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pheelf

Common misconceptions faced when building tactics

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Nice post, a lot of useful information there to spark some discussion. I will start!

6 hours ago, pheelf said:

#8 The way to get around defences is to pile players forward

This is not always flawed. I will often flood a specific area of the pitch with attacking players to force the AI out of shape if they are stubbornly holding position rather than trying to close players down and being drawn out of position. For example in my last match I was facing a very defensive and stubborn Norwich side. They were simply blocking the middle of the park, and playing with a very low block. I could not draw them out, because they were not biting on players until they were in their packed defence. 

So I decided to flood the right hand side of the pitch with players. CM(A), W(A), IWB(A) all on the right hand side. I could have alternatively done IF(A), WB(A), MEZ(A), for example. This forced them to over commit defenders to this side, and gave my IF(A) and FB(A) on the opposite side of the pitch the space we needed. I scored 2 of my 3 goals from players using this space (the third was a corner). 

The key is not that you cannot beat teams by piling players forward. The key is to pile them forward in a sensible and well thought-out manner. Flood a specific area of the pitch, not all areas. 

Not to say you are wrong. Another tactic I use is to drop my players back and give the AI space in front of me to actually advance and attack. Then I look to catch them over committing a little when they lose the ball, and being able to launch quick attacks before they can regain their shape. In football, there are many ways to skin a cat (which is a horrible phrase, why are we skinning a cat?).

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Thanks @sporadicsmiles that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for.

I think I perhaps worded that one incorrectly and will revisit it. I was trying to shine a light on the situations where I see tactics which have the highest mentality settings and the majority of the players attacking the central areas with no width or depth to the attacks. I see it as flawed as that plays into the hands of the opposition which if set out to defend will pack those areas with players which leads to a lack of space for your team to operate in given that they will hardly move out of their defensive positions.

I agree with what you wrote that overloads with a purpose in the right areas can create space and force the opposition to break its defensive shape. I use them all the time and they can work very well.

I think you may have also hit upon another couple of common misconceptions in your post.

The first being that changes made to a tactic during a match should be based on nothing but blind hope and speculation rather than actual observations. I watch YouTubers and I see some of them when in losing positions respond by just whacking the mentality up to Very Attacking. There doesn't appear to be any logical reasoning behind it and appears to be a conditioned response rather than being based on what is actually happening in the game. The difference in what you did was that you spotted something about how Norwich was playing and reacted with a well thought out response to it which worked a treat.

Another misconception is that you must have a set amount of a certain duty for a particular mentality which is a fallacy encouraged by some of the pre-game tactical advice from assistants. There has to be a degree of fluidity in the approach and an ability to adjust to the circumstances a player finds themselves in during a match. For e.g. there are times when I'm trying to protect a lead late in the game and will change the duty of my fullback from attack to defend to react to a change in formation from the opposition to 3 up front.

If you have any more suggestions please feel free to post.

Cheers

Edited by pheelf

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49 minutes ago, pheelf said:

I think I perhaps worded that one incorrectly and will revisit it.

I wouldn't. You already noted that these are things you noticed when playing the game. As you do not present them as the ultimate truth, it is fine to have some caveats!

 

50 minutes ago, pheelf said:

The first being that changes made to a tactic during a match should be based on nothing but blind hope and speculation rather than actual observations.

Very much so! I do not watch people play FM myself (well I try to keep up to date with Rashidi), but you are correct. This is a hard skill to learn though. I will admit sometimes in my desperation I go to very attacking when nothing else has worked. It usually does not help. 

 

52 minutes ago, pheelf said:

Another misconception is that you must have a set amount of a certain duty for a particular mentality which is a fallacy encouraged by some of the pre-game tactical advice from assistants.

That is an older one, that came about when roles and duties first came into the game. The game also perpetuates this itself, or it did in FM19. The tactics help you get in the inbox used to tell you to change attack/support duties. At the same time, I see people complaining they cannot score often, but have all their advanced roles on support. I would like someone to make a post about this in more depth sometime, because I think it confuses a lot of people!

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Nice post! Only thing I disagree with is; 

20 hours ago, pheelf said:

For e.g. I'm playing a 4-4-2, I have my central midfield pair setup with one on the defend duty and the other on the support duty. According to the analysis you will see an orange patch in front of the central midfielder on the defend duty. Now if I change his duty to support that patch will become green which logically will bring the conclusion that is a better way to setup the tactic.

That is completely wrong as it would mean you have no holding midfielder and much like many other aspects of tactical analysis offered by the game lacks any form of context.

I actually think having a defend duty in a four man midfield is a bit conservative. You can definitely have two support roles providing your players occupy the correct defensive areas. DLP(S), BWM(S), CAR(S) will still occupy good defensive positions, while CM(S), RPM(S) and B2B(S) offer a bit more going forward without sacrificing your shape. It's all about finding a good combination.

MEZ and AP are possibilities, but maybe too offensive to play in a two man midfield without a dedicated holding player. 

I'm running a DLP(S) and CAR(S) combination at the minute and are sufficient both defensively and going forward. 

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Nice and useful post, would like to see more of this. Just a one question, what is the best combination in a two striker partnership for e.g. in a gegenpressing play?

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20 hours ago, Spiegel said:

Nice post! Only thing I disagree with is; 

I actually think having a defend duty in a four man midfield is a bit conservative. You can definitely have two support roles providing your players occupy the correct defensive areas. DLP(S), BWM(S), CAR(S) will still occupy good defensive positions, while CM(S), RPM(S) and B2B(S) offer a bit more going forward without sacrificing your shape. It's all about finding a good combination.

MEZ and AP are possibilities, but maybe too offensive to play in a two man midfield without a dedicated holding player. 

I'm running a DLP(S) and CAR(S) combination at the minute and are sufficient both defensively and going forward. 

Thanks for commenting.

I don't doubt that has been your experience with the game in that you can play without a dedicated holding player and still be successful.

I wasn't trying to make the point that it couldn't work, instead my view was that what the game presents to you as something which should be better in reality shouldn't be. Playing without a dedicated holding midfielder in a 2 man central midfield shouldn't be stronger than playing with one.

I know of no team IRL that starts games without a central midfielder which sits when the team attacks. I think the fact it works in FM probably says more about the state of the ME than it does about the validity of the approach. A competent AI would see the lack of cover for your central defenders and allow you to commit your central midfielders forward, win the ball and counter you through the middle. It seems the AI is incapable of punishing such setups which is quite worrying.

Mind you, the ability to pull off such a risky strategy depends on the overall approach of the tactic and the quality of player you have in comparison with the opposition which can in effect mask issues.

Best Regards

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20 hours ago, Bakiano said:

Nice and useful post, would like to see more of this. Just a one question, what is the best combination in a two striker partnership for e.g. in a gegenpressing play?

Cheers, I don't think there is a 'best' combination that I can provide you with.

I could end up making a suggestion to you that is completely wrong for your setup as the choice depends on a number of different factors. I would advise that you try out different combinations and watch your matches to see if the players are giving you what you are looking for. In effect what you want is a pair of hardworking players off the ball that have the ability to maintain a hard press for the whole game. In this instance, the profile of the player may be a more important factor than the role that you play them in. You could play them in a 'perfect' role for the tactical style but if they aren't physically fit and don't work hard enough you won't get the best out of them.

All the best

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Good post.  The type of threads on here, and the answers given, are often monotonous so I simply like the fact you've taken a different approach.

I almost think there should be a 'sticky' at the top of this forum that deals with a) how do you move a parked bus, and b) how do you build a counterattack tactic.  These two things answer about 50% of the posts in this forum every time.

Anyway congrats @pheelf I hope you get to enjoy some positive feedback.

Edited by Robson 07

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You forgot the most common one by far. edit: Covered by #10, but to spell it out:

- The Goal of any tactic is to have more shots (and/or Possession) on a spreadsheet than the Opposition. 

Following from this:

- If you have more shots than the Opposition, your tactic is working
- If you have fewer shots than the Opposition, your tactic isn't working

:D 

Additionally:
 

- If you win a few matches, your tactics must be "working"
- If you lose/draw a few matches, your tactics mustn't be "working" / must have stopped "working"

Edited by Svenc

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On 10/11/2019 at 10:53, Robson 07 said:

Good post.  The type of threads on here, and the answers given, are often monotonous so I simply like the fact you've taken a different approach.

I almost think there should be a 'sticky' at the top of this forum that deals with a) how do you move a parked bus, and b) how do you build a counterattack tactic.  These two things answer about 50% of the posts in this forum every time.

Anyway congrats @pheelf I hope you get to enjoy some positive feedback.

Thanks, I'd like to see something along those lines too as those two topics appear to be real sources of struggle for a lot of players. I guess the only problem with codifying it is that the solution to both can be rather subjective. Presenting objective truths about the methodology of a team which parks the bus however could be very helpful.

Cheers

On 10/11/2019 at 17:04, Svenc said:

You forgot the most common one by far. edit: Covered by #10, but to spell it out:

- The Goal of any tactic is to have more shots (and/or Possession) on a spreadsheet than the Opposition. 

Following from this:

- If you have more shots than the Opposition, your tactic is working
- If you have fewer shots than the Opposition, your tactic isn't working

:D 

Additionally:
 

- If you win a few matches, your tactics must be "working"
- If you lose/draw a few matches, your tactics mustn't be "working" / must have stopped "working"

Good one @Svenc, I used to be guilty of the shot count / possession one, nowadays it doesn't bother me in the slightest whether I'm behind in those stats provided I'm ahead in the scoreline. It's very easy to fall into that trap if you don't watch your games properly (only commentary or key highlights), that is why I always suggest that players watch their games in full to gain a greater understanding of how their tactic works (its weaknesses and strengths alongside how to react to specific threats posed by the opposition) then once they have done that they can go back to speeding through.

Best Regards

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On 10/11/2019 at 06:31, pheelf said:

Thanks for commenting.

I don't doubt that has been your experience with the game in that you can play without a dedicated holding player and still be successful.

I wasn't trying to make the point that it couldn't work, instead my view was that what the game presents to you as something which should be better in reality shouldn't be. Playing without a dedicated holding midfielder in a 2 man central midfield shouldn't be stronger than playing with one.

I know of no team IRL that starts games without a central midfielder which sits when the team attacks. I think the fact it works in FM probably says more about the state of the ME than it does about the validity of the approach. A competent AI would see the lack of cover for your central defenders and allow you to commit your central midfielders forward, win the ball and counter you through the middle. It seems the AI is incapable of punishing such setups which is quite worrying.

Mind you, the ability to pull off such a risky strategy depends on the overall approach of the tactic and the quality of player you have in comparison with the opposition which can in effect mask issues.

Best Regards

I believe this also depends on your approach in terms of pressing and getting the ball back. I play a RPM/Mez-Su and a CAR in a 4-4-2, but I have a high d-line and I counter press, so when I lose the ball my players go berserk trying to get it back and it ends up forcing a long ball, which my high line deals with.

However, if I see they have an outlet in the middle of the park I switch to a DLP-De + a CM-Su or a BBM. It's important to notice if the opposition are trying to exploit space or if they are so defensive that they won't, which can make you more willing to take risks.

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Great OP! I've bookmarked this :)

Although I'm guilty of doing number 14. Information overload is an understatement :D as I have literally hundreds of bookmarks throughout the years, most of them based on tactical advice, but some unrelated stuff which is okay like graphic mods, database questions etc. 

I'm also guilty of #10, #13 and #20.

Edited by Gee_Simpson

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