to achieve desired result. What risk taking give examples. If you  experimented with FM tactics just a little you should know how mentality affects decision making - risk.

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4 minutes ago, Mitja said:

You still didn't answer what risk taking do you  mean

In football, risk is risk. It certainly includes passing risk - if I play a longer/less safe/riskier ball does that give us a better attacking chance versus the risk of losing possession? If I'm a defender does moving out aggressively give us a better chance of winning back the ball or if I get caught out, do we lose possession? And is that loss of possession dangerous?

What it comes down to is this: is the 'riskier' pass actually risky or is it actually safer? If a defender sees the short ball into a closed-down player versus a hoof ball down pitch where the attacker might get onto it, which is the riskier pass? Risk is entirely situational where you seem to be arguing it's an absolute.

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Ok we seem to understand better now and what I'm trying to say is there's more than enough very specific instructions that influence passing patterns and decision making there's no need for mentality to interfere with them. If mentality affects passing riskiness which it does then it also contradicts all other specific instructions related to passing. This is one of the core problems why "park the  bus" like tactics are able  to achieve such big possession stats. This scenario is even more absurd because according to game  description such tactics shouldn't even produce football like that. Let alone allowing defensive sides to dominate possession even against elite clubs. 

In real football you need sufficient player quality to play short passing game because it's  riskier than long, in FM you can achieve it with simply "clicking the wrong buttons" accidentally. 

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@faith7777 the main thing that jumps out of me is lack of attacking duties.  The RMD can be tricky one to get the most from and he's the only role I can see that's constantly trying to get in behind and finish moves.  The rest of the tactic doesn't look too bad.  Don't think it needs many tweaks.  If you make the centre forward an attack role it may help him pin back the two central defenders and that might help you, good luck.

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You're not losing the possession battle because of teams parking the bus.

By it's very nature, a parked bus has got little to do with possession.  Parked buses aim to get 10 (or even 11) men behind the ball, sit deep, soak up pressure and clear their lines to relieve that pressure every so often.  If the parked bus wins the ball back deep, trying to then pass the ball around in such deep positions with the attacking team positioned so high up the pitch could be footballing suicide.  If you're losing the possession battle, something else is going on:

1) Is it actually a parked bus?  A deep formation isn't always a parked bus.

2) Is your pressing and line of engagement effective?  When you lose possession, what do your players do?  Where on the pitch do you press?  Are you letting them pass the ball around in their own half?

3) Is your own possession effective enough?  Look at your possession numbers, that's not a possession tactic.

You originally posted this question in my possession thread.  Teams who field a parked bus is where I typically see the most possession.  I recently played Huddersfield who did park a bus and were only interested in defending deep.  We ended up with 72% possession (we average about 65%) and won 3-0.  There are some fundamental flaws in your set up, re-read the sections I wrote about pressing, tempo and shorter passing especially :thup:.

One other question: why are you using that formation?

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23 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Teams that "park the bus" generally tend to defend not only when out of possession, but also when they have the ball (that's what I call "intelligent defensive football", btw). This means they know they are too weak to try to outperform a stronger opponent by playing attacking football, but they also understand their defense lacks the quality to withstand pressure if they defended for all 90 + minutes of the game. So when they have the ball, they look to keep it as long as possible in order to maximally reduce your time with the ball (because when you don't have the ball, you cannot attack and hence cannot score). When you face this type of ultra-defensive opposition, you need to press them heavily to try to win the ball back, but taking care not to compromise your defensive solidity. In your tactic, you use more urgent level of pressing and counter-press, which can help somewhat but is obviously not enough. So what can you do?

- raise the LOE to higher or even much higher

- set the pressing level for your three most advanced players to maximum in their PIs (unless it's already on maximum), so that they put as much pressure on their back-line and thus force them to either make a costly mistake or give up possession by clearing the ball long

Alternatively, you can even try the opposite - i.e. reduce the LOE to lower to try to draw them onto you and then suddenly win the ball and hit them quickly on the counter-attack before they manage to get back into their defensive position. However, this is not likely not work against a team that has absolutely no attacking ambition.

I saw in your tactic that you do not use counter-attacks in transition. Why? It can be a very potent weapon against ultra-defensive sides, especially as you are Napoli, which is a very good team with a lot of players capable of passing the ball quickly and with good speed and movement. 

Then you play on a (slightly) lower tempo, which gives opposition more time to consolidate their defense when they lose the ball. Again, Napoli players are good enough that they can play on a higher tempo (or at least slightly higher).

What else you could try when facing a "parked bus" is activate the "Be more expressive" instruction. You have a good number of creative and technically skillful players at Napoli, so sometimes you can allow them a bit more creative freedom, especially in this kind of situations.

Theoretically, your reasoning is quite logical. However, with opposition being too defensive and hence (probably) unwilling to leave their defensive positions and press a bit more, I guess there is too little space (and time) for your RMD to exploit. But perhaps that could change with the team instructions I suggested above, even without tweaking the roles and duties. 

 

The right flank is potentially very vulnerable defensively in this particular system, so I would opt for the first one, which is clearly more solid.

Btw, Insigne certainly can play as an IF (and play very well at that), but knowing him from real-life football, I think he would be a very good trequartista as well. Of course, if you played him as a TQ, that would require some tweaking to other roles and duties. Here is just an idea you might consider and see if it makes sense (because you clearly know your players and their attributes much better than I do):

DLFsu/F9

TQ                                      Wsu

DLPsu     MEZat

HB

        WBsu      CD      CD        IWBsu/de

GK/SK

Or if you want to keep using Callejon as a RMD, maybe this could work:

DLFsu/F9

APsu                                   RMD

CMat     DLPsu

HB

IWBde/su    CD    CD      WBsu

GK/SK

 

                                        

Thanks for the feedback, I’ll give these suggestions a go.

The reason for not using counter-attacks is to ensure that we do not rush the play and lose the ball immediately once we’ve won it back, but rather to work our openings patiently. Also I don’t think it fits in with the whole possession concept.

I have thought about changing the raumdeuter in the tactic as I’m not liking the interaction with the BBM, I’m always seeing the ball being played to the BBM whilst the raumdeuter is being marked out, meaning that he does not have the passing option and instead opts for a long shot.

However, the issue is that Callejon is right footed, so he may not be as effective with the inside forward duty cutting in from the right, a winger role would not suit what I am looking within the tactic as players are dropping off and not attacking the box immediately.

I may need to bring in a suitable inside forward and then change Insigne’s role to a trequartista or an advanced playmaker as suggested.

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1 minute ago, faith7777 said:

The reason for not using counter-attacks is to ensure that we do not rush the play and lose the ball immediately once we’ve won it back, but rather to work our openings patiently.

But your team is Napoli, so your players should be quite capable of executing fast counters. Furthermore, the Counter TI does not mean they will launch a counter-attack every time and immediately as soon as the ball has been won, but only when there is a decent probability that a counter could be successful.

 

5 minutes ago, faith7777 said:

Also I don’t think it fits in with the whole possession concept.

Well, of you want possession just for the sake of possession, then okay.

 

6 minutes ago, faith7777 said:

I have thought about changing the raumdeuter in the tactic as I’m not liking the interaction with the BBM, I’m always seeing the ball being played to the BBM whilst the raumdeuter is being marked out, meaning that he does not have the passing option and instead opts for a long shot.

However, the issue is that Callejon is right footed, so he may not be as effective with the inside forward duty cutting in from the right, a winger role would not suit what I am looking within the tactic as players are dropping off and not attacking the box immediately.

If he is right-footed, then you can try him as an IF on attack. You can also tell him to roam from position (not necessarily, just as an option to consider). I've had pretty nice experience with playing a right-footed player as an attacking IF on the right side (or left-footed on the left). But then Insigne should be played on support duty (either as AP or IF).

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12 hours ago, herne79 said:

You're not losing the possession battle because of teams parking the bus.

By it's very nature, a parked bus has got little to do with possession.  Parked buses aim to get 10 (or even 11) men behind the ball, sit deep, soak up pressure and clear their lines to relieve that pressure every so often.  If the parked bus wins the ball back deep, trying to then pass the ball around in such deep positions with the attacking team positioned so high up the pitch could be footballing suicide.  If you're losing the possession battle, something else is going on:

1) Is it actually a parked bus?  A deep formation isn't always a parked bus.

2) Is your pressing and line of engagement effective?  When you lose possession, what do your players do?  Where on the pitch do you press?  Are you letting them pass the ball around in their own half?

3) Is your own possession effective enough?  Look at your possession numbers, that's not a possession tactic.

You originally posted this question in my possession thread.  Teams who field a parked bus is where I typically see the most possession.  I recently played Huddersfield who did park a bus and were only interested in defending deep.  We ended up with 72% possession (we average about 65%) and won 3-0.  There are some fundamental flaws in your set up, re-read the sections I wrote about pressing, tempo and shorter passing especially :thup:.

One other question: why are you using that formation?

Thanks for the reply, 

The line of engagement and defensive line were concepts I overlooked as I thought that these would further reduce the spaces I have to play through the opposition, but I will make changes to this as I understand that I am just giving up space and time on the ball to the opposition.

I chose the formation because it is one that best suits the players I have at my disposal.

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14 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

But your team is Napoli, so your players should be quite capable of executing fast counters. Furthermore, the Counter TI does not mean they will launch a counter-attack every time and immediately as soon as the ball has been won, but only when there is a decent probability that a counter could be successful.

 

Well, of you want possession just for the sake of possession, then okay.

 

If he is right-footed, then you can try him as an IF on attack. You can also tell him to roam from position (not necessarily, just as an option to consider). I've had pretty nice experience with playing a right-footed player as an attacking IF on the right side (or left-footed on the left). But then Insigne should be played on support duty (either as AP or IF).

I have always wondered about using two IF’s (one on attack and the other on support) but I thought that this would lead to a lack of variety in the attack. 

Also since Callejon has 12 for dribbling would this be a concern when playing him as an IF?

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42 minutes ago, faith7777 said:

I have always wondered about using two IF’s (one on attack and the other on support) but I thought that this would lead to a lack of variety in the attack. 

Also since Callejon has 12 for dribbling would this be a concern when playing him as an IF?

Why? they don't do the same thing, just by looking that their PI's.

On top of that you can add some PI's, to one of them, like sitting narrower, or staying wider, or giving one of them the option to roam from position.

And on top of that, you have the players prefer movements, that will make them playing the role in different ways.

And to finish, you must not forget the midfield players, and you fullback/wingback players. Unless you are playing with the same role for both midfield players and WB/fB players, the way they will work with the correspondent IF, will be different, leading to a variety in your attack.

In my current interpretation of the 4123 wide DM tactic i'm playing with two IF's, both on support, but...

 

DLF(a)

IF(s)                                 IF(s)

CM(a)       AP(s)

HB(d)

FB(s)     CD(d)      CD(d)     WB(a)

The left IF, is left footed, in fact he is more suited to play as a winger. I gave him the PI to roam from position. Because of that he often don't cut inside, but instead, make a run, not by the line, closer to the box but from the outside side of the opponent fullback. On the same side i have a CM on attack that will often explorer the space between the FB and the CD. My left FB, on support, will give my left side the width i need and also a good option to reclycle possession on that side.

On the right, the IF have the PI's to stay narrow, and make more forward runs. He will play closer to the DLF(a), and take, i hope, more advantage of the AP play. My right WB(a), on attack, will bomb forward and take advantage of the space that the IF will leave.

So, although i'm playing with two IF(s) on support, my attack has enough variety to cause problems to my opponent.

One thing i also have is a second tactic that is the exact mirror of the first tactic. I then, sometimes change tactics in the game. Sometimes i score immediately after that, simple because the opponet didn't adjust.

 

 

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1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

I have always wondered about using two IF’s (one on attack and the other on support) but I thought that this would lead to a lack of variety in the attack.

You would certainly have more variety with 2 IFs on different duties than on the same. You can also use their player instructions to increase that variety even more. Also consider their respective stronger feet. If both are right-footed, you can play the left one (AML) on support and the other (AMR) on attack, so he'll be something between an IF and a winger in terms of playing style (I was doing this with Lucas Moura in my FM18 Spurs save for example).

 

1 hour ago, faith7777 said:

Also since Callejon has 12 for dribbling would this be a concern when playing him as an IF?

Could be, but not necessarily. What are his other relevant attributes - acceleration, off the ball, technique, first touch, flair, anticipation...?

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7 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

You would certainly have more variety with 2 IFs on different duties than on the same. You can also use their player instructions to increase that variety even more. Also consider their respective stronger feet. If both are right-footed, you can play the left one (AML) on support and the other (AMR) on attack, so he'll be something between an IF and a winger in terms of playing style (I was doing this with Lucas Moura in my FM18 Spurs save for example).

 

Could be, but not necessarily. What are his other relevant attributes - acceleration, off the ball, technique, first touch, flair, anticipation...?

 

Callejon.jpg

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Okay, he can play as an IF on attack, but looking at his attributes - RMD would still be his "ideal" role if you used him on the flank (because I see he can also play as a striker).

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Let me give you some different suggestions. In my opinion, facing such opposite team who focused on defense and control possession, you should use high defensive/engagement line, but normal/lower pressing strength. Most people don't realize it, if you press too hard against such team, you sometimes make things worse, as you easily expose space for them to passing or dribbling, also you got more yellow or red cards. Also not try to lower the defensive/engagement line to try to "drag them out of defense", you will just loss possession. In attack, more attacking roles may needed. People think we should use more support roles to keep possession, but it is also not true. Only if you try to create more chance directly, you put pressure on the opposite team, than you got more reward and get more "offensive rebound". 

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