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DamianJMcGrath

Does anyone else have no idea what they're doing?

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I'm been trying to get back into FM19 after a break, and I wanted to finally figure out how to make my own tactic. Up until now, with 19, and also with 15 and 17, I relied on downloadable plug and play tactics. I did enjoy squad building and developing youth, but the tactics side was entirely downloaded, and I felt a bit exploitative. I'm pretty sure they worked too well. I went into every game assuming I'd win. It didn't really feel like an achievement. I leave almost everything to my assistant - press conferences, training, team talks, opposition instructions, etc. I feel like the risk of me selecting the wrong thing is too high.

But, as a new dad, with countless long sleepless nights, I've got back into FM19, and decided to try and figure out how the game actually works, and build my own tactics at the very least. 

So far, I'm finding it impossible.

I've read loads of things in the Tactics forum, such as the Pairs and Combinations guide, and I seem to have followed all the principles. But even with a good Tottenham side, I end up losing 3 or 4-0 to Brighton, Huddersfield, Leicester, and getting totally smashed by the bigger teams. 

I post for help, and the thing people say to me is "what style of football do you want to play, and why do you want to play like that?". 

That's my problem. 

I've no idea.

For example, with Tottenham, I want to pick the players I've heard of, and that seem to match real life. So, maybe Kane up front, and then maybe an Eriksen or Alli behind him. Maybe Son on the wing with Lamela. In midfield, maybe a Dier in a defensive position, and a Sissoko type for going box to box. In defence, all I really know is there's 4 guys - 2 central, and 2 fullbacks. That's the extend of my knowledge.

I've no idea if Kane is a Complete Forward or Advanced Forward or DLF. He's just a forward, right? In real life, he drops deep to collect the ball and get involved with the passing, but every striker does that occasionally? That's not a thing I need to tell him, he's a professional footballer, he'll get involved how he sees fit. Not sure if that makes him a DLF or not?

Son seems to start wide, and run inside, so maybe a Inside Forward? But then he will stay wide and run down the byline and get crosses in, depending on the situation so he's a Winger sometimes too. I don't really know if he's support or attack. I mean, he's a striker really, so I guess Attack. I do want him to attack. But then, I probably want lots of people to attack. When the situation calls for it, I want him to defend too! I don't want him just standing there watching the opposition fullback power past him. I want him to do both, like a normal footballer.

In midfield, I could guess Sissoko is a Box to Box, based on watching him, and Dier is a bit of a tackler, so maybe Ball Winning Midfielder. But then I get criticised for choosing those two, because they don't compliment each other, and I guess they both go off hunting the ball and emptying the midfield. So then I end up just choosing options that are either Green circles, or that someone else has told me works together, and I've no real idea why I'm doing it.

 

Is there an absolute idiots guide to this game, that helps me figure out what style I want? I don't have a style in mind. I don't know how I want to play, and I don't know why I make certain choices, except the fact I've vaguely seen it on TV. 

 

How have other people started? How do you approach the game? How do you decide on your style?

 

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Sorry to say I've got no advice for you, but I'm just like you! 

All those player roles.. I feel like I'm trying to solve a puzzle. "This player has the perfect attributes to role X, but would role Y fit better to my tactic even though the player is not that well suited?" 

I'd almost prefer to tell my players "four at the back, three in the middle and three up front, now go out there and do your thing!" :lol:

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It's so confusing.

Like if I play someone as a CM Attack, that means something different if my mentality, tempo, LOE, etc is set to x, but there's no description of what's different. 

I was playing one game, and I was losing 1-0 so in the 70th minute, I changed the drop down thing from Balanced to Attacking, because, you know, I wanted to score! Apparently, Attacking doesn't always mean attacking, depending on other stuff. I had less possession, less shots and less highlights on Attacking than I did on Balanced. 

 

I just can't get my head around what any of the stuff means, let alone in combination. 

It feels like I go into games with a random collection of things ticked, hoping I've lucked into the particular winning combination for this game. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not a tactical guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a few suggestions:

  • If you want to try out tactical changes, I'd strongly suggest using FM Touch. The reason is two-fold: firstly, there's no tactical familiarity, so the players will play your tactics to the best of their abilities. Secondly, the games come thick and fast, so you can pretty much do nothing else except for play games, and tweak tactics.
     
  • Start with a blank canvas. Personally, when I get a new version of FM, I start with a completely neutral tactic with no settings applied at all. I then watch the games (in full match mode) and slowly make tactical tweaks, one setting at a time, until my team are playing roughly the way that I want them to.  The logic to this approach is that, if I limit concurrent changes, and only modify a single setting at a time, it is much easier to see how that setting is interpreted by the players/match engine.

    Now that FM comes with basic preset tactics, you don't necessarily have to start totally from scratch, but I would recommend, that if you start with one of the default tactics, that you only make small discrete changes at a time, so you can see how your changes affect things. 
     
  • When you're working on tactics, watch the games on full match mode for a bit (or at the very least comprehensive). For me, I learn so much about what works (and conversely what doesn't work) within my team's tactics from watching my team's transitions, and turnovers. When I'm testing out a tactic, I'll often pause the game at every transition, to try and determine why the play broke down and the general shape of both teams at that moment. If there is a trend I may then make a tactical tweak and see if it improves things.

I'd also suggest posting a thread in the tactical forum. If you expand on your original post to also cover the team that you're currently using, and the the type of football that you want to play, and make it clear that you want to learn, then I am sure that somebody on that forum will be able to give you good advice, and even more importantly, explain the logic behind their suggestions in great detail, so that you can learn from it.

Edited by DementedHammer

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Posted (edited)

If you've always relied on download previous you're in for a rough ride. Simply put, with (the more popular) downloads, Player quality has never mattered much. Or anything else, for that matter. YOu can still test this: Don't do anything but putting the tactic in (not even make subs!), pick a sub-par Team, belt continue. Odds are big you'll be in Europe come the end of the season. If you go Cold Turkey here, you're playing an altogether different game from the Ground up. Stuff suddenly…… matters.

WIth that out of the way:

10 hours ago, DamianJMcGrath said:

 

I've read loads of things in the Tactics forum, such as the Pairs and Combinations guide, and I seem to have followed all the principles. But even with a good Tottenham side, I end up losing 3 or 4-0 to Brighton, Huddersfield, Leicester, and getting totally smashed by the bigger teams. 

 


Do you have any Player, in particular the CBs on individual marking orders in their instructions? This pulls them all over the place. Virtually the only Thing that could cause this from my end. Except for really Basic mistakes, but if you've been to the tactics Forums, you may have those covered already.

Edited by Svenc

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I’m not especially knowledgeable about any of the tactical side of things yet, I picked the game up due to quarantine, but I’ve put in over a thousand hours and have read a lot about tactics and whatnot and think I might be able to help.

I started my first few saves on lower division teams with a plug and play and quickly climbed until I was into the nations first division and then I’d get smashed every time. I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong until I actually watched a full game through. It was tedious, and it didn’t exactly show me everything I needed to see, but it did show me the general gist of how my team was playing and why we were getting destroyed. After that I started looking into tactics a lot more and experimented with them on new saves and I’ve somewhat developed a system to build a tactic to fit a team, rather than try and force the tactic on them. The first few steps are looking at the team compared to the rest of the league attribute wise (primarily paying attention to what we’re very good or very bad at), checking depth to find your strongest position (if I have 3 good strikers I probably need to run a 2 man striker team, etc.), and MOST importantly, what tactics are the other teams in your league running. Nations have tactical identities, and if you end up running a 1 striker tactic in Italy you may find him getting marked out of existence due to the prevalence of 3 man defensive lines there. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with what you have and what you’ll be playing against, you can set up your tactic in a general sense. If you can’t settle on a formation I’d look up “best football formation against x” where x is the most common tactic amongst your opponents and use this as a starting point. Once everyone Is arranged how you’d like them, it’s time to start picking roles. I generally look to put my best player(s) in a position where they can be as impactful as possible in the things they’re good at, and form the rest of the offense or defense around them. If you have an amazing dribbler and passer, look to turn him into a playmaker and have players who can play off him, if you have a lockdown defender, put him somewhere where he can be disruptive, and you can probably take more chances offensensively. The pairs and combinations guide is very nice to use once you’ve locked in a role or two on your team as you’re able to use that as a reference, rather than just trying to absorb the whole thing at once. When selecting roles look at attributes, not the green circles. A natural midfielder with amazing speed, dribbling, and crossing may be able to play well in the midfield, but their attributes may be better suited to being a winger and they may play better there even with a worse looking circle. Once you have your formation set up and roles picked generally, It’s time to mess with the team instructions. The most common issue I’ve found is that the team mentality has much more influence than people think, and not necessarily in the ways you’d think it would. Changing from balanced to positive essentially changes your passing directness up 1 tick, it pushes your pressing up 1 tick, and it will have your players playing slightly higher. This means that a team that’s directed to pass the ball very short on very attacking will still be more direct than a very direct instructed team with a balanced mentality. This means that when you changed your mentality in game from balanced to attacking, it catapulted your passing directness up 2 notches, meaning that your players were unfamiliar with it and and were being much riskier with their passes leading to loss of possession. I set every tactic to positive, and then set passing and pressing instructions based off of that, but I know others go higher, you just have to be aware of how this will impact how agressive you will be playing and adjust accordingly. As for player roles in general, my advice would be to save before a game so you can play it multiple times against the same opponent and change a few players roles each time to see how they play differently than they were in the previous role. Doing this will quickly show you the difference in some roles as you see your AF hugging a center back all game where as when he plays as a DLF he’s often sitting in front of them. And for the Atk, Sup, Def setting, think of attackers as someone whose job is to do offense and offense primarily. A attacking winger will be sitting as high up the field as he can on offense waiting for a ball to run onto and not come back as far on D, whereas a winger on support will look to “support” the attack by moving with it and being a passing option. Playing with those and watching how they play can help you figure out what your changes actually do. My last bit of advice would be checking average positions for your players if you aren’t watching the whole game, this will give you a general idea of where your players are sitting and will show you if one of them is off by himself or all of them are too close together and things along those lines. In reference to your box to box and ball winner, they may both be pressing somewhat hard and leaving your midfield open behind them to be attacked, in that case I’d maybe reccomend a DM in defend duty to help cover for them. 

To sum it all up: get familiar with who you are playing with and against, build around stars using the combinations and pairings guide, and watch some games. I knew nothing about soccer other than strikers score goals and wingers play wide until I started playing FM, and this 3 step process has helped me build tactics than I actually feel accomplished making. I hope I was some help, if you have anymore questions I’d be willing to try my best to answer. Best of luck to you, and I hope your tactic brings you much silverware.

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On FM17 I found a 4-4-2 downloadable tactic which was pretty solid. Over the last 3 FMs I've used the same tactic, but amended player roles and defensive lines and other bits to make it my own and to improve it.

Basically, get a formation you want to use, select only a few instructions and slowly build on it. Player roles are only a guide from your AssMan

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14 hours ago, DamianJMcGrath said:

I've no idea if Kane is a Complete Forward or Advanced Forward or DLF. He's just a forward, right? In real life, he drops deep to collect the ball and get involved with the passing, but every striker does that occasionally? That's not a thing I need to tell him, he's a professional footballer, he'll get involved how he sees fit. Not sure if that makes him a DLF or not?

Son seems to start wide, and run inside, so maybe a Inside Forward? But then he will stay wide and run down the byline and get crosses in, depending on the situation so he's a Winger sometimes too. I don't really know if he's support or attack. I mean, he's a striker really, so I guess Attack. I do want him to attack. But then, I probably want lots of people to attack. When the situation calls for it, I want him to defend too! I don't want him just standing there watching the opposition fullback power past him. I want him to do both, like a normal footballer.

Why not just choose what YOU want him to do and is he capable? It doesn't matter what he does in real life, that is just matter of intepretation in FM. If you would ask 5 different FM players to recreate Tottenham tactic it is likely that you would get 5 slightly different tactics.

You are taking defend, support and attack duties too litarally. Support duty can still score, attack duty can still assist, they are also influanced by your overall team mentality. Just try to imagine where would players be when you choose your roles and duties. Try to envision how your goals are suppose to happen. I also suggest playing on comperhensive highlights while you are creating a tactic.

14 hours ago, DamianJMcGrath said:

So then I end up just choosing options that are either Green circles, or that someone else has told me works together, and I've no real idea why I'm doing it.

This is your problem. Don't do that, it's a common rookie mistake. Choose the roles you think they work and your players are capable of, you have that pairs and combination guide. Picking roles just because of green circles can lead to creating bad tactics. You said you are criticised for picking roles. If you mean some advices you get within the game you can safely ignore that. AI will criticise you for simply picking a role that isn't a green circle. It isn't really the artificial intelligence capable of understanding your whole tactic and what you are trying to do.

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Posted (edited)

First and foremost, it should be said that guides are ultimately only advice. In this case, they are an aid in creating a balanced distribution of roles. Whether guides like this are really that helpful is debatable. After all, I've never seen measurable evidence of that.

However, you can also win with an unbalanced role distribution and tactics and much of it ultimately depends on your own player personnel, your opponent, form, morale and pure luck; with the latter two being the most important aspects. There's a reason why the most strange-looking, unbalanced tactics, also known as exploit tactics, are that successful. They don't follow any serious logic.

It should not be forgotten that tactics under the hood are merely sliders that increase or decrease the likelihood of certain behaviours. Some random constellations, which theoretically make no sense at all, produce extremely good results, while other, detailed, well thought-out constellations end in a catastrophe. That's just the way it is.

A good starting point is often to recreate the playing style of an exciting real life team. Video footage and statistics can help in this case. I also recommend reading up stuff on football sites which offer tactical write-ups. While there is no guarantee that it will work, it's at least fun, expands your horizon and could also be a good start to get a feel for the interplay and interaction of tactics and roles. 

All you can do is trying to play the game in a way that gives you a feeling of some kind of joy. Personally, I've never used plug and play tactics as I feel like I'd miss the actual meaning of the game if I did that. Football Manager should ultimately be about inspiration, ideas and creating and leading your more or less ambitious team.

Edited by gonefading

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Yeah my problem is that I take the in game prompts at face value. Green circle must be good, right? That sort of thing. 

I also choose things that make sense, so if I want to be direct and attacking, I'll choose Attacking mentality and Direct team instructions, but then people say "that's overkill, you've made it too direct". Well, if it's wrong, why did you let me select it? 

There's no option to tell the players to only run backwards, because that would be wrong. So why can I combine things that make it hugely overkill? It might be helpful to say "you've selected this, so you don't need to also select this", or at least to say "you've selected this, this makes x and y higher so you can add extra on top if you want but it's already at this level". 

 

For example, watching Man United at Brighton last night. In my limited knowledge, it looked like De Gea was a normal goalkeeper, the two centre backs were normal, the two fullbacks were attacking wing backs who always created an overlap, Matic was a defensive midfielder who stayed back, Pogba I guess was a box to box midfielder, and Fernandes seemed to be a playmaker. Rashford looked like an inside forward as he was wide but not as wide as Shaw. Greenwood looked a bit wider, maybe a winger but he obviously cut inside a lot too. Maybe another inside forward. Martial seemed to hold his position so maybe an advanced forward. 

So, I'd have a GK, two CD Def, two WB A, a DM Def, a BBM Supp, and AP Supp, maybe a IF A for Rashford and a IF S for Greenwood (although they could be swapped around) and a AF A for Martial. 

 

I'd probably go for wide play with overlapping fullbacks. I guess the mentality was Positive or Attacking - they certainly dominated the game. 

They seemed to have possession (like the huge number of passes leading to the first goal), and at the same time, do pretty direct counter attacks (like the third). So I'd want them to play both. Not sure how I'd select counter attacking and possession instructions. 

I guess high tempo too, they seemed pretty energetic in the game. Definitely not sluggish tempo. 

They pressed really high, so I'm thinking a high LOE and a high DL. But saying that, I never really saw Brighton get in behind so maybe a normal DL. 

Counter and Counter Press seem valid, and I guess Shorter Passing was what they were doing, as well as exploiting the flanks. 

De Gea seemed to roll it out to centre backs so that's an option to select. 

 

I would go through all these things and I'm pretty sure I'd get smashed apart in FM. 

 

How do people know what options to select which sound right, and which other ones not to select, because even though they sound right, they cause an imbalance? 

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I agree. This game is needlessly over complicated in my opinion. 

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32 minutes ago, DamianJMcGrath said:

I also choose things that make sense, so if I want to be direct and attacking, I'll choose Attacking mentality and Direct team instructions, but then people say "that's overkill, you've made it too direct". Well, if it's wrong, why did you let me select it? 

In the Call of Duty you can go out in clear sight and let them kill you, but you won't do that and you will duck behind a cover and shoot from there. Same way in the tactic creator you can do some things that would not make sense. Bear in mind that when someone says "it's overkill" they want to push you towards minimalistic aproach and that would help you better understand the game. When you put a lot of team instructions together you don't understand really what they do because in FM because you are beginner. You don't need that much instruction to create a winning tactic. For example my recent tactic before I changed club had just shorter passing for in possession TI. In defence TI was just higher LOE and higher DL. And I won 4 straight titles in Romania with it.

43 minutes ago, DamianJMcGrath said:

How do people know what options to select which sound right, and which other ones not to select, because even though they sound right, they cause an imbalance? 

By experience. Trial and error. Watch on comperhensive highlights until you are sure that tactic work great. If you pick play out of defence, then you look how they bulid up form defence on comperhensive. If they are losing the ball or if they can't find a pass and hoofing it away regularly then it's not working. You can also look at player ratings for guidence. If you have a solid winger on attack but he keeps getting bad ratings and lacks with goals and assists then you can use the analysis tools to see why that is. It could be that he doesn't have anyone to support him so how can he provide for striker or score when he himself doesn't get the ball in a good position.

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Posted (edited)

You're spot on here @DamianJMcGrath, fighting the peoples fight!

I can make stuff work but that's probably because i spend too much time on this forum and learn how things may say one thing in-game and actually do something different.

It would be nice to be able to trust the advise coming from the Assman, or the green circles or the star ratings...

Edited by Baodan

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People saying it's too complicated now would have loved the sliders back in the day

Is it 1 notch too far to the left or 1 notch too far to the right

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 12.42.02.png

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More of an real life issue than in FM. :D

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Here is what I did when I first managed to create my own tactic that I completely understand and have used for the last 3-4 versions of FM without changing much. First of all, I wanted to play as Liverpool did under Klopp back then. I mean, back when they had Coutinho on the left side drifting in, while Mane was more of a winger on the right. That was my goal. I won't go into all details here, but I had to ask for a bit of help and I got it. Here is the thread.

Still, it really helps to know some basics of football and tactics to do well in this game. And it also comes down to personal preference. I love 4-5-1/4-3-3 tactics. Since I can easily change it back to a 4-1-4-1 if I have a poor team and need to play deeper and more defensively.

The thing with tactics is that you should start with something basic and then work your way towards what you'd like to see. Sure, there are ways to exploit the game, and for some that is fun enough, but it doesn't really help you to understand what it happening or how to influence it.

 

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Probably not adding much to what has already been said so far, but all I will say from what I have found is that sometimes less is more, especially when managing lesser teams. I used to think that I needed loads of instructions for everything, but discovered that I have far more success with less team and player instructions, and keeping it quite simple. I play a balanced 442 wing play with two wingers, even if one of my wingers is more suited to being an inside forward. I have an advanced playmaker and CM (set to support in games I should win and defend in tougher games or away games) then a target man and a pressing forward. I make a few minor tweaks here and there with individual instructions, but nothing too over the top. I also stick with a formation for quite a while even if I see no immediate success, I find tinkering after every game just keeps me in a spiral of bad results.

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17 minutes ago, Jonthedon26 said:

Probably not adding much to what has already been said so far, but all I will say from what I have found is that sometimes less is more, especially when managing lesser teams. I used to think that I needed loads of instructions for everything, but discovered that I have far more success with less team and player instructions, and keeping it quite simple. I play a balanced 442 wing play with two wingers, even if one of my wingers is more suited to being an inside forward. I have an advanced playmaker and CM (set to support in games I should win and defend in tougher games or away games) then a target man and a pressing forward. I make a few minor tweaks here and there with individual instructions, but nothing too over the top. I also stick with a formation for quite a while even if I see no immediate success, I find tinkering after every game just keeps me in a spiral of bad results.

I agree with you there.  I think keeping things as simple as possible is often the way to go.  I also think that too much is made of the attributes of a player sometimes.  One thing I do is watch what my players do on the pitch and how they play and base my decisions of where they should play around that.  For example, i'm playing as Sochaux and have an 'advanced forward'.  He looks great all the way up to the box when he usually fluffs his shots.  Because he's so fast I decided to try him out on the wing as an inside forward.  I thought his pace would cause problems if he ran at the defenders.  So I put him on an attack duty.  He's got 15 goals so far.  So I think just watching the games and spending less time on the data available can help in bad spells of form.

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I just want to say I am happy I am not the only one who needs a "Complete idiots guide to FM". I have played this game since 97 and I still haven't got a clue on what I am doing. "Start a thread in the Tactics forum", they say, but it would be like "Okay, so I have started a new save, now how do I not suck at this?"

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This was me a while back.

In the slider days, I actually know what the sliders meant and I really grasped the concept of Mentality quick, which wasn't common. I was a LLaMa though, so no tactics forum stuff. I could set up a decent 442, but no variations of it and no other formations either. I didn't understand tactics at all - just what works to get me success in this one tactic. I was clueless on a tactical level.

Then came FM13. Ghosting was gone. Doing whatever it is you wanted was gone. I had some success here and there, but it was different from before and I realised I lacked in knowledge of what actually makes a tactic work. I started watching matches in full. I started watching RL football matches not as a fan, but paying attention to the movement of players. The latter was less enjoyable as the entire match could pass me by in terms of excitement and scoreline, but I saw how players moved and what was happening, which benefited my FM life. Watching matches in full on FM changed things for me the most. It was so much easier to see, even as a tactical noob, what was happening and spotting issues. Players going for exactly the same space. Players not having passing options. ETC. I spent the rest of FM13 and the whole of FM14 watching full matches. Seasons were slow, but I had much more success. After that, I went back to Comprehensive, now armed with the knowledge gained of creating, denying and using space.

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On 30/06/2020 at 19:59, DamianJMcGrath said:

I'm been trying to get back into FM19 after a break, and I wanted to finally figure out how to make my own tactic. Up until now, with 19, and also with 15 and 17, I relied on downloadable plug and play tactics. I did enjoy squad building and developing youth, but the tactics side was entirely downloaded, and I felt a bit exploitative. I'm pretty sure they worked too well. I went into every game assuming I'd win. It didn't really feel like an achievement. I leave almost everything to my assistant - press conferences, training, team talks, opposition instructions, etc. I feel like the risk of me selecting the wrong thing is too high.

But, as a new dad, with countless long sleepless nights, I've got back into FM19, and decided to try and figure out how the game actually works, and build my own tactics at the very least. 

So far, I'm finding it impossible.

I've read loads of things in the Tactics forum, such as the Pairs and Combinations guide, and I seem to have followed all the principles. But even with a good Tottenham side, I end up losing 3 or 4-0 to Brighton, Huddersfield, Leicester, and getting totally smashed by the bigger teams. 

I post for help, and the thing people say to me is "what style of football do you want to play, and why do you want to play like that?". 

That's my problem. 

I've no idea.

For example, with Tottenham, I want to pick the players I've heard of, and that seem to match real life. So, maybe Kane up front, and then maybe an Eriksen or Alli behind him. Maybe Son on the wing with Lamela. In midfield, maybe a Dier in a defensive position, and a Sissoko type for going box to box. In defence, all I really know is there's 4 guys - 2 central, and 2 fullbacks. That's the extend of my knowledge.

I've no idea if Kane is a Complete Forward or Advanced Forward or DLF. He's just a forward, right? In real life, he drops deep to collect the ball and get involved with the passing, but every striker does that occasionally? That's not a thing I need to tell him, he's a professional footballer, he'll get involved how he sees fit. Not sure if that makes him a DLF or not?

Son seems to start wide, and run inside, so maybe a Inside Forward? But then he will stay wide and run down the byline and get crosses in, depending on the situation so he's a Winger sometimes too. I don't really know if he's support or attack. I mean, he's a striker really, so I guess Attack. I do want him to attack. But then, I probably want lots of people to attack. When the situation calls for it, I want him to defend too! I don't want him just standing there watching the opposition fullback power past him. I want him to do both, like a normal footballer.

In midfield, I could guess Sissoko is a Box to Box, based on watching him, and Dier is a bit of a tackler, so maybe Ball Winning Midfielder. But then I get criticised for choosing those two, because they don't compliment each other, and I guess they both go off hunting the ball and emptying the midfield. So then I end up just choosing options that are either Green circles, or that someone else has told me works together, and I've no real idea why I'm doing it.

 

Is there an absolute idiots guide to this game, that helps me figure out what style I want? I don't have a style in mind. I don't know how I want to play, and I don't know why I make certain choices, except the fact I've vaguely seen it on TV. 

 

How have other people started? How do you approach the game? How do you decide on your style?

 

I think your ideas about the roles the players have are too rigid.

Like with your example of Son playing as an inside forward.... If you play him in that role it doesnt mean he wont also try and beat a man on the outside and cross the ball, as well as attacking the box with an outside in run.

The roles arent kind of set in stone, it just encourages slightly more behaviour in one sense choosing a role, like a deep lying forward will show a willingness to come deep more for the ball than an advanced forward. But an advanced forward will still also come deep SOME of the time, just perhaps not AS OFTEN.

Also player traits influence how they play. If a player has a preferred move to "get into the opposition area" as a central midfielder, he will more readily want to get forward irrespective of his mentality than someone without that preferred move that you might have to tell to go forward.

It might be better to start a game with a team you are VERY familiar with to give you a clear picture of the style and roles.

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Here's how I often start. Choose a formation that suits your players and in the tactics screen set up a few TIs that you think will work and then having placed your best players in the chosen formation go to the drop down menu to the right of the Quick Pick box and click on the lower of the two Pick Without Restriction options.

86773821_PickWithoutreservation.thumb.png.c3886aeb0ef65d11af0d44a3053b35d6.png

This has the effect of changing the roles of every player to that which the game thinks is his best role. This is highly unlikely to produce a balanced tactic but it does give a start. I've currently just moved to  Saint-Étienne in 2020 and this is what I got:

First.thumb.png.333d568a7f2b73ed5c4ce1e738ebb932.png

I think that I was lucky with the suggested roles in that they look quite well balanced. However, I've changed to DLP (S) to a DLP (D), the CM (D) to BBM (S) and the W (S) to W (A). I'm now going to see how it plays.

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