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Creating A Tactic - Step By Step

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This is likely to be the last planned part of the ‘Creating A Tactic’ series before I move on and make a start on the Ajax series you are all patiently waiting for. I might end up writing more about the W-M when I pick up the Paysandu save and start playing again if I feel I can add more things that I perhaps feel I missed out mentioning throughout the series. But nothing is planned. In this last piece, I will be explaining how the W-M formation works with the roles I use and focus on the relationship between the roles and duties used.

The roles and duties have changed quite a bit since the very first article. I’ve evolved it along the way to get the most out of the system. So here is what the roles and duties look like now.

wm1.png?resize=474%2C573

This is the system I now use, the arrows represent the movement of players when we are in possession of the ball and attacking. I spoke about some of the changes I made already. The ones I discussed in the earlier articles were;

  • Complete wing-back
  • Central Midfielder

But the two I never spoke about where;

  • I swapped the Complete Forward to a Deep-lying Forward.
  • I also changed one of the Half Backs to an Anchorman.

In one of the earlier articles, I touched upon the striker role is a bit of issue with some of the other changes I had made. I think it was in the inverted wing-back vs complete wing-back article. This change was a direct result of changing the wing-back role as I felt the complete forward role was going wide far too often and wasn’t really central when I needed a spearhead. The deep-lying forward holds his position better even though he has moves into the channel instructions activated. One of the reasons for this is because the deep-lying forward has the holds position instruction activated. So while he might look to move into the channels at times, for most parts he’ll stay more central.

I’ve moaned about strikers, in general, these past few months. We need a more generic role that allows full customisation of the settings. It’s ridiculous that we are now approaching FM20 and still don’t have a striker role we can fully mould to suit our needs. All the current options all have some major flaw with them. Far too many come with hardcoded instructions for moves into channels and so on.

The second change that I’ve not really spoken about apart from a sentence in the last article is the anchorman. The main reason for this change is I felt that two halfbacks are overkill. They both end up doing the same thing, chasing the same balls and so on. Another part of the reason for switching the role was to protect the midfield now both my central midfielders are aggressive. It’s a pre-emptive measure to steady up the middle of the pitch and have someone who is positionally strict, so he can cover for the more aggressive players.

Now I’ve covered the changes and the reasons behind them let’s take a look at some match analysis to get a real feel of how everything all links together.

wm2.png?resize=474%2C200

I won’t lie and pretend that the way I play isn’t risky. I spoke about risk vs reward earlier in the series and I’m a bit risk taker, as you can see in the screenshot above. If you checked out the team instructions I use above, you’ll see that I use a high defensive line and a high line of engagement. So the behaviour you see in the screenshot is my own doing, I can make the impact less if I really wanted to. I can drop the players further back by lowering the line of engagement and dropping the defensive line. This would then see the anchorman and the half back, drop deeper, as would the attacking players too.

A lot of people don’t like giving up space on Football Manager and try to play the perfect game. This is impossible, you can’t cover every inch of the ground and you can’t stop the opposition from shooting at goal. You can have some say on the kind of areas they shoot from though, which I’ll talk about a little further in. The space I give up in this system is part of my strength as I want the opposition to venture forward and attack me. This then allows my own players more space to work with when we win the ball back. This is why I’m aggressive in my approach above.

wm3.png?resize=474%2C204

Due to us being aggressive presser of the ball and having a lot of bodies in the oppositions half, it means that when they have the ball, the players can be quite aggressive. This is because of the line of engagement we use, which determines the starting point for the press. Even though I don’t use an aggressive mentality, the players are still hounding the opposition in their own half. It’s just my players starting point isn’t as high.

This means that when the opposition does get the ball, they have little time on the ball. Which then allows my side to force them into making decisions quickly and this is what I see happening, often, in the screenshot above. River Plate has hit the ball long to their striker because they didn’t really have many other options or the time to pick out a better choice. When this occurs my anchor man and half back can easily drop back to cover and help out the lone centreback.

wm4.gif?resize=474%2C257

Even if the opposition used two strikers, one of the anchor or half back would have stayed behind and aided the defender out. But because neither of them had any kind of defensive duties, they were allowed to get further forward, to begin with.

Although this does have a downside when the keeper gets the ball. The defender, anchor and half back become really narrow. It looks bizarre and is something that is improved in future versions but just look at how narrow things become.

wm5.png?resize=474%2C203

Once the players have come narrow, they do spread out a bit afterwards. But you’d think the game would be intelligent enough to not allow all three to become this bunched up wouldn’t you. When the three players do start spreading a little wider it does allow for some nice build-up play though.

 

In this short video, we can see a little bit of the build-up play that the defence does. The defender, anchor and half back all pass the ball around patiently, then when the opportunity arises play the ball to the inverted wing-back. He then drives forward towards the centre of the pitch, creating space and forcing the opposition back. Nothing really comes of this move but this is the behaviour you’ll often see from the inverted wing-back.

wm6.png?resize=474%2C197

Here we have the mezzala in possession of the ball. The complete wing-back is keeping the width down this left side of the pitch. So the role is doing what I wanted when I changed it from an inverted wing-back earlier in the series. What the mezzala can and can’t do here doesn’t really matter for now as I want to highlight what the roles I use in defence do and how they help and support attacks. This is a good example of what the complete wing-back does. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just simple.

wm7.png?resize=474%2C205

I’ve just won the ball back in the above screenshot. The inside forward plays the ball to the half back who then plays it to the inverted wing-back. Again it’s nothing elaborate or special, it’s just basic defending and passing. However, I also have options here, which allows us to play out from the back. The defender can also be utilised if the opposition presses us due to him currently being the spare man.

wm8.png?resize=474%2C204

A few seconds later in the move, we see the above happen. What is happening here is the inside forward and the central midfielder is about to block the opposition players from getting close to the inverted wing-back. This allows the inverted wing-back to drive inside because the pitch suddenly opens up for him. It also brings the deep-lying forward into play, as he now becomes a passing outlet.

Due to this kind of stuff happening frequently, the inverted wing-back is an integral part of how the defence links up with the midfielders and the striker. He also created space and uses space with his constant driving inwards and him sitting and playing narrower than the complete wing-back over on the right side of the pitch.

The complete wing-back is more of an immediate direct threat with his running and width that he provides the team. This allows the other players in the side to look for him in higher areas of the pitch initially. Compared to the inverted wing-back who is more of a threat from deep because of his running from deeper areas and driving into central areas.

We can also play some really nice football from the back which starts with the keeper. Rather than trying to explain, take a look at this video which shows how effective we can be by playing out from the back.

 

It’s also a great example of showing people create space, attacking space and the squad's movement in general. I have people creating space, running from deep to support the attacking move and so on.

This move also starts with the inverted wing-back recovering the ball and playing it to the keeper.

 

The Midfield

Having options when breaking forward is what my midfield has in abundance. It’s like a swarm at times, with how quickly they break forward and just overwhelm the opposition. To give you a better example of what I’m talking about, take a look at this video.

 

Just look at how quickly we attack when winning the ball back off the opposition. This is one of the reasons I don’t play on higher mentalities, as you don’t see this happen as often. But on the lower mentalities, its something that you see happening more frequently. A blistering counter-attacking move.

Not all the play is rushed though, the team, in general, can also be really composed and pass the ball around until space opens up for them.

 

The mezzala and the central midfielder on an attack duty, are devastating in the set up I use. Currently, this season (2025) the central midfielder has 21 goals and the mezzala has 32. They’ve both played the same amount of games which is currently at 38. Let’s take a look at why both roles score so many goals.

wm9.png?resize=474%2C195

Once again we see the complete wing-back playing very close to the touchline and making a run down the wing. This means that the oppositions midfielder tracks his run and drops back. The mezzala is quite wide too and the inside forward is also deep. The inside forwards positioning is why I use him on a support duty rather than an attacking one. I want him in these deeper areas initially and linking up with the more attack-minded mezzala and complete wingback.

Due to the opposition player following the complete wing-back, this creates space and time for the mezzala and inside forward. They already had both of those anyway but this allows them even more. Now if you note the central midfielder, he is also unmarked.

wm10.png?resize=474%2C203

When the ball was played to the anchorman, he then played it into the path of the central midfield which opened the pitch up and allowed the central midfielder to drive forward. I have people making runs towards the box or people who are already there. One of these players is the mezzala. Once the central midfielder starts making his run across the goal the mezzala is already busting a gut to get into the box. So when the ball is played to the inverted wing-back, he crosses the ball into the box and the mezzala slots the ball away.

This is just one example but it happens often and sometimes it’ll be the reverse of this and the mezzala will create the run/distraction and the central midfielder will score.

The Attack

Sometimes the inside forwards will both create and score a goal. One example of that can be seen in this clip.

 

The complete wing-back links up with the inside forward down the left side of the pitch. Then when the inside forward receives the ball, he plays a fantastic weighted pass into the run of the other inside forward.

Another example of how we attack can be seen in this clip;

 

In this move, we see the keeper play the ball to the halfback who then hits a direct ball the inside forward. He then plays the ball to the deep-lying forward who runs as far forward with the ball as he can without losing possession. In the process of doing this, he is able to draw the defenders with him. Lot’s of space is then created because he’s run both the oppositions centrebacks ragged with his initial run. This leaves the oppositions fullback exposed and he is ball watching and totally unaware of the movement of my inside forward on the left side of the pitch. A simple ball is then played by the deep-lying forward and the inside forward finishes off the move with a goal.

If then add all of this play together, you get the picture of how the W-M plays and all links together. I hope all the clips and screenshots have shown you the many different ways we attack too. There isn’t really one set way of attacking, we have plenty of options which are varied. This is the difference between a good tactic and a great one. If play is predictable then at times you might struggle with consistency. But if you attack and score goals in multiple ways, you’ll tend to be fine on most occasions.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series.

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Cheers Cleon :) I always learn something new in your explanations, so keep going....

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On 13/02/2019 at 05:21, Cleon said:

Be warned though, this is a very long read and will contain many different parts to it. So if that isn’t up your street you might want to consider tapping out now.

 

Can't wait..........

 

Been back about a week now and am enjoying the new setup of the tactics page for 2019 and am trying something different this year, Normally I'm fairly attacking but I recently read through your old "Art of Counter Attacking" (at some point I'll work out how to link old threads) and the way the players patiently, when starting deeper with an (S) role, supported around the box was a revelation. I know Herne talks about those "lightbulb" moments. That was one for me.

The realisation that I don't need 4 players in the box and then wonder why my remaining two MC's aren't making forward runs in was a joyous moment,

Still struggling with a number of aspects of the game but I always take a huge amount from your threads buddy.

Will be reading through this and many others over the coming days....

and.... as always.... awesome work!

 

*EDIT*

Though I am questioning my motivation to read further when you failed to mention Spurs along side Liverpool and Man C :)

 

 

image.png

Edited by lam

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God, I love the look of that 4-1-4-1, Cleon. :) And fantastic read. Can't wait for your deeper analysis.

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Good stuff. One thing that always helps me is a blank sheet of paper (maybe a lot of paper) and just sketch away. Envision the perfect path (passing combination) to goal. Where does each guy need to be to play his part. Lastly, create something that can pivot to more defending or  attacking if opponent parks bus or even playing 3 in the back, or conversely 2+ strikers.

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POST 3 UPDATED 

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A brilliant post @AndySummers

I'm glad you're using the thread as I intended and trying to implement some of the ideas into your own save. My central 4 players have crazy numbers for ball retention, the system is ideal for keeping the ball as you pointed out. It also offers a lot of flexibility for how you can use that possession. You can be a threat from all over the pitch. My current stats in season 2 look something like;

  • Left IF 36 games 26 goals
  • Striker 34 games 12 goals
  • Mez 39 games 12 goals
  • RPM 27 games 7 goals
  • Right IF 39 goals 14 games

So like yourself, I'm also seeing a wide spread of goals.

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3 hours ago, Cleon said:

A brilliant post @AndySummers

I'm glad you're using the thread as I intended and trying to implement some of the ideas into your own save. My central 4 players have crazy numbers for ball retention, the system is ideal for keeping the ball as you pointed out. It also offers a lot of flexibility for how you can use that possession. You can be a threat from all over the pitch. My current stats in season 2 look something like;

  • Left IF 36 games 26 goals
  • Striker 34 games 12 goals
  • Mez 39 games 12 goals
  • RPM 27 games 7 goals
  • Right IF 39 goals 14 games

So like yourself, I'm also seeing a wide spread of goals.

 

Very impressive ;-) 

I Jest, i'm aware it's a typo. 

Great thread, that's given me a lot of inspiration to try unconventional shapes myself, and attempt to get them working. 

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Curious.....

Why go from IW(S) to WB(S). With the space they have outside they get quite far forwards. If it was a case of gaining width but keeping defensive wouldn't WB(D) have been a better option? Is it something you looked and dismissed? ie a conscious choice?#

You have both gone for an RPM. Are you looking for the creative side of the player here? ie killer balls or is it other aspects of the role you like?

I am playing in the lower leagues and I have players that have high suitability for the MEZ and RPM roles but lack one key stat in each role. The Mez has shooting of 7 and the RPM has passing of 11. Thus I have swapped them around and it's evened it out for me however I've had to switch out the RPM role for CM(S). Hence the curiosity around the RPM role.

I've played a number of games like this and would I'm finding it quite sensitive to PPM's. Though this is clearly something I'll need to look for moving forwards if I stick with the formation. My WB's both get 'get forwards' my wingers have 'cut inside'.

LAM

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lam said:

Curious.....

Why go from IW(S) to WB(S). With the space they have outside they get quite far forwards. If it was a case of gaining width but keeping defensive wouldn't WB(D) have been a better option? Is it something you looked and dismissed? ie a conscious choice?#

Penetration in the final third.

The IWB(s) is not reluctant to overlap, but tends not to put balls into the box; rather, cutting back and playing inside. That could be exacerbated also by the 'work ball into box' TI, but it was leading to quite insipid play. However, the WB(s) is much more inclined to get wider in possession and deliver the ball into more dangerous areas. Combined with the 'sit narrower' PI in the defensive phase, I was able to replicate some of the possibilities of the IWB(s) whilst enhancing attacking prowess. 

The WB(d) is a role I use either when protecting a lead against a stronger opponent or sometimes later in the game when the players' legs have gone and they would struggle to cover the pitch. More generally, the WB(d) stunts attacking potency. Bearing in mind I am playing a high line and that pitch depth is condensed, the WB(s) is a very effective tool to stretch the opponent (as seen in the previous screenshots) and often roams into threatening positions unannounced (particularly when using IFs that force the opposing backline to retract). WB(d) sits deeper and is more reticent to get involved. With two defensive halfbacks protecting the lone central defender, I don't feel the balance benefits from what would be five defensive roles.

RPM I am flexible on. I am equally happy with a second MEZ. However, with a MEZ(a) in the line-up and two W(a), that represents a very forward-thinking triumvirate. The RPM gives enhanced possibility to spot the forward-runs and brings a slightly more creative edge. The role would also depend on the personnel available too, but I have a few players suited nicely to RPM with 'dictates tempo' and/or 'tries killer balls often' PPMs.

Edited by AndySummers

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On 05/03/2019 at 14:48, craiigman said:

West Brom are in the Championship mate?

What?

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The passing patterns on this tactic are amazing.

 

I'm bouncing around various different roles depending on who is available. One thing I like about this is that you can become more attacking by changing one or both of the IWB into WB(S) go give you more width and earlier crosses.

It's really interesting to see how it fares against other formations. I struggle with 451's but excel against 433 (DM Wide) as the overloads in the centre kill their DM and generally pull a CD out.

This season I have aquired a really decent (Division 1) IF on the AML position. He is also creative and can dribble and he is ripping defences apart with a small dribble then a defence splitting pass. I'm tempted to play with a AP(A) role on the AML position to see if i can force this more.

I think this is really a formation that I can stick with, Its the only one on2018 and 2019 that has really delivered what I want from a tactic. This means that I can truly start to build the team correctly. My MCR is a loanie and fits the role perfectly but has shooting of 9 which I really see in the game. He gets into great scoring positions but generally shoots straight at the keeper.

I'm going to look at the CF role as I have no players that really fit it well. DLF or poacher seems to suit my strikers better but it'll be something I have to explore ingame.

This is me at the moment:

image.thumb.png.7f94f72cb8e901c63e5c99597599646b.png

image.thumb.png.33f5e5083c577abec8ddaaacd11b0d15.png

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This might be more of a generic question rather than specific to this thread.

I originally started with a 1/3 setting on passing and tempo. SHort and lower. In one match I played I was closed down a lot and moved to the middle setting standard which fixed the closing down issue at the time.

But it got me wondering. If I can pass short and fast should I do it all the time? Is there a time that I should use slow? What do these situations look like in a game?

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8 hours ago, lam said:

This might be more of a generic question rather than specific to this thread.

I originally started with a 1/3 setting on passing and tempo. SHort and lower. In one match I played I was closed down a lot and moved to the middle setting standard which fixed the closing down issue at the time.

But it got me wondering. If I can pass short and fast should I do it all the time? Is there a time that I should use slow? What do these situations look like in a game?

If you feel it's more beneficial to pass the ball shorter and faster all time then do it. There's not really one scenario where it's better as such (same for all settings really), it's all about preference and what you think works best for you.

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has anyone tried playing a CB instead of one of the HB's?

 

My squad doesn't really have two players that can play as half backs

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1 hour ago, lim said:

has anyone tried playing a CB instead of one of the HB's?

 

My squad doesn't really have two players that can play as half backs

That's kind of not the point of the thread. It's aim is to show you how to create a tactic, regardless of the shape you use. It's not about creating a W-M or using the shape I use. it's more generalised than than, in that I am giving you the tools to create your own tactics specific to what you want. Rather than copying. 

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It's an intersting transition you have made to two wingers.

Despite my last post stating I am likely to stick with this tactic I have moved away due to a poor run of injuries. I was tempted to 'magically heal them' but decided to stick with the game proper and just switched tactics.

I make the comment as I have been playing around with other formations that are a little more traditional and I have tried to bring with me what I learnt about this formation (WM). I opted for a simple 4141DM and was getting a little frustrated with it but then I played around with the front three and set myself up with two wingers. One (S) and one (A) and the game play was great. Defense was really stretched, there was space for incoming midfield to attach and I massively dominated the last 14 minutes and grabbed the winner goal from a cross from the far winger to the other winger that had cut in.

I found with the WM and my team the passing around the box was amazing but the box was just packed with players so it often took an amazing worldie to win a game. It early days for me with two wingers but it really does seem to deliver the space. Now it's just about how best to exploit it.

I'm running a auto 100 year game in the background so can't post a picture but am running with this

AF(A)

 

Winger (S)                                 Winger (A)

 

CM(S)               MEZ(A)

 

WB(A/S)        DC(C)        DC(S)        WB(S)/IWB(S)

 

The DC combo is interesting as they do not have 'hold position' like the normal DC(D) do. Thus they move around a little more offering better support. I also find that they mark a solo striker a little better,

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I sadly didn't get time to write the next chapter this weekend. Hopefully I'll have it done for this weekend though. But here are a few clips showing how the W-M actually works.

The first one shows how my IF's link up with each other and this is a typical goal I see us scoring time and time again;

The second video shows how we pass the ball around patiently while creating space for the runners and supporting players.

The third one shows how the striker and two IF's link up. Note that pass yet again into the channels;

And lastly, look at all the runners I have in this counter attack;

 

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12 hours ago, lam said:

It's an intersting transition you have made to two wingers.

Despite my last post stating I am likely to stick with this tactic I have moved away due to a poor run of injuries. I was tempted to 'magically heal them' but decided to stick with the game proper and just switched tactics.

I make the comment as I have been playing around with other formations that are a little more traditional and I have tried to bring with me what I learnt about this formation (WM). I opted for a simple 4141DM and was getting a little frustrated with it but then I played around with the front three and set myself up with two wingers. One (S) and one (A) and the game play was great. Defense was really stretched, there was space for incoming midfield to attach and I massively dominated the last 14 minutes and grabbed the winner goal from a cross from the far winger to the other winger that had cut in.

I found with the WM and my team the passing around the box was amazing but the box was just packed with players so it often took an amazing worldie to win a game. It early days for me with two wingers but it really does seem to deliver the space. Now it's just about how best to exploit it.

I'm running a auto 100 year game in the background so can't post a picture but am running with this

AF(A)

 

Winger (S)                                 Winger (A)

 

CM(S)               MEZ(A)

 

WB(A/S)        DC(C)        DC(S)        WB(S)/IWB(S)

 

The DC combo is interesting as they do not have 'hold position' like the normal DC(D) do. Thus they move around a little more offering better support. I also find that they mark a solo striker a little better,

You haven't put the role of the player playing in the DM position, but i assume this is a HB.

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32 minutes ago, gpassosbh said:

@Cleon just a quick off topic question. What camera you use on replays above?

Behind goal reversed. 

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Only just read this or read it properly anyway.  Really nice bit of work and definitely worth taking in whether a new player or an experienced one.  Cheers Cleon.

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POST 4 NOW UPDATED 

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I'm really surprised no-one is finding this useful or not asking any questions about anything at all.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Cleon said:

I'm really surprised no-one is finding this useful or not asking any questions about anything at all.

I enjoy reading this stuff, even if its stuff I think I know its good to be reminded or reaffirm it.

The bigger font might be putting people off, on mobile it looks like an even longer read than it is!

Your CM analysis will be interesting, I often feel they're too deep and wait too long to make there runs.

Edited by summatsupeer

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5 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

Your CM analysis will be interesting, I often feel they're too deep and wait too long to make there runs.

Amen! I haven’t been able to get a CM-a/Mez-a to move really high when possession in midfield is secured even when I try to make all the space available for the midfielder and putting a IWB behind, so I am really looking forward to that analysis. 

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2 hours ago, halil85 said:

Do you use it still as a default Vertical Tiki-Taka 

Yeah, all the changes I've made so far are all documented above.

17 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

I enjoy reading this stuff, even if its stuff I think I know its good to be reminded or reaffirm it.

The bigger font might be putting people off, on mobile it looks like an even longer read than it is!

Your CM analysis will be interesting, I often feel they're too deep and wait too long to make there runs.

Is the font much bigger? I posted this off my phone and it only looked slightly bigger than usual. I'll have to check later.

I'm writing the CM stuff tomorrow, hoping to have it finished by the weekend. That's if my kids can stop being ill.............

9 minutes ago, Gegenklaus said:

Amen! I haven’t been able to get a CM-a/Mez-a to move really high when possession in midfield is secured even when I try to make all the space available for the midfielder and putting a IWB behind, so I am really looking forward to that analysis. 

You'll probably like the analysis then. As my Mez scores a lot of goals. These are the Mez stats for the 7 years I've played so far.

Season 1

1.thumb.png.c9d0e60454326a25f19089b5999b6138.png

Season 2

2.thumb.png.b0ac514f60e757cfea52ff1a5fe5dded.png

Season 3

3.thumb.png.2a87f2a7ccd1b035548f5e0aee1e457c.png

Season 4

4.thumb.png.135126f9d133cae0668a2b40bcbb45a0.png

Season 5

5.thumb.png.9d7543fc2a1174d0bfb0f72a04f3020f.png

Season 6

6.thumb.png.efa79323cc703c53f5af41a3e03a4d50.png

And so far this season, the Mez has scored 7 goals in 4 games. So is on course to score a fair amount yet again.

The CM also scores a lot. But it's the running from deep on both these positions that cause issues, which is what the analysis will be focused on. As it'll show why the CM is a better fit than the RPM. Then in the final piece we'll see how the CM/Mez link together and how they interact with the other roles around it.

 

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8 minutes ago, Cleon said:

6.thumb.png.efa79323cc703c53f5af41a3e03a4d50.png

And so far this season, the Mez has scored 7 goals in 4 games. So is on course to score a fair amount yet again.

The CM also scores a lot. But it's the running from deep on both these positions that cause issues, which is what the analysis will be focused on. As it'll show why the CM is a better fit than the RPM. Then in the final piece we'll see how the CM/Mez link together and how they interact with the other roles around it.

I am not surprised you are able to get them banging in the goals and a fair amount of assist. It's you who coach them, after all. :D How are the attributes of the players you use as Mez/CM-a? ;) (joke, love your project). 

You've intrigued me further, man, if your two midfielders are both operating with an attack duty. For the last couple of versions of FM I have been using the 4-1-4-1 (not the false 4-3-3 with two wide forwards) with the intention of using the front 5 as attackers and the back 5 supports and protects - heavily inspired by Guardiola's teams, that often has 5 players high up and between the lines. Very much a WW-formation. :)

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3 hours ago, Cleon said:

I'm really surprised no-one is finding this useful or not asking any questions about anything at all.

I really enjoyed how you started at the beginning and are showing the evolution of your tactic vs only showing the finished product. I sometimes struggle with spotting problems and knowing what changes to make to correct them so it's definitely helpful to see you walk through it step-by-step. I think my big takeaway is that I am too quick to make changes without fully analyzing whether or not something is actually a problem and considering how the change may impact my overall tactic. 

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22 minutes ago, yolixeya said:

Those, screenshots above, what skin is that?

TCS'19

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5 hours ago, Cleon said:

I'm really surprised no-one is finding this useful or not asking any questions about anything at all.

Just seen this, gave it a brief look, will read more when I finish work. Not a question though, just that it's crazy how some FM players can make things work even when they're "half blinded" (attributes disabled) while the big majority struggle even with the best sides in the game.

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13 minutes ago, Armistice said:

Just seen this, gave it a brief look, will read more when I finish work. Not a question though, just that it's crazy how some FM players can make things work even when they're "half blinded" (attributes disabled) while the big majority struggle even with the best sides in the game.

I'd flip this around and ask - Do you need to know the attributes of players, if all you are concentrating on is how things work? To understand the settings, I don't think the attributes are that important. Even the poorest players will be enough to show you the basics of any role or settings used. Maybe this is why people are struggling?

I'd also argue that a lot of people have ideas and think they work from the off, without realising that should be the end goal and not the starting point. It's very rare you can implement your ideas straight away and get them to work. Even the stuff I do, I work towards it and tweak (like part 4 shows) as I go along based on what is happening. The main issue I see on this forum and on social media, is people who don't do the middle bit (which is what I'm illustrating throughout this thread). For most something either works or it doesn't and they don't try figuring out the middle bit and get an understanding of what's working good, what can be improved and what is really problematic. I get that it's tough though. This is why I write showing how things work and how you get to certain points. 

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3 hours ago, Cleon said:

Is the font much bigger? I posted this off my phone and it only looked slightly bigger than usual. I'll have to check later.

It looked significantly bigger but doesnt now so either my phone/brain is playing tricks on me or its changed?

10 minutes ago, Cleon said:

Do you need to know the attributes of players, if all you are concentrating on is how things work?

I think a lot of players get to click happy and dont really spend enough time watching the football there team is playing. They judge if it works by results and make blind changes.

With no attributes your relying on reports and what you see more.  I imagine you aren't just watching games for the tactical element, but also for the players actions, which many people overlook because the game gives the player x stars or say they are good at that role.  If there success rate as a certain action is poor, your forced to analyse it.

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Similar to you @andrewsgn I'm not good at spotting things, in fact I would go as far to say that I'm useless at spotting things! I'm not an analytical person at all and don't have a good tactical understanding of football despite being a fan all my life. I don't have a clue where my players should be on the pitch etc, when I pause and look at my team off the ball and on the ball, I always think everything looks fine but it obviously doesn't :D 

I would say my other problems are similar to what @Cleon has pointed out above. I try something then immediately scrap it if it doesn't work, as I'm rather lazy to put the effort in fixing it. I just want something to work with minimal tweaking but I don't want to go down the route of downloading tactics like I always used to. Problem is I'm never 100% sure how I want my team to play, I know I prefer high aggressive pressing and possession football but that's it really, it's not detailed. I see some people's tactics and they look sensible to me but then I feel I have to create something completely new without copying them (same roles etc). I feel bad if I take any part of their tactics and insert it into a tactic of my own.

Sorry for the rant. This stuff by Cleon is great but my main problem is spotting the problems in the first place.

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11 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

It looked significantly bigger but doesnt now so either my phone/brain is playing tricks on me or its changed?

I think a lot of players get to click happy and dont really spend enough time watching the football there team is playing. They judge if it works by results and make blind changes.

With no attributes your relying on reports and what you see more.  I imagine you aren't just watching games for the tactical element, but also for the players actions, which many people overlook because the game gives the player x stars or say they are good at that role.  If there success rate as a certain action is poor, your forced to analyse it.

I changed the font when you mentioned it. Although it wasn't a significant difference, the original post was 15 and I changed it to 14.

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6 minutes ago, Gee_Simpson said:

Similar to you @andrewsgn I'm not good at spotting things, in fact I would go as far to say that I'm useless at spotting things! I'm not an analytical person at all and don't have a good tactical understanding of football despite being a fan all my life. I don't have a clue where my players should be on the pitch etc, when I pause and look at my team off the ball and on the ball, I always think everything looks fine but it obviously doesn't :D 

I would say my other problems are similar to what @Cleon has pointed out above. I try something then immediately scrap it if it doesn't work, as I'm rather lazy to put the effort in fixing it. I just want something to work with minimal tweaking but I don't want to go down the route of downloading tactics like I always used to. Problem is I'm never 100% sure how I want my team to play, I know I prefer high aggressive pressing and possession football but that's it really, it's not detailed. I see some people's tactics and they look sensible to me but then I feel I have to create something completely new without copying them (same roles etc). I feel bad if I take any part of their tactics and insert it into a tactic of my own.

Sorry for the rant. This stuff by Cleon is great but my main problem is spotting the problems in the first place.

Don't worry, I don't see it as a rant.

I think your selling yourself short a bit in the post mind. I've seen some of the replies over the years you've done and the questions you've asked, you know a lot more about how the game works than you think. You don't really need to be analytical to see if something isn't working either. You just need eyes that work :D. Everyone no matter how limited they are with football or how the game works, is able to see if a player is crossing the ball when he should be. If not, then it's easy to see why he isn't. And so on. It's really that simple. It's not as complicated as guides make it seem. You have to remember that guides are written to show you how things work and are kind of 'walkthroughs' so they always give more detail than needed, or we can't get the points across.

If you want something to work with minimal tweaking then the more effort you put in at the start, the less you'll have to do for the entire of the save. 

And don't worry about taking elements of others tactic, you don't have to feel guilty. That's what football has always been based on. The best coaches in the world always take other peoples ideas and put their own spin on them.

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