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Polski97

Teams Adapting to me. How do I adjust

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Hi all, 

This seems to be the biggest problem I face in FM20 whenever I play. Absolutely great starts to the season. Then Come December/January ... absolute collapse !

 

I then proceed to deleting the tactic and creating a new one only to fail over and over and over .... delete save .... that's how it works. 

 

NOW I am trying to go from the lower leagues as a manager to manage in the Prem or else where. 

 

However, back to my issue. How do I adjust / adapt / change my formation that works  (we don' score enough) to match what I will face in the league. Which inevitably will probably be more compact teams (I guess ?)

 

Any words of advice will be so so helpful. 

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At first, the AI tends to play more defensivley after you climbed up in the table and they are considering you to be a serious contender in the league. That happens regulary in the middle of the season. When they first played more offensively against you and left gaps in the defence, they won't offer you theese opportunities anymore. They are simply taking you serious now. And it is very difficult to find the right tactical answers - even more in the current state of the match engine that favours defensive teams.

When you watch your team's attributes honestly compairing to the league, are you still a serious contender or are you not?

  • If you are not, don't expect too much. Your team is not able to beat equal or stronger opponents that don't offer you an exposed defence. But you can consider to adapt your tactic a bit in order to be solid at the back and still create chances to score. But don't expect miracles.
  • If you are, you should rethink your tactical approach and given player roles.

I am not a tactical god like some others here in the community. They can give you better and more detailed advice. But in my opinion your tactic has some issues that are worth overthinking. You can try some of the following things step by step and watch carefully if it helps you or if it is not beneficial. There is no right or wrong.

  • Your pressing is very aggressive which might make your defence unstable and vulnerable. To move the line of engagement and pressing urgency sliders one notch back might help. And if you feel your team is dominating the opposition too much without creating enough chances, it is also advicable because giving the opposition some time to breath and luring them out of their own half might offer you some more space to explore.
  • Both of your flanks are doing pretty much the same. An inverse wide midfielder or Inside Forward could give you more variation in attack.
  • Same can be said about your wingbacks. I would consider to have one wingback on support or attack in combination with an IW/IF to overlap and give you width on this flank and one fullback on defend or support to stay in midfield behind the winger
  • There is no one in midfield to join your poacher and attack the box. Your poacher might be too isolated. Either changing your poacher to a more supportive role like DLF or one of your midfielders to a more attacking role to provide some more runs from deep might help. Look for an AM on attack or even a shadow striker or one of your central midfielders as a box to box.
  • Your passing game is short and patient. That might help you to retain possesion and i could be wrong, but probably there are less elements of surprise. Playing a standard passing game or removing work ball into box might also help.
  • In general take your time to think about who is your main goalscoarer, who will help him in the box, who are your creators and creative outlets, who provides width in order to stretch the oppostion, who sits back to avoid being caught exposed and to recycle your possesion.
Edited by uglykidchris

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51 minutes ago, uglykidchris said:

At first, the AI tends to play more defensivley after you climbed up in the table and they are considering you to be a serious contender in the league. That happens regulary in the middle of the season. When they first played more offensively against you and left gaps in the defence, they won't offer you theese opportunities anymore. They are simply taking you serious now. And it is very difficult to find the right tactical answers - even more in the current state of the match engine that favours defensive teams.

When you watch your team's attributes honestly compairing to the league, are you still a serious contender or are you not?

  • If you are not, don't expect too much. Your team is not able to beat equal or stronger opponents that don't offer you an exposed defence. But you can consider to adapt your tactic a bit in order to be solid at the back and still create chances to score. But don't expect miracles.
  • If you are, you should rethink your tactical approach and given player roles.

I am not a tactical god like some others here in the community. They can give you better and more detailed advice. But in my opinion your tactic has some issues that are worth overthinking. You can try some of the following things step by step and watch carefully if it helps you or if it is not beneficial. There is no right or wrong.

  • Your pressing is very aggressive which might make your defence unstable and vulnerable. To move the line of engagement and pressing urgency sliders one notch back might help. And if you feel your team is dominating the opposition too much without creating enough chances, it is also advicable because giving the opposition some time to breath and luring them out of their own half might offer you some more space to explore.
  • Both of your flanks are doing pretty much the same. An inverse wide midfielder or Inside Forward could give you more variation in attack.
  • Same can be said about your wingbacks. I would consider to have one wingback on support or attack in combination with an IW/IF to overlap and give you width on this flank and one fullback on defend or support to stay in midfield behind the winger
  • There is no one in midfield to join your poacher and attack the box. Your poacher might be too isolated. Either changing your poacher to a more supportive role like DLF or one of your midfielders to a more attacking role to provide some more runs from deep might help. Look for an AM on attack or even a shadow striker or one of your central midfielders as a box to box.
  • Your passing game is short and patient. That might help you to retain possesion and i could be wrong, but probably there are less elements of surprise. Playing a standard passing game or removing work ball into box might also help.
  • In general take your time to think about who is your main goalscoarer, who will help him in the box, who are your creators and creative outlets, who provides width in order to stretch the oppostion, who sits back to avoid being caught exposed and to recycle your possesion.

I appreciate the strong feedback. 

I generally adapt during game... 

-Advanced Playmaker goes from support to attack depending on situation 

-Wingbacks tend to go to attacking, when preserving the lead I change both to full backs on support.

-I keep the right winger always on attack or support, then move the left winger to either IW or IF depending on which player I put there. 

-Out of possession is a great point made by you, I do tend to be very aggressive in all my tactics and use tight marking. I feel like without that, opposition players get too much space. 

-My in possession fluctuates a lot too, I go from short passing and low tempo to more direct with higher tempo given how the game plays out. 

 

Regarding the league; board wants a top half finish, last season I was 1st all season up until March where it all fell apart. Finished 3rd and lost in the first playoff game. My board gives me an A+ / A-. 

I have added a lot of quality to the team since first joining so I do believe the 1st place last season (with an 8 point gap at one point) was warranted. Even more so this season. I will be let down if I don't get promotion 2nd year in a row

 

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Personally, I find it difficult to break down a massive defence too. I have the most success by remaining patient, not throwing away my tactial approach every now and then and avoiding gung-ho.

  • The Advances Playmaker (A) is still no player to help out your lonely poacher, he is more a creative player. And he finds himself too often marked out by the opposition, when playing with only one striker in front of him. The AP (S) sits a bit deeper on this position and has more influence. Therefore I would consider a Shadow Striker or Attacking Midfielder (A) and leave the creativity to other positions on the pitch. Probably you need to find another player in your squad as it demands some other attributes than for the AP (s). Instead move your playmaker in the central midfield or consider to change your DLF (s) to an AP (S/A).
  • I would not use a Wingback and a Winger on the same side as they are trying to do the same: staying wide, dribble down the flank and cross more often. Behind the winger I would go with a Fullback (S/D). He still provides support for your winger, but is more of a passing option and more able to recycle possession. If you have a good passer on this side with the right mental attributes too, an Inside Wingback is worth a try. But I am not sure if that's an option for lower leagues.
  • On the other side Inside Forward/Inside Winger is a good choice with a Wingback going down the flank and providing width.
  • I don't feel comfortable with tight marking. It just doesn't suit my style of play. If your team benefits from using it, you can stick with it! But bear in mind, that it pulls your players out of position.
  • Trying different passing styles is a good choice only when you don't overdo it. Do not switch from short and low to direct and high in one step. Remove Team Instructions first, e.g. work ball into box as you are already playing a short passing game and both in combination might be too conservative in the final third. Consider changing mentality as it already affects the passing and tempo settings (and everything else). The Team Instructions are only to shift mentality in one or another direction and fine-tune your tactic, in my opinion.

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My initial thoughts:

  • What are Pedder and Lewis's natural positions? They're two of your best players playing in roles they're not particularly comfortable with. I'd see if I could adapt the tactic to allow those two to flourish a bit more.
  • I'm not a fan of Winger with Wingback behind them. I find they get a little clumped up on the sides. IF/IW with a WB or CWB behind works well. So does a W with a CAR in midfield or an IWB and underlap turned on (the IWB idea might require too much skill for the league your in so that one might not work). 
  • AP's have been really rough on the current ME but they're a little better on the new ME (IMO). If you're playing on Beta it might be fine but if you're playing on the current live patch instead I think a SS or Enganche is better. An AMC set to roam from position can also work. 
  • Find a better goalkeeper... I know that's not really tactical advice but my experience in LLM is that finding a ~4star keeper can really change everything about how your team plays. 
  • Watch a game on 2D for a bit. Based on your formation and choices, I think you may have trouble linking defense and offense. You have two relatively deep set CMs and you're instructions are trying to play through the middle. If your AP gets marked out well (how fast is he? what's his off the ball skill?) then your passing options are probably pretty slim. 
  • I like assymetrical (via roles... not necessarily formations) setups. Consider playing IF + WB on one side and FB(S) + W on the other. I've also had a ton of luck dropping one of the CMs down to a DMC (usually as a BWM-D) on the side with the more attacking outside back. Then changing the one CM left to a MEZ or Box-to-Box or CM-A even. This gives a good transition through the middle while also enabling lots of play down the more aggressive flank.  The asymmetry is nice because the AI typically plays symmetrical formations. So if you run up against something good against your IF/WB setup it likely isn't good against your W/FB setup. Most of my games, one of my flanks does really well and the other one does "okay" or struggles. A small price to pay for the rampant winger on the other wide.

 

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1 hour ago, uglykidchris said:

Personally, I find it difficult to break down a massive defence too. I have the most success by remaining patient, not throwing away my tactial approach every now and then and avoiding gung-ho.

  • The Advances Playmaker (A) is still no player to help out your lonely poacher, he is more a creative player. And he finds himself too often marked out by the opposition, when playing with only one striker in front of him. The AP (S) sits a bit deeper on this position and has more influence. Therefore I would consider a Shadow Striker or Attacking Midfielder (A) and leave the creativity to other positions on the pitch. Probably you need to find another player in your squad as it demands some other attributes than for the AP (s). Instead move your playmaker in the central midfield or consider to change your DLF (s) to an AP (S/A).
  • I would not use a Wingback and a Winger on the same side as they are trying to do the same: staying wide, dribble down the flank and cross more often. Behind the winger I would go with a Fullback (S/D). He still provides support for your winger, but is more of a passing option and more able to recycle possession. If you have a good passer on this side with the right mental attributes too, an Inside Wingback is worth a try. But I am not sure if that's an option for lower leagues.
  • On the other side Inside Forward/Inside Winger is a good choice with a Wingback going down the flank and providing width.
  • I don't feel comfortable with tight marking. It just doesn't suit my style of play. If your team benefits from using it, you can stick with it! But bear in mind, that it pulls your players out of position.
  • Trying different passing styles is a good choice only when you don't overdo it. Do not switch from short and low to direct and high in one step. Remove Team Instructions first, e.g. work ball into box as you are already playing a short passing game and both in combination might be too conservative in the final third. Consider changing mentality as it already affects the passing and tempo settings (and everything else). The Team Instructions are only to shift mentality in one or another direction and fine-tune your tactic, in my opinion.

Thanks mate ! Great help here. Hopefully I'll be a solid league winner

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1 hour ago, laxrulz7 said:

What are Pedder and Lewis's natural positions? They're two of your best players playing in roles they're not particularly comfortable with. I'd see if I could adapt the tactic to allow those two to flourish a bit more.

These are all good advices!

But check Pedder's and Lewis' attributes to find out if they suit this position and role. Don't judge by the (green) circles on the tactic overview because they might be misleading. And training a player in another position is also advicable if he has the right attributes. At first the player gets a reduction in decision making when used at an unfamiliar position, but that will be fine when he adopts playing there. 

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1 hour ago, laxrulz7 said:

My initial thoughts:

  • What are Pedder and Lewis's natural positions? They're two of your best players playing in roles they're not particularly comfortable with. I'd see if I could adapt the tactic to allow those two to flourish a bit more.
  • I'm not a fan of Winger with Wingback behind them. I find they get a little clumped up on the sides. IF/IW with a WB or CWB behind works well. So does a W with a CAR in midfield or an IWB and underlap turned on (the IWB idea might require too much skill for the league your in so that one might not work). 
  • AP's have been really rough on the current ME but they're a little better on the new ME (IMO). If you're playing on Beta it might be fine but if you're playing on the current live patch instead I think a SS or Enganche is better. An AMC set to roam from position can also work. 
  • Find a better goalkeeper... I know that's not really tactical advice but my experience in LLM is that finding a ~4star keeper can really change everything about how your team plays. 
  • Watch a game on 2D for a bit. Based on your formation and choices, I think you may have trouble linking defense and offense. You have two relatively deep set CMs and you're instructions are trying to play through the middle. If your AP gets marked out well (how fast is he? what's his off the ball skill?) then your passing options are probably pretty slim. 
  • I like assymetrical (via roles... not necessarily formations) setups. Consider playing IF + WB on one side and FB(S) + W on the other. I've also had a ton of luck dropping one of the CMs down to a DMC (usually as a BWM-D) on the side with the more attacking outside back. Then changing the one CM left to a MEZ or Box-to-Box or CM-A even. This gives a good transition through the middle while also enabling lots of play down the more aggressive flank.  The asymmetry is nice because the AI typically plays symmetrical formations. So if you run up against something good against your IF/WB setup it likely isn't good against your W/FB setup. Most of my games, one of my flanks does really well and the other one does "okay" or struggles. A small price to pay for the rampant winger on the other wide.

 

Without checking on the game, Peddar from the screen shot has been having great games in that role. 

I know smith initially was signed as a AP / AM player however a shortage of good defensive midfielders / irrational wages forced my hand to play smith there. 

-I do substitute him with brown who is more natural in that role. He is on the bench usually someone I include when holding down a result or someone lacking fitness. 

-I have rotated through about 5 keepers, always signing the next best trialist. 

-I definitely want to watch the game in 2D as I haven't done so yet

-I find that a wing back is more offensive than a full back even when played with a winger. My RW is natural in being a Winger and poor as a IF. I tend to rotate the left side more.

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My current formation (Swansea in Championship so not exactly LLM to be fair) uses a IF/WB on the left (where I drop the LMC back to a BWM-D DMC) and a FB-S with a W or RAM on the right (with a MEZ, CAR / MC-A at the RMC role). 

The FB-S still pushes up plenty though he rarely goes in on goal or goes all the way to the byline (where the WB will cut in to goal or carry the ball all the way to the line sometimes). But the FB-S still puts a fair number of crosses in (usually from a little earlier but sometimes from the 18 or a little deeper). 

The biggest challenge I've had is getting my AMC to perform well but the beta Match engine has largely fixed that. For you, Lewis is so much better than everyone else that he's doing fine but the ME may be screwing you against better teams when he's not as dominant (stat wise).

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Haven't had time to go through all the screenshots, and there is some real solid advice already given here.

My advice is more general though:

Be patient in the matches - a massed defense can be hard to break down so keep the ball and 'probe' rather than trying to hammer a way through. Settle for 1-0 if needed.

Hold some of your more defensive players back - WBs or FBs less attacking especially - might open up a bit of space to exploit.

Look at the attributes of the squad as a whole - how is their Natural Fitness - are they tiring or losing a bit of concentration after Christmas? Are they becoming a little complacent if doing well? 

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On 22/01/2020 at 21:09, Snorks said:

My advice is more general though:

 

On 22/01/2020 at 16:47, uglykidchris said:

These are all good advices!

 

On 22/01/2020 at 15:16, laxrulz7 said:

My initial thoughts:

Right so after taking in the feedback this was the set up ...

 

Great stuff for now. 

 

I have attached images of the previously mentioned players. 

Only changes I really make is playing peddar sometimes more defensive. I also make my wing backs wither more offensive or defensive depending on game plan. 

 

 

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Now your tactical setup is more balanced. Are you satisfied with the results now?

Only a few changes I would consider:

  • FB instead of a WB behind your Winger, as WB and W do the same thing in attack. I tend to use a WB only if there is no other player on this side to provide width.
  • Does Pedder deliver as CM (S)? If he does not, try him as a DLP. Changing a CM to a DLP or otherway around might have a huge impact.
  • When you find it hard to break down the opposition's defence, change mentality to a more cautious approach stepwise. Attacking might be too rushed out against a defensive team.

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4 minutes ago, uglykidchris said:

Now your tactical setup is more balanced. Are you satisfied with the results now?

Only a few changes I would consider:

  • FB instead of a WB behind your Winger, as WB and W do the same thing in attack. I tend to use a WB only if there is no other player on this side to provide width.
  • Does Pedder deliver as CM (S)? If he does not, try him as a DLP. Changing a CM to a DLP or otherway around might have a huge impact.
  • When you find it hard to break down the opposition's defence, change mentality to a more cautious approach stepwise. Attacking might be too rushed out against a defensive team.

-Yeah I have it as WB now to start games off then I adjust to Full back support and Defend. 

-Peddar and Lewis are stars of the show. I usually put peddar as a DLP when I need more support defensively (is that a good thought process?)

-Yeah I will have to try that. I usually just just go more attacking with mentality and roles. (How would you change the TI's in this case?)

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Also, I know Smith as BWM (D) is not great. Because he is a AP however he does a great job. I'm also training him to be a BWM.

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You can experiment with Peddar as DLP D and Smith as CM S or otherway around DLP S and CM D or CM S and CM D. Or you leave it that way. I think theese are all good combinations. I like the BWM S more with a CM/DLP D, because the BWM will leave his position to press the opponent while his partner covers the gaps. That's all up to you and needs some experimenting. 

I am not a friend of changing TIs that much. Even more, I rarely use TIs. But again, that is up to you, if you found your style of play, leave it that way and try to change your mentality first, before changing TIs. Mentality influences all TIs. Shorter passing gets even shorter with a cautious mentality and more direct with an offensive mentality for example.

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