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Now I'm not totally sure if this is down to my tactics or the current match engine, or maybe a combination of both! But I thought I'd post this here anyway to see if anyone can help, since we aren't getting anymore updates to this ME.

I'm basically struggling to get my lone striker involved in the game. I'm regularly seeing him receive a really low amount of passes during the game and barely being involved in the build-up play. Based on my tactics of using predominantly a possession based game, I've gone with a deep-lying forward (support) role more recently to try and improve this but it's still very hit and miss. The same striker I used in this game was really good for me as a pressing forward (his best suited role) on a previous match engine, and actually led the scoring charts in the Premier League for the first quarter of a season.

I've also tried Joshua Zirkzee, my backup striker, in the same system in a variety of roles but still not managed to get him more involved in the game. The best success I seem to have had comes when using my counter attacking tactic, with the role of advanced forward.

I used the 'work ball into box' instruction for a few games which seemed to improve things, before going back to the type of statistics you can see in the screenshot.

It's very frustrating and was just wondering if anyone felt I was doing anything obviously wrong or had any tips on how to improve this? I'm a very experienced FM player but still learn an awful lot from people posting on this forum about tactics.

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 16.08.52.png

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 16.09.03.png

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 22.30.16.png

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49 minutes ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 22.30.16.png

First off, AP on attack duty as a role does not really go hand in hand with a possession-oriented tactic. And your team instructions are definitely possession-oriented, so you need to sort out this tactical contradiction first.

When it comes to other roles and duties, your central midfield is far from being optimally balanced, given that you play both CMs in fairly attack-minded roles. 

On the left flank, there is a fair amount of risk that your LB may often end up left to deal with opposition wide players on his own, due not just to the roles in front of him but also your bit too aggressive defensive instructions (more urgent pressing + counter-press, further compounded by a less-than-optimal level of compactness).

So these are the most pressing issues in your tactic IMHO.

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2 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

First off, AP on attack duty as a role does not really go hand in hand with a possession-oriented tactic. And your team instructions are definitely possession-oriented, so you need to sort out this tactical contradiction first.

When it comes to other roles and duties, your central midfield is far from being optimally balanced, given that you play both CMs in fairly attack-minded roles. 

On the left flank, there is a fair amount of risk that your LB may often end up left to deal with opposition wide players on his own, due not just to the roles in front of him but also your bit too aggressive defensive instructions (more urgent pressing + counter-press, further compounded by a less-than-optimal level of compactness).

So these are the most pressing issues in your tactic IMHO.

Thanks for the reply mate. I actually started using the attacking AP in order to get someone closer to the striker, in the hope of giving him more of the ball.

I often have a real battle with myself as to whether I keep the roles in my tactic rigid and defined, or mould and adjust them slightly to what the players' best roles are. I could play Moriba box to box for more balance, but in the back of my head I know his attributes are best suited to an advanced playmaker. Perhaps that's where my recruitment needs to be better.

In regard to the left side, I sometimes ask my wingers to mark the opposition full back in order to get them to track back and help my full back. This can work defensively but sometimes leaves them in a poor position to counter.

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1 minute ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I actually started using the attacking AP in order to get someone closer to the striker, in the hope of giving him more of the ball

It can be a lot more "elegantly" done in this way (speaking of the front 5 positions):

DLFat

IFsu                           Wsu

DLPsu  MEZat

Or alternatively (in case you insist on the AP, and not DLP):

DLFsu

IFat                              Wsu

APsu    CAR

But of course, you also need to set up the back 5 in a sensible and balanced manner, so that there is no shortage of support both in attack and defense.

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9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

It can be a lot more "elegantly" done in this way (speaking of the front 5 positions):

DLFat

IFsu                           Wsu

DLPsu  MEZat

Or alternatively (in case you insist on the AP, and not DLP):

DLFsu

IFat                              Wsu

APsu    CAR

But of course, you also need to set up the back 5 in a sensible and balanced manner, so that there is no shortage of support both in attack and defense.

Thanks, I'll definitely give that a go and play about with the defensive roles too.

I really think some of this is down to the match engine though. I've just played a cup game against a Championship team with the same striker, and he received the ball 10 times during 90 minutes!! :eek: That just shouldn't be happening, whatever role he's used as. I started him as a deep-lying forward (attack), before changing to a pressing forward to put more pressure on them at the back and try to win the ball higher up the pitch.

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 09.44.06.png

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Posted (edited)

What sort of PPMs does the striker have? Also since you're in 2023, how's the clubs reputation compared to most teams? Are they likely to sit deep against you?
Maybe change the role to a false 9, increase the defensive line and reduce the LOE, both a notch to create compactness and hopefully that will get your striker more involved.

I play with Benfica which is Portugal's top team, so most teams defend against me. My striker Haaland doesn't see a lot of the ball, but that's because he doesn't need to (he's there to score goals after all).

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 10.05.50.png

Edited by MadOnion

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Posted (edited)

I don't see what's the problem having two offensive guys in the CM in a 4-3-3? Especially when you are a top-5 team and opponents start to just sit back then even that is often not enough to get enough pressure on and you bore yourself to 0-0s with two Highlights the entire game on extended if you don't sacrifice your DM for an AM and go for 4-2-3-1 or something similar. You don't need a holding DM and a DLP in front of him when playing against a Championship team as a good PL club.

Edited by KI Heynckes

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2 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

Thanks, I'll definitely give that a go and play about with the defensive roles too.

I really think some of this is down to the match engine though. I've just played a cup game against a Championship team with the same striker, and he received the ball 10 times during 90 minutes!! :eek: That just shouldn't be happening, whatever role he's used as. I started him as a deep-lying forward (attack), before changing to a pressing forward to put more pressure on them at the back and try to win the ball higher up the pitch.

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 09.44.06.png

Can you post a screenshot of your latest tactic (after the tweaks you've made) as well as of your "problematic" striker player profile (with his attributes and traits)?

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

Can you post a screenshot of your latest tactic (after the tweaks you've made) as well as of your "problematic" striker player profile (with his attributes and traits)?

So I do tend to tweek my tactics depend on who I'm playing, but that's the basic shell of what I go for and then adjust from there. I am doing pretty well too, 6th in the league when I'm predicted a mid-table finish. Just want my striker contributing with more goals though.

I have switched my midfield up in recent games based on your advice, sometimes using a deep-lying playmaker or a box to box midfielder.

I sometimes use Zirkzee as a striker too in order to try and develop him. He scored a really nice goal in a recent game which involved him receiving the ball in to feet and then running in behind in the same move (gif attached). I was using him as a deep-lying forward (support), and he seems more comfortable in this role than Koulouris to me.

2020-03-17 12.18.26.gif

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 13.29.07.png

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 13.31.23.png

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3 hours ago, MadOnion said:

What sort of PPMs does the striker have? Also since you're in 2023, how's the clubs reputation compared to most teams? Are they likely to sit deep against you?
Maybe change the role to a false 9, increase the defensive line and reduce the LOE, both a notch to create compactness and hopefully that will get your striker more involved.

I play with Benfica which is Portugal's top team, so most teams defend against me. My striker Haaland doesn't see a lot of the ball, but that's because he doesn't need to (he's there to score goals after all).

Screenshot 2020-03-17 at 10.05.50.png

Thanks for the reply. Never really thought about trying this, always considered this to only really effect our shape when we are out of possession.

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1 hour ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I am doing pretty well too, 6th in the league when I'm predicted a mid-table finish. Just want my striker contributing with more goals though

Listen... if you have a tactic that has made you overachieve, I would never make changes only to accommodate one player that is underperforming, even if that's the striker. Because I really do not see any point in risking the whole tactic that works for the sake of an individual. That's just my honest opinion :onmehead:

P.S: I have to leave now, so I'll get back later to share my opinion on the tactic and the player from the screenshot.

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4 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Listen... if you have a tactic that has made you overachieve, I would never make changes only to accommodate one player that is underperforming, even if that's the striker. Because I really do not see any point in risking the whole tactic that works for the sake of an individual. That's just my honest opinion :onmehead:

P.S: I have to leave now, so I'll get back later to share my opinion on the tactic and the player from the screenshot.

I definitely wouldn't do this, I think it's more a case of trying to retain what might be going well but trying to make tweaks in order to make it any better and have a real focal point at the top of the pitch.

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49 minutes ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I definitely wouldn't do this, I think it's more a case of trying to retain what might be going well but trying to make tweaks in order to make it any better and have a real focal point at the top of the pitch.

Okay. I took a look at your striker, and I see that he has certain traits that are not really helpful for making him more of a goal threat (comes deep to get the ball and plays with back to goal). On the other hand, he also has the trait of trying first-time shots, which is not bad IMHO.

So taking all that into account, I would rather play him on attack duty and probably in a simpler (non-creator) role, so as to make him as focused on getting into good goal-scoring positions as possible (rather than being overly involved in the build-up phase). It's very important that he has support from different directions and in different ways. So here are a couple of options I personally would try (based on my tactical approach):

PFat

IWsu                            Wsu

DLPsu  MEZat

A/HB

FBat    CD  CD/BPD    WBau

SKsu

Or this:

PFat

IWsu                               Wat

DLPsu   MEZsu

DMde

FBat    CD  CD/BPD   WBau

SKsu

Or with the AP on support:

PFat

IWsu                             Wat

CAR/BMWsu  APsu

DMde

FBat     CD   CD    WBsu

SKsu

Of course, there are a couple more possible variations, but that's basically it.

When it comes to in-possession and in-transition instructions, I would not insist on playing out of defence and would only retain the shorter passing and distribution to CBs and FBs.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Experienced Defender - Thanks a lot for that mate, really helpful information that I'll definitely use to improve tactically.

1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

When it comes to in-possession and in-transition instructions, I would not insist on playing out of defence and would only retain the shorter passing and distribution to CBs and FBs.

In regards to this, it just comes from my philosophy and how I want to play. I want possession as much as possible and don't want many long balls. Maybe using both of these is too much, I just had in my head that one applied to the team and one applied specifically to the goalkeeper.

Edited by TheInvisibleMan

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2 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

In regards to this, it just comes from my philosophy and how I want to play. I want possession as much as possible and don't want many long balls. Maybe using both of these is too much

Yes, using both PoD and distribution to defenders may be a bit too much. If you play on a moderate team mentality (e.g. Balanced or positive) and use shorter (or even much shorter) passing + distribution to CBs and FBs, then PoD is usually not needed (as well as vice versa). So you can either use PoD or distribution to defenders. The reason why in this particular case I would prefer the distribution to defense over PoD is to avoid slowing the play more than necessary (because this instruction also encourages midfielders to drop deeper, which can overcomplicate attacks and in turn affect your striker as well). You can play possession-oriented football without the PoD instruction if you set up roles and duties properly and use the right instructions (some of which may vary, just like in this example). 

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Yes, using both PoD and distribution to defenders may be a bit too much. If you play on a moderate team mentality (e.g. Balanced or positive) and use shorter (or even much shorter) passing + distribution to CBs and FBs, then PoD is usually not needed (as well as vice versa). So you can either use PoD or distribution to defenders. The reason why in this particular case I would prefer the distribution to defense over PoD is to avoid slowing the play more than necessary (because this instruction also encourages midfielders to drop deeper, which can overcomplicate attacks and in turn affect your striker as well). You can play possession-oriented football without the PoD instruction if you set up roles and duties properly and use the right instructions (some of which may vary, just like in this example). 

I'll give it a go, thanks. I generally just want the centre-backs to feed the ball into the midfield without trying anything too fancy. I suppose two central defender roles are best for that.

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28 minutes ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I generally just want the centre-backs to feed the ball into the midfield without trying anything too fancy. I suppose two central defender roles are best for that

Yes :thup:

However, if a CB has a trait such as "tries long range passes" or "brings ball out of defence" or "tries killer balls" or anything of that "fancy" sort, then he is occasionally going to do such stuff, regardless of the role you play him in.

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Posted (edited)
On 17/03/2020 at 00:43, Experienced Defender said:

First off, AP on attack duty as a role does not really go hand in hand with a possession-oriented tactic. And your team instructions are definitely possession-oriented, so you need to sort out this tactical contradiction first.

When it comes to other roles and duties, your central midfield is far from being optimally balanced, given that you play both CMs in fairly attack-minded roles. 

On the left flank, there is a fair amount of risk that your LB may often end up left to deal with opposition wide players on his own, due not just to the roles in front of him but also your bit too aggressive defensive instructions (more urgent pressing + counter-press, further compounded by a less-than-optimal level of compactness).

So these are the most pressing issues in your tactic IMHO.

Hi @Experienced Defender,

could you please explain, why AP on attack duty are not very suitable for possession-oriented tactic? I suppose it is because of two risky PI at the same time - take more risk and driblle more. Am i right? If no, hot to define what tactic type role is suitable for? Maybe you can give more example?

Thanks in advance

Edited by woland

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5 hours ago, woland said:

Hi @Experienced Defender,

could you please explain, why AP on attack duty are not very suitable for possession-oriented tactic? I suppose it is because of two risky PI at the same time - take more risk and driblle more

Yes, but also because this type of playmaker looks for faster transitions. DLP also has risky passes, but is less adventurous. If you want to use the AP as a role in a possession-based tactic, then AP on support duty would make more sense than AP on attack. 

You can even use both DLP and AP (on support) in a possession tactic, just make sure they are far enough from each other. For example: DLP in DM and APsu in AMR or AML; or DLP in MCR and APsu in AML. 

5 hours ago, woland said:

hot to define what tactic type role is suitable for? Maybe you can give more example?

As I said above, DLP is the most suitable playmaker role for possession-oriented tactics. But no role alone will help you achieve the style of play you want. Therefore, the mere use of a DLP does not automatically make a tactic possession-oriented. You need to make sure all your players - and the playmaker(s) in particular - always have enough safe passing options. And of course, the playmaker(s) himself/themselves need a certain set of attributes (not just good passing and vision), given that they are going to have the ball pretty often in their feet.

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