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DizzyNLD

An introduction and a question about (contextual) feedback and stats in the game

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Hello everyone!

This is going to be my first post on this forum so I'll give a little context before I get to my question.
I didn't really know where I would have to put this kind of post so I'm putting in here in general.
Recently I picked up FM19 after being away from the game for a loooong time. I think the last version I've played before 19 is 14/15 years ago.

What attracts me in this game is squad building, scouting, player development and.. winning lots of trophies of course :rolleyes:

My choice for Ajax shouldn't be too hard to understand with that in mind, and I support the club irl as well so there's that ;)

There's a lot to (re)learn for me in this game. So I've been educating myself with reading material from this very forum (especially @herne79 's posts) and the Youtube videos from @Rashidi. They are both such helpful sources!

Now things are going well after a bad season start. Recently we beat Feyenoord at home 1-0 and PSV away 0-2. European games are still hard for us but we managed to beat Marseille 2-3 in Stade Orange Velodrome in the Europe League group stage.
 

I already have a firm grip on the whole club, signed some great scouts and coaches (Dennis Bergkamp among others and eyeballing Marco van Basten as assistant manager right now), kicked out lots of youth players
who were stealing game time from my future stars and signed my first young player (image below) while sitting patiently on my remaining 11M transfer budget for when the good scout reports come in.

I'm still struggling with tactics a bit, but we'll get there eventually.

 1948651469_2019-10-1718_48_34-Greenshot.thumb.jpg.5c00b17bd9a8550479ae6b99549e2beb.jpg
(Just check out the PPMs on that guy. He's just 17 :D)


Now my question is about feedback in the game, because I'd like to learn more about that aspect of the simulator.
I think the statistics the game gives me can teach me a lot about my tactic and my choices and what effect they have on the game.

So I've been taking a closer look at the analysis tools and found something I don't have a clue what it means. This here below is a snippet from the after game review.
I know the 'struggling for possession in opposition's half' can also mean you are just camping there a lot and trying to tiki taka the ball into the goal (preferably through the keeper's legs).

But I also saw this one. It says 'Ekkelenkamp has been a poor influence on overall attacking play'. I'm trying to develop him into a shadow striker and he played there this game as well. 
And although I love the contextual feedback the game gives (I'm a very linguistic minded guy) I didn't understand this one.

Because when I took a closer look at Ekkelenkamp's performance in the game, I saw he made 6 out of 11 key passes, received and completed the most passes and was the creator of 1 out of 2,5 clear cut chances.
So how can he not be considered an important part of the attack in this match? Is it just because he made no assists and/or goals while on attack duty?


So that was my first post. I had a feeling it would be nice to start with a question so that's what I did: what stats do you find to be important in learning about the performance of your tactics and players? And what does this contextual 
team analysis thing I got mean exactly? And should I worry about it?
 

287824777_2019-10-1716_36_46-Greenshot.thumb.jpg.4920a0a6b06e16d907839c737c363d3d.jpg1647900272_2019-10-1716_40_10-Greenshot.thumb.jpg.1289a8760c5d0105d3dad1bd024cd11b.jpg1374355169_2019-10-1719_09_49-Greenshot.thumb.jpg.dbd327c25e46ed3013f5226f85d0ba5e.jpg

Edited by DizzyNLD

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Welcome to the forum :).

As you are finding out, feedback during matches (lets be kind here) should be viewed with caution.  It's no substitute for seeing what is actually happening on the pitch and/or your own reading of the stats.  And from your reading of the stats you found that Ekkelenkamp is actually having a decent game.  So by all means read what your assistant is telling you, but never act on it without checking things for yourself :thup:.

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The Problem with FM's stats are twofold.

a) The Stats, even those that aren't simple checklist stats to be added to +1 at a time (shots, tackles, what have you); but the interpretational ones, such as the "chances". The latter may be a decent Thing to gauge by. Until you realize both from watching as well as playing experience that chances converted Pretty regularly don't at all apply; whilst versa those that are missed Pretty regularly are. The gap between a tap-in into an open net and a reasonably difficult one on one in no much space for the Forward will continue to be Pretty steep anyway, even if both would qualify for a "clear cut".

b) How these stats are being interpreted by the game, which in most cases is simple 1x1 Maths. E.g. a Player wins above x% of his headers in a match. He must be towering in the air for us, thus. Never mind he's man marking Messi and thus getting the numbers up.

The worst Kind of statistics based interpretational feedback are arguably the game's final match Reports. They work by the logic that if Team x had more shots/chances and lost, it was unlucky. Basically, there is no recognition of counter attacking Football in there at all. It's no wonder that many still go by the Notion that dominating Shots/Chances and/or Possession was akin to increasing the chances of Winning. Actually, for some it seems the sole idea of "match Management" wholesale. No Notion of ever changing Things up, making intelligent Subs, or anything. Never mind that dominating all of FM's stats is a given as soon as the AI opposition shuts up shop/parks the bus.

Limiting the Opposition to inferior space, whilst vice versa Carving out superior one for your own side -- and balancing both according to different Scenarios, that's where it's at. The Opponent can have 30 shots, if most of them are poor thanks to the way you set up…. Likewise, if that opponentn Drops the pants to the Point  that you would walk through their defense, it wouldn't matter if you had but 5 shots. If all of them end up straight in front of the Goal....

As an example, this seems like a totally "dominating" City Performance. 

coh2t5N.jpg

It wasn't. Here's why.

1) The City AI conceded the first Goal. As it wouldN't accept a home defeat to the "Little" Leicester, it went more aggressive, leaving the deep dropping Leicester more opportunity to exposed their highly aggressive d-line.

nnwB8V5.jpg

2) The City AI in General was Always on the backfoot, e.g. never in the lead. This meant it would go ever more aggressive, up to barely even protecting it's own attacking Corners (upon which another Leicester Goal was scored).

CGw92DK.jpg
 

 


Naturally, actually analyzing takes time. The best compromise imo is taking a look into the shot Maps in the match Analysis screen. Then taking a look at: What percentage of shots are actually within central Position in the boxes?  Which shots are genuinelly created from open Play as opposed to a set piece? Why is it that this Team seems to have this many of its shots within the box and so few if any from range (and vice versa?) Plus, if the game had "better" Analysis, it would likely be another Edge over AI. Because doing the above kinda is. The AI in General is coded to make "logic" decisions based on Opposition and scoreline -- see CIty above. Going more aggressive upon trailing a lead is Logical. However, it isn't capable of "analyzing" what specifically would be Happening, or it would have noted how easy it was overrun and went a tad more conservative (whilst at the same time working out why specifically it was struggling to convert more shots into Goals).

Edited by Svenc

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13 hours ago, herne79 said:

Welcome to the forum :).

As you are finding out, feedback during matches (lets be kind here) should be viewed with caution.  It's no substitute for seeing what is actually happening on the pitch and/or your own reading of the stats.  And from your reading of the stats you found that Ekkelenkamp is actually having a decent game.  So by all means read what your assistant is telling you, but never act on it without checking things for yourself :thup:.

Thank you for the welcome!

And yeah, I’m not trusting my assistant manager on any aspect, seeing what he advises for training, player selection and the rest :D

About ‘checking things’.. what are some of your favorite stats to look out for? Right now I mostly look at key passes, pass combinations because I (try to) play possession football, and shots inside the box. Also the heat map, but I’m still trying to understand how I can improve using those stats. And not only check if my team is doing well.

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1 hour ago, DizzyNLD said:

Thank you for the welcome!

And yeah, I’m not trusting my assistant manager on any aspect, seeing what he advises for training, player selection and the rest :D

About ‘checking things’.. what are some of your favorite stats to look out for? Right now I mostly look at key passes, pass combinations because I (try to) play possession football, and shots inside the box. Also the heat map, but I’m still trying to understand how I can improve using those stats. And not only check if my team is doing well.

That's pretty much what I look for too.  Don't ignore opposition stats though - for example their shots/shots on target can be of note, especially if you are playing on key highlights.

Player ratings can be a bit of a mixed bag.  The calculations aren't clear and sometimes even lowish ratings doesn't have to mean someone's having a bad game (eg., a goalie with a rating of 6.5 may just mean he hasn't got much to do and so your defence is working well) but they can at least give you a heads up about somebody to keep an eye on. 

Sounds like you're enjoying yourself though, which is the whole point after all :thup:.

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4 hours ago, Svenc said:

The Problem with FM's stats are twofold.
 

Thanks for the reaction! Very interesting.

And I think I understand what you mean: don't go blind on some of the stats like possession, shots, etc. Not all shots are equal and quality of possession is better than lots of possession with no action.
I think I have an interesting question for you and I hope you want to help me.
 

You said "The AI in General is coded to make "logic" decisions based on Opposition and scoreline -- see CIty above. Going more aggressive upon trailing a lead is Logical. However, it isn't capable of "analyzing" what specifically would be Happening, or it would have noted how easy it was overrun and went a tad more conservative (whilst at the same time working out why specifically it was struggling to convert more shots into Goals)."

I see in your tactics with Leicester that you try to exploit this logic with counter attacking football and are very succesful. Now I would look at the scoreline (& stats) and say: Leicester absorbed City's pressure and carved out excellent chances which they finished well on the counter attack. So you deserve to win in my opinion.

At Ajax, I want to play possession football. Controlling the game and carving out chances patiently while balancing risk. I have attached two tactics I use to try and do that so you can look at it if you want.
Now scoring a goal is not that hard. Sometimes if I don't create enough chances I'll try to send a wing back forward (both my right wing backs have 'gets forward whenever possible' and then I give them an attack duty if on a lower mentality or overlap if on a higher mentality. I understand this raises their individual mentality and gives me more attacking options.

Now my question is.. how do you exploit the AI getting more aggressive trailing a lead? Like for instance against my rival I scored the first goal. They went more attacking sending their backs forward and I want to exploit the gaps they leave behind. What I've tried to do is give my wingers a more attacking mentality, raise the directness of my passing and use 'pass into space' to try and make my team exploit the spaces the opponent leaves behind more quickly.

You said: "Limiting the Opposition to inferior space, whilst vice versa Carving out superior one for your own side -- and balancing both according to different Scenarios, that's where it's at."
That is what I want to do with my tactic if I'm leading in a match. Eventually I want to have a tactic for controlling the game and patiently attacking, ánd a tactic for when I go in front and want to hit my opponents on the counter, but I struggle with how to design such a tactic and checking if it works as well.
 

If you were in my situation, what would you do?

4123 Advanced Playmaker.jpg

4231 Shadow Striker.jpg

Edited by DizzyNLD
readability

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This is now turning into a tactical discussion, so I'll move it over to the Tactics, Training and Strategy section. :thup:

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Just now, HUNT3R said:

This is now turning into a tactical discussion, so I'll move it over to the Tactics, Training and Strategy section. :thup:

Right on! :D feel free to participate ;) 

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25 minutes ago, herne79 said:

That's pretty much what I look for too.  Don't ignore opposition stats though - for example their shots/shots on target can be of note, especially if you are playing on key highlights.

Player ratings can be a bit of a mixed bag.  The calculations aren't clear and sometimes even lowish ratings doesn't have to mean someone's having a bad game (eg., a goalie with a rating of 6.5 may just mean he hasn't got much to do and so your defence is working well) but they can at least give you a heads up about somebody to keep an eye on. 

Sounds like you're enjoying yourself though, which is the whole point after all :thup:.

Thanks! 

Player ratings I watch out for are those 7 to 7.5 ratings solely based on passing percentage in midfield and or tackling percentages in defence. If a player doesn't score a goal or makes an assist and he still manages to get 7+ rating then that's a highlight for me.

And yeah I'm enjoying myself. :D I love football and I have a decent knowledge of the game. Only thing I'm really struggling with and what frustrates sometimes is that I don't fully know yet how to steer the simulator into playing the football that I want. In real life I just tell the pupils 'go hang at that defender's shoulder and make life miserable for him running after you'. Or 'you are my playmaker in midfield and I want you to hang in the centre circle to receive the ball and play quick passes to our wingers'. 
The tactical creator in the game is much more abstract I find. Until I learn to understand it.

 

Btw if you see my other post with the attachments, I named one of my tactics after you ;) because I used your post on possession football with intent to design it.

Edited by DizzyNLD

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9 hours ago, DizzyNLD said:

4123 Advanced Playmaker.jpg

4231 Shadow Striker.jpg

I just want to say that both tactics look pretty decent IMHO :thup:

There are no extremes in either tactic, which is a good starting point for you to make small tweaks when and where needed ;)

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9 hours ago, DizzyNLD said:

Now my question is.. how do you exploit the AI getting more aggressive trailing a lead? Like for instance against my rival I scored the first goal. They went more attacking sending their backs forward and I want to exploit the gaps they leave behind. What I've tried to do is give my wingers a more attacking mentality, raise the directness of my passing and use 'pass into space' to try and make my team exploit the spaces the opponent leaves behind more quickly.

Essentially I think that is correct.  Put another way - the more you dominate an opponent the more you should back off with roles and duties to create space for yourself otherwise play will over congest.  Like wise if the your opponent does come on to you then you should get space in behind to attack.

9 hours ago, DizzyNLD said:

"Limiting the Opposition to inferior space, whilst vice versa Carving out superior one for your own side -- and balancing both according to different Scenarios, that's where it's at."
That is what I want to do with my tactic if I'm leading in a match. Eventually I want to have a tactic for controlling the game and patiently attacking, and a tactic for when I go in front and want to hit my opponents on the counter, but I struggle with how to design such a tactic and checking if it works as well.

Good objective but harder to respond to.

Limiting the opposition to inferior space depends on what you see that space to be.  Assuming by example you mean the middle that could mean a defence that is not beaten by a simple ball over the top or could mean you spatially controlling the middle better with a formation that is midfield heavy and does not deviate from position offensively or defensively.

Patient attacks and counter attacks may also illicit two different responses on the forum.  Some see possession as a positive mentality controlled by TI's whereas other view it as a naturally less risky mentality e.g. cautious.  Conversely some people view counterattacking as an attack mentality with a low line defence, other as a cautious mentality with aggressive TI's.

So more than one type of answer available to each scenario.  Thus a tricky question which you'll do well to see answered definitively on these boards.

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On 18/10/2019 at 23:01, Experienced Defender said:

I just want to say that both tactics look pretty decent IMHO :thup:

There are no extremes in either tactic, which is a good starting point for you to make small tweaks when and where needed ;)

Thanks!

 

Yeah the idea is to use the 4231 against weaker opponents so one of the central midfielders can give more punch in the attack as shadow striker. Against stronger opponents I started using the 4123, because I think it makes us more sturdy in defence. I then send a mezzala forward with an attack duty on a balanced team mentality.

Seems to be working out alright. The only thing I notice is the boys find it very difficult to work the ball forward when under heavy pressure (when defending a lead mostly and the opponent going more attacking).

I tried distributing to my fullbacks and have a support duty on the flank. It’s an inside forward on support but he should be helping my fullback right? The problem is I do want to keep playing out of defence because of my BPD, and my DLP in DM. My forwards are not going to win aerial battles.

Next thing I tried is more direct passing and a higher tempo (independently). Didn’t seem to help, they keep tick tocking the ball in defence because they don’t have short options.

Do you have any tips to circumvent a high press?

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5 hours ago, DizzyNLD said:

The only thing I notice is the boys find it very difficult to work the ball forward when under heavy pressure (when defending a lead mostly and the opponent going more attacking).

I tried distributing to my fullbacks and have a support duty on the flank. It’s an inside forward on support but he should be helping my fullback right? The problem is I do want to keep playing out of defence because of my BPD, and my DLP in DM

But you don't use a BPD in either of these 2 tactics: 

 

On 18/10/2019 at 13:37, DizzyNLD said:

4123 Advanced Playmaker.jpg

4231 Shadow Striker.jpg

 

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11 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

But you don't use a BPD in either of these 2 tactics: 

 

 

 

Fair point :D 

I actually use the BPD on and off depending on whether de Ligt plays or not. He put an awesome ball over the top to Dolberg in the Champions League Qual. And I’ve got some Argentinian ball playing defenders coming in next transfer window to make more use of the role.

The question still stands though. High press is hard to battle against when you’re trying to build up from the back. I guess that’s why they do it ;) need to find a good way to go around it.

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5 hours ago, DizzyNLD said:

The question still stands though. High press is hard to battle against when you’re trying to build up from the back. I guess that’s why they do it ;) need to find a good way to go around it

It varies from team to team. I never insist on playing out of defense if I am not confident of my players' ability to keep and move the ball around under pressure. I don't know your players at Ajax well enough, but I guess they should be capable of PoD (De Ligt certainly is). If they are, using a SK and a BPD (de Ligt in your case) can be a good idea if you want to PoD even when it looks too risky. 

In my Man Utd save, I do play out of defense, but against other top teams - especially those that use heavy pressing (e.g. LFC, City...) - I rather opt to remove it.

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