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Hi all,

This forum is always very helpful, so looking for some advice...  Finally took the plunge about 2 months ago to install FM19, after a really long and enjoyable save on FM17. There are a lot of changes from that version to this, so it has taken a while to get my head around some aspects (new training / mentoring and roles etc. 

Anyway, I am trying a new formation/tactic with Ajax and to begin with was really happy with it, was enjoying the football, but since the first 4-5 games, it has become more difficult to create many clear cut chances (my spin on clear cut, not FM's...), especially when teams play def mid/s. I have struggled so far with getting many goals from the striker, they mostly come from outside the area from my Mezzala or one of my IF's. 

Would like some experts to take a quick look to see if you notice anything glaringly obvious that would help with chance creation.

Anyway this is what I am using:

------------------SK (a)---------------

WB (s) - CB (d) - BPD (d) - WB (s)

------------------A (d)------------------

-------DLP (s) ------ MEZ (a) ------

IF (a) --------------------------- IF (s)

------------------ PF (a) ----------------

With regards to tactics, it chose to use the base model from FM of Vertical Tika Taka. The custom changes I made (from memory) were less focus through the middle, and work ball into box... I removed that in the last couple of games as we were simply passing sideways and ended up going nowhere other out wide and winning corners... 

The tempo is set as lower as the default was going to experiment with a higher tempo (or even just putting it up to standard) to see if it helps before teams get back into shape but when we counter press we should then counter anyway... but it very rarely happens. 

I tend to switch between Attacking and Positive, depending on the strength of the opposition, Home or Away etc.

One problem I have found so far (as mentioned above) is getting goals out of a loan striker... I have struggled with this on FM19 so far (incl. a previous save where I was just experimenting / learning, with Sheff Wed in championship, most goals came from midfield again). I am not sure I am utilising all the new roles available from FM17 to 19 properly, but as I want to press, i thought the pressing forward would make most sense... 

Any help or advise would be much appreciated.

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5 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

this is what I am using:

------------------SK (a)---------------

WB (s) - CB (d) - BPD (d) - WB (s)

------------------A (d)------------------

-------DLP (s) ------ MEZ (a) ------

IF (a) --------------------------- IF (s)

------------------ PF (a) ----------------

 

6 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

if you notice anything glaringly obvious that would help with chance creation

There is nothing wrong with this particular setup of roles and duties IMHO (so long as all the roles are assigned to suitable players). 

 

6 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

With regards to tactics, it chose to use the base model from FM of Vertical Tika Taka

Here your problem might lie, as preset tactics (especially tiki-taka) are full of overkills and hence need tweaking. If you could post a screenshot of your tactic - or at least list all the instructions you are using (in all phases of play) - it would be more than helpful :thup:

Btw, always keep in mind that the mentality - and therefore any change of it - automatically affects all other instructions (along with individual player mentalities), even if you don't touch them at all.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

 

There is nothing wrong with this particular setup of roles and duties IMHO (so long as all the roles are assigned to suitable players). 

 

Here your problem might lie, as preset tactics (especially tiki-taka) are full of overkills and hence need tweaking. If you could post a screenshot of your tactic - or at least list all the instructions you are using (in all phases of play) - it would be more than helpful :thup:

Btw, always keep in mind that the mentality - and therefore any change of it - automatically affects all other instructions (along with individual player mentalities), even if you don't touch them at all.

Hello, yes sorry would've been easier if I uploaded everything... I got one role wrong earlier, I have left WB on Attack

20190909181321_1.jpg

20190909181149_1.jpg

20190909181155_1.jpg

20190909181146_1.jpg

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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And here is the analysis for shots on goal from the last 3 games, in which we have won all three 1-0...

I am very happy defensively and feel I have enough of an understanding on tactics, roles etc. to set up a good balanced side, but shot conversion on this version so far I am scratching my head a little.

20190909190545_1.jpg

20190909190607_1.jpg

20190909190627_1.jpg

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39 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

20190909181321_1.jpg

 

40 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I got one role wrong earlier, I have left WB on Attack

Well, that's not a small difference. In fact, it's quite big, and potentially very risky defensively. An attack-duty fullback or wing-back playing behind an IF is a good idea, especially as it creates a natural overlap, but not when you have such an attack-minded role as mezzala on that side

Using both short passing and lower tempo at the same time tend to slow play down a bit too much, especially when coupled with Work ball into box and Play out of defence - as both these instructions encourage patience. Which in turn helps the opposition get back into their defensive shape and thus makes it harder for you to break them down. A combination of low tempo and short passing makes more sense when you play on Attacking (or very attacking) mentality, but on Positive (or lower) it's a bit of an overkill (unless you want possession merely for the sake of possession). 

Your defensive (out-of-possession) instructions are needlessly aggressive, which is not only risky defensively but also affects your attacking performance - because your overly aggressive manner of defending is reducing the space for your players (particularly forwards) to potentially take advantage of. 

In terms of roles and duties... I don't know all your players enough, but I do know Dolberg, and in this particular system I would rather play him as a DLF on attack than PF on attack. For two primary reasons:

1. he is very well-suited for the role;

2. when playing both wide forwards in an IF role, a DLF as a role works better in terms of creating space due to its tendency to drop deeper

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You're pinning them down too much. On lower tempo and shorter passing you basically have to operate in small pockets of space and it's more difficult to create clear cut chances, especially if they are parking the bus.

Your left flank is also completely exposed. Try to have a FB-Su behind the Mezzala and an attacking full back on the other flank (with a IF-Su on support - Ziyech will receive the ball deeper and then he can cut inside to find your Mezzala or your AML).

You can tell your DLP to stay wider to cover a little for the attacking full back. With Ajax, especially against only one lone forward, I'd play a DM-Su. I think a high d-line and high LOE is already enough. Maybe even standard LOE (you can then tell your three advanced players to close down more). I second the suggestion to play your lone forward as a DLF-At. 

Try to remove work ball into box and play shorter passing but standard or even higher tempo, see what happens. In that case your offensive play will be more dictated by your players' decisions, but as Ajax I don't think that will be a problem, at least versus weaker teams.

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

 

Well, that's not a small difference. In fact, it's quite big, and potentially very risky defensively. An attack-duty fullback or wing-back playing behind an IF is a good idea, especially as it creates a natural overlap, but not when you have such an attack-minded role as mezzala on that side

Using both short passing and lower tempo at the same time tend to slow play down a bit too much, especially when coupled with Work ball into box and Play out of defence - as both these instructions encourage patience. Which in turn helps the opposition get back into their defensive shape and thus makes it harder for you to break them down. A combination of low tempo and short passing makes more sense when you play on Attacking (or very attacking) mentality, but on Positive (or lower) it's a bit of an overkill (unless you want possession merely for the sake of possession). 

Your defensive (out-of-possession) instructions are needlessly aggressive, which is not only risky defensively but also affects your attacking performance - because your overly aggressive manner of defending is reducing the space for your players (particularly forwards) to potentially take advantage of. 

In terms of roles and duties... I don't know all your players enough, but I do know Dolberg, and in this particular system I would rather play him as a DLF on attack than PF on attack. For two primary reasons:

1. he is very well-suited for the role;

2. when playing both wide forwards in an IF role, a DLF as a role works better in terms of creating space due to its tendency to drop deeper

 

13 minutes ago, lferreira said:

You're pinning them down too much. On lower tempo and shorter passing you basically have to operate in small pockets of space and it's more difficult to create clear cut chances, especially if they are parking the bus.

Your left flank is also completely exposed. Try to have a FB-Su behind the Mezzala and an attacking full back on the other flank (with a IF-Su on support - Ziyech will receive the ball deeper and then he can cut inside to find your Mezzala or your AML).

You can tell your DLP to stay wider to cover a little for the attacking full back. With Ajax, especially against only one lone forward, I'd play a DM-Su. I think a high d-line and high LOE is already enough. Maybe even standard LOE (you can then tell your three advanced players to close down more). I second the suggestion to play your lone forward as a DLF-At. 

Try to remove work ball into box and play shorter passing but standard or even higher tempo, see what happens. In that case your offensive play will be more dictated by your players' decisions, but as Ajax I don't think that will be a problem, at least versus weaker teams.

Ok, so first point from both that makes sense, is the tempo and short passing... I am going to experiment with tempo going up to normal, which I was toying with before I came on here... as you are both right, the opposition were getting back into shape if we didn't win the ball high up the pitch then counter.
The thinking behind my defensive side being so aggressive is to win the ball back as quickly as possible to present 1. counter attacking chances & 2. force the opposition into going long and giving the ball back to me...

On the striker, I have tried DLF on Attack on a previous save, again with IF's but I still couldn't get any goals out of him (except pens). I did however play that save with 4231 formation... AM and DLF used to occupy similar spaces... I will give the DLF a try now and see what it brings.

I will take all the above advice on-board, thanks very much.

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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Well just played first game, made three changes...

1. Changed wing back on the left to support

2. Upped tempo from slower to normal

3. Changed striker role from PF to DLF (a)

Won the game 4-1, two of the goals coming from one IF crossing to the back post for the opposite IF... Didn't mess about getting the ball into a dangerous area, moved it from back to front quicker.

And it is only one game, so I want to watch another couple first, but no goal for the DLF still... however, we did at least get an assist from him for my Mezzala (who ran into the space he created).

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1 minute ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

but no goal for the DLF still

As long as you are scoring goals and winning matches, don't bother yourself with trivial details such as a striker not scoring ;)

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11 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

As long as you are scoring goals and winning matches, don't bother yourself with trivial details such as a striker not scoring ;)

Ha yes that is a fair point, and as long as he serves a purpose. Firminho is a classic example, but he does score goals, as well perform the perfect foil for Mane and Salah. OK, my strikers are not at his level, but just got me wondering if anyone who has had Liverpool saves have got him scoring 10+? And not just Liverpool but any lone striker roles and how have they managed it? 

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59 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

So, got Dolberg scoring goals now... I knew you lot would help, thanks again!! 

Are you playing him as a DLF (A)

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3 hours ago, Banks_87 said:

Are you playing him as a DLF (A)

Yep, seems to be working a treat... 

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Whilst things are working better I'd like to point out a few things to bare in mind going forward.

Look at the formation, 433 with "wide forwards" and a lone striker. When the lone ST is played on attack duty it creates a more structured style (regardless of what team fluidity says). Unless a TQ, his focus is staying high in goal scoring positions, even a DLF-At who might link a bit but then tries to get back into those scoring areas. For me this fits a more direct/fast/attacking style.  A lone ST on support gives more varied movement but reduces how much he makes early runs but available for more possession passes and fluid movement with others able to run past him as he's not pushing opponents defence deep himself.

With a ST staying in goal scoring areas and two wide forwards (not playmaker) who will look to use FB areas that leaves less room for deep central runners.  I dont think I've seen a MEZ-At make attacking off the ball runs during transitions before he's in the final third except during a counter attack but then doesn't matter what his role&duty was. Once he's making runs in final third typically the ST or IF are there anyway so is he adding anything compared to a role+duty designed to stay in hole or arrive late?

Also seems like 433s tend to be setup quite wing heavy with wingbacks "to provide width" but then people (not directed at anyone specifically here!) complain about crosses.  Playing a patient/slow/short/safe system but then using wingbacks is a recipe for a cross heavy system.

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Yeah I find my play naturally ends up wide, the frustrating thing is i cant find a role for my ST that gets him enough goals, DLF (a) works okay but he cant himself back into the box quick enough. Whilst I don't mind wing play/crosses, its frustrating how many don't make into the box. 

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15 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Whilst things are working better I'd like to point out a few things to bare in mind going forward.

Look at the formation, 433 with "wide forwards" and a lone striker. When the lone ST is played on attack duty it creates a more structured style (regardless of what team fluidity says). Unless a TQ, his focus is staying high in goal scoring positions, even a DLF-At who might link a bit but then tries to get back into those scoring areas. For me this fits a more direct/fast/attacking style.  A lone ST on support gives more varied movement but reduces how much he makes early runs but available for more possession passes and fluid movement with others able to run past him as he's not pushing opponents defence deep himself.

With a ST staying in goal scoring areas and two wide forwards (not playmaker) who will look to use FB areas that leaves less room for deep central runners.  I dont think I've seen a MEZ-At make attacking off the ball runs during transitions before he's in the final third except during a counter attack but then doesn't matter what his role&duty was. Once he's making runs in final third typically the ST or IF are there anyway so is he adding anything compared to a role+duty designed to stay in hole or arrive late?

Also seems like 433s tend to be setup quite wing heavy with wingbacks "to provide width" but then people (not directed at anyone specifically here!) complain about crosses.  Playing a patient/slow/short/safe system but then using wingbacks is a recipe for a cross heavy system.

Thanks will take it on board. 

The IF and Mezz were working well together originally, they'd have neat passing combinations / playing one twos etc. which provided me with some movement... other areas of the pitch were a bit static compared to them. 

I am struggling with WB's... sometimes they get into some great spaces in the final third and score from tight angles, but most the time they try and cross the ball, when i'd rather they come back inside... I have always used FB's but thought I would see how differently a WB acts, in this system I can't say it is working very well...

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5 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Thanks will take it on board. 

The IF and Mezz were working well together originally, they'd have neat passing combinations / playing one twos etc. which provided me with some movement... other areas of the pitch were a bit static compared to them. 

I am struggling with WB's... sometimes they get into some great spaces in the final third and score from tight angles, but most the time they try and cross the ball, when i'd rather they come back inside... I have always used FB's but thought I would see how differently a WB acts, in this system I can't say it is working very well...

A WB will push forward faster and the thing with them is that when they get to the byline, they will cross more often than not because they normally won't have that many passing options.

I'd say that's a symptom of not having enough movement between your forwards and most importantly, your midfielders. The staple play of a 4-1-2-3 that needs tweaks: IF cuts inside, finds a DLP, the DLP hits it to the WB who then crosses it at the defender.

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I am really not sure what to do with the FB/WB situation at all. They provide very little at the moment as wing backs even when they have lots of time and space, they still see their crosses blocked.
I am tempted to try IWB's (Man City style) and see if that helps keep the ball and wait for a better chance to manifest. 

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I've been using something like this with good results so far

377780937_lineup(2).thumb.png.fc3ad675dd8e85bf3a1f7e1464794d0f.png

 

FB - Hug line

DM - Hold position

My winger acts like a hybrid because of his PPM's  (cuts inside from the right wing and moves into channels)

Edited by mikcheck

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19 hours ago, mikcheck said:

 

I've been using something like this with good results so far

377780937_lineup(2).thumb.png.fc3ad675dd8e85bf3a1f7e1464794d0f.png

 

FB - Hug line

DM - Hold position

My winger acts like a hybrid because of his PPM's  (cuts inside from the right wing and moves into channels)

I have actually just tweeked things again slightly... similar to you, I changed one wide player to W (s) on the left... and their PPM is to cut in from the right, so almost acts like an IF at times, but starts wider/sometimes stays wider creating more space that the Mezzala runs into. Or he cuts inside to feed the opposite wide player, seems best of both worlds! 

And another role the same as your tactics that I have just changed is the Anchor man to DM (s). Not played enough games to see if I like it/see if it works... I am concerned with leaving my defence exposed, because if my FB's push up and he steps in to make a midfield three, it worries me a little, that we will be light... but happy to experiment and see how it plays.

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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Well as it was pointed out, while it was going well, it was probably likely it wouldn't last. I quit the game last night as we had three games out of four finishing 0-0 and then just lost 1-2 at home to a team near the bottom of the table (not aided by a sending off)

Cannot create any decent chances at all and I have no idea what to do to change that. In one of the games, I had 27 shots, but only 6 on target... the opposition had 1 shot all game... so this tactic I had above, I thought I’d try something different to draw the opposition out.. a lower press but still a high line then hit them on the counter... but it turns into the same as last tactic, it falls short in the final third and we either get a corner or we pass outside their box until someone gets fed up and blasts it over the bar.

I will post both the tactics mentioned, first the one I have been using most the season (but tweaked since I originally posted from advice in here) where I am dominating teams, but cannot create enough decent chances. Then the one I tried in the last game resulting in a 2-1 loss.

20190915172945_1.jpg

20190915172948_1.jpg

20190915172952_1.jpg

20190915172955_1.jpg

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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I can relate on the crossing front, the amount of crosses that don't make it in games is crazy, rarely make it past the first man. I find I have a load of shots form the edge of the area, teams sit really dip no matter what I try

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1 hour ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Here is the middle press I tried

20190915173235_1.jpg

"Middle press" with extremely urgent pressing and on a high-risk mentality at that (plus Get stuck in)? Wouldn't really call it "middle (medium) press". 

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3 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

"Middle press" with extremely urgent pressing and on a high-risk mentality at that (plus Get stuck in)? Wouldn't really call it "middle (medium) press". 

The term is more the fact I allow them into the middle of the pitch then press hard... when the ball back and counter into the spaces

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2 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

 

The term is more the fact I allow them into the middle of the pitch then press hard... when the ball back and counter into the spaces

Anyway, such a manner of defending is something I always strongly recommend against. But apart from that, I don't understand why have you changed the tactic that already worked well in the first place (I am referring to the one with Dolberg as a DLF on attack)? 

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14 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Anyway, such a manner of defending is something I always strongly recommend against. But apart from that, I don't understand why have you changed the tactic that already worked well in the first place (I am referring to the one with Dolberg as a DLF on attack)? 

As it stopped working... so I had a tinker, again it worked for a couple of games then just went back to usual... loads of possession around the penalty area without creating anything... I feel as though this version of the game you have to counter attack or score from set pieces...

The defensive side isn't the problem, we hardly concede / concede many chances to the opposition...

I am going to try dropping the line back one to see if it helps free up anymore space in behind, rather than using highest line of defence and highest line of engagement...

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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