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LCFCEaves31

Not scoring enough of my chances...

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Hi.

In the early stages of playing this version of FM (FM19) I was really struggling to break teams down. Since then I am creating more chances, but just not scoring enough. In one of the last games, I hit the woodwork 3 times.. I don't get what I am doing wrong anymore, I have been away for a month or two to just read up stuff and watch FM based videos. I've experimented with a couple of different formations/tactical variations and they all work for about 2-3 games... then back to normal, lots of shots, but hardly any chances converted.

I am using 4123 at the moment and seems to be the most solid, so that is what I have used lately.

The worst bit about the 1-0 defeat against ADO Den Haag is it was just a mistake within the first couple of minutes, they score. In most cases we limit the opposition to 2-3 shots, whereas we are averaging 20+. Yes I know it isn't about shots, it is about the quality of chances, but looking at the analysis and watching the games it feels like we are just missing sitters...

If we resort to long shorts, I try 'work ball into box' but all that shout seems to do is mean we pass around the box and still shoot from outside the area...

Help needed please...

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13 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

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Attacking mentality + extremely high tempo (not to mention the "Pass into space" TI) - this combination is what immediately drew my attention as a major reason for the issue(s) you've been facing. You are rushing/forcing players into making things happen as quickly as possible with no good reason. Remember, on the attacking mentality tempo is already high (enough) by default. 

Apart from this, another thing that I don't like in your tactic is the striking lack of variety on the flanks (in relation to roles and duties).

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The first thing I would do is to always start in simple steps. Who are your best players? Are you playing them in their favorite positions? (I don’t mean where they’re natural on the pitch but where they’d do best based on their attributes, but I am sure you already know this) For example is your playmaker assigned to do the creative stuff in the team? Or is he used more like a box to box? Maybe you told him to be a runner?

After you sorted this out, is your formation helping get the best out of them? What would be the first things you’re tempted to change? How will the other roles & duties change in relation to this? Can you afford to be a bit more aggressive with your setup in the league? (considering you’re Ajax)

 

Oh and btw this is an unpopular opinion but I think the ME is not at good as creating very good chances as it was in the previous years. This is coming from someone who is dominating the league in his save and scoring an average of 2.6 goals per game. I’m not saying this because I’m good at this game, not at all. Of course you can ignore this piece of text.

Edited by Armistice

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I will add that the main goal threat you have will come from the IFs. Cutting inside to get either crosses or passes from the midfield and DLF. Are they getting these chances on their good feet? In space with time to pick out the goal?

You are creating a lot of chances in the middle of the box, but always saved. What type of shots/chances are there and how are they created. You would normally expect to convert some of those chances into goals from that range and position. So it probably indicates they are not good quality chances, or they are coming in a way that is not optimal for the players you have to convert them.

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13 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Attacking mentality + extremely high tempo (not to mention the "Pass into space" TI) - this combination is what immediately drew my attention as a major reason for the issue(s) you've been facing. You are rushing/forcing players into making things happen as quickly as possible with no good reason. Remember, on the attacking mentality tempo is already high (enough) by default. 

Apart from this, another thing that I don't like in your tactic is the striking lack of variety on the flanks (in relation to roles and duties).

I am sure most of this/what I have used is default for Gegenpress? I've also watched a lot of videos on Bustthenet about his fluid 4123 and he uses attacking and higher tempo I am sure. 

Previously I had used slower tempo / shorter passing etc. on Attacking mentality, but all we did was just let the opposition get back into shape and again, it was very hard to break teams down. It feels as though if the opposition on this version chose to park the bus, then good luck... 

The roles I have also played around with a little, again, doesn't make much difference. And again I have seen bustthenet and others use those attacking players all on support with a lot of success. I tried one IF on Attack, he was just offside or being marked by the full back way too easily and couldnt get involved in the game. Granted I think on his Liverpool save he may have used them both on Attack rather than Support, something I haven't tried, but I cannot see how you can get them involved or find them in any kind of space if they are on attack rather than support... just seem to be marked too easily by opposition full backs. 

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1 hour ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I will add that the main goal threat you have will come from the IFs. Cutting inside to get either crosses or passes from the midfield and DLF. Are they getting these chances on their good feet? In space with time to pick out the goal?

You are creating a lot of chances in the middle of the box, but always saved. What type of shots/chances are there and how are they created. You would normally expect to convert some of those chances into goals from that range and position. So it probably indicates they are not good quality chances, or they are coming in a way that is not optimal for the players you have to convert them.

It has been a mixed bag really. Some chances are from crosses high into the box, which doesn't historically produce many goals, but some are from 6-8 yards out at a slight angle and they are on their stronger foot ... 

The IF's get into the box on the end of a cross from one side or if they pick the ball up they run inside and look for the opposite IF, DLF or Mezzala. The general pattern I wanted was the DLF to drop, draw players out for the IF or MEZ to run into, but the opposition doesnt move... too difficult to ever find any space

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Gengenpress and High Defensive Line forces the AI to "Park the Bus". Lack of Movement by Lone Strikers is another issue.

I have A lot of Success with my LW IF-A in a 4-2-3-1 Wide. He takes more Long Shots than I like but he does score. The real problem is the Defense loading the Box and not following the Striker out of the box when they do move.

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I think by spending so much time (1-2 months) reading about the game rather than actually playing and analyzing your matches you might have fallen victim to information overload. Therefore instead of making changes based on what you are observing in the match instead you are trying to create a tactic based purely on theory. The problem with this approach is that often players try to assimilate contradictory ideas to form a coherent whole which may make sense in their head but when put into the ME doesn't work. Also what might work for one player isn't guaranteed to work for another.

This game isn't as complicated as it is made to seem on this section of the forum and very often when struggling the way to go is to simplify rather than add further layers of complexity. There is absolutely no reason for example for a player to use TIs to achieve their desired style of play. 

Speaking on the tactic you have posted in your OP I have a few pointers:

- Who do you expect to be your main goalscorer? In the tactic you have posted you don't appear to have one. You need a #9 that will attempt to run in behind the opposition defensive line within your front 3. That movement creates depth and breaks the opposition defensive line. As it stands, your team is easy to defend against, all the defenders have to do is stay in line as most of your attacking play is in front of them.

- Why the attacking mentality? Do you understand the ramifications of this on the way you defend and attack? Consider this, you need to choose player roles which suit the style of play. Creative players don't benefit from playing at the highest tempo, they need time to bring the ball under control, assess their options and play the correct pass. They also need space which is a problem given this tactic has very little depth given how you have compressed the pitch with the highest possible defensive line.

- You have too many creators playing low percentage football which is exacerbated by asking them to pass into space (which incidentally doesn't exist). Your approach is do or die when it comes to attacks which explains why you have so many shots. There is no opportunity to recycle possession which is a key element of getting around a defence. There is no patience which means you find it difficult to sustain pressure on the opponent and if your attack fails that's it there is no opportunity to recycle possession and start again.

- Everything is so unnecessarily extreme, you are playing with the highest possible pressing, defensive line, tempo and Line of Engagement. While all your players except the defend duty ones are all playing very attacking and looking to get forward all the time and take loads of risks. You need to tone it down a bit. You are literally playing every game on Overload (Very Attacking), that style is what I'd like to call desperation football. You're instructing your players to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and get off a shot as soon as you can even when the opportunity presented isn't great in the hope that one will find its way into the back of the net. As Ajax, you don't need to play this way and certainly shouldn't be starting games with that approach. Sure, if you are behind in an important game in the last 5 minutes and desperately need a goal then maybe do this in combination with a formation change to a 4-2-4 or 4-3-3 Narrow but as a way of playing every match it's a bad idea.

- You have contradictions with your TIs. You want to play hell for leather football but still you want to play out of defence. You want to pass into space but you haven't got any players looking to run into space. The player roles you have chosen also don't match with your approach. For e.g. to get the best out of a DLF(S) he needs time to be able to drop off the front line and into space in the channel and then on receiving the ball needs passing options around him and a patient enough approach so he can hold up the ball if needed.

My advice to you would be to strip out all the TIs, keep the attacking mentality if that's how you want to play (although looking at your choice of TIs I suspect you don't) and watch the first 15 minutes of a match on full in 2D and look at what your players are actually doing. You are looking to see the movement patterns of your players and whether they have space and good passing options around them when on the ball.

Make notes and share your thoughts on here, that way you increase your understanding of YOUR tactic and can more readily identify where it's not performing as desired. You need to have an idea in your mind how you want your team to play, at the moment there doesn't appear to be any coherent plan.

Good luck

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1 hour ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I've also watched a lot of videos on Bustthenet about his fluid 4123 and he uses attacking and higher tempo I am sure

He does use the Attacking mentality for his Liquid 4123 (though only with LFC), but not higher tempo. And there are also other differences between his Liquid system and your tactic. 

 

1 hour ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I am sure most of this/what I have used is default for Gegenpress?

Which does not mean it's necessarily a good idea. Btw, AFAIR the gegenpress preset uses Positive mentality, rather than attacking (and the mentality is a huge factor in and of itself).

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The first step to take in any general enquiry About conversions was figuring out how many chances/shots are actually generally converted… The above is akin to Pep going through all the Matches in which he concedes off very few shots (which in tendency tend to be most Matches where he concedes/Drops the Points by his brand of Football vs. what the Opposition typically Plays against his), and then figuring we concede too easily. General conversions can only be worked out at the total numbers.

Then you could break that down to specific Scenarios you may be struggling to score, with both not necessarily being the same thing. That said, FM's AI has that Habit of playing Ultra defensive spoil Sports Football (and Den Haag for damn sure did in this match, in particular after going in front). Statistically very one-sided Matches then will be the norm. THey simply try to make it hard/er to score 90 minutes plus extra rage quit time. 

Btw. Above tactical Analysis I'd be interested as to a breakdown how many of the above shots inside the box, in particular central positions were from a) set pieces (e.g. typically oft a Header in a much crowded box), b) open Play. That said, the flanks in the above look fairly symmetrical, so will provide the same kinda movement/Play. Additionally, with both IFs cutting inside, there doesn't seem to be a really aggressive wide Defender to then push Forward into that wide space to stretch Play/the pitch/provide passing angles from wider positions that could cause additional Trouble for the defensive Shell.

Edited by Svenc

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4 hours ago, pheelf said:

I think by spending so much time (1-2 months) reading about the game rather than actually playing and analyzing your matches you might have fallen victim to information overload. Therefore instead of making changes based on what you are observing in the match instead you are trying to create a tactic based purely on theory. The problem with this approach is that often players try to assimilate contradictory ideas to form a coherent whole which may make sense in their head but when put into the ME doesn't work. Also what might work for one player isn't guaranteed to work for another.

This game isn't as complicated as it is made to seem on this section of the forum and very often when struggling the way to go is to simplify rather than add further layers of complexity. There is absolutely no reason for example for a player to use TIs to achieve their desired style of play. 

Speaking on the tactic you have posted in your OP I have a few pointers:

- Who do you expect to be your main goalscorer? In the tactic you have posted you don't appear to have one. You need a #9 that will attempt to run in behind the opposition defensive line within your front 3. That movement creates depth and breaks the opposition defensive line. As it stands, your team is easy to defend against, all the defenders have to do is stay in line as most of your attacking play is in front of them.

- Why the attacking mentality? Do you understand the ramifications of this on the way you defend and attack? Consider this, you need to choose player roles which suit the style of play. Creative players don't benefit from playing at the highest tempo, they need time to bring the ball under control, assess their options and play the correct pass. They also need space which is a problem given this tactic has very little depth given how you have compressed the pitch with the highest possible defensive line.

- You have too many creators playing low percentage football which is exacerbated by asking them to pass into space (which incidentally doesn't exist). Your approach is do or die when it comes to attacks which explains why you have so many shots. There is no opportunity to recycle possession which is a key element of getting around a defence. There is no patience which means you find it difficult to sustain pressure on the opponent and if your attack fails that's it there is no opportunity to recycle possession and start again.

- Everything is so unnecessarily extreme, you are playing with the highest possible pressing, defensive line, tempo and Line of Engagement. While all your players except the defend duty ones are all playing very attacking and looking to get forward all the time and take loads of risks. You need to tone it down a bit. You are literally playing every game on Overload (Very Attacking), that style is what I'd like to call desperation football. You're instructing your players to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and get off a shot as soon as you can even when the opportunity presented isn't great in the hope that one will find its way into the back of the net. As Ajax, you don't need to play this way and certainly shouldn't be starting games with that approach. Sure, if you are behind in an important game in the last 5 minutes and desperately need a goal then maybe do this in combination with a formation change to a 4-2-4 or 4-3-3 Narrow but as a way of playing every match it's a bad idea.

- You have contradictions with your TIs. You want to play hell for leather football but still you want to play out of defence. You want to pass into space but you haven't got any players looking to run into space. The player roles you have chosen also don't match with your approach. For e.g. to get the best out of a DLF(S) he needs time to be able to drop off the front line and into space in the channel and then on receiving the ball needs passing options around him and a patient enough approach so he can hold up the ball if needed.

My advice to you would be to strip out all the TIs, keep the attacking mentality if that's how you want to play (although looking at your choice of TIs I suspect you don't) and watch the first 15 minutes of a match on full in 2D and look at what your players are actually doing. You are looking to see the movement patterns of your players and whether they have space and good passing options around them when on the ball.

Make notes and share your thoughts on here, that way you increase your understanding of YOUR tactic and can more readily identify where it's not performing as desired. You need to have an idea in your mind how you want your team to play, at the moment there doesn't appear to be any coherent plan.

Good luck

Thanks I will review everything on here and what others have said and try again.

One point I must make on the BOLD bit above, I dont have it set on the most extreme, there is 'much higher' option which I am not using. 

Thanks for all your advice though, I think I have mis-understood some of the stuff I have picked up recently. 

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5 hours ago, pheelf said:

The problem with this approach is that often players try to assimilate contradictory ideas to form a coherent whole which may make sense in their head but when put into the ME doesn't work. Also what might work for one player isn't guaranteed to work for another

:thup:

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So in my head, what I initially wanted was a dominant team, plenty of possession and patiently waiting for the right moment to pounce... suffocate the opposition. But because over time, all I found was teams defending against it too easily I decided to be daring and take inspiration from gegenpress options, 'rock and roll' as Jurgen describes it...

Now however I just find myself completely lost on what I want, and how to put into the game and go and win... I am looking at the tactics screen and just struggling to come to terms with all the formations to choose from, all the player roles, and the TI's...

 

 

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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6 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

The general pattern I wanted was the DLF to drop, draw players out for the IF or MEZ to run into, but the opposition doesnt move... too difficult to ever find any space

The mez will run wide rather than inside in general anyway. The problem I see you having is that you are not giving the defence a reason to move. Every player is isolated and playing his own game. So the AI can look at it and go "no obvious danger here, I trust my defence in position to win their battle". You need to create more overloads. Get more of your players into an area of the pitch than they have defenders. This forces the AI to commit defenders or cede that area of the pitch to you. The closest you get is the IF on the left and the Mezalla. 

What you need is something where you get two or three players into the same area of the pitch at the same time. For example, an attacking fullbacks and a winger, with a supporting midfield role on the same side will often create situations where you have 3 player attacking the AI fullback and the space around him. The AI has to do something about that (well it does not, but doing nothing is probably worse), and that is when you create space. 

Take your DLF. There is no immediate threat if the AI does not close him down or follow him. It does not matter if he gets the ball right away. He has to hold it because nobody is ahead of him. I play a DLF alongside an IF(A) and a CM(A) on opposite sides. This is creating a mismatch problem in the centre. Now it is dangerous to not close the DLF down. He has passing options moving in a dangerous way towards goal. If you do not close down, he may find the time to make a good pass. If you do close him down, you may get out of shape but the pass should be harder to make. What you are doing is creating uncertainty where your player has several options and the AI cannot defend them all perfectly. There is a risk for everything they do. 

I do not see anything like this from your tactic, which makes is easier to defend. So I would try to think of ways to attack different zones of the pitch. Remember you do not need players going into the same place. You need players attacking an area of the pitch where the AI cannot handle all of them from its base defence. That means the same types of overload will not always work, and you have to be creative. For example, the one I describe above is best against no DMC formations, and fails against 2 DMC formations. Why? In a 2 DMC formation, the CBs do not have to worry about picking up the striker, because he is the DMCs problems. You have to find a different way to disrupt teams then (for example make the DMCs move)

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Just played another game, same formation, but complete opposite team instructions i.e. slower, be more patient etc.

Finishes 0-0, cannot score. Too hard to break teams down on this version

If anyone has any roles advise for 4123 that would be great as I have no idea how to get anything from it, apart from not conceding too many...

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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1 hour ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

If anyone has any roles advise for 4123 that would be great as I have no idea how to get anything from it, apart from not conceding too many...

Given that I don't know your players, I cannot tell you how exactly I would set them up in a 4123 (or any system for that matter). Instead, I can offer you a couple of examples that would not be too dissimilar from your current setup of roles and duties. 

1st setup:

F9/DLFsu

APsu                                         IFat

MEZat    CAR/BWMsu

HB/ACM

IWBsu      CDde   CD/BPDde    WBsu

SKsu

2nd setup:

F9/DLFsu

IFsu                                         IFat

MEZat    DLPsu

HB/ACM

FBsu     CD/BPDde   CDde    FBat

SKsu

3rd setup:

DLFat

Wat                                        IFsu

MEZsu    DLPsu

HB/ACM

IWBsu    CD/BPDde   CDde    FBat

SKsu

In all 3 cases I would start with the same set of instructions (basically very simple):

Mentality - Positive

In possession - shorter passing, play out of defence, be more expressive (optional/occasional TIs - work ball into box, higher tempo)

In transition - counter, counter-press (and nothing else)

Out of possession - higher DL, higher/standard LOE, default pressing, offside trap (and nothing else)

And the split press (block) involving the striker, AMR, AML and mezzala.

Edited by Experienced Defender

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Ok thank you I will give those a try. A couple of questions... the Mezzala role, will he end up getting into the same positions on the pitch as the left sided forward (in your examples the AP / IF / W)? Will they make runs past the striker who i would say his main role is to drop deep and play in someone else? 

In the 1st setup, the AP at left attack, will he ever run beyond the striker? What are the main goalscoring threats in that 1st setup (apart from obviously the IF at).

Think I might start with the 2nd setup as that is closer to what I am used too/was using.

With regards to the split press, what does that mean/how do you get that setup on here? 

10 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Given that I don't know your players, I cannot tell you how exactly I would set them up in a 4123 (or any system for that matter). Instead, I can offer you a couple of examples that would not be too dissimilar from your current setup of roles and duties. 

1st setup:

F9/DLFsu

APsu                                         IFat

MEZat    CAR/BWMsu

HB/ACM

IWBsu      CDde   CD/BPDde    WBsu

SKsu

2nd setup:

F9/DLFsu

IFsu                                         IFat

MEZat    DLPsu

HB/ACM

FBsu     CD/BPDde   CDde    FBat

SKsu

3rd setup:

DLFat

Wat                                        IFsu

MEZsu    DLPsu

HB/ACM

IWBsu    CD/BPDde   CDde    FBat

SKsu

In all 3 cases I would start with the same set of instructions (basically very simple):

Mentality - Positive

In possession - shorter passing, play out of defence, be more expressive (optional/occasional TIs - work ball into box, higher tempo)

In transition - counter, counter-press (and nothing else)

Out of possession - higher DL, higher/standard LOE, default pressing, offside trap (and nothing else)

And the split press (block) involving the striker, AMR, AML and mezzala.

 

 

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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15 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

So in my head, what I initially wanted was a dominant team, plenty of possession and patiently waiting for the right moment to pounce... suffocate the opposition. But because over time, all I found was teams defending against it too easily I decided to be daring and take inspiration from gegenpress options, 'rock and roll' as Jurgen describes it...

Now however I just find myself completely lost on what I want, and how to put into the game and go and win... I am looking at the tactics screen and just struggling to come to terms with all the formations to choose from, all the player roles, and the TI's...

It's perfectly possible to set-up a patient possession based style when your team has the ball and combine it with an aggressive pressing style when off the ball.

When considering both phases of the game I would look into the following aspects:

On the ball

- If the idea is to suffocate the opposition and spend a lot of time in their half with the ball then you need to pick a formation which has sufficient numbers up front at all times. 4-2-3-1 seems a good choice here but there are others which can work just as well.

- For the players I expect to attack they need to be good at finding space (high off the ball attribute), able to bring the ball under control quickly (high first touch attribute), quick footed enough to shift direction easily (high agility attribute) and be technically sound in order to make good passes. They must also be intelligent enough to be able to spot passes (vision), anticipate when and where to move and make good decisions.

- You need a combination of different players types. Even with a possession based style you need runners, creators and holding players to create balance. In the tactic you posted in your OP you had too many creators.

- You need to play at a pace which allows all your players to get up and support attacking moves. For e.g. if you had an attack duty wingback which provides the width on that flank then you need to play at a tempo which would regularly allow him to get into advanced areas and contribute to the attack, if your attacks develop too quickly before he gets forward he won't contribute very much at all.

- Very importantly, regardless of whatever approach you chose the players need space to operate in. Having good width and depth is critical in order to break down defences. As @sporadicsmiles mentioned you need to force the opposition to make decisions where whatever they choose has negative consequences.

Off the ball

- If playing the high block associated with the gegenpress then you need a formation which has enough numbers up front to make that effective, a 4-2-3-1 again looks a good choice here.

- It's important that all your players are capable of pressing as one loose link in the chain can really damage it's effectiveness. It's important that they all have good work rate, stamina (so they can maintain it for longer), decisions (so they know where to press), determination (to keep doing it even in adverse circumstances) and be physically fit. If your players are lazy, slow or weak willed then I wouldn't use this approach.

FYI, if the problem is breaking teams down then the solution isn't selecting the gegenpress. Gegenpress defines what happens when you don't have the ball where as the problem of not being able to break down teams has everything to do with what you do when you have the ball.

Interestingly, sometimes playing a gegenpress can actually be counter productive to breaking down teams. The intensity of the press doesn't allow the opposition the opportunity to come forward and therefore a turnover of possession happens by forcing them to punt the ball forward without them moving much from their defensive positions meaning there is no space for you to exploit. Whereas if you allowed them to come forward a bit by lowering the intensity and height of the press you could generate some space in behind them to exploit before they recover their defensive positions.

 

17 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Thanks I will review everything on here and what others have said and try again.

One point I must make on the BOLD bit above, I don't have it set on the most extreme, there is 'much higher' option which I am not using. 

Thanks for all your advice though, I think I have misunderstood some of the stuff I have picked up recently. 

Team Instructions are additive to mentality they don't override it. The Attacking mentality sets those settings one notch below maximum (or near enough to) then you added to that to push it to the max.

The UI is often misleading on such things which is something which needs to be addressed as it causes unnecessary confusion.

All the best

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On 15/10/2019 at 21:33, LCFCEaves31 said:

20191015211804_1.jpg

Unload the high-middle of the field.  Defensively and offensively you are pushing the opposition back deep into the middle.  You are compacting their defence for them.

Play with width as it will create better spacing and look to have people cut into the box from outside or make a central run arriving later into the box, this is harder for defences to pick up than say static striker.  If you insist yo want to play attacking with a static striker may sure he's good aerially and play to that.  As indicated it will be hard to pass & move your way in with such overcrowding the way you've set it.

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4 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

the Mezzala role, will he end up getting into the same positions on the pitch as the left sided forward (in your examples the AP / IF / W)?

Mezzala can work nicely with all these roles, though in different ways. I especially like the combos of MEZat/IFsu and MEZat/APsu, because they can lead to very nice and dynamic interplay. As you mentioned Bust the net, you can see his tactics where he utilizes precisely these 2 combos to great effect. But - as with any role - always make sure the player has what it takes to play the role. Otherwise, he is likely to struggle even if the tactic looks great on paper. 

 

4 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Will they make runs past the striker who i would say his main role is to drop deep and play in someone else?

Movement of players will depend on a number of factors (including the opposition style of defending) and will not be the same in each single attack (situation). Your tactic - including roles and duties - serves to encourage certain types of behavior from your players, but they will not always be in a position to do the (literally) same things. Which is good, as it brings some variety to attack. The Be more expressive TI is also supposed to add to such a dynamic. 

 

4 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

In the 1st setup, the AP at left attack, will he ever run beyond the striker?

The AP is on support duty, not attack. Btw, AP's main duty in general is not to run beyond/behind the striker, but to organize attacks and create chances. However, an AP can also sometimes score (or at least get into chances) himself. I recently had a match in which both my goals were scored by wide forwards on support duty - AML/IFsu and AMR/APsu. 

 

4 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

What are the main goalscoring threats in that 1st setup (apart from obviously the IF at).

Nominally, the IFat and mezzala should be main goal threats. But as the example above shows - goals could well come from other sources (which at first glance may look less likely). 

 

4 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

With regards to the split press, what does that mean/how do you get that setup on here? 

Split press is when you leave the team pressing urgency on the default setting and instead use player instructions for your 3-5 most advanced/attacking players to tell them to close down more

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7 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Mezzala can work nicely with all these roles, though in different ways. I especially like the combos of MEZat/IFsu and MEZat/APsu, because they can lead to very nice and dynamic interplay. As you mentioned Bust the net, you can see his tactics where he utilizes precisely these 2 combos to great effect. But - as with any role - always make sure the player has what it takes to play the role. Otherwise, he is likely to struggle even if the tactic looks great on paper. 

 

Movement of players will depend on a number of factors (including the opposition style of defending) and will not be the same in each single attack (situation). Your tactic - including roles and duties - serves to encourage certain types of behavior from your players, but they will not always be in a position to do the (literally) same things. Which is good, as it brings some variety to attack. The Be more expressive TI is also supposed to add to such a dynamic. 

 

The AP is on support duty, not attack. Btw, AP's main duty in general is not to run beyond/behind the striker, but to organize attacks and create chances. However, an AP can also sometimes score (or at least get into chances) himself. I recently had a match in which both my goals were scored by wide forwards on support duty - AML/IFsu and AMR/APsu. 

 

Nominally, the IFat and mezzala should be main goal threats. But as the example above shows - goals could well come from other sources (which at first glance may look less likely). 

 

Split press is when you leave the team pressing urgency on the default setting and instead use player instructions for your 3-5 most advanced/attacking players to tell them to close down more

Ok thank you. On the second setup, is it a good idea to have IF and FB both on Attack the right side? Guessing on the left side it isn't a good either due to the Mezz ?

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54 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

On the second setup, is it a good idea to have IF and FB both on Attack the right side? Guessing on the left side it isn't a good either due to the Mezz

It's definitely safer on the right side because you have a holding CM (DLP). Everything is about risk and reward. You know your players, so you should be able to assess whether they can handle a certain level of risk defensively.

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11 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

It's definitely safer on the right side because you have a holding CM (DLP). Everything is about risk and reward. You know your players, so you should be able to assess whether they can handle a certain level of risk defensively.

Ok thanks

Just played two matches set-up as your 2nd set-up apart from both FB's were on support... was playing a little cautious I guess as I was concerned I would be caught on the counter as I so often am.

First game one we lost 2-1 away at RB Leipzig, thanks to being hit on the counter in the 88th minute...  as mentioned, I always feel vunerable to the counter. Anyway, apart from losing, I was actually happy with the way we played, and in the second half we started to dominate possesion.

2nd game we had to try and break down a very narrow opposition who stuck 10 men behind the ball at all times.

We were struggling to break them down, both IF's were cutting in straight into traffic, the DLF didn't really touch the ball, everytime he dropped deep there were two DM's on top of him, and in doing so meant their 3 cb's didnt need to move. 

So changes I made in second half:
Made us attack wider than default - strecth the opposition, then hopefully when the IF's cut inside there is a little more room?

Changed striker to CF to see if he would move/drift more freely.

Changed FB on the right to Attack also, from support as you suggested originally, give them something else to defend... 

I think it worked... the CF scored from the FB's cross (although he did cross from deep, which I thought is unsual when they are set on Attack?). He was un-marked in a wide position just inside the penalty area (IF type position) and thundered it into the back of the net.

I don't think I really understood just how much of an affect the mentality setting had on the team. Because you can see the odd change in the tactics screen when you move it up and down, I assumed that was the only difference it made... but as Bustthenet explained and you guys have, it changes more than that... 

 

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18 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I think it worked... the CF scored from the FB's cross (although he did cross from deep, which I thought is unsual when they are set on Attack?). He was un-marked in a wide position just inside the penalty area (IF type position) and thundered it into the back of the net.

Nope, nope, the FB(A)'s only crossing instruction is to cross more often so he'll look to cross whenever he can, deep or at the byline, a WB(A) has the cross from byline instruction :thup: 

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Would be interested as of what the actual Chance conversion is now. Haven't seen it actually mentioned anywhere, even better a comparison to the teams in the league. Admittedly I'm not fond of SI's "Chance" stats and rather Always used to go by the shot conversions in the Team Report screens. I'm saying this also in Terms of expectations. You can only gauge something you have a reasonable benchmark for.

Anything significantly below AI averages: A generally issue, and possible to noticeable improve upon.
Anything already better may be a bit more tricky Business.
It's not merely human Managers that drop some Points against the many parking busses in-game, after all (from my end, the tactical Scenarios in particular top teams face in-game are notiecably more one-dimensional than in real Football, as AI very very readily shut up the shop completely. This doesn't happen this linear in real Football, in particular not in away matches. Therefore, top Teams should arguably score fewer than in real Football in General unless the AI tactical decision making process were addressed to be less one-dimensional).

Take Ajax most recent real match at Den Haag. 

Or heck, the entirety of Barca's Matches this Season. It's apparent just gawking at These simple stats that Teams don't chicken, sit Deep, play spoil Kids and pray to Maybe score one off a Corner. Even Granada more recent had 10 shots at Madrid. Yet, that is what happens in-game.

https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1394171/MatchReport/Spain-LaLiga-2019-2020-Granada-Barcelona
https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1394177/MatchReport/Spain-LaLiga-2019-2020-Barcelona-Villarreal
https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1394246/MatchReport/Spain-LaLiga-2019-2020-Getafe-Barcelona
https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1394261/MatchReport/Spain-LaLiga-2019-2020-Barcelona-Sevilla

 

 

Edited by Svenc

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On 17/10/2019 at 13:01, Robson 07 said:

Play with width as it will create better spacing and look to have people cut into the box from outside or make a central run arriving later into the box, this is harder for defences to pick up than say static striker.

 

9 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Made us attack wider than default - strecth the opposition, then hopefully when the IF's cut inside there is a little more room?

:cool:

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3rd game, and back the usual... hit the woodwork only twice this time... :rolleyes: Didn't feel as though we had many 'clear cut' chances though, which is a concern...

Posted analysis for shots again

20191019144318_1.jpg

20191019144330_1.jpg

20191019144636_1.jpg

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13 minutes ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

3rd game, and back the usual... hit the woodwork only twice this time... :rolleyes: Didn't feel as though we had many 'clear cut' chances though, which is a concern...

Posted analysis for shots again

20191019144318_1.jpg

20191019144330_1.jpg

20191019144636_1.jpg

Your tactic now seems more balanced, so I suggest from now on to make small changes to roles or instructions and see how it goes. One tactic that im using right now is quite similar with a few differences and works pretty well so far.

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Assuming SI were to take into account actual real-life research, which suggests that even the best chances are 50/50 affairs most of the time at best: Not enough stuff centrally in front of the Goal for there to be somewhat reliably a Goal in there -- and at least one of which being apparently a Header from the CB after a set piece to boot (5). As a comparison, here's Ajax shot map when they won 2-0 against Groningen more recent. https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1377385/Live/Netherlands-Eredivisie-2019-2020-Ajax-FC-Groningen#chalkboard (with 26 of those shots actually being from open play to boot, which admittedly I#d argue is impossible on FM in parts due to AI, but probably also ME). You'd likely get something more conclusive if you'd upload the match and could get Cleon etc. to take a look.

However, to me that Looks rather central an Approach, in particular against tight defenses. That's typically where the AI Clogs the space, and also Drops Deep immediately to deny any fast Transition towards to Goal -- so every time Play reaches the final third, Things may get clogged up. Not sure what Feyenoord did, naturally. Still would be interested in the Overall actual Chance conversion.

Edited by Svenc

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9 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Didn't feel as though we had many 'clear cut' chances though, which is a concern...

I wouldn't be too concerned about the mere number of CCCs in terms of (nominal) game statistics. For two reasons. First, you are essentially more likely to create more CCCs when you play counter-attacking football against a team that is attacking you than the other way around; simply because there is more space behind the opposition back-line that can be exploited to create one-on-one situations with their GK (which is the most common example of a CCC, albeit not the only). Secondly, the methodology the game uses to define what a good chance is - either CCC or HC - is not quite clear and hence can sometimes be misleading IMHO. So I wouldn't rely exclusively on the match stats. Instead, you better pay attention to how dangerous your team generally look in the final third. Do your players give the opposition defense some reason for concern or they seem to defend routinely against you - that's what matters most. 

Now let's take a look at your (newest) tactic:

9 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

20191019144636_1.jpg

If you are afraid to five the RB attack duty (because the IF is also on attack), then at least consider playing him as a WB on support, so that he could offer more support higher up the pitch not only to the IF but also DLP. Because this setup - albeit generally decent - is a bit too conservative for a top team that is expected to encounter very defensive opposition in most of its matches (at least in the domestic league). 

Another thing is, you play Tadic - who is left-footed - as an IF on support duty on the left. If you want to play him as an IF on support, then AMR would make more sense than AML. And if you play him in AML, then I would rather opt for IF (or winger) on attack duty. In which case, the mezzala's duty should be changed to support, as well as that of the AMR. 

Btw, are you sure that Haland is the right choice for a DLF role? Dolberg clearly is, but Haland with his poor passing, first touch and tecnique... :onmehead:

Edited by Experienced Defender

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16 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I wouldn't be too concerned about the mere number of CCCs in terms of (nominal) game statistics. For two reasons. First, you are essentially more likely to create more CCCs when you play counter-attacking football against a team that is attacking you than the other way around; simply because there is more space behind the opposition back-line that can be exploited to create one-on-one situations with their GK (which is the most common example of a CCC, albeit not the only). Secondly, the methodology the game uses to define what a good chance is - either CCC or HC - is not quite clear and hence can sometimes be misleading IMHO. So I wouldn't rely exclusively on the match stats. Instead, you better pay attention to how dangerous your team generally look in the final third. Do your players give the opposition defense some reason for concern or they seem to defend routinely against you - that's what matters most. 

Now let's take a look at your (newest) tactic:

If you are afraid to five the RB attack duty (because the IF is also on attack), then at least consider playing him as a WB on support, so that he could offer more support higher up the pitch not only to the IF but also DLP. Because this setup - albeit generally decent - is a bit too conservative for a top team that is expected to encounter very defensive opposition in most of its matches (at least in the domestic league). 

Another thing is, you play Tadic - who is left-footed - as an IF on support duty on the left. If you want to play him as an IF on support, then AMR would make more sense than AML. And if you play him in AML, then I would rather opt for IF (or winger) on attack duty. In which case, the mezzala's duty should be changed to support, as well as that of the AMR. 

Btw, are you sure that Haland is the right choice for a DLF role? Dolberg clearly is, but Haland with his poor passing, first touch and tecnique... :onmehead:

Ok I think I will try Tadic on attack as an IF, and change to Mezzala to Support. I will stock FB on attack as well and see how we go.

When I was referring to creating clear cut chances, I was talking in terms of what I saw, not the CCC's stat, as I don't trust it (as many others have also mentioned).

Haland isn't perfect as DLF I know, but I am hoping in time (and games) he will improve that aspect...

As we are in winter break, I have played a couple of friendlies. Both games we had 20+ shots at goal but didn't get into double figures for Shots on Target, so have added 'work ball into box'...

Edited by LCFCEaves31

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2 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

Ok I think I will try Tadic on attack as an IF, and change to Mezzala to Support. I will stock FB on attack as well and see how we go

Which FB do you intend to play on attack - left (Tadic's side) or right? Btw, I just mentioned that (about Tadic) as an observation. But it does not mean that you have to automatically follow my suggestion(s). You manage your team, so you are in charge. Think twice before making any tactical tweaks and take various factors into account. I mean, we all here have different approaches, and if you try to implement suggestions from all of us at the same time - you could end up with a pretty messy tactic :kriss:

 

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2 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

When I was referring to creating clear cut chances, I was talking in terms of what I saw, not the CCC's stat, as I don't trust it (as many others have also mentioned)

:thup:

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3 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Which FB do you intend to play on attack - left (Tadic's side) or right? Btw, I just mentioned that (about Tadic) as an observation. But it does not mean that you have to automatically follow my suggestion(s). You manage your team, so you are in charge. Think twice before making any tactical tweaks and take various factors into account. I mean, we all here have different approaches, and if you try to implement suggestions from all of us at the same time - you could end up with a pretty messy tactic :kriss:

 

The right sided full back. I will see what happens with Tadic, if not I will change it back :)

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Just now, LCFCEaves31 said:

The right sided full back

:thup: 

 

1 minute ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I will see what happens with Tadic, if not I will change it back

Tadic is a very good player. He can play as both IF and AP very well. But given that you already have a DLP, I would avoid using an AP (or if I used him, I would play him on the opposite side from the DLP). 

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Just regarding Haaland, the guy's a beast of a DLF, I utilised him there a few times in his older years. He's so big & strong he can pretty much hold off any centre back, two assists of his stick out in my memory where he held off a CB with his back to goal, runners in behind & he flicked a through ball to them. His passing may not be a strong point but he won't be needed to pull of 30 yard Hollywood  pearlers  

Edited by Johnny Ace

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Here we go again... just lost 1-0 to PSV, and now this at home to a team in the relegation zone. It doesn't matter what I do, it is the same game every time.

It is way way way too easy for the AI on this version to just sit in and soak up all the attacks.

I haven't experienced the woodwork being hit so many times.

I haven't experienced so many shots being hit straight at a goal keeper or wide

And I have never known so many crosses from my team to hit the full backs, yet the opposition find a player almost every time (fortunately they often miss)

In all the versions of this game I have played, this is the most repetitive, same game everytime, no matter what advice I try and apply. And even if you think you have finally found the formula, 2-3 games later it is back to square one.

I am close to giving up and just hope something changes in FM20.

20191021125927_1.jpg

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In how much detail are you watching these games?

I'd be raging at half time if I was 0-0 against a bottom 3 team & looking to make changes

Can you screenie up your latest tactic? Can you put a pic up of the player stats for the game too?  What set up did FC Emmen come out with? 4-1-4-1 by any chance? If so you're asking one hell on a lot from your DLF-S

 

 

 

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Looking at your latest tactic there are a few things which may go some way to explaining why you are struggling to score chances.

- I don't like your front 3. You have a #10 in your DLF(S) another #10 in your IF(S) and a False 10 with your IF(A). None of which make a proper partnership. You need to settle on either using a False 10 / False 9 partnership or a #10 / #9 partnership with the spare player being used to create space for the other two. For e.g. An IF(A) as your False 10 with a F9(S) as your False 9 as the partnership with a winger on the opposite flank creating width. 

- You have hardly any width which is important for breaking down defensive teams. You need the width to create space in the central areas for your players by dragging opposition defenders wider. Your choice of fullbacks on support duty is way too conservative for a team of Ajax's standard. Everybody is looking to occupy the central areas which plays right into the hands of defensive opposition that will seek to just clog those areas up.

- I don't particularly like your midfield 3 either. Why do you need a DLP sitting deep in a system with a defensive minded DM holding player behind him? The DM is the guy who will stay behind the ball and offer an outlet to recycle possession, I can't see why you would need two players doing that. Remember what I said about picking roles which suit the style of play you want to adopt. DLP's aren't the best in possession oriented systems as they suit more direct play. An Advanced Playmaker is more suited to that sort of play as it seeks to influence the game in the final third more.

- I also don't understand why you are playing with Shorter Passing. Why restrict the passing options available to your players? I think there is a misconception around here that playing with that instruction means that your team will turn into some sort of prime Barcelona and pass the opposition off the park. The way I see it the instruction is a risk reduction one and is suitable for teams which aren't particularly good passers to reduce the risk of them losing possession. If I have a group of technically gifted intelligent players then why would I want to stop them from playing whatever pass they think is appropriate to unlock a defence. It makes no sense to me that you would take that freedom away from them and makes even less sense in a system which is so spread across the pitch and also against opposition that you are going to have to stretch to break down where a quick switch of play to the other flank could open up space.

- Why do you want to defend narrower? Moreover, why do you want to combine this with a counter-press? I don't think the two necessarily suit each other.

- In a system where you expect to press high and hard I can't understand the use of an Anchor Man. Again this is another situation where you have chosen a role without considering how they fit into your tactical approach. An Anchor Man is a player that doesn't really press and just sits in front of the central defenders, you need a role which is more mobile to match up with how you expect the team to defend.

I agree with @Johnny Ace and I've already suggested to you that you watch a match on full for the first 15 minutes and have a close look at what your players are doing and make notes of what you observe to share on here. If you don't have a clue how your tactic is playing out in the ME how can you even begin to fix its problems? It's not something you will have to do regularly but you need to get a 'feel' for your tactic, once you've achieved that then you can go to key highlights.

It's all well and good everybody chiming in with their ideas of what might work but you're not really learning anything about YOUR tactic that way. Also I wouldn't get my hopes up about FM20 changing anything, if you can't create a solid system in FM19 chances are you won't be able to do so in FM20 either. You need to help us to help you. We need something more to go on rather than just "my team keeps hitting the woodwork" or a screenshot showing the shots your team took in a game, we need context in order to be able to offer any sort of meaningful advice. How about a .pkm of the Emmen match?

Best Regards

Edited by pheelf

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On 19/10/2019 at 14:46, LCFCEaves31 said:

20191019144636_1.jpg

Is this the tactic you used?

Just my 2 cents, I think the DLP-S is too timid a role to use in CM for a top team like Ajax playing a 4-3-3 especially when you have neither FB looking to get further up the pitch. You've already got your insurance in Blind who's going to linger back

I'd try an AP(S), BBM(S), or the the RPM(S) just someone who's going to offer some punch centrally

I'm not hugely familiar with Mezz(A) but he's going to be looking to drift wide, so who's supporting high up the field from the centre? No one by the looks  

Then the flanks, two IFs who cut infield in the final third & 2 FB(S) who won't get high up the pitch. Haaland is unreal in the air, some crosses from wide would be another route of attack so I'd have that right FB on (A) or at the very least give him the Get further forward instruction so he's high up the pitch & offering a wide option

Then the left FB, he could come infield as an IWB(S) as another central supporter with the absence of the Mezz(A) in the middle of the park 

 

I'd strip back the TI's too

Shorter passing - scrap, use during the match if you passing's struggling 

Be more Expressive - scrap, use that as a card up your sleeve

Higher Lines - are they really needed? You're playing Positive, they're quite high already

Prevent short GK distribution - is every team playing from the back? If the other team does & plays through it, it's 5 v 3 most likely so they most likely will, they then get the ball into midfield where it's most likely 5 v 3 again so I don't think it's needed either, let them boot it long & turn over possession  

@pheelf  Replied whilst I was halfway through typing this so I've probably covered a lot of what he's said :D

ETA: Yep, he's nailed it 

 

 

Edited by Johnny Ace

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I can’t provide a lot of information at the minute as I’m away but I will just say a lot of questions on “why are you doing this / that / and the other” is down to advice already received in this post. If you read up a bit I’ve applied most of it as i am struggling big time. 

I just feel as though I’m going round in circles. I could take all of the other advice above and that doesn’t work And there would be another comment again asking why I’m doing this/don’t like that. 

Anyway I’m basically using second setup  from experienced defenders help earlier on in this post. 
I was using FB on support on right hand side but changed it to attack. 
 

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2 hours ago, LCFCEaves31 said:

I can’t provide a lot of information at the minute as I’m away but I will just say a lot of questions on “why are you doing this / that / and the other” is down to advice already received in this post. If you read up a bit I’ve applied most of it as i am struggling big time. 

I just feel as though I’m going round in circles. I could take all of the other advice above and that doesn’t work And there would be another comment again asking why I’m doing this/don’t like that. 

Anyway I’m basically using second setup  from experienced defenders help earlier on in this post. 
I was using FB on support on right hand side but changed it to attack.

I understand where you're coming from with regards to the frustration. That's unfortunately the issue you get when asking such a broad and potentially open-ended question to people with a range of different points of view. It's very difficult in such a situation to coalesce around a solution which satisfies all the advice you are given. I did however highlight this at the beginning of my first post in this thread and the fact that I'm repeating myself is symptomatic of the circular situation which you are describing. In order to break that cycle I'll refrain from asking any further questions and muddying the waters further.

The problem with copying a tactic (however good it may be) is that you don't really understand the tactic and hence when things go wrong you have no way of knowing what to change to react to what is happening in a game. Therefore, that was the reason why when coming up against FC Emmen and you couldn't score you became stuck.

Whereas, if you understand a tactic and have an idea of how it's supposed to play out you are far more equipped to deal with problems as they arise.

As it stands, the ONLY way to increase understanding of a tactic is to watch the matches in full and analyze what is happening. This is of course not ideal but it's the way the game has been designed so we have to deal with it. You need to watch matches until you have enough knowledge of your system to be confident. If you are unwilling to do that then I think you'll find it very difficult to make any improvement when it comes to the tactical side of the game (which incidentally isn't the only aspect to consider when it comes to team performance).

I think you would benefit from spending some time in FM Touch in a throw away save to just experiment with. That way things like tactical familiarity aren't an issue and there is no pressure to get results. Use that to teach yourself the fundamentals about tactics that you've read about and that should enable you to build confidence and be more able to construct balanced tactics.

All the best

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@pheelf is bang on @LCFCEaves31.

Watch the game in full, it'll take time but it's worth it in the long run. Really take notice of what's happening, are the players you want supporting the offense? Are the players getting into threatening positions? Are you getting too many/ too few bodies forward? Do your players have options on ball? Are the players you want looking to get back when you lose possession? Do you have too many/too few players back when you lose the ball? 

It's all about finding a balance

Make your observations, then make the changes you think you think will help you get closer to the balance, it might take 3,5 or 10 games to get there but once you do you can drop down to comprehensive or extended highlights, then if you hit problems, back to full & observe

Look at Poch at Spurs right now, he seems to be trying everything to get them back on track, tweaking things & formations game to game     

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Reading back through the thread, I personally think the 4-1-2-3 is too passive for Ajax, just skimming through some of their real life games & they're playing either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 which they beat Valencia 3-0 away from home with & lined up against Chelsea with last night 

I had the same problem managing Bayern

Like you say your DLF-S got swarmed by midfielders, get someone else up there to occupy them 

Even with sticking with the 4-1-2-3 you can morph it into a 4-2-3-1 when you're attacking 

Edited by Johnny Ace

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2 hours ago, Johnny Ace said:

I personally think the 4-1-2-3 is too passive for Ajax, just skimming through some of their real life games & they're playing either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1

Trying to emulate real-life tactics - and especially formations - is not always a good idea. One (though not the only) reason is that a RL formation nominally displayed is not always the one a team is actually using. This especially applies to 4231 - in some cases what is portrayed as a 4231 is actually either deep 4231 (with 2 DMs) or even 4213 (DM Wide in FM terminology). 

As for 4123, whether it's "too passive" for Ajax or not, I think it's the optimal formation for people who are not comfortable enough with tactical creation. Simply because it's very well-balanced in and of itself and therefore the easiest to tweak (unlike 4231. which is inherently vulnerable and hence can be tricky to set up). Once the OP has gained sufficient tactical knowledge, he will be able to experiment with various systems without much risk :thup:

Edited by Experienced Defender

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6 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

(unlike 4231. which is inherently vulnerable and hence can be tricky to set up). 

You're telling me! :D

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