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Help What did I do wrong with my tactics?


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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I've played this save for a number of seasons. After tweaking tactics several times and (more importantly) developing my players, I've now built a team with rock solid defense and a midfield that can comfortably retain possession. However, there are some problems I still cannot solve after all this time:

1. The match report keeps saying my team is using the width poorly. My wingbacks would dribble all the way till the bottom line and make a hopeless cross every now and then. They would make almost 20 crosses per game added together, with very few successes. They are good at passing the ball though, which is what I am happy about. Are they separate or one issue? How should I make them make more passes instead of crosses and/or fix this width problem? I wonder if I should switch them to IWBs but I heard that an IWB will function like a WB if there's no one in front of him. My AMs will sometimes drift pretty wide so will that allow the wingbacks to cut inside?

2. This one is the more concerning. I have been struggling to bring my striker into play since day 1. They make only around 10 passes per game and cannot pose threat to the opposition goal. "Striker did not test opposition keeper enough" almost shows up in every match report. It's November and my starting striker hasn't scored a single league goal. I'm only winning because I have an amazing defense that can keep clean sheets and let me scrap a 1-0 win. I tried to fix this by changing my AM to SS, but that didn't help, and the SS made fewer passes than before. I'm not asking a crazy amount of goals but I think it's a reasonable expectation for my players to score more than just 1 goal, considering their quality.

Feel free to change anything, as long as you keep 3 CBs in the back.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Edited by eternalaurora
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That’s surprising that your wingbacks’ crosses aren’t more successful … especially as Lucca should have 17-20 aerial and strength by 2026

Four questions for you:

  1. Do either of your WBs take corners? I guess your WBL Udogie does.
  2. How good is Fontanello for aerial / movement / strength? He started that match you shared the screenshots of. If it’s below 15 for each, then that would explain this individual match.
  3. Can you share the player performance stats for a match where Lucca plays the full 90 mins? So we can see how many headers he attempted / won.
  4. Have you tried playing your ST in a Poscher or TM role? I think they’d stay far more central for crosses. Whereas a CF may not always be in the right position to head in a cross (I don’t use CFs, so this is a guess)

Some analysis of the match you shared - suggests the problem is with your ST Fontanello!

  • Team - your whole team attempted 19 crosses (inc. 5 corners), of which 5 were successful.
  • WBs - your two WBs attempted 15 crosses total, but only 2 were successful.
  • ST - Fontanello (your ST) attempted 11 headers, but only 3 were successful.
  • SO WHAT? => your WBs are putting in many crosses (good) which are going to your ST (good), but your ST isn’t winning them (bad!).
  • This suggests your problem is with your ST Fontanello.

🙂 

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PS. About WBs vs IWBs:

  • With narrow width, the IWBs would definitely want to drift inside if they can 👍 
  • IWBs have space to drift in centrally - if you play a AP, DLP, B2B or RPM in those MC positions.
  • However I find IWBs don’t have space to drift in - if you play normal CMs there. Either they both take the same space, or the IWBs don’t drift inside.

How about trying something like this … change one WB to an IWB, then change the CM on that side to a DLP or B2B. Then see what happens in extended highlights on the normal / unchanged side of the pitch vs the new / changed side of the pitch! 👍👍👍

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Couple of things I would say:

- Make your striker a poacher. He will hang centre;

- Be careful with players in the second attacking line (APM), as they can get in the way;

- Consider bumping WBs up to the middle line. You have three CB and two CM, so that’s maybe enough to take the risk of moving the side players forward;

- We need a screenshot of your striker

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Well firstly match report analysis is more art than science, so I'm only half sure I know what they are saying

 

3 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

match report keeps saying my team is using the width poorly

I think this means you are not utilising the width enough, which is pointing at the fact you've set the shape to narrow while already fielding a narrow formation.

I can't vouch for wide, though in theory with a 3 at the back and a narrow formation it could work. Definitely make that balanced at least.

 

3 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

I have been struggling to bring my striker into play since day 1. They make only around 10 passes per game and cannot pose threat to the opposition goal. "Striker did not test opposition keeper enough" almost shows up in every match report

I don't think I've seen a 5221 being played a complete forward up front. There isn't much space for the CF to operate.

 

3 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

 

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Lastly, I think you're over-complicating. I think neutral for everything would probably actually be better.

I've already said drop narrow, but definitely drop expressive for now. Since your defence is fine we leave that intact. Drop all the final third options for now and reintroduce them one by one to see if it actually works.

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Posted (edited)

Answers to @DanEnglish's questions:

  1. Yes. Both of them do.
  2. Fontenello's aerial isn't too good, but it's doesn't seem to be his weakness either. He's movement and strength are good. He's a regen of Messi so could it the problem?
  3. Unfortunately, my Lucca didn't develop too closely with my expectation (I was trying to make him a Lukaku). He usually wins half of the headers (2/4 in most cases) in a game.
  4. I used to have a TM when I was using 5-2-1-2, my strikers matured by the time I switched to 5-2-2-1 so I never played with a TM in this formation.
  5. I'll see how the adjustments work before inviting an IWB to my formation.

For @Rob:

  1. I personally have a feeling against poachers, so I'd like to use this as a last resort. 
  2. Would you mind explaining a bit more? Whose way are the AMs getting into?
  3. I'm afraid I cannot do that since one of my wingbacks isn't comfortable in wide midfield position at all.

For @Meow:

  1. I will try that.
  2. Since all 3 of you mentioned that I need to change the striker's role, I will surely do that. I will start with TM.
  3. I used to go balanced/narrow-disciplined and the width issue was even worse than narrow-expressive, so are you suggesting that I should go balanced-balanced? I have no problem dropping overlap and through ball, but for work into box my concern is dropping it will result in more reckless shots and I already don't trust my strikers on that.

Based on the suggestions, this is what I'm planning to do:

  • Change the striker role to TM.
  • Change the width to balanced.
  • Change the expressiveness to balanced.
  • Drop all three instructions for final third.

Is there anything else I should do? 

Pictures of Lucca, Fontanello, and a game involving Lucca:

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Edited by eternalaurora
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6 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

Answers to @DanEnglish's questions:

  1. Yes. Both of them do.
  2. Fontenello's aerial isn't too good, but it's doesn't seem to be his weakness either. He's movement and strength are good. He's a regen of Messi so could it the problem?
  3. Unfortunately, my Lucca didn't develop too closely with my expectation (I was trying to make him a Lukaku). He usually wins half of the headers (2/4 in most cases) in a game.
  4. I used to have a TM when I was using 5-2-1-2, my strikers matured by the time I switched to 5-2-2-1 so I never played with a TM in this formation.
  5. I'll see how the adjustments work before inviting an IWB to my formation.

For @Rob:

  1. I personally have a feeling against poachers, so I'd like to use this as a last resort. 
  2. Would you mind explaining a bit more? Whose way are the AMs getting into?
  3. I'm afraid I cannot do that since one of my wingbacks isn't comfortable in wide midfield position at all.

For @Meow:

  1. I will try that.
  2. Since all 3 of you mentioned that I need to change the striker's role, I will surely do that. I will start with TM.
  3. I used to go balanced/narrow-disciplined and the width issue was even worse than narrow-expressive, so are you suggesting that I should go balanced-balanced? I have no problem dropping overlap and through ball, but for work into box my concern is dropping it will result in more reckless shots and I already don't trust my strikers on that.

Based on the suggestions, this is what I'm planning to do:

  • Change the striker role to TM.
  • Change the width to balanced.
  • Change the expressiveness to balanced.
  • Drop all three instructions for final third.

Is there anything else I should do? 

Pictures of Lucca, Fontanello, and a game involving Lucca:

 IMG_0058(20220612-142236).thumb.PNG.6c46d206e5580ff44670895e68af4894.PNGIMG_0061(20220612-142338).thumb.PNG.e4e8c27a106684e317e6f1a358b5b301.PNGIMG_0060(20220612-142333).thumb.PNG.830215ecf6b427b25ac0bf1a252fa2c2.PNGIMG_0059(20220612-142249).thumb.PNG.1b4088da1d8e30b301c50f5320ab8dbc.PNG

For mine:

1. If you are playing a tactic with lots of crosses I dare say you need to get over your issue with not using poachers. Poacher will simply hang in the correct area and invariably get on the end of crosses;

2. If I’m playing a tactic to get a midfielder goals I’ll play them in the second line. They ghost in to the area like Lampard used to at Chelsea. I just find they steal a lot of space and shots;

3. Fair enough

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Thanks for sharing the extra screenshots @eternalaurora!

The previous suggestions were mostly around if you wanted to have a more effective crossing game. 

However my suggestion is that you "move away from crossing", assuming you want to keep Lucca and Fontinello are your main two Strikers:

  • Why? Your two main strikers have developed beautifully, but neither are monsters in the air.
  • Your best aerial ST (Lucca) has 16 for both aerial and strength, which probably is roughly the same as opposition DCs in Serie A (who probably average 16 +/-2 for both attributes?).
  • So it makes sense that Lucca is winning only 50% of his aerial duels, while Fontinello is winning much less.
  • Generally speaking - your Striker needs to have better aerial / strength than the opposition DCs for a crossing game (to the ST) to work well.

So what? You can adapt to a more "passing / through ball" game

  • IWBs - I'd definitely change your WBs to IWBs.
  • Defensive Line - unless you score lots of goals from pressing the opposition into mistakes, then I'd be tempted to drop your defensive line from high to 'normal' - why? it often creates more space behind the opposition defense for your speedy strikers to run onto through balls. Unfortunately with a high defensive line, I often see there's no space behind the opposition defense for pacey STs to receive through balls.   

I'll test out your formation in-game later today/tomorrow, and will come back with some suggestions - to align more to a passing game, probably through the center

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For @Rob:

  1. I actually am not very happy about the number of crosses attempted. I wish my wingbacks can pass more and cross less. In that case do I still have to stick to a poacher?
  2. Considering that I only have 1 striker in the formation, I guess it would be beneficial to have my AMs act as secondary goal scorers, which they do. Also, I have another obsession of trying to connect the chemistry line all the way from the CBs to the ST.

For @DanEnglish:

Your suggestion is exactly what I wanted! I was trying to shift from crossing to passing but they kept crossing. My concern is none of my CMs are playmaker material, so I'll have to change them to B2Bs. Since I already have 2 AMs up front, will the B2Bs run into them? Or will some of them drift wide to create space for each other? Also, should I still change the role of my strikers?

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23 minutes ago, eternalaurora said:

Your suggestion is exactly what I wanted! I was trying to shift from crossing to passing but they kept crossing. My concern is none of my CMs are playmaker material, so I'll have to change them to B2Bs. Since I already have 2 AMs up front, will the B2Bs run into them? Or will some of them drift wide to create space for each other? Also, should I still change the role of my strikers?

If you don’t want crosses, probably would want to turn off look for overlap and change passing focus to middle.

added 0 minutes later

Also, there is no point using TM if you don’t want to play much crosses. Poacher, DLF, CF or AF would be better.

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2 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

Since I already have 2 AMs up front, will the B2Bs run into them? Or will some of them drift wide to create space for each other? Also, should I still change the role of my strikers?

That is exactly what I’m not sure about as well. Plus am not sure how IWBs work in front of a back 3.

I haven’t got a 5221 style to work for me, hence why I want to test it and get back to you 👍 

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14 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

That is exactly what I’m not sure about as well. Plus am not sure how IWBs work in front of a back 3.

I haven’t got a 5221 style to work for me, hence why I want to test it and get back to you 👍 

I'll also test it with another save. 

I noticed you didn't mention BWM. I've heard that they don't sit in a fixed spot, then is it possible to use them instead?

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3 hours ago, eternalaurora said:

I noticed you didn't mention BWM. I've heard that they don't sit in a fixed spot, then is it possible to use them instead?

Haha you are right. I don’t really use BWMs (but other people love them).

Spoiler

In attack, I’m not sure what they do (act like CMs?), but in defense they go charging around closing down the opposition (like Chelsea’s Kante?) - great for gengenpressing, not great for sitting in front of / protecting the DCs like an Anchor.

Maybe a BWM would be great for you. Am not sure yet. What do others suggest?

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6 hours ago, DanEnglish said:

Haha you are right. I don’t really use BWMs (but other people love them).

  Reveal hidden contents

In attack, I’m not sure what they do (act like CMs?), but in defense they go charging around closing down the opposition (like Chelsea’s Kante?) - great for gengenpressing, not great for sitting in front of / protecting the DCs like an Anchor.

Maybe a BWM would be great for you. Am not sure yet. What do others suggest?

Based on my observation, the BWM doesn't work well with the IWB. There's no space for the IWBs to drift inside so they have to make crosses.

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Posted (edited)

Tried a new Atalanta save with IWB didn't work out well. I ended up as the lowest scoring team among top 10, finished 4th thanks to my defense. Midfield cannot retain possession. 

Edited by eternalaurora
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Now it's working!

Changes I implemented:

  • Changed the width from narrow to balanced.
  • Changed the CMs to BBMs.
  • Changed the WBs to IWBs.
  • Dropped "Look For Overlap."
  • Changed the passing focus from mixed to center.

The crosses have reduced by half, and Fontanello is on fire.

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