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Experienced Defender

Basic principles of defending (an unofficial guide for tactical beginners)

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4 hours ago, Zemahh said:

What would be some cases, where you would look to stretch your defensive shape instead of making it vertically compact (e.g. Lower Defensive Line + Higher Line of Engagement or Standard Defensive Line + Much Higher Line of Engagement)? Are there any such scenarios?

I can only speak in my own name, and do not claim by any means that people who think/play differently are wrong :thup:

So... I would consider sacrificing a bit of vertical compactness only:

- if I use a multi/omni-strata formation (e.g. 4123, 4213, 442 diamond)

- if my team is clearly better than the opposition

But even then, the farthest I may go is LOE being just one notch higher than DL (e.g. standard DL/higher LOE; higher DL/much higher LOE).

I might occasionally do it with a 442, but never with a 4231 (standard version).

But again, there are examples of people (like Rashidi) who play that way even in a 4231 system, and to good effect. So, everything is relative :)

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On 06/05/2019 at 11:30, Atarin said:

There are two widths. Attacking and defending.

A narrow defensive width means defending in a more compact shape around your penalty area. A wide defensive width basically means that your fullbacks are encouraged to stay wide even in the defensive phase in order to engage the opposition wingers. The Sacchi system (of which I'm no expert) is I imagine not disimilar to Ranieri's tactic at Leicester of forcing teams out wide only to then ambush them there, win the ball and start of a counter. I would say, that in that case its less about playing with  a Wide defensive width and more about player roles, duties, PI's and OI's. It wasn't Simpson and Fuchs doing the ambushing it was Kante+Albrighton+Drinkwater.

Ranieri is more of low block, pragmatic, zona mista, counter attacking kind of guy, even thought he does adapt to make the most out of the players he have and sometimes change things around if he feels it will give his team a better chance of winning 

One example of this is Roma's away game against AC Milan 18th Dec 2010, where Ranieri went full on Sacchi style and nicked a 1-0 win

So how did Sacchi play?

4-4-2 formation 

Very high defensive line, with the best offside trap in the history of football (this is both down to how well drilled his side was and the quality of players he had)

His team did not press like you would see most top teams do now days, instead they formed up in a very compact block to support each other and make it difficult for the opposing team to break trough with the ball on the ground 

If you tried to play the ball over the top you would get cought offside, if you played the ball on the ground you would most probably lose possession in middfield 

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Very good work. 

This tactic seems to be very succesful fror my WBA team.  Promotion and FA Cup winners first season.  I am using counter press and extremely urgent pressing with CD both set to press less.  Seems to be very solid in defence.

  Tactic.thumb.PNG.25aea6fe39b3f34f06ae2b0c7e14c61c.PNG

 

table.PNG

Edited by ianscousemac

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17 hours ago, ianscousemac said:

Very good work. 

This tactic seems to be very succesful fror my WBA team.  Promotion and FA Cup winners first season.  I am using counter press and extremely urgent pressing with CD both set to press less.  Seems to be very solid in defence.

  Tactic.thumb.PNG.25aea6fe39b3f34f06ae2b0c7e14c61c.PNG

 

table.PNG

What player instruction do you use for each player in part?

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4 hours ago, Scutinio said:

What player instruction do you use for each player in part?

Tackle harder for both IF and CF

Hold up ball for the left side IF

Get further fwd for BBM

Sit Narrower RWB

Stay wider, dribble more, LWB

Press less and stay on feet both CB

Thats them all

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14 minutes ago, ianscousemac said:

Tackle harder for both IF and CF

Hold up ball for the left side IF

Get further fwd for BBM

Sit Narrower RWB

Stay wider, dribble more, LWB

Press less and stay on feet both CB

Thats them all

Thnx;)

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Hey

This is the best guide so far I have found you on the forum for FM 19. Have really helped me when playing a side destined for relegation fight.

I rate you highly as often I see pretty good advice given that is pin point and tells how to translate in the game at the same time.

 

One little  help regarding my 4123 formation. I am playing relegation battle team with standard DL and standard LOE with tight marking instruction and set front 5 players to close down more. What do you do when opposition brings both their fullbacks to attack.

I tend to make a sub to get a faster centre back then go high DL and high LOE to try to win ball early. 

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1 hour ago, abhid30007 said:

One little  help regarding my 4123 formation. I am playing relegation battle team with standard DL and standard LOE with tight marking instruction and set front 5 players to close down more. What do you do when opposition brings both their fullbacks to attack.

I tend to make a sub to get a faster centre back then go high DL and high LOE to try to win ball early.

I would need the whole context of your tactic in order to give you any meaningful advice. So if you could post a screenshot of the tactic, that would be ideal :thup:

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23 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I would need the whole context of your tactic in order to give you any meaningful advice. So if you could post a screenshot of the tactic, that would be ideal :thup:

I am playing Bolton. 1st season. no transfers. Here is the screenshot of my tactic.

 

I have also uploaded a goal I conceded in last match when QPR went all in with their fullbacks.

I was using two attack duties at front at that time teraquista on AMR and TM(A) on striker. AML was changed to IF{S} and added instruction to pass into space. rest of the tactic is same as in the screenshot

20190826200403_1.jpg

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20 minutes ago, abhid30007 said:

20190826200403_1.jpg

I fear that for a team like Bolton - considering its situation - this tactic is a bit too adventurous. Look at your right flank/side - you have a mezzala and IF both on attack duty with a WB on support who - in spite of support duty - is pretty much attack-minded as a role and will bomb forward very often. So that's the first problem I observed, and I am not surprised at all that you conceded a goal against QPR via that very side.

So that's the first thing you need to change. If you want to use a mezzala as a role (assuming you have a player with the right attributes), then change his duty to support, but - again because of the low quality of your team - the RB even then needs to be more conservative (FB on support or WB on defend instead of WB on support).

There are probably a couple of other tweaks to be considered, but let's go step by step. 

 

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I fear that for a team like Bolton - considering its situation - this tactic is a bit too adventurous. Look at your right flank/side - you have a mezzala and IF both on attack duty with a WB on support who - in spite of support duty - is pretty much attack-minded as a role and will bomb forward very often. So that's the first problem I observed, and I am not surprised at all that you conceded a goal against QPR via that very side.

So that's the first thing you need to change. If you want to use a mezzala as a role (assuming you have a player with the right attributes), then change his duty to support, but - again because of the low quality of your team - the RB even then needs to be more conservative (FB on support or WB on defend instead of WB on support).

There are probably a couple of other tweaks to be considered, but let's go step by step. 

 

Thanks mate. Took your advice. Changed Mezzala(A) to B2B(s) and WB(S) to FB(S). got my first clean sheet in an away game next game by 4-0 win over Middlesbrough. 

They were struggling when they came into the match and we took advantage of their fragile mentality with 2 corner goals and 2 goals from counter.

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On 25/08/2019 at 17:24, abhid30007 said:

Hey

This is the best guide so far I have found you on the forum for FM 19. Have really helped me when playing a side destined for relegation fight.

I rate you highly as often I see pretty good advice given that is pin point and tells how to translate in the game at the same time.

 

One little  help regarding my 4123 formation. I am playing relegation battle team with standard DL and standard LOE with tight marking instruction and set front 5 players to close down more. What do you do when opposition brings both their fullbacks to attack.

I tend to make a sub to get a faster centre back then go high DL and high LOE to try to win ball early. 

What player instruction do you use for each player ?

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Very interesting topic!

I am myself struggling lately with how I want to set up my defensive bloc and how I want the team to act when in posession. I can't help but notice that, when virtually all my players are on a support duty, I tend to have the most rock-solid defensive low blocks (can't help it, I always drop back in a low block) I could ever ask for. Really love it when the wingers and attackers drop behind the ball-line and the opponent is literally facing a 10-man defence with a compactness that would make Arrigo Sacchi proud (even though he would curse the retreating movement and lack of pressing).

The downside is... putting most or all players on a support duty. I simply do not like how they play and transition that way. The transition is, of course, that of pass-and-move football. Ideally, I put all or most of my forwards and wingers on Attack duties, letting them bomb forward and verticalize the game, but I want them to fold into a compact block when the attack is over. Setting players on Attack duties however (especially forwards), means they will generally stay a bit forward to receive the long ball. I understand this is entirely logical, but, how can I combine having a more ''structured'' shape in attack - so to speak - with a more ''fluid'' defense as in making all players withdraw into a compact shape?

Yes, I accept that the latter will inevitably mean I can't launch it long immediately after recovering the ball, but I just want my attackers to stretch the game vertically when they can, and drop back when they have to. Or an attacking midfielder to run into the box, and drop back into central midfield when defending.

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6 hours ago, Gianni Brera said:

Very interesting topic!

I am myself struggling lately with how I want to set up my defensive bloc and how I want the team to act when in posession. I can't help but notice that, when virtually all my players are on a support duty, I tend to have the most rock-solid defensive low blocks (can't help it, I always drop back in a low block) I could ever ask for. Really love it when the wingers and attackers drop behind the ball-line and the opponent is literally facing a 10-man defence with a compactness that would make Arrigo Sacchi proud (even though he would curse the retreating movement and lack of pressing).

The downside is... putting most or all players on a support duty. I simply do not like how they play and transition that way. The transition is, of course, that of pass-and-move football. Ideally, I put all or most of my forwards and wingers on Attack duties, letting them bomb forward and verticalize the game, but I want them to fold into a compact block when the attack is over. Setting players on Attack duties however (especially forwards), means they will generally stay a bit forward to receive the long ball. I understand this is entirely logical, but, how can I combine having a more ''structured'' shape in attack - so to speak - with a more ''fluid'' defense as in making all players withdraw into a compact shape?

Yes, I accept that the latter will inevitably mean I can't launch it long immediately after recovering the ball, but I just want my attackers to stretch the game vertically when they can, and drop back when they have to. Or an attacking midfielder to run into the box, and drop back into central midfield when defending.

That's the beauty of football tactics, its all about these compromises. I love this dilemma. I'm like you, I love a compact low block with the wingers protecting their fullbacks and the forwards dropping in to protect central midfield. The question is always how are we going to transition into attack. The way I think about it is that we have two factors. (1) Space and (2) Movement.  In this system its pretty clear where the space is, its going to be behind the opposition defence. That leaves us with the problem of exploiting that space with movement. The way I look at it is that the ball travels faster that the man so we need to have the pass coming from an area that will give the runner a fair chance of getting on the end of it. If that's the case a ball from the back would fit the bill and a curled ball from out wide (a cross) would as well because a curled ball takes longer to get to its destination than a straight ball. Through balls from midfield or a striker partner will be trickier because unless you have someone with an excellent weight of pass then you're going to see a lot of over-hit passes going straight through to the opposition goalkeeper.

My solution is to use W(s) on at least one flank or a WM(s) with Cross More Often and Cross from Deeper PI's activated. If my fullbacks have decent crossing I would also instruct them to Cross More Often and Cross from Deeper.

My current tactic is a 4-4-2 low block with a W(s) on one side, a W(a) on the other, a Poacher up front and a TM(a) alongside him. The way this works out is that we sit deep, invite the opposition on and then when we win the ball we tend to get it to either my W(s) who crosses the ball behind the opposition for my strikers to rush onto, out to my W(a) who has broken into space on the left, my Poacher who is looking to run in on goal or my TM(a) who is looking to collect the ball deep in the opposition third. Whichever way it goes we tend to have options. To add to this pressure I also have a BBM breaking from central midfield.

Of course we sacrifice our compactness to hit teams in this way but it seems to be so successful that I feel the risk is worthwhile. When the attacking move break down early its actually pretty easy for everyone to get back into shape. The only problem is if our attack breaks down late, then we could be caught on the counter but, again, its about risk and reward. If you want to score then at some point you need to risk conceding. Its about how to balance that risk.

 

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6 hours ago, Atarin said:

That's the beauty of football tactics...

 

Hmm, indeed, very true. Choices must be made, compromises need to be found.

I haven't recently played a lot of 4-4-2 systems because it simply doesn't very often fit the players I have. Although I am toying with the idea to field a 4-4-2 that involves two attack duties on top, 4 midfielders on support, and all defenders on defend duties. I know, it sounds very anno 1990, very primitive and simplistic, but I just want to see how it works. My theory holds that it will facilitate swift transitions through the middle, and crosses into the box from deep from the flanks. Defensively, the two attackers won't do much, but the 4 midfielders on support duties will provide a nice screen in front of a deep backline.

One alternative is to put attackers also on support roles when I'm consolidating a result. When I'm trying to kill off a game, I couldn't care less about launching vertical attacks. Then its a worthy sacrifice to make strikers and wingers tuck into midfield positions and, when in ball posession, pass it around a bit at the pace of an 80-year old.

In the past, I used to fill my system up with Defend duties if I wanted to park a bus, as is done by the tactical presets. But I noticed that simply adding more Defend duties to my-already-deep-passive-backline only invited more pressure and gave opponents too much space to shoot. Its nice to have defenders back off to maintain their line, but I prefer my midfielders to keep opponents at a safe distance from the defence. Support roles don't back away and they stay slightly higher, and in a midfield 3 or 4 I will even use an Attack duty to a central midfielder to position him higher up, and enlarge the central zone controlled by my midfield that shields the defence. So paradoxically, Attack duties can be very effective when defending.

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On 02/05/2019 at 01:52, Experienced Defender said:

 

Couter-press tells your players - except for defenders - to start pressing the opposition and try to win the ball back immediately as it's been lost. It can be risky because more players will simultaneously run at the opposition player on the ball to press him, so they may leave space behind them that can be exploited due to disruption of your defensive shape. Therefore, you need to be careful when using counter-press, especially  when you play against good sides that are able to take advantage of the extra space you have left between and/or behind  your lines. Advice: Do not use counter-press together with more (let alone extremely) urgent pressing, and vice versa. Or if you do - be prepared for potential troubles.

 

I understand that counter-press is asking the players to immediately apply pressure to win the ball back after it is lost to recover the ball as quick as possible and that pressing intensity is increasing the urgency in which they press the opposition after they pass the line of engagement.   Are they not the same thing what I don't understand is what exactly is the difference as they sound the same to me as a higher pressing intensity would mean that you would immediaely apply pressure to get the ball?

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When you are attacking and lose the ball you might not be in your defensive shape.  Asking the players to regroup (get into defensive shape) means returning to position before pressing.  Whereas counterpressing though should mean immediate pressing even if your players are not in position.

Example.  Your left wingback is high up the pitch and far advanced from the defensive line and fellow defenders.  The ball is in fact on your left wing when possession is turned over.  Re-grouping should instruct your wingback to get back in position and only begin his pressing duties when the ball is advanced up the pitch to his zone.  However counterpressing should instruct him to press immediately - in this instance high up the left flank - even though he is far out of position.

Edited by Robson 07

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