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Struggling against defensive teams

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I am playing with Sporting from Portugal. All teams in the league beside Porto and Benfica are playing very defensive style against me.

V3vbNSo.png

I am very good in defence. Opponents cant manage more than 5 shots per game, I am not vulnerable on counter attacks. So what I can change to create more good chances for my team? I am getting good number of shots but they are not CCC. 

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3 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

V3vbNSo.png

 

3 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

I am very good in defence

No surprise given that your setup has optimal compactness thanks to the combination of standard DL and lower LOE and a well-balanced distribution of duties. 

But... 

3 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

All teams in the league beside Porto and Benfica are playing very defensive style against me

The problem is that against defensive sides you cannot expect to break them down without taking some more risks. Your setup is good for a counter-attacking style, but when you play against a defensive team - there is no space for counter-attacks. Therefore, you need to find out how to break them in a more regular way. 

This basically means more penetration and more attacking support from the flanks.

If you want me to tell you what exactly I would change in your tactic to make it more penetrating without disrupting good defensive balance, please let me know :thup:

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Sure you can tell me.

Player roles seems really good to me. Had DR for a while on FB-A, he was always open on right flank but my players ignored him all the time. Tried Winger on attack duty and he never passed the ball. He just dribled until he shoots on goal or eventually lose it.

Striker role looks ok to me against the teams I am playing. In CL matches against PSG and Man. United I used PF and he killed it but that doesnt work in my league matches.

So yeah I am open for your suggestions but also I wanna know why would that work.

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6 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

Had DR for a while on FB-A, he was always open on right flank but my players ignored him all the time

I would put a FB on attack duty in DL (not DR), in order to create a natural overlap with the IW. 

 

18 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

V3vbNSo.png

 

6 hours ago, Aksi92 said:

I am open for your suggestions but also I wanna know why would that work

As I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your tactic in a purely defensive sense. But the attacking "bite" and penetration is missing. So that needs to be improved.

So you need to adapt the tactic for matches against teams that play defensively against you - i.e. the majority of them.

Okay, let's start with the setup of roles and duties. I'll first give you an example of how it could be set up and then explain the changes I made compared to your original setup:

PFat

IWsu                                   Wat

DLPsu   MEZsu

A/DMde

FBat     CDde   CDde    IWBsu

SKsu/de

As you can see, I bolded the roles/duties I've changed. 

First, why did I change the striker from AF into PF on attack? Well, AF as a lone striker tends to struggle when denied space. And when you play against defensive sides, he is not likely to have enough space to take advantage of. PF on attack is a simpler role, somewhere between the DLF and AF, and works well when paired with a winger on attack. That's why I set the AMR to attack duty, with a supporting mezzala behind him to serve as a quasi-PM on that side. IWB on support is then supposed to offer support from behind and help recycle possession as a quasi DM/CM. 

On the left side, things are pretty simple and logical. The idea is for the attacking fullback to provide more width in the final third and create a natural overlap with the IW, who for his part should help the DLP and mezzala control the midfield and create chances from there. 

When it comes to the DM role, the anchorman can be an alternative option in case you want the DM to be primarily focused on protecting the defense (because anchor is the simplest and most defensive-minded DM role). Experiment with both anchor and DM on defend and see which one works better for your team.

Another possible setup of roles and duties for you to consider could be this one:

DLFat/su

IWsu                                  Wsu/at

DLPsu   CMat

A/DMde

FBat    CDde  CD/BPDde   IWBsu/de

SKsu/de

Very similar to the first one, just slightly modified. In this case you have the lone striker in a more creative role (DLF), whereas the MCR is supposed to act as a more direct runner from the midfield (CM on attack duty). AMR is still a winger, but now his duty can vary between support (the primary option) and attack (the alternative option). In the basic (starting) setup, both the winger and IWB should be on support duty, while the DLF would be on attack. However, if you find it too difficult to break down a very defensive opponent, you can switch the winger to attack duty and the IWB to defend, but with the Overlap right turned on. The DLF can either remain on attack duty or switched to support (so as to be more involved in the organization and build-up play). Try both options to see what works better for you.

In terms of instructions, I would not change too much. Positive mentality is a good choice and should remain :thup:

Shorter passing and play out of defence also make sense :thup:

What I would remove is pass into space - both because against those defensive sides there is not going to be much space to exploit in such a way and because it can lead to needlessly frequent losses of possession.

Optional instructions that you can occasionally turn on when struggling to break the opposition down are be more expressive and work ball into box. Again, you can experiment with using them both separately (or alternately) and together (BME can somewhat offset the WBiB).

On the defensive part, the lower LOE is good for counter-attacking styles, but makes little sense against defensive opposition. So these are potential combinations of DL and LOE that you can use without risk of compromising your vertical compactness more than it would be advisable:

- standard DL / standard LOE

- higher DL / standard LOE

- higher DL / higher LOE

But without the Get stuck in

And you can - and probably should - use a split block (optimally involving 4 players).

Any questions?

 

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10 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I would put a FB on attack duty in DL (not DR), in order to create a natural overlap with the IW. 

 

 

As I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your tactic in a purely defensive sense. But the attacking "bite" and penetration is missing. So that needs to be improved.

So you need to adapt the tactic for matches against teams that play defensively against you - i.e. the majority of them.

Okay, let's start with the setup of roles and duties. I'll first give you an example of how it could be set up and then explain the changes I made compared to your original setup:

PFat

IWsu                                   Wat

DLPsu   MEZsu

A/DMde

FBat     CDde   CDde    IWBsu

SKsu/de

As you can see, I bolded the roles/duties I've changed. 

First, why did I change the striker from AF into PF on attack? Well, AF as a lone striker tends to struggle when denied space. And when you play against defensive sides, he is not likely to have enough space to take advantage of. PF on attack is a simpler role, somewhere between the DLF and AF, and works well when paired with a winger on attack. That's why I set the AMR to attack duty, with a supporting mezzala behind him to serve as a quasi-PM on that side. IWB on support is then supposed to offer support from behind and help recycle possession as a quasi DM/CM. 

On the left side, things are pretty simple and logical. The idea is for the attacking fullback to provide more width in the final third and create a natural overlap with the IW, who for his part should help the DLP and mezzala control the midfield and create chances from there. 

When it comes to the DM role, the anchorman can be an alternative option in case you want the DM to be primarily focused on protecting the defense (because anchor is the simplest and most defensive-minded DM role). Experiment with both anchor and DM on defend and see which one works better for your team.

Another possible setup of roles and duties for you to consider could be this one:

DLFat/su

IWsu                                  Wsu/at

DLPsu   CMat

A/DMde

FBat    CDde  CD/BPDde   IWBsu/de

SKsu/de

Very similar to the first one, just slightly modified. In this case you have the lone striker in a more creative role (DLF), whereas the MCR is supposed to act as a more direct runner from the midfield (CM on attack duty). AMR is still a winger, but now his duty can vary between support (the primary option) and attack (the alternative option). In the basic (starting) setup, both the winger and IWB should be on support duty, while the DLF would be on attack. However, if you find it too difficult to break down a very defensive opponent, you can switch the winger to attack duty and the IWB to defend, but with the Overlap right turned on. The DLF can either remain on attack duty or switched to support (so as to be more involved in the organization and build-up play). Try both options to see what works better for you.

In terms of instructions, I would not change too much. Positive mentality is a good choice and should remain :thup:

Shorter passing and play out of defence also make sense :thup:

What I would remove is pass into space - both because against those defensive sides there is not going to be much space to exploit in such a way and because it can lead to needlessly frequent losses of possession.

Optional instructions that you can occasionally turn on when struggling to break the opposition down are be more expressive and work ball into box. Again, you can experiment with using them both separately (or alternately) and together (BME can somewhat offset the WBiB).

On the defensive part, the lower LOE is good for counter-attacking styles, but makes little sense against defensive opposition. So these are potential combinations of DL and LOE that you can use without risk of compromising your vertical compactness more than it would be advisable:

- standard DL / standard LOE

- higher DL / standard LOE

- higher DL / higher LOE

But without the Get stuck in

And you can - and probably should - use a split block (optimally involving 4 players).

Any questions?

 

What kind of PI’s would you use in the setup with the pressing forward? 
woukd it be to attacking to change the Mezzala for a cm(a)? 
 

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13 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

                        PFat

IWsu                                   Wat

DLPsu   MEZsu

A/DMde

FBat     CDde   CDde    IWBsu

SKsu/de

As you can see, I bolded the roles/duties I've changed. 

First, why did I change the striker from AF into PF on attack? Well, AF as a lone striker tends to struggle when denied space. And when you play against defensive sides, he is not likely to have enough space to take advantage of. PF on attack is a simpler role, somewhere between the DLF and AF, and works well when paired with a winger on attack. That's why I set the AMR to attack duty, with a supporting mezzala behind him to serve as a quasi-PM on that side. IWB on support is then supposed to offer support from behind and help recycle possession as a quasi DM/CM.

 

Would the PF-A not get a bit isolated? Since his only immediate support is the W-A and he’s just trying to bust to the byline to cross.

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12 hours ago, Fittefrosk said:

What kind of PI’s would you use in the setup with the pressing forward?

Wouldn't necessarily use any PIs, but possible ones include: AML/IWsu to sit narrower and/or roam from position. 

 

12 hours ago, Fittefrosk said:

woukd it be to attacking to change the Mezzala for a cm(a)?

Could be a bit too risky if used all the time (i.e. as part of the starting tactic), but can be applied in special situations - when you need extra penetration to help you break down an ultra-defensive opponent. 

Of course - as always - you need to take your players' quality and abilities into account when deciding how much risk you can optimally afford to take. 

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9 hours ago, Urbiscuit18 said:

Would the PF-A not get a bit isolated?

Considerably less than AF. 

 

9 hours ago, Urbiscuit18 said:

Since his only immediate support is the W-A and he’s just trying to bust to the byline to cross

Roles - including the winger - are not so one-dimensional as people often tend to believe. While the primary responsibility of a winger (role) is to provide width up front an deliver crosses into the box, he will not do only that all the time. Roles - like instructions btw - are more like tendencies, rather than being set in stone. A winger - especially on attack duty - can often end up as one of top goal-scorers in your team (even though it's not what you primarily expect from him). The whole context is important. 

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On 22/12/2019 at 17:38, Experienced Defender said:

 

 

Firstly thank you for your advices.

Changed DL to FB-A and he is doing so much better than WB-S. I am not so sure about DR though. Tried for one game and he stayed next to my Mezzala all game. So maybe use it when playing with CM-A?

What do you think about using IF-S on left wing? Is it maybe better for me cause he is more direct than IW?

About defensive I am still looking for right one. Higher LOE and higher DL doesnt work. I havent conceded 3 games in a row with that, but opponent had good amount of good chances so it was just lucky.

And what do you mean with split block? I dont know what that term means. Is there any read about that?

 

Edited by Aksi92

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4 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

What do you think about using IF-S on left wing? Is it maybe better for me cause he is more direct than IW?

If you use the IF on support instead of IW, I would prefer a bit more to have him paired with a DLF (as in the 2nd setup) than with PF on attack. But either combo should work. Try it and see which one you like more. 

 

8 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

About defensive I am still looking for right one. Higher LOE and higher DL doesnt work. I havent conceded 3 games in a row with that, but opponent had good amount of good chances so it was just lucky

It is not always exclusively down to the DL/LOE combo (or defensive instructions in general). Depending on the quality of your players, sometimes you may need to tweak a certain role (or couple of them) slightly. For example, IWB on defend instead of IWB on support (or standard WB on defend if you don't like how the IWB behaves). Some teams can afford to take a more adventurous/risky approach, others cannot. So you have to experiment a bit until you get it right. 

 

16 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

And what do you mean with split block? I dont know what that term means. Is there any read about that?

Split block is when you instruct your 3-5 most advanced players to close down more through their player instructions, instead of increasing the level of team pressing. 

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9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Considerably less than AF. 

 

Roles - including the winger - are not so one-dimensional as people often tend to believe. While the primary responsibility of a winger (role) is to provide width up front an deliver crosses into the box, he will not do only that all the time. Roles - like instructions btw - are more like tendencies, rather than being set in stone. A winger - especially on attack duty - can often end up as one of top goal-scorers in your team (even though it's not what you primarily expect from him). The whole context is important. 

Ah okay, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

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23 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

If you use the IF on support instead of IW, I would prefer a bit more to have him paired with a DLF (as in the 2nd setup) than with PF on attack. But either combo should work. Try it and see which one you like more.

I am asking cause I am not happy with my AML. He barely assists and when he fail to score he has 6.4 rating at most. Striker and AMR are doing very good. I dont know how I feel about my MCR. Some games he is the best on the pitch, next game the worst.

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7 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

I am asking cause I am not happy with my AML. He barely assists and when he fail to score he has 6.4 rating at most. Striker and AMR are doing very good. I dont know how I feel about my MCR. Some games he is the best on the pitch, next game the worst.

It could have to do with a number of factors, including a player's personality (hidden attributes such as consistency for example). But if your tactic as a whole works well and you are pleased with results, then I wouldn't be too concerned about a couple of players failing to get better ratings. Sometimes a player just needs some (more or less) time before he starts playing the way he should relative to his quality. 

For example, in my Man Utd save Lingard was initially constantly getting pretty poor ratings (even though he was really giving his all in terms of work ethic), but now he is one of my most consistent performers (and I haven't changed either his role or my basic tactic). The same goes for Kennedy in my Newcastle save (FM19). 

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18 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

It could have to do with a number of factors, including a player's personality (hidden attributes such as consistency for example). But if your tactic as a whole works well and you are pleased with results, then I wouldn't be too concerned about a couple of players failing to get better ratings. Sometimes a player just needs some (more or less) time before he starts playing the way he should relative to his quality. 

For example, in my Man Utd save Lingard was initially constantly getting pretty poor ratings (even though he was really giving his all in terms of work ethic), but now he is one of my most consistent performers (and I haven't changed either his role or my basic tactic). The same goes for Kennedy in my Newcastle save (FM19). 

Okay I watched full first half. Of course he has low rating, cause all he is doing is dribling and losing balls. My DL is always open on left side, has a lot of space, but my AML is not giving him the ball. Do you think overlap left would help with that? In theory it would not, cause my DL is overlapping very well, he just doesnt get the ball. I want my AML to play smart, not rush things. Same story for AMR, but he is just better player and manages to drible through. Of course he is trying to finish alone, not to assist even if I have 2-3 open players for easy goal. I guess thats just ME and cant do anything about it.

 

BTW this is my current tactic. I was changing a lot of things during season. Occasionally I would start with Attacking mentality. In the end I conceded same amount of goals in the league (34 games 15 conceded goals) and scored 10 more. AMR is best scorer and have the most assist. Both strikers have 15 goals in 30 matches so that could improve for next season. What do you think?

aGzbLHK.png

 

 

Edited by Aksi92

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35 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

Do you think overlap left would help with that? In theory it would not, cause my DL is overlapping very well, he just doesnt get the ball

You answered your own question. In other words, no reason for the overlap left. And given that you have an AP in MCL, the overlap would only increase defensive risk without a really good reason.

 

35 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

I want my AML to play smart, not rush things

I don't know the player. Maybe it has to do with his traits and/or certain attributes (like decisions for example). 

 

35 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

Same story for AMR, but he is just better player and manages to drible through. Of course he is trying to finish alone, not to assist even if I have 2-3 open players for easy goal

Again, don't know the player, so impossible to tell you if that's a tactical or player-related problem. 

35 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

aGzbLHK.png

 

35 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

this is my current tactic. What do you think?

Doesn't look too bad as a starting point.

If you use a BPD, I would rather play him on the right side in this particular setup.

The right flank might be vulnerable defensively with 3 aggressive roles (WBsu, mezzala and Wat). If you don't like the IWB as a role, then you can go with a standard FB on support.

I don't know why have you change the DLP into AP (MCL), but I personally would prefer the former.

If I knew your players, I would be able to give you more precise advice. 

Edited by Experienced Defender

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

You answered your own question. In other words, no reason for the overlap left. And given that you have an AP in MCL, the overlap would only increase defensive risk without a really good reason.

 

I don't know the player. Maybe it has to do with his traits and/or certain attributes (like decisions for example). 

 

Again, don't know the player, so impossible to tell you if that's a tactical or player-related problem. 

 

Doesn't look too bad as a starting point.

If you use a BPD, I would rather play him on the right side in this particular setup.

The right flank might be vulnerable defensively with 3 aggressive roles (WBsu, mezzala and Wat). If you don't like the IWB as a role, then you can go with a standard FB on support.

I don't know why have you change the DLP into AP (MCL), but I personally would prefer the former.

If I knew your players, I would be able to give you more precise advice. 

This is my AML. He is talented so I am playing him in the first team. Maybe (for sure) I expect too much from him anyway. His traits are not the best as you can see, so I will probably sell him if good offer comes for him.

k5ubc0j.png

My first choice for AMR is this guy. I dont like that he has trait to cut inside from wing. So I guess thats why he plays like that. Anyway he was my best player this season and I dont mind that a lot.

7R2NHgF.png

 

I started experimenting with AP instead of DLP last 5-6 games, when I was sure I will win the league. Wanted to see whats the difference. I think after that I would rather play with DLP. It just works better.

About DR I didnt say I dont like the IWB role but him and Mezzala just stood next to each other. I know that IWB is supposed to come in middle and help when MCR goes in attack. How do you think it will work with CM-A? I would use IWB-D in that case like you suggested.

I mean IWB role must be good cause lot of you guys are using it. Got me thinking is there any good IWB in real life playing for top club? I think Alaba or Kimmich from Bayern could play that, cause they both play full backs and MC/DM.

Almost forgot to ask. Why is important for BPD to be on right side?

 

Edited by Aksi92

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5 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

k5ubc0j.png

 

5 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

This is my AML. He is talented so I am playing him in the first team. Maybe (for sure) I expect too much from him anyway. His traits are not the best as you can see

Yes, it seems to be his traits that make him play the way he does (and his attributes - while decent - are probably not good enough to support those traits in the right way). 

 

7 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

7R2NHgF.png

 

7 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

My first choice for AMR is this guy. I dont like that he has trait to cut inside from wing. So I guess thats why he plays like that

Contrary to your opinion, I think it's actually good that he likes to cut inside. It makes him a hybrid between the winger and IF, which adds a different dimension up front. And unlike the AML, his attributes are good enough for his style of playing. 

 

11 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

About DR I didnt say I dont like the IWB role but him and Mezzala just stood next to each other. I know that IWB is supposed to come in middle and help when MCR goes in attack. How do you think it will work with CM-A? I would use IWB-D in that case like you suggested

I already suggested that you can use the IWB on defend instead of support to prevent him from staying too close to the mezzala on support. CM on attack could be an even better option than mezzala, because he is a more direct type of runner from deep. If you go with CM on attack, then the IWB on support should work better (unless he has the trait to get forward often). 

 

14 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

I mean IWB role must be good cause lot of you guys are using it

Any role is good if you have both the right player and a suitable tactical setup overall. 

 

15 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

Got me thinking is there any good IWB in real life playing for top club?

Guardiola uses the IWB role a lot.

 

16 minutes ago, Aksi92 said:

Almost forgot to ask. Why is important for BPD to be on right side?

For two basic reasons:

- because the PM is on the left

- because your attack-duty wide forward and the more attack-minded CM are on the right as well

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