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First thing, I am new here, so sorry if I miss out things that I should mention etc. So, I always encounter a problem in the second/third season in where my squad struggles not for possession, chances or shots on target but for a result, here are my three tactics that I use but can be changed in game if required to:

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I've lost 2 of my opening 5 games whereas last season I only lost 4 in the league during the whole season and won the treble. I thought that my recent struggles could be due a massive overhaul I made during the summer transfer market where I replaced all the deadwood with exciting and better players, but had a very good pre-season with lots of games against tough opponents. My main issues are that I have a lot of shots on targets but cannot score and defensively my team is no where near as good as it was last season where I scored the most goals and conceding the least in the league. My tactics have not changed other than in my away formation where last season I played with my DM as a regista and this season I have gone for DLP to accommodate Declan Rice.

 

Willing to try tips and tactics recommended and try fix this sooner before the league runs away from me! Once again I am new so sorry if I posted anything wrong!

 

Thank you!

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51 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

2059057794_Screenshot2019-06-17at11_37_39.thumb.png.f35ecf7e622574a0449368b2035b2998.png

A 4231 with this setup of roles, duties and instructions is a recipe for defensive disaster, whereas in attack it's too one-dimensional. Not to mention the use of as many as 3 PM roles, and all of them being situated in close vicinity. 

 

55 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

363286774_Screenshot2019-06-17at11_37_54.thumb.png.77c14e58ed311295a886b9d9d849d41e.png

Most of what I already said about your 4231 basically applies to this 4141dm wide as well. Only the fact that (unlike 4231) the 4141dm wide employs a DM makes the tactic slightly less risky defensively, but is still far from solid. 

 

59 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

1729982171_Screenshot2019-06-17at11_38_17.thumb.png.0404c5971c8eebc7c1cebd4b4e2026da.png

Same again. I would assume you used to download plug-n-play tactics in the past, so you were inspired by these senseless exploit tactics once you decided to create your own. Am I right?

Btw, I think there is no need for using 3 different formations with a single team. 4231 and 4141dm wide are cognate systems, so using them both makes some sense. But a 5221 is pretty much different, so I think you should drop it.

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Even before anything tactical: 5 Matches === random chance galore. You know why bookies prominently publich such streaks on their sites? Beacuse in Football, an absurdly low scoring Sport, they tell virtually Zero.

https://statsbomb.com/2018/10/arsenal-arent-this-good-nor-are-dortmund-heres-why/

 

That said, if your chances are as superior as you claim, on FM your results will be up soon again. 

 

 

Edited by Svenc

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

A 4231 with this setup of roles, duties and instructions is a recipe for defensive disaster, whereas in attack it's too one-dimensional. Not to mention the use of as many as 3 PM roles, and all of them being situated in close vicinity. 

 

Most of what I already said about your 4231 basically applies to this 4141dm wide as well. Only the fact that (unlike 4231) the 4141dm wide employs a DM makes the tactic slightly less risky defensively, but is still far from solid. 

 

Same again. I would assume you used to download plug-n-play tactics in the past, so you were inspired by these senseless exploit tactics once you decided to create your own. Am I right?

Btw, I think there is no need for using 3 different formations with a single team. 4231 and 4141dm wide are cognate systems, so using them both makes some sense. But a 5221 is pretty much different, so I think you should drop it.

Thats really helpful, thanks! Could you recommend what I should change the roles to and any changes in team instructions you think would be helpful? Once again thank you!

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7 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

Could you recommend what I should change the roles to and any changes in team instructions you think would be helpful?

Sure. There are different types of changes you can make, depending on the playing style you want to achieve.

When it comes to 4231, the 2 CMs are key. They are the backbone of the whole system, so they need to be as good defense-wise as they are attacking-wise. Herrera has the right attributes for a CM in a 4231, as does Rice. I don't know about Fernandes, but given that the game views him as a natural DLP, I guess he should be suited for a CM in a 4231 as well. Another "rule of thumb" in a 4231 is that either both CMs should be played in holding roles or one as a holder and the other as a runner, but not on attack duty. While DLP is a holder and RPM is a runner, the latter is a bit too attack-minded, so if you use the role - then the fullback on the side of the RPM should be more conservative (e.g. FBsup or IWBdef or WBdef). Because the system is top-heavy, so you can easily find yourself defensively exposed if you ignore this inherent weakness.

Then I mentioned one-dimensionality. By saying that, I was referring to the fact that your flanks are mirroring each other in terms of roles and duties (on both sides you have a combo of CWBsu and IFat). This makes your attacks more predictable and thus easier for the opposition to defend. Therefore you should try to be more creative when setting roles and duties up. For example, you can pair a FB on attack with an IF on support on one flank, and FB on support with a winger on attack on the other. There are other possible combinations of course. Btw, due to the already mentioned top-heaviness of the 4231 system, I would avoid a CWB because the role is too attack-minded, even with support duty. If you use a CWB, then better use it in the 4141dm wide, because the system is more balanced defensively than the 4231 thanks to the presence of a DM.

In order to give you more specific advice on the rest of your tactic, I would first need to know which exact style of play you want to implement? Is it patient possession football (obviously not, given the extremely high tempo and as many as 3 attack duties up front), or some sort of counter-attacking style, or maybe more dynamic attacking football?

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12 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

In order to give you more specific advice on the rest of your tactic, I would first need to know which exact style of play you want to implement? Is it patient possession football (obviously not, given the extremely high tempo and as many as 3 attack duties up front), or some sort of counter-attacking style, or maybe more dynamic attacking football?

Thank you, really helpful again! So I was trying to recreate the way Liverpool / Man city play in real life, the quick counter attacks but also still dominate the game. If you know how to accurately create that then that would be awesome! I see what you mean about how it becomes a bit too predictable on how to defend against it, just played a games where the opposition sat 9 men in defensive positions throughout the whole game, had 24 shots on target and only scored 2.

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3 hours ago, LRB_Barr said:

So I was trying to recreate the way Liverpool / Man city play in real life, the quick counter attacks but also still dominate the game

LFC and City do not play in an entirely identical way, though there are some similarities, which you correctly noted (such as pressing high up the pitch, quick counters and dominating opponents). But I understand what you mean. Now that I manage Man Utd in one of my saves, I know a number of your players (except those you've brought to the team in the meantime), so I believe I could offer some useful advice on how you can achieve a style similar to that of LFC and City.

First, I would recommend a 4141dm wide as your primary (if not the only) formation, as it is more suitable to LFC/City style(s) of play than 4231 (plus offers more room for tinkering around with roles and duties).

Playing on higher-risk mentalities (such as positive or attacking) is also something that is a must for this style of play. Your positive mentality is therefore a good starting point :thup:

However, you need to know that mentality affects almost all other settings - some directly, some more subtly. Directly affected by mentality changes are: passing style (risk), tempo, attacking width, defensive line, LOE and pressing urgency (and of course individual players' mentalities). Subtly affected are: creative freedom and freedom of movement (a.k.a. the "Be more expressive/disciplined" TI) and the intensity of tackling (i.e. players' general inclination to be more aggressive or more restrained when trying to win the ball).

Specifically in your tactic, the most problematic in-possession instruction is extremely high tempo. As you play on a high-risk mentality, tempo is already relatively high, so there is no need to go to extremes. Higher tempo - instead of extremely high - is quite enough for the style of play you are looking to implement.

Your in-transition instructions are good IMO. The only one I would remove is "take short kicks". Simply, let the keeper distribute the ball to defenders in the way he feels is optimal (safest) in a given situation.

Defensive (out-of-possession) instructions are the most problematic IMO. As the mentality affects pressing intensity (among other things), you absolutely do not need to increase team pressing, because it's already high enough under high-risk mentalities (like positive or above). Just leave it on default (slightly more urgent). Because the higher the pressing intensity is, the more disrupted your defensive shape will be (as all players - including defenders - will move out of their positions to close down the opposition more aggressively). Instead of increasing team pressing urgency, a lot better - and safer - option is the so-called split block. This means telling your 3-5 most advanced players to close down more in their player instructions. But if you use counter-press, the split block might be a bit of an overkill, so you may not need it.

Higher/much higher DL and LOE make sense in a style of play like that of LFC/City. However, in order to reduce a potential vulnerability to opposition counters via balls over the top, I would recommend playing on higher DL (rather than much higher). If you decide to go with a 4141dm wide, LOE can be either higher or much higher. In a 4231 however, you'll need to be more cautious, meaning that LOE should be a notch lower than DL (e.g. higher DL/standard LOE). The reason for this is to preserve solid vertical compactness

Now let's see how you could set up roles and duties with your preferred starting 11 (assuming you opted for a 4141dm wide system). Here is one possible example (based on my knowledge of Utd players):

PFat

IFsu                                        Wat

MEZat     APsu

HB

WBsu     CDde    BPDde     IWBsu

GK

When it comes to team instructions, there are a couple of possibilities, depending on whether you want to play more like City (Pep) or LFC (Klopp). My preference would be a sort of "hybrid" between the two. 

For example:

Positive mentality

- play out of defence, higher tempo, be more expressive, overlap right (and optionally/occasionally pass into space)

- counter, counter-press, distribute quickly to CBs and FBs

- higher DL, higher LOE, default pressing, prevent short GK distribution, use offside trap

Who would play in these roles and what player instructions could be used:

GK - de Gea

DL/WBsu - Shaw - sit narrower

DR/IWBsu - MIlitao

DCL/CDde - Bailly - take fewer risks

DCR/BPDde - Lindelof

DM/HB - Rice or Herrera - mark tighter

MCL/MEZat - Pogba or Sergej - mark tighter, take more risks (and optionally close down more)

MCR/APsu - probably Fernandes, though I don't know which particular Fernandes it is - mark tighter (and optionally close down more)

AML/IFsu - Martial - (optionally close down more)

AMR/Wat - Lingard - (optionally close down more)

ST/PFat - Rashford - pass shorter, shoot more often

NOTE: This is what I call a basic (primary) tactic, which means it's not plug-n-play and therefore would likely need some tweaking, depending on the situation and/or the opposition. So look at it as a starting point for you to experiment with by making slight tweaks/adjustments. I think it's the best way to understand how tactics work in FM and thus learn to create different types of tactics that make sense and can lead to achieving your desired style of play.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask :thup:

Edited by Experienced Defender

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15 hours ago, LRB_Barr said:

I've lost 2 of my opening 5 games whereas last season I only lost 4 in the league during the whole season and won the treble. I thought that my recent struggles could be due a massive overhaul I made during the summer transfer market where I replaced all the deadwood with exciting and better players, but had a very good pre-season with lots of games against tough opponents.

Who did you lose to? Home or away? I would not be too concerned with losing a couple of games at the start of the season if you are playing well. Actually, I am not concerned with losing a couple of games in general as long as you are playing well. These things happen, you only need to be concerned if it keeps happening. That being said, do not ignore the tactical advise you have been given, there is always a way to improve.

You have also had a huge overhaul of the squad, singing a huge number of players by the look of it. Probably not all at once, but still. It does take players time to bed in to a new team. Some players will settle right away, others will not. You have to get them to reform parnerships. To get their tactical familiarity high, and to form social groups with each other. I do not think it is unrealistic to expect it to take some time for players to gel together, and this can lead to some losses. Nice squad you have developed, by the way.

On pre season, I would never read too much into that. You never know what the AI is focusing on. The manager could have just said "go get fit, we do not care about the result" and the players are not that motivated as a result. Preseason is all about fitness and match sharpness for me. If you can get some players in form, even better. I never pay much attention to results unless I am getting beaten by teams I definitely should be beating. If you are winning in preseason, you can probably take away that your tactics are okay, but it is very risky to extrapolate to expected performances in competitive matches.

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On 17/06/2019 at 22:40, Experienced Defender said:

 For example:

Positive mentality

- play out of defence, higher tempo, be more expressive, overlap right (and optionally/occasionally pass into space)

- counter, counter-press, distribute quickly to CBs and FBs

- higher DL, higher LOE, default pressing, prevent short GK distribution, use offside trap

Who would play in these roles and what player instructions could be used:

GK - de Gea

DL/WBsu - Shaw - sit narrower

DR/IWBsu - MIlitao

DCL/CDde - Bailly - take fewer risks

DCR/BPDde - Lindelof

DM/HB - Rice or Herrera - mark tighter

MCL/MEZat - Pogba or Sergej - mark tighter, take more risks (and optionally close down more)

MCR/APsu - probably Fernandes, though I don't know which particular Fernandes it is - mark tighter (and optionally close down more)

AML/IFsu - Martial - (optionally close down more)

AMR/Wat - Lingard - (optionally close down more)

ST/PFat - Rashford - pass shorter, shoot more often

Thank you so much! Have used this exact tactic and it reinvented my team and haven’t lost a game since using it. I still use the 4-2-3-1 for home games but have changed roles and team instructions relevant to a post you created yourself.

The only question I would ask is I have had a couple of 0-0 draws against lower opposition using the 4-1-4-1 tactic you provided, in game what instruction would you suggest changing to push for that goal? Also, against tougher opponents such a the top 6 away from home or away in the champions league, would you recommend changing any tactics? I am also seeing that my players are getting injuries much more often now, most of them have been only knocks out for a couple of days, is this something you experience with this tactic too?

 

Thank you you again for the great advice!

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29 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

The only question I would ask is I have had a couple of 0-0 draws against lower opposition using the 4-1-4-1 tactic you provided, in game what instruction would you suggest changing to push for that goal?

Well, that's a tricky question because it implies the "art" of watching the match and make slight tweaks accordingly (that's how I play). My tactics - including the one I suggested to you - are never plug-and-play. Which means they work most of the time, but occasionally need to be somewhat adjusted, depending on the opposition or situation I see on the pitch.

There are different tweaks you can try in such situations. Basically, when you play against an ultra-defensive opponent, you should be able to afford a bit more risk (like adding a couple of runners from deep that would help you overload the opposition box and its surrounding area with more players). But again, each situation is different, so it's impossible to tell you "do this" or "do that". Now that you have a solid tactic, it should at least be easier for you to tweak it when needed.

37 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

Also, against tougher opponents such a the top 6 away from home or away in the champions league, would you recommend changing any tactics?

Just be a bit more conservative. Or at least start those matches in a more cautious manner - not cautious mentality! - and then watch to see how it goes. 

 

39 minutes ago, LRB_Barr said:

I am also seeing that my players are getting injuries much more often now, most of them have been only knocks out for a couple of days, is this something you experience with this tactic too?

I don't use this tactic with Man Utd (my primary formation is 5212, and the secondary one is narrow 442 diamond), but I do have problems with injuries. In fact, of all the saves I am currently managing, it's only Man Utd that I have experienced a really high number (and frequency) of injuries. I don't know why. Neither my tactic nor my training are in any way more intense in my Utd save than they are in my other saves. And my medical staff is also among the best in the league (as well as the coaches). 

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

I don't use this tactic with Man Utd (my primary formation is 5212, and the secondary one is narrow 442 diamond), but I do have problems with injuries. In fact, of all the saves I am currently managing, it's only Man Utd that I have experienced a really high number (and frequency) of injuries. I don't know why. Neither my tactic nor my training are in any way more intense in my Utd save than they are in my other saves. And my medical staff is also among the best in the league (as well as the coaches). 

Thank you again! So there’s not a lot that can be changed with the frequent injuries? 

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1 hour ago, LRB_Barr said:

So there’s not a lot that can be changed with the frequent injuries?

I guess so. Though I am not an expert on the injury issue, so hopefully someone who knows better will give you some useful advice.

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Btw, whilst from my experience FM isn't near as random as real Football (or else SI would receive a lot of flack), pity if you didn't save before trying any suggestions and could reload and simply carry on the way you did before. Scoring slumps that last far longer than just a game or two or three in football are reasonably common place. The (sesonal) table lies. Results are a bad gauge of performance, considering that it's but a few if any attacks of dozens that go anyhwere in each match. Real managers thus typically don't overreact to any of them, and the subsequent praise/criticism shipped their way because of it.

Over the longer term, things even out though. A season is anything but longer term. Speaking of which, who's gotta say that you weren't fortunate the season before already losing that little. And btw, that would be the area where the data Analyst in the game would be actually useful -- even though likely just provide just another edge over the AI.
 

 

Edited by Svenc

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2 hours ago, LRB_Barr said:

Thank you again! So there’s not a lot that can be changed with the frequent injuries? 

 

1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

I guess so. Though I am not an expert on the injury issue, so hopefully someone who knows better will give you some useful advice.

It's probably nothing more than just the luck of the draw.  We can do lots in game to reduce the chance of injuries but occasionally - as in real life - we can go through a bad patch no matter what we do.

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30 minutes ago, herne79 said:

It's probably nothing more than just the luck of the draw.  We can do lots in game to reduce the chance of injuries but occasionally - as in real life - we can go through a bad patch no matter what we do

Yeah, sounds logical. Interesting enough, I usually have most injury problems with top teams. In FM 18 it was Tottenham (in my two other saves - Pallace and Sunderland, injuries were few and far between). Now in FM19 it's United :lol:

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8 hours ago, herne79 said:

 

It's probably nothing more than just the luck of the draw.  We can do lots in game to reduce the chance of injuries but occasionally - as in real life - we can go through a bad patch no matter what we do.

 

This will remain for as Long as SI don't Code any injury probability of any player down to 0%. Or hardcode conditions into the game that "if x Players are injured, then no more"; or "if Player has just resumed trained after injury, don't injury him again." As soon as that probability goes up, you will have a streak at some point -- same as that Ronaldo dude who for half a Season couldn't hit a barn door against all odds. ;) Or perhaps better, same as Pep three seasons in a row back at Bayern with his injuiries, despite a Change in medical staff in between. Just Keep on throwing a dice for long enough, and you will get unlikely streaks of only throwing sixes in sequence.

(The core reason why the game is actually long-term tested to have fewer days of injuries than Football significantly -- and why the correlation between shots to goals has always been more consistent in-game; if a top-Team underperforms in-game, it's never the way Zidane's Madrid back then, or heaven forbid Dortmund under Klopp in his last Season -- I don't like this at all, but can you imagine the rage?)

Edited by Svenc

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11 hours ago, Svenc said:

 

This will remain for as Long as SI don't Code any injury probability of any player down to 0%. Or hardcode conditions into the game that "if x Players are injured, then no more"; or "if Player has just resumed trained after injury, don't injury him again." As soon as that probability goes up, you will have a streak at some point -- same as that Ronaldo dude who for half a Season couldn't hit a barn door against all odds. ;) Or perhaps better, same as Pep three seasons in a row back at Bayern with his injuiries, despite a Change in medical staff in between. Just Keep on throwing a dice for long enough, and you will get unlikely streaks of only throwing sixes in sequence.

(The core reason why the game is actually long-term tested to have fewer days of injuries than Football significantly -- and why the correlation between shots to goals has always been more consistent in-game; if a top-Team underperforms in-game, it's never the way Zidane's Madrid back then, or heaven forbid Dortmund under Klopp in his last Season -- I don't like this at all, but can you imagine the rage?)

I know, I completely agree, it just seems very suspicious for me at the moment getting about 3 knocks a game, I just think of it as the game trying to test me.

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