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Melvin Chia

Defensive tactics are useless

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2 hours ago, Melvin Chia said:

Formation Mentality cautious.png

The key problem with this tactic is not that it's defensive (i.e. using a low mentality), but that it's set up poorly. 

You first need to understand how much the team mentality is important element of any tactic. It literally affects everything. So you not only play on the Cautious but you also:

- don't have a single attack duty (even up front, let alone in a deeper area such as midfield)

- use less urgent pressing (plus easy tackling a.k.a. Stay on feet), which makes your players even more passive when defending than they already would have been under the Cautious mentality by default

- use lower DL coupled with standard LOE, which reduces your vertical compactness (defensively sound tactics are by definition vertically compact, not the other way around)

- use the Prevent short GK distribution, which not only runs counter to the idea of your tactic but can also make you more vulnerable by leaving gaps between lines of your team

- use the Be more disciplined, which is a sort of overkill under a low-risk mentality (because on lower mentalities, players generally tend to play in a more disciplined manner anyway)

- want your players to work the ball into box, which essentially runs counter to the style of play you want to implement (according to what you yourself said)

These were the most obvious issues (mistakes) in your tactic. Now, what about good sides? Well, here is a list of instructions that do make sense (taking the mentality factor into account, of course):

- higher tempo :thup:

- more direct passing :thup:

- counter :thup:

Would you like to know how I would change/tweak your tactic to make it more balanced without changing the mentality?

 

Edited by Experienced Defender

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21 minutes ago, Mitja said:

44112DM?

Regista and anchor man or dm-d a great partnership in this formation. W-a on one side... Iw/wm the other. Am-s, dlf-a/AF etc... One of my favourite formations on FM, used it to great effect in my lyon save. 

Check post 2 in this thread, how I used the 44112dm to smash psg. OK I was on balanced, not cautious, but you could very much use this as a 'defensive' tactic with potent attacking threat with a smaller club

 

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43 minutes ago, Mitja said:

Where would you put third attacking duty in 442 and 44112DM?

There does not have to be 3, there just needs to be a plan. 

In a 442 I would probably play with both strikers on attack, one of the wide players, and maybe with a BBM (if I was being extra adventurous). I would not mess around with pretty passing counter attacks in a 442 though. The ball would be lumped forward for the two strikers immediately. Preferably over the top of the defence or to the flanks. 

A 4411 with a player in CM or AMC? I would have him in central midfield, and he would close down like a little demon to annoy everyone. I would have my striker, both wingers and the CM on attack duty. Or perhaps a fullback instead of a winger to provide someone arriving a little later into the counter attack. 

This is for sure not the only way to play like this. It is my way to play like this. I like to break forward and smash teams on the counter. Particularly with visually pleasing passing counters. 

The one thing I think people fall into the trap of doing is thinking defensive football means lots of defensive duties. It does not have to. You need to ensure two things. 

1. That you have a proper plan to attack, and have set your players up to execute this.

2. The defenders you leave behind when you counter attack have to be able to hold when you lose possession before your players can get back into position. That is all, because once they are back in position your defensive shape will frustrate the crap out of teams. 

Nail these two things, and you have nailed defensive football.

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20 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

The key problem with this tactic is not that it's defensive (i.e. using a low mentality), but that it's set up poorly. 

You first need to understand how much the team mentality is important element of any tactic. It literally affects everything. So you not only play on the Cautious but you also:

- don't have a single attack duty (even up front, let alone in a deeper area such as midfield)

- use less urgent pressing (plus easy tackling a.k.a. Stay on feet), which makes your players even more passive when defending than they already would have been under the Cautious mentality by default

- use lower DL coupled with standard LOE, which reduces your vertical compactness (defensively sound tactics are by definition vertically compact, not the other way around)

- use the Prevent short GK distribution, which not only runs counter to the idea of your tactic but can also make you more vulnerable by leaving gaps between lines of your team

- use the Be more disciplined, which is a sort of overkill under a low-risk mentality (because on lower mentalities, players generally tend to play in a more disciplined manner anyway)

- want your players to work the ball into box, which essentially runs counter to the style of play you want to implement (according to what you yourself said)

These were the most obvious issues (mistakes) in your tactic. Now, what about good sides? Well, here is a list of instructions that do make sense (taking the mentality factor into account, of course):

- higher tempo :thup:

- more direct passing :thup:

- counter :thup:

Would you like to know how I would change/tweak your tactic to make it more balanced without changing the mentality?

 

I agreed with most of your advise but I am trying to not do vertical compactness. I am trying to lure the attackers in by having standard loe. Anyway defensive tactics can't win u a league but offensive tactics can (MENTALITY). If you believe u can do better, please let me download your tactics and I show you the results of playing against away juventus one of the hardest game in Seria A

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8 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

I am trying to not do vertical compactness.

FYI - vertical compactness does not mean pressing with a high line.

It's just making sure that you don't have too much space between your defense and midfield, and then again between your midfield and attackers.

Leaving too much space between your lines can cause issues, so it's always good to be vertically compact no matter what system or style you're aiming for.

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12 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

Look at my positive tactics its so much stronger

formation positive (out of possession).jpg

formation positive (in transition).jpg

formation positive (in possession).jpg

formation positive.jpg

I still think personally, id take away some of the conflicts and team instructions.

First of all, youre asking the players to press high, but be passive by regrouping. id take the regrouping away, you want to try and win the ball high with your tactic, rather than fall back and try and block things?

I don't think "holding shape" when you win the ball back is going to help either. id take this off.

I think theres elements of a counter approach in your tactic, and elements of a patient approach too, and I'm a little confused as to what the objective is here?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, rockpie said:

FYI - vertical compactness does not mean pressing with a high line.

It's just making sure that you don't have too much space between your defense and midfield, and then again between your midfield and attackers.

Leaving too much space between your lines can cause issues, so it's always good to be vertically compact no matter what system or style you're aiming for.

So u are saying that using a higher loe than defensive has no use at all in FM 2020. Because in reality it shouldn't be the case. It has the chance of luring attackers in, then counter attack when they are out of position and all your attackers are already in an advanced positon.

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3 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

So u are saying that using a higher loe than defensive has no use at all in FM 2020. Because in reality it shouldn't be the case. It has the chance of luring attackers in, then counter attack when they are out of position and all your attackers are already in an advanced positon.

No, I'm not saying that.

I was trying to explain that you misunderstood the meaning of vertical compactness.

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3 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

So u are saying that using a higher loe than defensive has no use at all in FM 2020. Because in reality it shouldn't be the case. It has the chance of luring attackers in, then counter attack when they are out of position and all your attackers are already in an advanced positon.

Vertical compactness is about the space between the lines of your team.

If you set a high line of engagement and a low defensive line, this would be  less vertically compact than the opposite.

A higher line of engagement is absolutely useful if you want to have a high pressing strategy, IE defending from the front, and this would usually be accompanied by having a high defensive line too so your whole team defends higher up the field.

If you want to "lure" players in by setting your line of engagement low, youre luring the oppositions DEFENDERS to come forward with the ball more. your strikers are the first line of your "line of engagement"

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10 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

I still think personally, id take away some of the conflicts and team instructions.

First of all, youre asking the players to press high, but be passive by regrouping. id take the regrouping away, you want to try and win the ball high with your tactic, rather than fall back and try and block things?

I don't think "holding shape" when you win the ball back is going to help either. id take this off.

I think theres elements of a counter approach in your tactic, and elements of a patient approach too, and I'm a little confused as to what the objective is here?

 

 

Because the key thing is to make the tactic as balanced as possible. I want the tactic to tika tika with holding shape to play that way. Regrouping helps the team to be more defensively stable as compared to counter pressing. I want balance in the team. Reasons why there are counter attacking players like bpd is to mix up the passing a little make it unpredictable.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

Vertical compactness is about the space between the lines of your team.

If you set a high line of engagement and a low defensive line, this would be  less vertically compact than the opposite.

A higher line of engagement is absolutely useful if you want to have a high pressing strategy, IE defending from the front, and this would usually be accompanied by having a high defensive line too so your whole team defends higher up the field.

If you want to "lure" players in by setting your line of engagement low, youre luring the oppositions DEFENDERS to come forward with the ball more. your strikers are the first line of your "line of engagement"

If i play higher loe with standard defensive line, is this totally not useful in fm?

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1 minute ago, Melvin Chia said:

If i play higher loe with standard defensive line, is this totally not useful in fm?

If your team is mentally and physically stronger than the other team, it probably won’t hurt but make sure to use formation with multiple strata or generally opposition can find their players between your lines(horizontal channels) more easily than usual. 

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Until someone can comeup with a plug and play tactic that is mentality defensive or cautious or even better no plug and play attacking tactics at all. this game is flawed.

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4 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

Until someone can comeup with a plug and play tactic that is mentality defensive or cautious or even better no plug and play attacking tactics at all. this game is flawed.

giphy.gif

 

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3 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

Until someone can comeup with a plug and play tactic that is mentality defensive or cautious or even better no plug and play attacking tactics at all. this game is flawed.

You need to explain what "defensive" in your mind is.

There are different styles of DEFENDING and there are teams that use different amounts of risk in and out of possession, but youre not going to win anythin merely "defending"

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13 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

Until someone can comeup with a plug and play tactic that is mentality defensive or cautious or even better no plug and play attacking tactics at all. this game is flawed.

Reading your quote again you could easily create a cautious mentality tactic that wins matches.

You could use a very good team with a cautious mentality to play a high possession game to patiently break down a deep sitting opponent.

The cautious mentality will see your players naturally play closer together, with slightly slower tempo, and with more focus on retaining possession, so less risky passes where you could lose the ball.

So in essence its an approach suited to walking the ball into the net with precise passing and movement.

 

That's entirely possible

 

Edited by FMunderachiever

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10 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

Until someone can comeup with a plug and play tactic that is mentality defensive or cautious or even better no plug and play attacking tactics at all. this game is flawed.

Plug and play tactics are plug and play because they are exploiting some deficiency in the way the AI defends. That is why they are all attacking - because that is how they exploit things. The fact they look nothing like real life tactics in how they are designed and how they play is proof enough of that. The fact there is no plug and play defensive tactic is because you cannot exploit the AI doing this. Tactics that do not exploit the AI are never plug and play. They depend much more strongly on the players, and the opposition. Which is why very often you have to make small changes during matches (or big ones) to react to what you see. Even attacking tactics that are not exploiting the AI will not be plug and play. I do not believe a tactic that can win all the time without variation exists without exploits.

The other point here is a defensive tactic relies not only on good defending, but ruthless and clinical attacking, and a bit of luck. Your entire gameplan can be undone if someone scores a screamer, or get a lucky rebound from a corner, or any number of other things. And if your strikers do not play well (or the AI defends them well), a defensive tactic will struggle to win games. Defensive tactics are hard to get right for these reason.

It is entirely your prerogative to think your statement above is true. You will spend your entire life waiting and being disappointed though, because reality disagrees with you.

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Can I also suggest that by reading this thread, I think OP you are suggesting a counter attacking approach is the one you want to adopt?

If it is:

  • Its unlikely a tactic like this is going to work for longevity as a base strategy. counter attacking is mostly an approach used against a specific opponent (usually a stronger opponent)
  • If this is your approach, youre going to have to rely on holding out whilst the opposition wastes more chances than you create and wastes having the ball more than you
  • If your counter attacking approach DOES become successful, your opponents are going to start setting up to ensure they don't keep getting counter attacked, so youll need a new approach at some point
  • Youll still need to find a way to score goals. there has to be some kind of threat you pose

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22 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

Reading your quote again you could easily create a cautious mentality tactic that wins matches.

You could use a very good team with a cautious mentality to play a high possession game to patiently break down a deep sitting opponent.

 

thanks for all the advice

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Just now, Melvin Chia said:

thanks for all the advice

No problem, is this the type of tactic youre looking for?

Its interpreting what you mean by "defensive" tactics, that will then give the basis to suggest a good tactical approach

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I just basically want to play a defensive tactic that is sound at the back, and efficent in attack. Thats all. So defensive sound would be restricting them to long shots or doing tricks to get past my defense.

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18 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

I just basically want to play a defensive tactic that is sound at the back, and efficent in attack. Thats all. So defensive sound would be restricting them to long shots or doing tricks to get past my defense.

Given that this is the case, what approach do you want to take to give you a sound platform?

Do you want to try and win the ball back high up the field by using a higher press and a more urgent press, to try and unsettle the opposition, hurry them into mistakes etc? (and subsequently risk through balls, balls over the top etc against you?)

Do you want to retain a more compact block, so its difficult for your opponent to pass through you, so making your "unit" more rigid and hard to break down? (but risk giving up space to players who can pick off long shots, risk conceding possession to your opponents too much?)

Do you want to leave all the defensive instructions unticked, and adjust the defensive strategy on a match by match basis OR by the situation you find yourself in during a match?

Every approach has its plus points and weaknesses, these need to reflect your team, your players, your opponents, all kinds of factors really. theres not a one size fits all approach in the way an exploit will just ruin the AI (but look nothing like actual football)

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Biggest problem in this thread is the OP doesn't understand what mentality is and what it isn't.  OP believes that Attacking mentality is Attacking football and a Defensive mentality is Defensive football.  Just like structure/fluidity has often been misunderstood, mentality is as well.  OP needs to understand that mentality is a risk/rewards meter.  With Contain being needing 90% chance of a reward to take a risk, otherwise do whatever moves the player as little as possible, as dictated by the role and instructions, meanwhile Overload is 10% chance of reward to take a risk.  One can control the effects of mentality with Role and Duty selection as well as TI's, PI's, and PPM's, but only to a certain degree.  This is best seen on TI's where the "middle" of the sliders will change definition based upon the mentality selected, the same applies to at least one, if not both ends.

 

The fact the OP wants actual Plug n Play tactics, which will work regardless of squad makeup, shows a desire for Football Manager not be a simulation game, but an exploit exhibition.

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6 hours ago, Melvin Chia said:

I just basically want to play a defensive tactic that is sound at the back, and efficent in attack. Thats all. So defensive sound would be restricting them to long shots or doing tricks to get past my defense.

Why do you think you need cautious or defensive mentalities to achieve that? I regularly rank as one of the best defences in the league (whatever team I play as), and I spend most of my time balanced. There are so many ways to defend. Tiki Taka is a tactic that is sound in defence and efficient in attack, for example. 

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18 hours ago, Melvin Chia said:

I agreed with most of your advise but I am trying to not do vertical compactness.

Counter attacking systems are done by vertical compactness, gegenpressing counters are done with high lines of engagement and high defensive lines. Both are compact.  There are other kinds of counters too, but those are usually down to forcing transitional errors from players. For example, using a split block to force keepers to clear ball so you can counter, or counters off setpieces, etc. So you need to be clear about what kind of counters you are trying to generate. They are fundamentally different. And, your thread started by taking about how defensive tactics are useless. They aren't useless, you just need to come up with a strategy. So far all I have seen in this thread are people showing you different ways they achieved a strategy to be rock solid defensively.

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On 05/12/2019 at 13:02, westy8chimp said:

As others have said you need to explain better what you mean by defensive tactic. 

I've played a 442 with Central midfielders as DMs two different ways successfully now. 

With Bournemouth on Cautious mentality (so reasonably defensive shape and mentality).

And with Millwall on attacking mentality. 

Same shape... Completely different roles and instructions. Both defensively sound and successful. 

How do you set up the Bournemouth one and what are your experiences with it?

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In truth I never played good with defensive tactics. Ever. Playing all'italiana you wont win anything in this game. Your team will just lose the ball by wasting passages, players will just sweep. Eventually it has to do with english mentality (developers are english), they don't understand how a Catenaccio does work, even after losing (real world) matches against it. Football Manager is (has always been?) about exploiting the game, not making your tactics work. Do you remember about the old (winning) 3-5-2 with Championship Manager 97/98? That's it.

Players movements are just very bad, especially with FM20.

Edited by Tetsuro P12

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3 hours ago, Tetsuro P12 said:

Players movements are just very bad, especially with FM20

I am sorry you are just doing everything wrong, if you allow yourself to be swamped by the negativity of some of the other people who have been posting you will not be able to see how easy it is to generate good movement. To give you an example, this video isn't mine but from someone on GD who felt that it was impossible to do short passing. Now he is seeing that its possible.

Personally I have been able to do this on any mentality setting on the game, even very defensive. So if you are having an issue with off the ball movement, either ask for help properly on the forums or just carry on having a bad experience. I have even shown people how i do it on Twitch with different teams randomly selected. And my next video will be on how you can create a Trent Alexander Arnold clone.

When it comes to off the ball movement of strikers its a design issue. If you are not generating good off the ball movement, i guarantee you that you are doing something wrong with tactics or player selection.

This is done on very attacking mentality which according to most of the posters in GD is impossible to achieve. People are saying that attacking mentality is broken bla bla bla

 

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16 hours ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

How do you set up the Bournemouth one and what are your experiences with it?

Flatback 4, wb-s both sides. Bpd and CB both on defend. 

Reigsta and anchor man in DM (cook won English player of the season as the regista) 

Wing-s on the right side where the regista is, iw-s on the left. 

AF and dlf-s upfront. 

Lower line of engagement

Lower defence line

Regroup, counter

Shorter passing, lower tempo

Play of out of defence

Distribute to cbs 

Had a lot of possession and some great passing moves... Cook dominated most games and actually got pretty high up the pitch in attacking situations. 

Djangana at iw-s was very good. Possibly as this was a beta save and my goals came more from the wide areas than my strikers... Altho josh King as AF scored 19. 

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28 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

Flatback 4, wb-s both sides. Bpd and CB both on defend. 

Reigsta and anchor man in DM (cook won English player of the season as the regista) 

Wing-s on the right side where the regista is, iw-s on the left. 

AF and dlf-s upfront. 

Lower line of engagement

Lower defence line

Regroup, counter

Shorter passing, lower tempo

Play of out of defence

Distribute to cbs 

Had a lot of possession and some great passing moves... Cook dominated most games and actually got pretty high up the pitch in attacking situations. 

Djangana at iw-s was very good. Possibly as this was a beta save and my goals came more from the wide areas than my strikers... Altho josh King as AF scored 19. 

Good tactic but what mentality is your team on? Why did you use both shorter passing and lower tempo, westy?

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1 hour ago, westy8chimp said:

Flatback 4, wb-s both sides. Bpd and CB both on defend. 

Reigsta and anchor man in DM (cook won English player of the season as the regista) 

Wing-s on the right side where the regista is, iw-s on the left. 

AF and dlf-s upfront. 

Lower line of engagement

Lower defence line

Regroup, counter

Shorter passing, lower tempo

Play of out of defence

Distribute to cbs 

Had a lot of possession and some great passing moves... Cook dominated most games and actually got pretty high up the pitch in attacking situations. 

Djangana at iw-s was very good. Possibly as this was a beta save and my goals came more from the wide areas than my strikers... Altho josh King as AF scored 19. 

That on cautious mentality? You have low lines, one attack duty. Very interesting, a game changer, really, if something like that can work in this game.

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3 hours ago, Rashidi said:

I am sorry you are just doing everything wrong, if you allow yourself to be swamped by the negativity of some of the other people who have been posting you will not be able to see how easy it is to generate good movement. To give you an example, this video isn't mine but from someone on GD who felt that it was impossible to do short passing. Now he is seeing that its possible.

Personally I have been able to do thin it comes to off the ball movement of strikers its a design issue. If you are not generating good off the ball movement, i guarantee you that you are doing something wrong with tactics or player selection.

This is done on very attacking mentality which according to most of the posters in GD is impossible to achieve. People are saying that attacking mentality is broken bla bla bla

 

This is an episode. I can give you episodes too. I suppose it was a static playmaker. I call it 'ping pong', where in real life midfielders pass the ball like that? With that ping pong the defence it's still in place, they don't move by a meter, no more space for the striker, they just let him in 'in that episode', that's it. You can do nothing beside telling Pass into Space, Take more Risks and Higher Tempo. Do this often in Premiership, I doubt you will see that open space often.
Attacking Mentality isn't broken for what I have seen. I did wonders with it before switching to Positive. Never played Very Attacking, can't tell about it.

Edited by Tetsuro P12

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You can play like that on any mentality on the game, very defensive to very attacking. The fact that you can't just tells me that you aren't trying to figure it out with all the advice that's been given. I am out of here. And not for one minute have I been interested in trying to do a 'real life" thing here. This is a game, play it like one or don't, your choice.

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2 hours ago, frukox said:

Good tactic but what mentality is your team on? Why did you use both shorter passing and lower tempo, westy?

@Enzo_Francescoli

Yeh this was cautious mentality. Short passing and low tempo, with cautious... Means the other roles are very passive and the Regista can direct the game better... Which is what they are for. 

You have very little chance of winning if you go a goal behind unless you change it up, so have a second formation ready

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2 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

@Enzo_Francescoli

Yeh this was cautious mentality. Short passing and low tempo, with cautious... Means the other roles are very passive and the Regista can direct the game better... Which is what they are for. 

You have very little chance of winning if you go a goal behind unless you change it up, so have a second formation ready

The mere fact that you don't get run over week after week using that in the Premier League is a revelation to me. Very rarely do I see anyone going on cautious as a base tactic, let alone using low lines. Which is probably no accident.

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I am watching my game in full highlight hopefully I can see what is wrong. Anyway si should do a better job in showing what each instructions actually does. Because all instructions have pros and cons. Now we just guessing. The only way to find out is watch the game full then switch to faster mode once they are playing my way. 

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25 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

I am watching my game in full highlight hopefully I can see what is wrong. Anyway si should do a better job in showing what each instructions actually does. Because all instructions have pros and cons. Now we just guessing. The only way to find out is watch the game full then switch to faster mode once they are playing my way. 

They are most counter-productive, I tell you. I play a successful tactic, that I wont share, with just three team instructions, that's it. I use it in combination with another with sixteen instructions (I cycle them). I doubt the latter is better.

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Say for example positive mentality states that they play short ball retaining possession. But it is not accurate, they playing more direct than a cautious mentality. It would be better if they can do it like familiarity bar or intensity bar. 

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1 minute ago, Melvin Chia said:

Say for example positive mentality states that they play short ball retaining possession. But it is not accurate, they playing more direct than a cautious mentality. It would be better if they can do it like familiarity bar or intensity bar. 

Yeah, the change in mentality should affect tempo and 'taking risks' more than anything else. Anyway I always play Positive or Offensive, I completely ignore everything else.

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8 minutes ago, Tetsuro P12 said:

They are most counter-productive, I tell you. I play a successful tactic, that I wont share, with just three team instructions, that's it. I use it in combination with another with sixteen instructions (I cycle them). I doubt the latter is better.

So you saying that watching full matches confuses us even more? 

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2 minutes ago, Melvin Chia said:

So you saying that watching full matches confuses us even more? 

Nope, I'm telling that giving out too many instructions (both 'team' and 'player'), some even conflicting with each other, makes confusion in the scripted content. The match engine is balanced when clean (no instructions), every instruction you give unbalance it, so less is better.

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On 05/12/2019 at 17:55, Experienced Defender said:

The key problem with this tactic is not that it's defensive (i.e. using a low mentality), but that it's set up poorly. 

You first need to understand how much the team mentality is important element of any tactic. It literally affects everything. So you not only play on the Cautious but you also:

- don't have a single attack duty (even up front, let alone in a deeper area such as midfield)

- use less urgent pressing (plus easy tackling a.k.a. Stay on feet), which makes your players even more passive when defending than they already would have been under the Cautious mentality by default

- use lower DL coupled with standard LOE, which reduces your vertical compactness (defensively sound tactics are by definition vertically compact, not the other way around)

- use the Prevent short GK distribution, which not only runs counter to the idea of your tactic but can also make you more vulnerable by leaving gaps between lines of your team

- use the Be more disciplined, which is a sort of overkill under a low-risk mentality (because on lower mentalities, players generally tend to play in a more disciplined manner anyway)

- want your players to work the ball into box, which essentially runs counter to the style of play you want to implement (according to what you yourself said)

These were the most obvious issues (mistakes) in your tactic. Now, what about good sides? Well, here is a list of instructions that do make sense (taking the mentality factor into account, of course):

- higher tempo :thup:

- more direct passing :thup:

- counter :thup:

Would you like to know how I would change/tweak your tactic to make it more balanced without changing the mentality?

 

I'm keen to see this even if you didn't get a reply :)

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@Rashidi “How do you choose who commits to transitions - Choose Defensive line”

I didn’t understand what you mean by this. What I learned from you helped me a lot while creating my tactics. Could you expound on it, please?

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One of the things bedevilling this discussion is the nomenclature.  Consider the situation of a new player or one who hasn't had the time to study threads like these.  

For example, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that if your team is weaker than the majority in your league it will be sensible to adopt a more conservative approach to many matches, which will involve relying on counter attacks to a considerable extent. 

Now, if you have mentality choices entitled 'Cautious', 'Balanced', or 'Positive', it is simply counter-intuitive not to choose the first if you wish to adopt an approach of that sort.  Or, for example, not to choose 'Defensive' if that's the style you want to end up with. That isn't some deficiency on the part of the player,  It's a deficiency in the game because the names of the various mentalities are inappropriate.  It causes confusion and no wonder!

Now we have had a lot of very interesting contributions here explaining how, for example, you can play in a counter attacking style using an 'Attacking' mentality if you adjust player roles and instructions and so on.  But essentially what these show is that this isn't really an 'Attacking' mentality at all.  How can it be if the result is a counter attacking style manifesting itself on the pitch?

My (very simple) point is that much confusion would be avoided if the developers used clearer language to describe what you are actually doing when choosing a mentality.  For example, a simple numerical scale for 'risk taking' would be far easier to understand and would avoid people struggling through being lured into making the wrong mentality choice because of what it's called.

It really shouldn't be necessary for Rashidi to have to explain that choosing a 'Defensive' mentality doesn't mean that the tactic is defensive but that you have to consider the DL and LOE instead. The current nomenclature seems almost designed to be unclear! 

Edited by Rupal

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13 minutes ago, Rupal said:

Now, if you have mentality choices entitled 'Cautious', 'Balanced', or 'Positive', it is simply counter-intuitive not to choose the first if you wish to adopt an approach of that sort.  Or, for example, not to choose 'Defensive' if that's the style you want to end up with. That isn't some deficiency on the part of the player,  It's a deficiency in the game because the names of the various mentalities are inappropriate.  It causes confusion and no wonder!

There are many ways to skin a cat though. The problem with a lot of tactics here is not that they are not attacking or defensive, they are just not set up to achieve the thing you want. It is entirely possible to set up an effective defensive tactic on cautious. This is what I use when I need to reduce my risk and be more solid against attacking teams. Conversely, it is entirely possible that you want to just draw a team in and then hit them on the break, hard. You still need a solid defensive structure as you invite pressure, but you are actively looking to engage them in an aggressive manner when you have the ball. The outcome is the same - solid defense, counter attack - but the philosophy behind it is entirely different.

16 minutes ago, Rupal said:

Now we have had a lot of very interesting contributions here explaining how, for example, you can play in a counter attacking style using an 'Attacking' mentality if you adjust player roles and instructions and so on.  But essentially what these show is that this isn't really an 'Attacking' mentality at all.  How can it be if the result is a counter attacking style manifesting itself on the pitch?

Counter attacking is not necessarily a defensive tactic. Alex Ferguson played a lot of direct counter attacking and I doubt anyone would characterize his sides as defensive. They emphasised the counter attacking as this gave them the best advantage on the pitch. You can use counter attacking as an outlet for a defensive side, where your primary aim is to sit deep and prevent the opposition creating and scoring good chances. Then you use counter attacking as an outlet so you pose at least some goal threat (and this is not the only option for such a strategy). This is defense oriented and counter attacking is a good option to complement it. This is where you would use cautious or even defensive.

You can also use counter attacking as a primary attacking goal, and set up the defense accordingly. Here your primary aim is to create counter attacks (rather than to defend and hope you create some). You sit back, draw in a side (who can be more cautious and defensive) and then win the ball back and hit them on a break. You can use this to break down defensive sides. Here the defensive side of the game is to facilitate the attacking side of the game (in the previous example the roles are reversed). It is therefore by default a more attacking strategy. You would want to have risk, creative freedom, pace, directness in this situation. So you would use positive, or attacking. Typically you would do this as a stronger side where you trust the defense if you are caught out of position.

In both cases, the outcome is similar. You score goals and win games with counter attacking. However you can see that the ideas behind them are very different. So it is not a failing of nomenclature in the game that is at fault. More it is a problem of people not generally understanding the difference in the two strategies, or when to use them. Which is understandable, as I imagine none of us actually are real life football managers. And so this leads to confusion. However the difference in the strategies already imply what you should be doing. Then, of course, the way you set up roles, duties, TIs and PIs will be very different in the two different ways of playing.

The same thing applies pretty universally to most styles. Possession football too can be split in offense oriented and defense oriented possession, despite possession almost always being a "defensive" option. For example, Barcelona wanted to move teams around using quick passing with burst of incisive directness under Guardiola. So the retention of possession - which is their defensive strategy, you cannot concede if you have the ball - was there to facilitate their attacking strategy. So this was attack oriented possession. Contrarily, many teams retain the ball as a primary defensive tactic and then either try to work the ball into a shooting position, or just recycle and take a chance if it comes. This is defense oriented - the primary goal is now just to keep the ball, and the attacking that comes form it (whatever form it takes) is secondary.

In all things, it is not enough to say "I want to play defensively". Because this entirely leaves out the attacking side of the game from the plan. You cannot have a tactic without the two. And vice versa.

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