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Understanding tactics better

Started on 13 May 2019 by JeffDogg / First Post
Latest Reply on 3 June 2019 by Wesnt / Last Post
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JeffDogg's avatar Group JeffDogg
8 monthsEdited

(sorry this might be a bit long, I'll try to keep it as short as possible)

As a kid I was a CM addict. True addict. Hardcore addict. I played a ton. I never was a genius at it, but I managed to do some decent stuff. Then as I grew up I lost track a bit, came back here and there.

Now, I'm tactically lost, absolutely lost. I'm no IRL tactical genius. Never been an educator or a coach, never been a tactic nerd. But I've been following football for over 20 years and I think I understand a decent amount of concepts.

But in FM I'm completely lost. Anything that I do fails. Even when I take tactics on the website and have the right players fitting it, it fails 95% of the time (still better than the 100% failure rate I get on personal tactics).
I just can't seem to understand anything about anything.
And out of frustration, I usually end up leaving everything to my assistant, and he gets way better results, so I'm done with the game...

My first game with FM19 (Touch version), I took Marseille and failed miserably for a few games with my own tactic, so I then picked 4231 ZION from FMScout. Worked very well for the season (I was short at the end of it, because of the results I couldn't get with my own tactic at the very beginning). Then it stopped working in season 2, so I played around with some other FMScout tactics. Got mixed results, overall good but never reached what I really wanted (never been champion)
Anyway, started another Marseille career (a bit later), and immediately took the 4231 ZION. Failed. Never worked. Samle tactic, same players, didn't take.
So I started unemployed, let the game play for 6-8 months, and took Wolves, 19th of the league, 7 points away from 17th place with something like 16-17 games to play. Moral was ok, so I figured it was doable, given the talent of the team.
2 wins, mostly losses, and we're down. I tried tactics from FMScout (some offensive ones, defensive ones), and finished with a tactic I made.
Ok, then I'm in Championship. With the sales, I built a strong squad, nice players everywhere. And it still fails miserably. I just quit and deleted the save because I just can't seem to get anything right.

So I have no idea what you can do for me. I don't even know what I'm looking for. I guess I'm just frustrated because I always loved to death the transfer aspect, the "build your team, sell and buy and get results", but I have to face the facts that I'm shockingly horrible at it. FM19 was said easier tactically ofr new players, but it just feels the exact same as the previous ones to me.

I notice most tactics on the website have a high defensive line, and plays offside trap. So maybe it's a good way to have decent results in the game. But 95% of the goals I conceed are on counter attack, ball behind the defense, goal. Even with fast defenders. So is there a reason most tactics play that way? Do people not conceed all those goals I seem to constantly conceed?
(I tried lowering the defensive line, not playing offside trap, still don't get results by the way)

Anyway, thanks for reading this. I know I'll come back to FM19, try, fail, uninstall, only to start all over a week later. That's what I've been doing for months now.
Damn what a dead-ass forum that is...
Hi Jeff,
i came here for advice but seems like i ll share mine :) first i ll tell you where i am coming from then i ll explain how i fixed it so you can fast forward to 2nd section if you like, since first one is similar to your story.

1st section How my problems started -
a little background about me, i am playing manager games since 99, usually i play my first game with a good team using reload/save to learn the logic/tactics then start a hard core one, this time it did not work, i played some games 30+ times and seemed like there is an invisible wall you cant cross, even against lower teams, i tried so many tactics i got totally lost, i forgot everything i knew, i came at a point where i do not know what to do anymore, almost deleted the game, it was not just about winning, my team were so bad they cant even go to opponents keep once or hit the bar 3-5 times from inside the 6yd box...

2nd section How i solved the problems -
I made a clean slate balanced tactic with 4-1-4-1 DM wide (it looks like 4-1-2-2-1 with wings), for 2nd and 3rd tactics, i used the same formation for a tactic with attacking press, wide, counter etc. and a defensive one with opposing choices. regroup, narrow, hold shape etc. The logic behind this was to prepare the team for every scenario, get them familiar with almost everything. i always had different formations before but this time i went with this approach as i have a lower team mainly built for it. I noticed where you can see the personality of opposing manager, how he likes to play, this helped me a lot knowing their thinking style. i started to reading opponent reports like where they like to attack, i took over opponent instructions and started to only focus on those high threat players where they like to attack, instead of marking and pressing whole team like assistants do, but always showing wing defenders on their other foot from their playing wing, like showing DL to his right foot. if you read the recent match analysis it gives you a lot of clues where you can make improvements, i.e. my defensive midfielder was a deep-lying play maker with support duty, after i made him defend duty, their touches to goal ratio, entries from center, long shots and the goals we concede from them greatly dropped, what did it costed me? his useless long shots ending up as goal kicks or even throw ins for 2 seasons :D i made a tactical familiarity schedule to train these tactics manually.

Now my first game against last 2 years title winners by a good margin with 15-20 points above, i usually play with comprehensive highlights reading analysis, stats, body language etc. this time i played the full game with faster choice, keeping their managers playing style in mind, i tried to counter their approaching styles on my clean slate tactic, constantly changing it by their movements on the field and reports, body language etc. i managed to finish the game 0-0, actually could've won with my few shots on goals if they did not have a world class GK, maybe it was luck, but i won my next 2 games 1-4 and 4-0, maybe it was luck too, i lost to A.Madrid at home 2-3 on a champions league game but we played really good, from personal mistakes of my DCR they scored 2, after this game my tactical knowledge in my manager profile reached 20 from 18, i lost another close game which we played better, i drew next, but things were changing, i was having fun, i started to feel like doing somethings right and i caught a flow, i liked what i was watching on the screen, my team was performing really well even when losing and we usually concede from corners or personal mistakes from defenders or bad passes which usually leads to a goal.

3rd section Results -
I am feeling like a manager atm, not just playing a game to kill some time, satisfy my ego or to finish it. i am in the action now, i am on that field with my players, no matter if we win or lose. for example, when it start raining, use shoot on sight, do small things like this and you will enjoy the game like never before, you will have a lot fun and feel like building something there, not just going through one match day to another just to finish a season and earn trophies.

Currently i am having problems creating chances again, i am having hard times even going to opposing penalty area, looks like a dead end, i am starting to getting the same night mares from times i wanted to delete the game, but one thing is different, as i mentioned before except personal mistakes, we are rock solid at the back, now i know when to press, when to defend wide, when to man mark, when to play counter or hold the ball, they become mostly instinctive than knowledge at this point, maybe i should write them down somewhere. So, for good or bad, i have built something here which i enjoy and i am not going to give it up yet. i ll get 2 creative midfielders and a solid striker for free at the end of this season, i am hoping that they will solve some of my problems. Also i started to think on changing formation without losing how i defend my field and goal. i hope you can find your own way in the game and be happy, build something which you can enjoy, farewell.

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