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Posted (edited)

Ok so basically this baffles me.

I am currently doing a save with Leverkusen, top of the league and about to win the league in the first season.

This is my current tactic -

cmO9tS1.png

Though I have fiddled with over the season, I had a DLF at one point instead of the extra midfielder, I had two inverted wingers, I had a normal wingback instead of the inverted.

But games like this -

XUb6XlA.jpg

Baffle me, I have had several games like this, at least two where the opposition had zero shots, but way more possession than me. 

Granted they had more shots this time, and actually had a chance (but it was a standard perfect hoof over the top from centre-backs who turn into Gerrard for a second and play an inch perfect 70 yard pass first time that baffles my defenders) but I chose this particular game because look at the passes for Koln -

KdM0xBv.png

That is a centre-back completing 148 passes in a game, out of 153, against a press. And that player has passing 11, first touch of 10, technique of 10, and vision of 9. 

And look at the action zones -

s3sIWVt.png

Almost 50% of the entire play in the game, was them basically playing keep ball in their own half. 

As I was winning after about 60 minutes I dropped my press, the defensive line and engagement line back down, to see if it would encourage them to come out a bit. 

Which it didn't, they played the exact same way.  I am basically matched man for man in the middle, with 2/3 of my centre-mids having very good work rate, stamina, determination, along with good defensive abilities (the other is Havertz who is average at those things), along with a pressing forward who has 17 work rate, 15 stamina, 17 anticipation, 15 pace, 15 acceleration, 15 stamina, but apparently was unable to get the ball of them barely at all.

It's baffling and makes no sense to me. 

Not only how they are so successful at keeping the ball off me, but also because I have so little possession myself against a defensive team doing a low block. I have play out from defence, shorter tempo, a ball playing defender and a standard centre-back, with a deep lying playmaker and good passers throughout the team, but my team seemingly can't keep the ball anywhere near as well. 

Their back 4 plus the two DMs have passing abilities of 11, 13, 11, 13, 15, and 12.  My back 4 plus 3 centre-mids have passing abilities of 13, 13, 15, 12, 15, 13, and 14, and I definitely have people with better first touch, decisions, technique, vision etc.  So how can they be so good at keeping the ball? 

What am I supposed to do against a team of average passers, that can play tiki-taka like Barcelona, except don't go anywhere? 

Is this a tactics problem? Someone suggested my tactic might struggle trying to press against 3 centre-backs in a low block, but I've also tried a 3 striker system with a press against that formation and it didn't work, and this has happened several times against a back 4 anyway.

I mean I suppose its not a major problem, I won the game, I create chances against these teams and I am winning the league, but I want to understand more here and not just blame this on a bad ME or bad AI approaches to the game. 

 

Another example if needed -

Spoiler

yhgpkwM.jpg

slH5BUU.png

LzxmQlr.png

(their 1 shot on target was a penalty)

 

 

image.png

image.png

Edited by tajj7

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Posted (edited)

It's not "bad ME" as such but I have reported this issue in the bugs forum and it's been acknowledged as a problem the ME team are looking at. For me (and they agreed), the issue was pressing not disrupting their play often enough. Players will often run around like crazy trying to close down but the opposition defenders and midfielders are seldom flustered and always play the right pass. On top of that, the user team doesn't squeeze up to mark or block passing lanes when a high press happens, so there's always an option for the opposition. 

The issue is exacerbated by Cautious and lower mentalities being risk averse, therefore encouraging teams to pass around their backs and two DMs with no intention of moving it forward. Teams on these mentalities can be too passive and not even launch counter attacks. Obviously, it's ridiculous that a team can play so much in their own defensive third without making a mistake or being forced into one. 

One solution I did see, though I've yet to try this myself, is to play an attacking line of AMR-AMC-AMC-AML-CF and man-mark the two DMs, full backs and one centre back. This seems to help your players get closer to theirs and force more mistakes, though there's an element of brute force about it. 

Otherwise, you have to lower the tempo, discourage dribbling and play on a narrower width so your team keeps the ball away from them, but potentially weakening your own attack.  

I just ignore it, tbh. As long as I'm making good chances and winning the game, the fact the opposition doubled my passing count and the game thinks I was "under pressure" throughout the game are just weird curiosities in my eyes.

Edited by Experienced Defender
blaming the ME without conclusive evidence

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38 minutes ago, tajj7 said:

Is this a tactics problem?

Well, with the reputation Leverkusen have, most teams will line up defensively from the get-go, which makes low block systems kinda tricky. The problem is not your tactic necessarily, but the way the game is designed—defensive teams are not only willing to knock the ball about on their own half for 90 minutes if allowed to, but they can usually do so quite successfully. In real life you don't see underdogs playing Tiki-taka at the back, neither are teams as willing to do nothing but shut up shop against better teams, but that is what AI does in FM, which is why bottom-heavy formations like 4-1-4-1 aren't optimal for big teams. Even if AI's possession is not threatening at all, it might end up wasting a lot of time.

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There were plenty of discussions about this on this forum before 

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57 minutes ago, JEinchy said:

It's not "bad ME" as such but I have reported this issue in the bugs forum and it's been acknowledged as a problem the ME team are looking at. For me (and they agreed), the issue was pressing not disrupting their play often enough. Players will often run around like crazy trying to close down but the opposition defenders and midfielders are seldom flustered and always play the right pass. On top of that, the user team doesn't squeeze up to mark or block passing lanes when a high press happens, so there's always an option for the opposition. 

The issue is exacerbated by Cautious and lower mentalities being risk averse, therefore encouraging teams to pass around their backs and two DMs with no intention of moving it forward. Teams on these mentalities can be too passive and not even launch counter attacks. Obviously, it's ridiculous that a team can play so much in their own defensive third without making a mistake or being forced into one, but this is where the ME is at right now, unfortunately. 

One solution I did see, though I've yet to try this myself, is to play an attacking line of AMR-AMC-AMC-AML-CF and man-mark the two DMs, full backs and one centre back. This seems to help your players get closer to theirs and force more mistakes, though there's an element of brute force about it. 

Otherwise, you have to lower the tempo, discourage dribbling and play on a narrower width so your team keeps the ball away from them, but potentially weakening your own attack.  

I just ignore it, tbh. As long as I'm making good chances and winning the game, the fact the opposition doubled my passing count and the game thinks I was "under pressure" throughout the game are just weird curiosities in my eyes.

 

42 minutes ago, Zemahh said:

Well, with the reputation Leverkusen have, most teams will line up defensively from the get-go, which makes low block systems kinda tricky. The problem is not your tactic necessarily, but the way the game is designed—defensive teams are not only willing to knock the ball about on their own half for 90 minutes if allowed to, but they can usually do so quite successfully. In real life you don't see underdogs playing Tiki-taka at the back, neither are teams as willing to do nothing but shut up shop against better teams, but that is what AI does in FM, which is why bottom-heavy formations like 4-1-4-1 aren't optimal for big teams. Even if AI's possession is not threatening at all, it might end up wasting a lot of time.

So really having a more overloaded attack, with more attacking players closer to theirs might be an option to stop this? 

It's just very frustrating to watch and have your team have 30 something possession for no real good reason. 

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seems to me like you got a good tactic. cant complain about opposition having no shots, you must be doing something right

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51 minutes ago, tajj7 said:

So really having a more overloaded attack, with more attacking players closer to theirs might be an option to stop this?

You mentioned you're about to win the league, so I'd say don't change anything at all. There's no reason to obsess about possession numbers too much, unless that's the exact style you want to replicate (which, looking at your tactic, you're probably not).

What you could do though, is set your Opposition Instructions to Always Close Down on entire back line, which might encourage your midfielders to step up a bit sooner. Or, alternatively create a top-heavy plan B tactic, if you find yourself chasing a goal in the second half. That's when not having possession actually becomes problematic. :D

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, zyfon5 said:

There were plenty of discussions about this on this forum before 

In addition to what's discussed in the linked thread, I've also found that using opposition instructions to force CDL/Rs and DML/Rs onto their inside foot (So right foot for L sided players) while forcing FBL/Rs onto their outside foot (So right foot for right sided player) helps to trap them in uncomfortable positions and increase the cover shadows to reduce passing options.

Using your CMs to mark tightly can also help.

Edited by Columnarius

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My two pennies worth:

- A bottom-heavy formation can hardly be helpful if you want to prevent defensive opposition from keeping possession for the sake of time-wasting by passing the ball around "endlessly" between themselves in their own half (even if your defensive team instructions are otherwise very aggressive)

- The same logically goes for the "Stay on feet" (a.k.a. easy tackling) team instruction

Last but not least, your tactic itself is not quite possession-friendly (especially in terms of roles and duties).

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25 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

- The same logically goes for the "Stay on feet" (a.k.a. easy tackling) team instruction

In theory, if your goal was to force the opponent to clear the ball long through pressure (rather than tackle and win he ball), than "Stay on Feet" might be logical but I have to agree that I haven't actually found it to be helpful in any situation other than when trying to avoid fouls.

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Posted (edited)

It's not you. You are forced to use more AM/ST players in your formation or else you'll never have the ball against these weaker teams looking to stall in their own half. Realistic or not, that's the reality.

You only have to check the passing stats of a couple of these matches to vow never again to use a formation with so few players forward. It doesn't feel right to see a GK pass 80+ times in a match, so you do your best to avoid that ever happening again.

Moving your ML/MR to AML/AMR would help considerably, but going all out and shifting all five midfielders up a strata will work even better against these opponents.

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of FM20 as such

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Also, have the CF man mark their DM.  This starts the CM further back and when he presses, he keeps the DM in his cover shadow.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Overmars said:

It's not you. You are forced to use more AM/ST players in your formation or else you'll never have the ball against these weaker teams looking to stall in their own half. Realistic or not, that's the reality of FM20.

You only have to check the passing stats of a couple of these matches to vow never again to use a formation with so few players forward. It doesn't feel right to see a GK pass 80+ times in a match, so you do your best to avoid that ever happening again.

Moving your ML/MR to AML/AMR would help considerably, but going all out and shifting all five midfielders up a strata will work even better against these opponents.

Interesting points. But when you mean moving everybody up a strata, won't that unbalance the formation leave you too vulnerable in the back? Like playing with AML and AMR as well as two CAMs? who would stay in the back to cover your defence? 
I'm having same problems myself. I find that the classic 4-3-3 is very ineffective when in reality its supposed to be very good for possession and attack. Its almost as if the game does not want us to play single striker formations. 

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of FM20 as such

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Your formation is your defensive positioning.  This shows where you will naturally give up space as the 11 players can only cover so much space.  The roles+duties you use can either reduce these gaps or make them larger. 

Even with very aggressive Out Of Possession instructions, your team will typically be positioned like your formation (pressing, marking etc affects where they actually are ofc).

In the 4141 formation your using, you are asking for 10 players to get back if the Counter Press fails, then again attempt to press from those deep positions.  Against defensive sides with lots of deep players of there own and a low mentality resulting in low risk taking, your not forcing them to use the ball and they'll have lots of open easy passes to retain possession.

I'd ask why your using that formation?  Typically its more of a counter attacking system trying to be defensively compact to draw teams up (typically teams who want to attack you) before launching your counter attacks.

Consider how a 4141 DM Wide, 4411, 4231 etc can get players to be naturally closer to opponents FBs or DMs to be able to mark or press.  Yes you give up space between the wide forwards and the fullbacks but you have to give up space somewhere.  If you can force them into a more direct forward pass rather than a simple short pass, you have more chance of getting the ball back sooner.  Risk vs Reward.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

My two pennies worth:

- A bottom-heavy formation can hardly be helpful if you want to prevent defensive opposition from keeping possession for the sake of time-wasting by passing the ball around "endlessly" between themselves in their own half (even if your defensive team instructions are otherwise very aggressive)

- The same logically goes for the "Stay on feet" (a.k.a. easy tackling) team instruction

Last but not least, your tactic itself is not quite possession-friendly (especially in terms of roles and duties).

That pretty much sums it up. 

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9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

My two pennies worth:

- A bottom-heavy formation can hardly be helpful if you want to prevent defensive opposition from keeping possession for the sake of time-wasting by passing the ball around "endlessly" between themselves in their own half (even if your defensive team instructions are otherwise very aggressive)

- The same logically goes for the "Stay on feet" (a.k.a. easy tackling) team instruction

Last but not least, your tactic itself is not quite possession-friendly (especially in terms of roles and duties).

I get that, but at the same time I thought a formation is not supposed to be a rigid frame, it's about the roles of the players and mentality of the players, the formation should be not hugely different than moving everyone slightly up but with less attacking mentalities, my AP should be moving towards a no. 10 spot, my ML and MR, should be pushing forward into AML and AMR etc. etc. 

I've also done fine pressing with a Hassenhutl inspired 4-2-2-2, which has had two DMCs, MR and ML as well and that has not had this problem, I also had in this formation at times an DLF or an AMC and have had similar problems even with more people further forward. 

Also are my players not supposed to be counter pressing anyway, so should not be falling back into their defensive shape after losing the ball? 

As for 'stay on feet' that makes no logical sense for real life pressing IMO, real life pressing is about closing down passing lanes and forcing mistakes, not committing yourself to hard tackles (and diving in) that good players can easily get around, people being taught to press are taught about angles and timing, not charging in like a headless chicken. So whilst I get it might work like that in game, it's not right, there needs to be more depth to the pressing elements of the tactics, because you can't set pressing triggers and who you specifically press and I don't really want my players charging in like maniacs, diving in everywhere.

Why is the tactics not possession friendly? It has short passing, it's instructed to play out from the back, there is no high tempo, there is a 3 man base in midfield. 

From watching the tactic keeps the ball fine and I have good possession against teams that actually play football, it just doesn't play 100s of unnecessary of passes around at the back, that is the only real difference in passing numbers in games like this. My midfield and forwards will have more passes than theirs, they just have absurd numbers of passes between about 3-4 players at the back.

 

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I've gone for this as a potential solution -

DU3XXRi.png

No idea if it will work, only played good teams so far since I made it. 

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14 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Interesting points. But when you mean moving everybody up a strata, won't that unbalance the formation leave you too vulnerable in the back? Like playing with AML and AMR as well as two CAMs? who would stay in the back to cover your defence? 
I'm having same problems myself. I find that the classic 4-3-3 is very ineffective when in reality its supposed to be very good for possession and attack. Its almost as if the game does not want us to play single striker formations. 

Using just one player in CM/DM is surprisingly sound defensively if you can make your high press effective. Furthermore, you only need this to work against bad teams who commit very few people forward. Against good teams, you can and should use something a bit more traditional since your opponents will actually be trying to move forward themselves.

You could also use a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-4 or 4-2-4-0 if you want a consistent formation against all opponents. Playing with 2 DMs will give your team solidity defensively, while your four attacking players can execute a solid high press.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Overmars said:

Using just one player in CM/DM is surprisingly sound defensively if you can make your high press effective. Furthermore, you only need this to work against bad teams who commit very few people forward. Against good teams, you can and should use something a bit more traditional since your opponents will actually be trying to move forward themselves.

You could also use a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-4 or 4-2-4-0 if you want a consistent formation against all opponents. Playing with 2 DMs will give your team solidity defensively, while your four attacking players can execute a solid high press.

I agree. Although my main problem is that playing as Benfica in Portugal, 90% of the teams I face are "bad" teams. It's really sucking all the fun out of what was supposed to be an easy, last hurrah for FM20 save haha. Didn't realize how much work you had to do as a top team in the league just to scrape through a 1-0 win. And then the number of draws I get is astounding.

So I'm starting to realize that Guardiola style 4-3-3 might not be a way to go to get possession in this game. Like you said, it might be time to give some kind of top heavy formation a go. I like the idea of 4-2-3-1 with two DMs. 

Edited by crusadertsar

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23 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Ok so basically this baffles me.

I am currently doing a save with Leverkusen, top of the league and about to win the league in the first season.

1 hour ago, tajj7 said:

I've gone for this as a potential solution

No idea if it will work, only played good teams so far since I made it. 

:eek: Thats not really a solution to your problem, that's tearing up pretty much everything you had and starting from scratch.  It might work but not really building on what you had so potentially a whole host of other issues could crop up, or not.

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35 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

:eek: Thats not really a solution to your problem, that's tearing up pretty much everything you had and starting from scratch.  It might work but not really building on what you had so potentially a whole host of other issues could crop up, or not.

It's not my main tactic, it's an option for when the AI plays like that. 

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3 hours ago, tajj7 said:

I've gone for this as a potential solution -

DU3XXRi.png

No idea if it will work, only played good teams so far since I made it. 

Seems like overkill. I've never had the problem you discuss in your original post pressing from reasonable formations. 4141 flat simply isn't intended to be a high pressing formation. It's one of the most defensive formations you can use in FM20. If that's what you want to use, because of how it plays against tougher competition, that's fine, but a simpler solution would simply be to push your wings forward into a 4141 DM wide (433!). That'd also allow for easy changing between the two on the fly. If that's not working well enough for you, then try more aggressive opposition instructions. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, XuluBak said:

Seems like overkill. I've never had the problem you discuss in your original post pressing from reasonable formations. 4141 flat simply isn't intended to be a high pressing formation. It's one of the most defensive formations you can use in FM20. If that's what you want to use, because of how it plays against tougher competition, that's fine, but a simpler solution would simply be to push your wings forward into a 4141 DM wide (433!). That'd also allow for easy changing between the two on the fly. If that's not working well enough for you, then try more aggressive opposition instructions. 

I already have aggressive opposition instructions. Blaming the formation is not correct because I have not faced the issue with a 4-2-2-2, with deep DMCs pressing in the Premier League and pressing works fine there, but its something I have noticed particularly in some Bundesliga teams, presumably because there is a it more of a gap in finances from the top to the bottom so the AI goes for its extreme camp in their own half and play keep ball.

When you have the highest line of engagement, highest line of defence, multiple players on attack duties and the highest press settings, the AI shouldn't be able to pull off hundreds of passes just within its own half against a superior opposition, regardless of the starting base formation. It literally makes no sense. 

And the problem happens with more attacking formations anyway, they still do it.

It's a specific problem in specific matches against a specific AI approach to the game, and it's a very extreme way of playing, so I am doing an extreme solution, they don't attack barely at all, so it seems pointless having many players defending, I mean they don't even bother to counter attack, so its better to have more people attacking to threaten the goal and get the ball back when they are playing multiple short passes in the same space. 

This is not my overall tactic, its a tactic to challenge the AI when it plays this way, most teams don't play this way, it happens about 4-6 times a season I'd reckon. 

In fact I can show an example with a different tactic -

bZJMQbQ.png

XQm8gHS.png

 

The possession numbers are not as extreme, but then I have built a more possession based tactic than I used previously, I have very short passing, slower tempo, work the ball into the box, shorter passing individual instructions etc.

Plus I have more people further up the pitch to press, but even with all that they still have 49% possession, with almost all of it centred around their back 6, who are clearly just passing the ball around themselves. Plus for the last 20-30 minutes or so they went more attacking because they were 2-0 down, they had more possession than me before that. 

Blaming formations is just wrong IMO, it's clearly a problem with how the AI plays, no team IRL would be able to play so many passes just around their box and in their own half against better opponents with such a high completion rate. 

 

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of the ME

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See complaints like this quite often. There are a few factors at play here.

There's a difference between having possession and using possession. The opposition are having possession of the ball because they're clearly the underdog and underdogs in FM setup playing passive-defensive football, generally. During the match, after about 15 minutes or so if you go to analysis > formations you can see their mentality and the players roles and duties. I would bet they're playing with a defensive/cautious mentality with roles and duties built around restrictive football, in that they're restricting you having the ball and restricting themselves playing any form of risky attacking football.

You on the other hand are using possession. When you have the ball you have intent. You're trying to attack, as evidenced by the three players who have a very attacking mentality and the other positive and attacking mentalities around the players. You're playing a higher tempo which means the stop-clock that counts possession will generally be shorter as you go from A to B (where A is the start point of gaining possession and B is the end, i.e., a turnover or a goal) quicker than the opposition. Take these two scenarios below.

Team A play cautious football, they do not take risks and they use very balanced mentalities. They will keep the ball with no real desire to let go of it. They would like to score, and if the opportunity to counter-attack is there, e.g., they win possession and a counter is on, they'll take it. But the objective isn't taking risks and overloading the attacking third looking for goals, it is to frustrate you and grind out a point, so from A to B their time with the ball between these start and end actions is longer.

Team B play more positive football. Their players take more risk on the ball, they move quicker and get from A to B a lot quicker. Because they go about their business in a more urgent fashion they have the ball for a shorter period of time, generally speaking.

Think of it this way; each team must turnover the ball an equal amount of time. Because for team A to lose the ball, team B must win it. Possession is counted each time you win the ball through opposition mistakes, goals etc.

That's not to say that to play possession football you cannot use an attacking mentality. I'm averaging 60% with an attacking mentality at the moment, but that's because I don't give the ball back to the opposition that often, e.g., shooting wildly or losing it to tackles.

If you want possession (an odd obsession anyway) you need to go from A to B in a shorter period of time than the opposition. You must also win the ball from them quicker. A 4-1-4-1 vs. a 4-2-3-1 is massively outmatched in terms of you trying to press high and win the ball. It's no wonder they can bypass you. If you're intent on possession slow the passage of time between A and B, this means making more passes between players before you shoot. This means don't give the ball away too easily by taking risks. This means win the ball back quicker than you are and hold onto it. This does, however, adversely affect you because you're giving the opposition more time to get back into their defensive shape, so you'll likely encounter issues there when you're trying to break them down. 

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4 hours ago, tajj7 said:

I don't really want my players charging in like maniacs

Then why do you have extremely urgent pressing on? Which affects all of your outfield players, including your defenders?

Like some of the previous commenters said, a bottom heavy formation like yours is not a very godd idea if you want press the opponent's defence. Even the worst team in the world can play the ball around at back when facing a one man pressing force.

Furthermore, like everything, there are two sides to dominating possession. One is to get the ball from the opponent as soon as possible. The other is to keep it. If you have the ball all the time, they can't keep passing it around at their third, can they. You have four attack duties on a positive team mentality. These players won't bother keeping possession, all they care about is bombing forward and getting the ball up directly.

The 433 (or 4141 DM wide as the game calls it) is actually one of the best formations for possession football, because of the passing triangles when you have the ball, i and if you don't, there are three players up front and three players in the middle of the field to press. If you nail the roles and duties, you can easily dominate possession if that's the football you want to play.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

Then why do you have extremely urgent pressing on? Which affects all of your outfield players, including your defenders?

Like some of the previous commenters said, a bottom heavy formation like yours is not a very godd idea if you want press the opponent's defence. Even the worst team in the world can play the ball around at back when facing a one man pressing force.

Furthermore, like everything, there are two sides to dominating possession. One is to get the ball from the opponent as soon as possible. The other is to keep it. If you have the ball all the time, they can't keep passing it around at their third, can they. You have four attack duties on a positive team mentality. These players won't bother keeping possession, all they care about is bombing forward and getting the ball up directly.

The 433 (or 4141 DM wide as the game calls it) is actually one of the best formations for possession football, because of the passing triangles when you have the ball, i and if you don't, there are three players up front and three players in the middle of the field to press. If you nail the roles and duties, you can easily dominate possession if that's the football you want to play.

Charging into to tackles, that is not how you press, diving in is stupid at all levels of football.

Again, the formation is irrelevant because I have watched the positions on the pitch and how my team plays, the average positions of my team are basically no different to a 4-3-3 with a DM, I could move the wingers up to the AML and AMR positions and it makes very little difference, I have been using attacking MRs and MLs multiple times and they play high up the pitch, press well and get into good positions.  The same roles further forward don't make a huge difference. 

As I showed above, it happens with players further forward. So blaming the formation is flat out wrong. 

The issue is the AI and how easily average players can pass the ball around constantly with no mistakes and the complete lack of any forward or positive play that no team in world football would be able to replicate for 90 minutes, let alone poor and average ones with abilities that should not allow repeated one and two touch football in their own half under pressure, which is what they do when you watch them, they ping the ball about first time, back and forth amongst multiple players with players that often barely have double figures for things like passing, vision, first touch and technique.

Oh and the other thing that shows it has little to do with my formation is that I score pressing turnovers against better teams who play out from the back, purely because even though they are much better at passing, they play slightly more risky passes.  

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of the ME

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15 hours ago, Columnarius said:

In theory, if your goal was to force the opponent to clear the ball long through pressure (rather than tackle and win he ball), than "Stay on Feet" might be logical but I have to agree that I haven't actually found it to be helpful in any situation other than when trying to avoid fouls

You don't have to choose either hard tackling (get stuck in) or easy (stay on feet). You can simply leave it on default. However, in the case of his particular tactic, the bottom-heavy formation remains the issue nonetheless (not the issue per se, but in relation to what he wants to achieve). 

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18 minutes ago, tajj7 said:

Charging into to tackles, that is not how you press, diving in is stupid at all levels of football.

Again, the formation is irrelevant because I have watched the positions on the pitch and how my team plays, the average positions of my team are basically no different to a 4-3-3 with a DM, I could move the wingers up to the AML and AMR positions and it makes very little difference, I have been using attacking MRs and MLs multiple times and they play high up the pitch, press well and get into good positions.  The same roles further forward don't make a huge difference. 

As I showed above, it happens with players further forward. So blaming the formation is flat out wrong. 

The issue is the AI/ME and how easily average players can pass the ball around constantly with no mistakes and the complete lack of any forward or positive play that no team in world football would be able to replicate for 90 minutes, let alone poor and average ones with abilities that should not allow repeated one and two touch football in their own half under pressure, which is what they do when you watch them, they ping the ball about first time, back and forth amongst multiple players with players that often barely have double figures for things like passing, vision, first touch and technique.

Oh and the other thing that shows it has little to do with my formation is that I score pressing turnovers against better teams who play out from the back, purely because even though they are much better at passing, they play slightly more risky passes.  

Far too many people in this thread clearly unwilling to criticise the actual game, when its clear this years ME is a terrible. 

Taken from the thread linked above:This is the best I could do this season. Too much possession is useless to me. I can probably further choke the opponents into less possession if I want to but it is not going to get me good results.

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In single striker formations you can reduce the frequency of the striker pressing the goalkeeper if his mentality is low enough but that might not be good for your overall attacking play. Pressing is always a team game. The whole team will need to press together to win the ball back and not just rely on the striker.

From these screenshots my striker has gone to press the goalkeeper and the gk pass the ball to the CB. My two more advanced midfielder immediately press the two CB while putting their midfielder in their cover shadow. my right winger also move inside to cover and cut off passing options. if you can see i already cover 5 players with 3 of my own men. does my striker has a job here? Yes he absolutely has even though he is still returning from the GK position. He cuts off the backpass option to the other CB and the GK resulting in the opponents CB with no choice but to punt the ball upfield.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tajj7 said:

Charging into to tackles, that is not how you press, diving in is stupid at all levels of football.

Well, exremely urgent pressing is not the way to block passing lanes while leaving the opposing players untouched.

1 hour ago, tajj7 said:

Again, the formation is irrelevant because I have watched the positions on the pitch and how my team plays, the average positions of my team are basically no different to a 4-3-3 with a DM, I could move the wingers up to the AML and AMR positions and it makes very little difference, I have been using attacking MRs and MLs multiple times and they play high up the pitch, press well and get into good positions.  The same roles further forward don't make a huge difference. 

I've never seen my ML and MR press the opponent defenders in their own box or just outside of it, which is more or less what you need in this case. Then again, I never use out of possession instructions like you do, so you may be right on this one. Logically though, players higher up the pitch will press higher up the pitch, too.

Your issues do not originate entirely from deficiencies of the ME. The 415 you posted later is another side of the extreme. While you put players higher up and got rid of the  attack duties, if your press fails, you're basically toast unless you have four Usain Bolt's as defenders. A simple 433 with a regista and a BWM, for one example, can give you the possession numbers you want, all without going out of your way to achieve what you'd like to see.

Edited by Experienced Defender
edited out the quoted part by the OP blaming the ME

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Why is the tactics not possession friendly? It has short passing, it's instructed to play out from the back, there is no high tempo, there is a 3 man base in midfield.

Because your choice of roles and duties isn't. If keeping possession is actually your goal, your tactic isn't well suited to it.

For example, Winger and Inverted Winger on Attack will both run at their men before either shooting or crossing the ball. This is then exacerbated further with a Positive mentality, which means Attack duties result in Very Attacking individual mentalities, maximizing their risk-taking. In possession-based systems you want less dribbling and more patient play (less risk-taking), which is why you should avoid such extreme individual mentalities.

To me, your system looks like one looking to lure teams into your half (formation is still your defensive starting point, regardless of your aggressive pressing instructions) and then hitting them on the break with fast counters. Your Attack duties will make forward runs the moment you win the ball back and both playmakers (one on Positive, other on Very Attacking individual mentality) will be looking for through balls to those players immediately. I hope you can see how that's anything but patient, which is how possession tactics usually work.

With the quality Leverkusen have, I'm sure you see some beautiful counter-attacks with that tactic, but that kind of style is never going to be very possession-friendly. I share your frustration when it comes to the fact the AI is willing to do nothing but park the bus the moment it becomes a slight underdog, and how low mentalities allow it to keep the ball at the back forever, but I didn't think you actually wanted to keep the ball yourself with that tactic.

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of the ME

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5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

I get that, but at the same time I thought a formation is not supposed to be a rigid frame

Well, the formation is basically your defensive setup (i.e. the basic arrangement of your players in the defensive phase of play). Therefore, it logically matters in relation to what you want from your tactic. 

 

5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

it's about the roles of the players and mentality of the players, the formation should be not hugely different than moving everyone slightly up but with less attacking mentalities, my AP should be moving towards a no. 10 spot, my ML and MR, should be pushing forward into AML and AMR etc. etc

You seem to be confusing the attacking (in-possession) and defensive (out-of-possession) phases of play. 

 

5 hours ago, tajj7 said:

I've also done fine pressing with a Hassenhutl inspired 4-2-2-2, which has had two DMCs, MR and ML as well and that has not had this problem

Well, the 4222, while also bottom-heavy, at least employs 2 players up front. 

 

6 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Also are my players not supposed to be counter pressing anyway, so should not be falling back into their defensive shape after losing the ball?

How do you mean? I am not sure I understood this, sorry. 

 

6 hours ago, tajj7 said:

As for 'stay on feet' that makes no logical sense for real life pressing IMO, real life pressing is about closing down passing lanes and forcing mistakes, not committing yourself to hard tackles (and diving in) that good players can easily get around, people being taught to press are taught about angles and timing, not charging in like a headless chicken

As I already said in another comment, there is the default tackling as well. It does not necessarily have to be either hard or easy. 

 

6 hours ago, tajj7 said:

Why is the tactics not possession friendly? It has short passing, it's instructed to play out from the back, there is no high tempo, there is a 3 man base in midfield

Primarily because of roles and duties (as I already mentioned), but also instructions such as the Counter and to some extent wide attacking width as well. None of these is possession-friendly. 

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37 minutes ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

Well, exremely urgent pressing is not the way to block passing lanes while leaving the opposing players untouched.

I've never seen my ML and MR press the opponent defenders in their own box or just outside of it, which is more or less what you need in this case. Then again, I never use out of possession instructions like you do, so you may be right on this one. Logically though, players higher up the pitch will press higher up the pitch, too.

 

It is, but your issues do not originate entirely from deficiencies of the ME. The 415 you posted later is another side of the extreme. While you put players higher up and got rid of the  attack duties, if your press fails, you're basically toast unless you have four Usain Bolt's as defenders. A simple 433 with a regista and a BWM, for one example, can give you the possession numbers you want, all without going out of your way to achieve what you'd like to see.

It's true with right roles and instructions, a 4-1-4-1 can basically act like a 4-3-3. It's just the defensive positioning for the 4-1-2-3.

So it's weird that you cannot get good possession from a 4-1-4-1. It's basically the shape that Pep Guardiola uses in real life.

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@tajj7 I have edited the comments in which you - or anyone - blamed the ME, because this is the Tactical forum and therefore not about complaining about the ME (or the game in general). Instead, it's exclusively about asking for tactical help/advice and offering it to those who asked - and nothing other than that.

Please keep that in mind when posting, because otherwise I'll have no other choice but to lock the thread.

Thank you :thup:

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Posted (edited)

You're presenting a problem, asking for advice, have multiple saying formation is part of the problem, then completely disregarding that feedback. I've played, I dunno probably 20ish seasons (in FM20) using some sort of high pressing tactic, from different formations, in various leagues, with teams at various levels of competitiveness. For some of those teams possession was partly an aim and for others I couldn't have cared less. I've never seen 32-68% possession against me with those teams. Not once. That's not to say I've never had lopsided possession numbers go against me, especially in tougher away matches, but not that lopsided, and certainly not with a matchup like that (e.g., Leverkusen vs Koln), where I'd expect to control the game. 

Edited by Experienced Defender
needless mention of the ME

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24 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

It's true with right roles and instructions, a 4-1-4-1 can basically act like a 4-3-3. It's just the defensive positioning for the 4-1-2-3.

So it's weird that you cannot get good possession from a 4-1-4-1. It's basically the shape that Pep Guardiola uses in real life.

I believe that you can and that's what I was trying say. To be clear: what the game calls 4141 DM Wide (the one with the AML and AMR), I call that a 433. Guardiola plays a 433. The OP's formation should also be fine for a possession game (not in its current form though), but I think it's less effective if one wants to have a very high press.

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21 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

So it's weird that you cannot get good possession from a 4-1-4-1. It's basically the shape that Pep Guardiola uses in real life.

That's not really true though, is it... 

1311195603_Screenshot2020-06-15at15_49_41.thumb.png.6dcfc4b3dbf23759c7e58893f77ee906.png

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, fmFutbolManager said:

That's not really true though, is it... 

1311195603_Screenshot2020-06-15at15_49_41.thumb.png.6dcfc4b3dbf23759c7e58893f77ee906.png

Yeah, you are completly right. I should have looked at the original posters tactical instructions and roles more closely. I can see now why he is not getting the possession he wants. His tactic is too counterattacking to keep much possession even with 4-1-4-1. But the problem of underdog teams keeping possession in the back is still very real. I'm just looking around to see what's the best solution, since 4-3-3 in it's various forms is still my main go-to shape. 

Edited by Experienced Defender
pointless remark

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

Yeah, you are completly right. I should have looked at the original posters tactical instructions and roles more closely. I can see now why he is not getting the possession he wants. His tactic is too counterattacking to keep much possession even with 4-1-4-1. But the problem of underdog teams keeping possession in the back is still very real. I'm just looking around to see what's the best solution, since 4-3-3 in it's various forms is still my main go-to shape. 

I wouldn't say it was a problem. Do you notice top AI teams having a similar issue against the same opposition. For example, how do Bayern and Dortmund do against FC Köln? I'd be interested to see if FC Köln have a 68% average possession in the league stats. I doubt it very much.

The problem isn't underdog teams keeping possession at the back, the problem is setting up against defensive teams who aim to keep the ball. This is a user issue, not an AI issue, in my opinion. If @tajj7 took on board some of the advice people are trying to give they might be able to play against this style of football, but I see little evidence of that in this thread. 

Edited by fmFutbolManager

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, fmFutbolManager said:

I wouldn't say it was a problem. Do you notice top AI teams having a similar issue against the same opposition. For example, how do Bayern and Dortmund do against FC Köln? I'd be interested to see if FC Köln have a 68% average possession in the league stats. I doubt it very much.

The problem isn't underdog teams keeping possession at the back, the problem is setting up against defensive teams who aim to keep the ball. This is a user issue, not an AI issue, in my opinion. If @tajj7 took on board some of the advice people are trying to give they might be able to play against this style of football, but I see little evidence of that in this thread. 

So how would you set up your 4-3-3 against such teams and to prevent this from happening? I'm really curious.

Edited by crusadertsar

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58 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

@tajj7 I have edited the comments in which you - or anyone - blamed the ME, because this is the Tactical forum and therefore not about complaining about the ME (or the game in general).

Going from post to post and editing out any mentions of the match engine is a bit much, don't you think? I think there's plenty of legitimate discussion going on in this thread, but clearly one can't discuss this specific issue without mentioning the match engine. I understand this isn't a general feedback thread, but aren't the issues discussed here directly correlated to tactics?

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2 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

So how would you set up your 4-3-3 against such teams and to prevent this from happening? I'm really curious.

I wouldn't. I don't see the opposition having the ball as being an issue for me. I tend to worry more about chances created and getting enough shots to win a match vs. conceding shots and losing a match. 

However, if I were so focussed on possession that I needed to have more of it than the opposition then it would be a simple case of dropping my mentality, tempo, and passing length. I would make sure I didn't have many players giving the ball away, e.g., wingers running with it or players playing direct and risky passes.

But again, this would only work towards keeping possession. Which is pointless for me. My intent is to score goals, not win the possession game. 

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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

So how would you set up your 4-3-3 against such teams and to prevent this from happening? I'm really curious.

I'd say that depends greatly on the players and opposition (macro, not micro).

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1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

Going from post to post and editing out any mentions of the match engine is a bit much, don't you think?

I don't. Because I am just doing my job. There is a good reason why the forum is divided into various sections. 

 

1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

I think there's plenty of legitimate discussion going on in this thread, but clearly one can't discuss this specific issue without mentioning the match engine

They well can. Because there are people who do not have these (or other kinds of) issues even though they play this same game with this same ME. Which is not perfect - and has never been nor is ever going to be - but whoever thinks the ME is "responsible" for their issues (rather than their own tactical mistakes) is allowed to legitimately discuss/complain about it in the relevant forum sections (such as GD or bugs). Not here

 

1 hour ago, Zemahh said:

I understand this isn't a general feedback thread, but aren't the issues discussed here directly correlated to tactics?

Again, for those who want to discuss tactic-related ME issues, there is the relevant section under the Bugs forum. 

P.S: Let's now get back to the topic, because I don't want to let the thread be further derailed in any way :thup:

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@crusadertsar Please do not re-edit a post I have previously edited and stick exclusively to the topic. 

Thank you.

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12 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

 

So it's weird that you cannot get good possession from a 4-1-4-1. It's basically the shape that Pep Guardiola uses in real life.

But what if I tell you that guardiola has never played or coached a team to play as an actual 433 or 4141?

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Posted (edited)

I can get 61% average possession over a season playing a "4-3-3" Man City recreation (with Man City) using a base formation of  2-3-2-2-1 and while I get lower than 61% against defensive teams who are good at keeping the ball in their own defensive third, the combination of formation, roles, duties and tactical instructions has squeezed those possession stats down. 

This linked thread below mirrors just about everything we've talked about above and in the linked thread although its hyper aggressive in pressing and tackling.  Here's all details including the stats:

 

Edited by Columnarius

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18 hours ago, zyfon5 said:

But what if I tell you that guardiola has never played or coached a team to play as an actual 433 or 4141?

I'd ask you if you've ever watched his teams play? Unless you mean that they don't play a rigid 433/4141 in matches, to which I'd reply that there is almost no team in the world that plays strictly in 1 formation and never deviates from the way it would be drawn out on a whiteboard :lol:

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2 hours ago, wixxi said:

I'd ask you if you've ever watched his teams play? Unless you mean that they don't play a rigid 433/4141 in matches, to which I'd reply that there is almost no team in the world that plays strictly in 1 formation and never deviates from the way it would be drawn out on a whiteboard :lol:

Exactly what I mean. Just because they are both lined up in a 433 doesn't mean that they will look the same in actual possession. And although Barcelona and man city  under guardiola line up with a 433 on paper they look very different in possession. Hence one should not assume they will automatically play like guardiola if they line up a 433 without full understanding of principles behind it.

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