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Playing at Spennymoor, I got promoted relatively easy two seasons ago and lost in the plays in the national league last season. I added a few players that should have improved the team and kept most of the starters from last season. My tactics are relatively the same but my team is playing way worse this season for some reason. I can barely score now and I have cycled players and tactics, so lost on what to do to get better.

http://tinypic.com/r/2zns4lh/9

 

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Okay, let's first analyze your tactic from a defensive perspective.

You are playing in a 442 system with lower DL but standard LOE, which reduces your vertical compactness and therefore increases the playable space for the opposition. In that regard, the opposite would make a lot more sense - i.e. standard DL with lower LOE - especially as you seem to be playing defensive football, given the Cautious mentality.

This cautious mentality brings us to another issue. Again, it's your lower DL. On low-risk mentalities (cautious, defensive, very defensive), both DL and LOE are already relatively deep by default. When you drop them even deeper via the relevant instructions, you are actually inviting unnecessarily much pressure from the opposition. Your defense is thus under more siege than it is likely to be able to handle, so more often than not will be forced to capitulate (even if the opposition fails to create good chances inside your box, some long shot will eventually end up in the back of your net). 

Attacking-wise, instructions such as (slightly) higher tempo, pass into space and the Counter TI in transition suggest that you are trying to achieve a rather counter-attacking style of play. However, here the mentality issue comes into play again. Just as the mentality affects DL and LOE, it also affects your passing style (mostly in terms of risk), tempo and attacking width in the possession phase (plus pressing intensity on the defensive side, bit that's another story). In short, the lower the mentality, the slower your attacking transitions. Which in turn means that even the slightly higher tempo and passing into space may not be sufficient for you to play effective counter-attacking football under the Cautious mentality.

Btw, can you tell me:

-  what's your exact idea with the Underlaps left and right?

- what's the point of taking short kicks to centre-backs in terms of GK distribution (relative to the rest of your tactic)?

So what can you do? Either:

- keep playing on the Cautious mentality, but increase the passing length to more direct (along with the higher tempo) and possibly add the Hit early crosses TI as well

Or:

- slightly increase the mentality (to Balanced), in which case you may also go with more direct passing, higher tempo and early crosses (plus pass into space), but there will be proportionally less need for using all the three than on the Cautious mentality (because - as I already explained - the lower/higher the mentality, the slower/faster the attacking transitions).

However, in both cases you'll likely need to make some modification to your setup of roles and duties, basically in order to encourage more advanced players - i.e. the strikers and possibly also one wide midfielder - to get forward and attack space as early as possible once you've won the ball and started the (counter)attacking transition. 

So let's imagine you decided to up the mentality to Balanced. How would you then set up roles, duties and instructions in order to achieve the counter-attacking style of football based on solid defending and fast transitions?

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Thanks so much,  I have made the recommended changes that you suggested and am now on a 4 game winning streak! 

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On 20/07/2019 at 17:52, Experienced Defender said:

Okay, let's first analyze your tactic from a defensive perspective.

You are playing in a 442 system with lower DL but standard LOE, which reduces your vertical compactness and therefore increases the playable space for the opposition. In that regard, the opposite would make a lot more sense - i.e. standard DL with lower LOE - especially as you seem to be playing defensive football, given the Cautious mentality.

This cautious mentality brings us to another issue. Again, it's your lower DL. On low-risk mentalities (cautious, defensive, very defensive), both DL and LOE are already relatively deep by default. When you drop them even deeper via the relevant instructions, you are actually inviting unnecessarily much pressure from the opposition. Your defense is thus under more siege than it is likely to be able to handle, so more often than not will be forced to capitulate (even if the opposition fails to create good chances inside your box, some long shot will eventually end up in the back of your net). 

Attacking-wise, instructions such as (slightly) higher tempo, pass into space and the Counter TI in transition suggest that you are trying to achieve a rather counter-attacking style of play. However, here the mentality issue comes into play again. Just as the mentality affects DL and LOE, it also affects your passing style (mostly in terms of risk), tempo and attacking width in the possession phase (plus pressing intensity on the defensive side, bit that's another story). In short, the lower the mentality, the slower your attacking transitions. Which in turn means that even the slightly higher tempo and passing into space may not be sufficient for you to play effective counter-attacking football under the Cautious mentality.

Btw, can you tell me:

-  what's your exact idea with the Underlaps left and right?

- what's the point of taking short kicks to centre-backs in terms of GK distribution (relative to the rest of your tactic)?

So what can you do? Either:

- keep playing on the Cautious mentality, but increase the passing length to more direct (along with the higher tempo) and possibly add the Hit early crosses TI as well

Or:

- slightly increase the mentality (to Balanced), in which case you may also go with more direct passing, higher tempo and early crosses (plus pass into space), but there will be proportionally less need for using all the three than on the Cautious mentality (because - as I already explained - the lower/higher the mentality, the slower/faster the attacking transitions).

However, in both cases you'll likely need to make some modification to your setup of roles and duties, basically in order to encourage more advanced players - i.e. the strikers and possibly also one wide midfielder - to get forward and attack space as early as possible once you've won the ball and started the (counter)attacking transition. 

So let's imagine you decided to up the mentality to Balanced. How would you then set up roles, duties and instructions in order to achieve the counter-attacking style of football based on solid defending and fast transitions?

Back to losing pretty much every game..I don't understand why I can't win consistently..

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By definition your tactic is cautious. When you were an unknown quality or an underdog this probably worked in your favour. After reaching the play offs, AI teams no doubt show you a lot more respect and will sit back against you. 

You don’t necessarily need to go to a much higher mentally, but I do think you need some more attack duties to provide a bit more movement and penetration in the final third. You also lack the ability to win the ball high up the pitch. That makes it very easy for a team intent on sitting back. 

I would up your line of engagement and add an attack duty for one of your wingers. I’d also be tempted to give an attack duty to a FB, or at least up the one on defend to support. Now this could just be me overthinking things, but I’d prefer to have the BBM behind the AF. Since the AF should be creating vertical space in behind, then having the BBM running into the space he creates could be effective. 

I’m not sure what PI’s you have but it might be worth telling your other CM to play more direct passes to force the penetration a little more. Finally if you find the increased LoE, mentality and attack duties compromise your defensive a little too much, it’s perfectly fine to put the CM on a defend duty as he should still play early balls with direct passing. 

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20 hours ago, Jshaff24 said:

Back to losing pretty much every game..I don't understand why I can't win consistently

Are you a top team? Obviously not. In fact, quite the opposite.

Therefore, unless you download some exploit plug-n-play tactic, you'll have to make a couple of tweaks here and there in order to adapt the tactic to different situations. 

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On 20/07/2019 at 22:52, Experienced Defender said:

This cautious mentality brings us to another issue. Again, it's your lower DL. On low-risk mentalities (cautious, defensive, very defensive), both DL and LOE are already relatively deep by default. When you drop them even deeper via the relevant instructions, you are actually inviting unnecessarily much pressure from the opposition. Your defense is thus under more siege than it is likely to be able to handle, so more often than not will be forced to capitulate (even if the opposition fails to create good chances inside your box, some long shot will eventually end up in the back of your net). 

Attacking-wise, instructions such as (slightly) higher tempo, pass into space and the Counter TI in transition suggest that you are trying to achieve a rather counter-attacking style of play. However, here the mentality issue comes into play again. Just as the mentality affects DL and LOE, it also affects your passing style (mostly in terms of risk), tempo and attacking width in the possession phase (plus pressing intensity on the defensive side, bit that's another story). In short, the lower the mentality, the slower your attacking transitions. Which in turn means that even the slightly higher tempo and passing into space may not be sufficient for you to play effective counter-attacking football under the Cautious mentality.

So....theoretically....

If you're Usually playing on balanced with Lower DL and standard LOE and you switch to Cautious mentality, if you then push LOE and DL is it theoretically the same the distance between DL and LOE?  

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4 hours ago, djpdavey said:

So....theoretically....

If you're Usually playing on balanced with Lower DL and standard LOE and you switch to Cautious mentality, if you then push LOE and DL is it theoretically the same the distance between DL and LOE?  

If you push both DL and LOE equally, then the relative distance between them remains the same. But when you change the mentality, both become either deeper or higher, depending on whether you dropped or raised the mentality.

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On 25/07/2019 at 16:40, Experienced Defender said:

Are you a top team? Obviously not. In fact, quite the opposite.

Therefore, unless you download some exploit plug-n-play tactic, you'll have to make a couple of tweaks here and there in order to adapt the tactic to different situations. 

I have been tweaking my tactics and no matter what I do or what formation I play, my team just can't score. My whole team is inconsistent and it's so hard to find players that are any good that want to come here. 

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1 hour ago, Jshaff24 said:

I have been tweaking my tactics and no matter what I do or what formation I play, my team just can't score. My whole team is inconsistent and it's so hard to find players that are any good that want to come here. 

When playing in lower leagues I always use the loan market. If you ask your scouts to provide team reports on the teams in each of the two leagues higher than your own you'll end up with a list of players who are willing to join you on loan. I'm pretty sure that nobody from a league which three higher than your own will want to join you on loan ... could be wrong here but don't think so. The other thingthat I do is to offer four week trials to a multitude of free agents ... you'll probably see well before the four week period has expired if the players are any good ... if not then terminate the trial early. Hope this helps.

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How do you stop a team from scoring against you outside of the box? I let up a ton of goals from outside of the box..

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29 minutes ago, Jshaff24 said:

How do you stop a team from scoring against you outside of the box? I let up a ton of goals from outside of the box..

It can be very difficult because of the ***** goalkeepers. But if you play two DM's, or maybe one and have a stopper close down the space in front of the CB's, sometimes this can help you stop the shots coming in from areas central to the goal. 

Also, depending on what your CBs' heading is like, you can show players onto the outside and have them play down the flanks, making them cross more rather than getting into the middle and having a shot. I suppose this is risky if you can't defend crosses, but in certain games where you have the advantage aerially, maybe this is worth doing. I tend to show the players in right sided positions onto their right foot (including RCB and RCM etc) and vice versa for those on the left. It can be quite effective when the opposition striker is poor in the air and not very good at anticipating crosses and getting into good positions. Again, assess the situation and decide what is suitable. 

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On 03/08/2019 at 15:03, Jshaff24 said:

How do you stop a team from scoring against you outside of the box? I let up a ton of goals from outside of the box..

 

 

These are the types of goals I'm talking about...I don't understand how earlier this season no teams were hitting goals like this now teams him them like it is nothing. 

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It sounds to me you are inviting too much pressure. Your defenders are also very passive, you have like two players closing down at best and your line of four are ball watching. 

If you still wanna keep playing like that, change to narrow defending or try a stopper-cover defensive setup for your CDs, as in this specific video you were being played through the middle. If the idea is to soak up pressure you need to be more compact.

You gotta adjust sometimes - if they're playing inside forwards on both sides and their fullbacks are not going forward, going narrow is a better idea. If they have wingers, you might wanna go standard and so on. You can try to ask your wingers and forwards to close down more as well.

Edited by lferreira
grammar

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So 4-4-2 is your preferred shape. That's great. There's 1000 ways to execute this shape in game. It all depends on how you want to play and what your players can do. If you get new players your shape may need changing. That quality free agent AMC or DMC on 20% of your salary budget can cause a lot of pain if you cannot adjust tactically.

Take some time eg say 3-4 games mid season or preseason to try the different tactic templates if you're on the verge of despair. Narrow down the options to what best seems to suit the current team. Keep the expectations in mind. You were already given an obscene amount of advice on how to adjust the initial tactic. Utilise this to tweak the new tactic.

There's a tactical mistake in every goal you let in in LLM so analyse them. Check out the tactic analysis pages and also individual player stat reports so see what is happening.

Long shots like crosses for eg are can be reduced with the right DLINE, DWidth etc. Remember you know your team better than any one. Fm19 has IMO almost every remedy for your tactical woes.

LLM is quite a challenge

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@Jshaff24 I'm currently biting off more than I can chew with the San Marino Challenge.  I'm new to the FM series, having only upgraded from CM 03/04 for FM19.  With the San Marino Challenge, I'm managing two teams - San Marino Calcio starting off in Serie D - and then San Giovanni in the San Marino League - so both lower levels.  I've gone through some of the same issues as you - and indeed with San Giovanni, I guess I'm struggling to find a tactical identity at the moment in my 6th season of the save.  Reading this thread, I would say I've been too passive with my defending.

With San Giovanni, the team was awful when I took charge.  I therefore went for a 4-1-4-1.  I actually stumbled across the CD-Stopper / CD-Cover combination by accident.  I signed a really good central defender for the level - but he had 5 pace.  So, I set him to Stopper and I won the San Marino League Champions playoff in my first season - and then had a decent run in Europe.  Now, the club has moved forward over the save - but with 4-1-4-1 I got a bit fed up with too few goals.  I had a nothing Inverted Winger (1* CA - has a bit of pace, is 6'3", but nothing else) on attack on the left and a winger on support on the right, and crosses from right to left were my main source of goals - my striker rarely chipped in.  Going 4-4-2 was my solution to that problem - but created issues at the back - and not using a DM has meant a ton of goals conceded from long shots.  Interestingly, my slow Stopper got poached - so I went with 2 "normal" CD's - and even with 1 CM on defend and the other on support, the space between the 2 lines was a problem (and that's with Standard line + Lower LOE).  Tighter marking got mentioned above - I found this worked against teams on our level or worse than us.  As soon as I used it against better teams (I tried it in Europe against a much better team, for example) we gave away too many penalties.  The Stopper/Cover combo doesn't stop long goals going in, but I would say reduces them.  One thing to note, is the AI will hit long balls over the top of your stopper - so be careful with the full back on that side, if you have him on attacking, you'll get burned if the ball is over his outside shoulder (the inside shoulder, your Cover CD can help).  I'm about to start a new season with San Giovanni, and will probably avoid tighter marking after experimenting with it for half a season.

Now, with San Marino Calcio - we got relegated from Serie C and reading this thread and thinking back, I was too passive when I initially got promoted - getting a bit conservative against better teams.  With Calcio, it's been easier to sign better players - and I've been quite ruthless in letting go out of contract players who were solid, but not great - and I've been able to sign better replacements.  This will give me the condfidence to be less passive (mentioned above was the loan system - go 2 divs above, look at the table, right hand mouse click over a team and "Get Team Report" - in the scouting section, you'll get more possible loanees that way than just searching for players interested on loan).  I am going with the Stopper-Cover combo - and have also upped pressing one notch, but kept the Standard line and Lower LOE.  I will get into the season more this week, but I'm hoping to push on up the league this season.

I'm going to try the same approach with San Giovanni to see if this solves the problem there.  Anyway, in summary, for me Tighter Marking works against lesser teams - but not better teams.  The Stopper-Cover combo helps, but doesn't completely stop goals from long shots - but you do have to watch the long ball over the Stopper's head - so I wouldn't recommend a high defensive line against a team with (a) much faster striker(s).  Pressing seems to have worked with San Marino Calcio - and certainly when I won Serie D (only losing 1 game on the season and we were the heavy favourite for most games) pressing really, really helped with a higher defensive line.

I would recommend being more aggressive against teams lower in the table, but you might have to be slightly less aggressive against better teams, but being super-passive doesn't work as it only becomes a matter of time before you concede, as I have discovered!!  For sure, if you can bring in better players - and bring them in scouting their attributes not just their CA/PA - it will give you the confidence to be more aggressive, and that approach does seem to work better with FM19 than being super-passive.

Edited by duesouth

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This all depends on your team. Look at each player in each role. In the lowest leagues you need less. I ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED the VNS with Oxford City with two CDs who had pace, acceleration, marking and tackling. Those stats, all 4 were in the green (which I set at 12-15) the rest a mix of red (1-7) and Grey (8-11). Needless to say, I got promoted.

Now, in VNN, players started approaching me that were better in more categories. I have placed those dear guys that got me here up for loan or free transfer, and my new guys have decisions, passing, bravery, heading and all sorts of other stuff in the grey zone. One of them is nearly all grey except pace and tackling which are both at 13. He's amazing. My old players were not cutting it. Before, for wingers I basically wanted Crossing, pace and acceleration, maybe long shots. Now, you need more things for them. My Keepers are kind of still great though, haven't found anyone to take them on.

Even my Striker who tore it up, where I really only required anticipation, finishing, pace and acceleration, is lagging behind the new talent I can afford.

Bottom line, don't get promoted twice in a row, it will take you time to rebuild your team for the next league (yes, I am already looking for Skybet 2  players).

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