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Need a little advice on my tactic below,  I am not able to any way get my lone forward to score goals.

Some background;

  • I’m playing as CSKA Sofia
  • I’m in the 4th season, I have won 3 straight league titles and made it to the first knock out round of the CL and in this current 4th season we are top of our group with 1 loss
  • We are currently 75 games unbeaten in the league
  • My inside forwards both score well over 20 goals a season and 15 + assists.
  • I almost always dominate possession 60/40 is about the average
  • I almost without fail have 10-15 + “shots” on goal and about 7-10 on target
  • Majority of the goals scored are from the inside forwards running on the wing, either cutting in and beating a man and slotting the goal or they cross/shoot and the other inside forward gets the goal
  • The B2B midfielders also score, usually if the above fails and the there is a rebound in the box or more often it will come from just outside the box and a long drive
  • My forwards are not terrible. I have a 22 year old that cost me 6m and before joining us he had 11 goals in 18 games in the EPL and my other forward is a 21 year old South American regen who all the top 10 biggest clubs in Europe are chasing for 15m +. One forward is a really short poacher style and the other is a moderately tall and efficient header but has pretty good feet as well. They both have decent pace.
  • This was an old save that I just started playing again with the latest update
  • I know I am being selfish as we are obviously performing but it’s just frustrating.
  • If we go a man down, I always take the forward off and play with nobody up front and we have never lost or had an issue playing with 10 men.

Things I have tried;

  • I have dropped the engagement line down along with the defensive line both into standard and lower to see if that helped. My theory was that the final 3rd was very congested. This made zero difference in 5 games apart from we started to lose the possession battle.
  • I have tried the Inside forwards on support
  • I have tried the inside forwards on support and the wingbacks on attack
  • I have used every version of the forward on attack duty
  • Tried to remove the “work ball in to the box”
  • I have tried positive mentality
  • I removed the run at defense (I assumed this would stop the inside forwards running to the edge of the 18 yard box and doing their usual beat a man or shot/pass to the other inside forward

How I wanted to play is almost perfect, however I would have thought that if the inside forwards are bombing forward up the field and have the chance to cross/through ball/lob or pass into space or the forward has a chance to make a run in behind that he would do so. But all he seems to do is that he runs around in circles and does almost nothing. They both have a single goal from open play, from memory both were rebounds from corners. Ideally, I want the forward to be hanging around the box, waiting for a killer ball or be open for a pass at the edge/top of the box.

Next steps;

  • I’m going to try the CMs on support. I don’t care if they score 0 goals, their main role in my mind is to press and counter press, recycle the ball and just block the middle. I do enjoy the goals they score, its handy as sometimes the inside forwards can have an off day. However I just want them to be James Milner.
  • I wanted to play with 3 at the back just for something different, we are very solid at the back, almost nobody in the league can penetrate us. My next thought is that if I play with AMC then it might create space for the forward as they will have to drop a defender deeper to cover him but in my league almost all the teams will play a DM and sometimes even 2 x DMs
  • I am tempted but it will be tricky to use wingers and not inside forwards but none of the 4 quality inside forwards I have at my disposal have the best stats to play wing as their crossing is lower than it could or should be.
  • I am wondering if I play a deeper forward if that will then cause him to get more space and time on the ball by dropping deep to collect it and then hopefully he can get some touches at least?
  • I might try removing the distribute to fullbacks and then select play through the middle

Strangle but I am a Liverpool fan and we are actually playing very much like them, I have the Salah and Mane of the Bulgarian league. If I moved the 3rd CB to the DM and played a DLP on defend we would probably have the perfect Klopp recreation in terms of shape and style but I just want my forward to be more of a contributor, even Firmino manages to get a few goals and I would take 10 or so but 1 at the halfway point is terrible. 

Here is the reset default version and all feedback is welcome.

 2109180724_Capture(1).thumb.PNG.4bcc5e8cdf89084be89c09614ed98c34.PNG

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In this tactic, who do you think would be providing your striker with the ball to score? Lone strikers without a AMC behind them are typically not going to be scoring a lot of goals. In your tactic I can see him maybe getting some goals from crosses, but for the most part they will likely go to the IF at the opposite post. You must first ask yourself how your striker is going to score, and who is going to give him the ball. In terms of his movement, he has to create and exploit space on his own, with nobody really around him to support. As the main point of contact, the defending side will just let him sit on their shoulders. If they defend deep, he simply does not have the space to exploit to run in behind. Therefore balls from the IF or the midfield will not lead to many chances simply because he does not have the time to get to them.

Why do you think a striker needs to be on attack duty to score goals anyway? It is not really the case for lone strikers. I play with the same positions for the front 5 (different roles). The only time I play an attacking striker is when I am looking to play a bit more on the break. Then it is because he is higher up the pitch. The other times I have him on support. Why? I want him to support the rest of the side. He needs to get involved in transitions.

7 hours ago, Kingofcm03 said:

I am wondering if I play a deeper forward if that will then cause him to get more space and time on the ball by dropping deep to collect it and then hopefully he can get some touches at least?

I think you nailed it here. Not only will he get more involved, he will have created space and disrupted the opposition defensive shape. He can then get forward and score goals. I play with a DLF(S) and I usually have around 15 - 10 goals a year for my main striker there. Probably around 25 goals for the striker in total. He is not the main goal threat in my side, but he contributes well. The point I want to make here is that FM does not really work on attacking = goals, support  = no goals. It is about how the players interact with each other.

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2 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

In this tactic, who do you think would be providing your striker with the ball to score? Lone strikers without a AMC behind them are typically not going to be scoring a lot of goals. In your tactic I can see him maybe getting some goals from crosses, but for the most part they will likely go to the IF at the opposite post. You must first ask yourself how your striker is going to score, and who is going to give him the ball. In terms of his movement, he has to create and exploit space on his own, with nobody really around him to support. As the main point of contact, the defending side will just let him sit on their shoulders. If they defend deep, he simply does not have the space to exploit to run in behind. Therefore balls from the IF or the midfield will not lead to many chances simply because he does not have the time to get to them.

Why do you think a striker needs to be on attack duty to score goals anyway? It is not really the case for lone strikers. I play with the same positions for the front 5 (different roles). The only time I play an attacking striker is when I am looking to play a bit more on the break. Then it is because he is higher up the pitch. The other times I have him on support. Why? I want him to support the rest of the side. He needs to get involved in transitions.

I think you nailed it here. Not only will he get more involved, he will have created space and disrupted the opposition defensive shape. He can then get forward and score goals. I play with a DLF(S) and I usually have around 15 - 10 goals a year for my main striker there. Probably around 25 goals for the striker in total. He is not the main goal threat in my side, but he contributes well. The point I want to make here is that FM does not really work on attacking = goals, support  = no goals. It is about how the players interact with each other.

Really appreciated that insight, it did actually make me realise that I dont have a creator or some flair from the middle to actually play the balls forward. So I made some changes, the result of the first game was a resounding 6 demolition using the below set up. In this game we had 32 shots of which 16 were on target and the other team had 0. As you can see I have added a CM-A to the middle of the park to move the ball forward and give the defenders something to think about. Then I narrowed the attacking width and played through the middle. I moved a CB into the HB role to help cover the space left by the on rushing CM-A (Possibly a DLP-S would be better as he will step into the middle) and then I made the left side WB into an IWB to also come inside to help cover this space.

The goals came from CM- A x 2 and both IF had 2 goals each. The forward, he failed to score but did seem to get more touches and then had a better overall game. He was used as a poacher as I still want him to occupy the middle of the defence to allow my IF guys to run havoc.

In the 2nd game since the change, we again totally dominated. We beat the 2nd best team in the league easily 2-0 (a team who somehow have beaten me in the last 2 domestic cup finals WTF!) but we managed an easy 2-0 with them also not having a single shot on goal but most pleasing was that my CM-A he actually hit a long through ball over the top to my forward for a simple 1 on 1 and he scored! (I would have been ok if he missed I was just excited for the chance to happen)

I can see that I am probably overloading the left a little, I want to balance it out more.

Capture.thumb.PNG.c250d7c6c4769ace7d8d4cfee11a1373.PNG

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6 hours ago, Kingofcm03 said:

I can see that I am probably overloading the left a little, I want to balance it out more

Overloading one side is not a bad idea. In this particular setup, my suggestion would be to change the AML from IF on attack to winger on attack, and IWB on support to IWB on defend, and then add the Overlap left team instructions. In that case, an additional idea to consider is changing the RCM (BBM) to DLP on support. These tweaks would encourage your team to build attacks up primarily through the right side (DLP support would serve to further encourage this), and then the ball can be suddenly switched to the left for the winger to deliver a cross or a cut-back pass for the CM on attack. And since you play on attacking mentality, you will always have enough players in and around the opposition penalty area to either get into chances or recycle the ball. 

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13 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Overloading one side is not a bad idea. In this particular setup, my suggestion would be to change the AML from IF on attack to winger on attack, and IWB on support to IWB on defend, and then add the Overlap left team instructions. In that case, an additional idea to consider is changing the RCM (BBM) to DLP on support. These tweaks would encourage your team to build attacks up primarily through the right side (DLP support would serve to further encourage this), and then the ball can be suddenly switched to the left for the winger to deliver a cross or a cut-back pass for the CM on attack. And since you play on attacking mentality, you will always have enough players in and around the opposition penalty area to either get into chances or recycle the ball. 

I might give this a shot in the European games and alternate local games. The middle of the park however is my least talented position and my left IF is the most talented in the squad. Hes probably the most capable of playing Winger as well.  I will also try and make the CM-A into an Advanced Playmaker and see if that creative force can help unlock and free up the forward. He has started to play better, while not scoring hes actually being more of a menace. Hes actually had a few assists. 

Before the last update, I played another very similar tactic in another save and my forward was scoring over 40 goals a season. So to me this is a little foreign. 

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I completed the current 4th season, I used a combination of both of the above tactics and tweaks Nothing really changed. I still won all my games in the league, lost a very tough Champions League qtr final with Spurs (who are dominating England) and my inside forwards/wingers both had 30 goals and my CM-A has 15. All good, no worries we are on track to success. 

In the summer, I decided "maybe its just all my forwards are hard coded to be awful" so lets spend some cash and upgrade the position. 

I went out and signed Luka Jovic for a huge fee (17m and im in Bulgaria dont forget) and this is more than I've spent in the entire 4 seasons almost. Hes still only 24, hes quality right? He was banging in goals in the Bundeslegia but was unhappy and surprisingly he was happy to leave and join my East vs West revolution.  He should easily score goals against the farmers who play in Bulgaria. I am now in January 2023 and hes played 17 games and 3 goals. 

So now I am just annoyed. 

Im going to spend the winter break before the 2nd half of the season and we are going to blow up the entire tactical plans we have and start again. I refuse to believe that I have to accept my Inside Forwards and CM-A are the only ones who can score and that I am not going to be able to play a lone forward system. 

In fact, I am going to set the team up so they cant get into areas to score, the entire team is going to be dedicated to making sure the forward is the man.  Probably some very deep sitting, fast and fluid counter attacking team or boring 4-4-2 playing long balls. I am now not even going to care if we give up our 100 odd game unbeaten run in the league either. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think you need to adjust your thinking a bit and to stop tinkering so much hoping to stumble across some magic bullet which is going to solve all of your problems.

Just because you spent a huge fee on a player doesn't mean that they are going to perform for you as they did at their previous club. It doesn't matter how talented a player may be if they are playing in a system which doesn't suit them then they will struggle. Did he play as a lone striker at his old club? What does Luka Jovic in your game look like attribute wise?

Looking at your tactic it doesn't surprise me that you are struggling to get a decent return from your lone striker.

Instruction overkill!!

What is the vision behind your tactic? I'm really struggling to decipher it. If I summarize what it is your team instructions are telling your team to do.

Overall, you want to play an expansive high-risk brand of football by selecting the Attacking mentality which is going to make all your players very attack orientated. You want your players to take further risks with their passes while trying to patiently play out from the back. You want your central players to play more attacking by focusing play through the middle. You want your players to counter press when you lose the ball and counter when you win the ball while adopting an intense press which seeks to camp the opposition in their own half and win the ball back high up the pitch. You want your players to simultaneously run after the ball like madmen while staying tight to opposition players and kicking the living daylights out of them.

There are so many contradictions there I don't even know where to begin and I haven't even mentioned the roles and duties you are using.

The best advice I can give to you is to SIMPLIFY!!

There is no patience in your attacking approach. If you want your lone striker to score more goals he needs proper support and a patient enough approach for that support to arrive. In my opinion, a lone striker needs the following characteristics.

- The ability to hold up the ball and wait for support if there isn't a good opportunity to attack

- The ability to create their own opportunities through good movement when they receive the ball

- The ability to find their own space effectively when off the ball

With that in mind, the Poacher is the last role I would choose when it comes to fulfilling those criteria.

I don't want to rewrite your tactic but if I were you I would be seriously questioning the tactic. Why that formation? Why attacking mentality and does it suit the formation? What do I expect each player to contribute during each phase of play and how? Why am I choosing this TI and how does it fit in with my overall vision of how I want to play?

Out of curiosity, why exactly do you want your main goalscorer to be the lone striker? I think you are going to find that very difficult to achieve as it happens to be difficult in real life football also.

All the best

Edited by pheelf

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If I had 2 IFs scoring 30 goals each and more from my midfield I wouldn't be bothered that my striker wasn't scoring. He is obviously there to create for your IFs. I would choose a supportive role for my striker f9 or DLFs to get the most out of my IFs. 

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On 02/06/2019 at 02:08, MShing said:

If I had 2 IFs scoring 30 goals each and more from my midfield I wouldn't be bothered that my striker wasn't scoring. He is obviously there to create for your IFs. I would choose a supportive role for my striker f9 or DLFs to get the most out of my IFs. 

Im not totally unhappy with it, I guess I just like more traditional style football where the forward is the main man. It frustrates me seeing the forward not scoring goals and the IFs all scoring the same boring goal of running into the line and shoot/pass to the other IF

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