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Tactics The Black Hawk (... or a quest to make IFs to work) [4123]


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Let me start by saying English is not my native language. I can hear and read it no problem, but to speak or write is another thing altogether. Sorry in advance for possible errors.

And I know I wrote a lot, that can't be changed. Believe me, I tried :D but I like to explain my thoughts to promote a discussion and I hope that can be the case here.

 

Context

 

So, like so many others I've been trying to find a way to make Inside Forwards to work on FM 23 Mobile. Since I can remember playing this game, I've always played with a 41221 formation with my wingers cutting to the inside, even before player roles were introduced and the instructions were made with arrows.

On FM 22 Mobile there wasn't a problem at all, but when I started playing FM 23 Mobile, I noticed they don't work as is supposed to an IF. They were pretty useless. Actually, I stopped playing FM 23 Mobile and returned to 22 version until they promised the thing was better after last update.

Since then, I've been doing what I usually do when testing a new version of my tactics: starting one season save test with Sporting CP to see how they perform. I started so many now I think I know the attributes of Sporting players by memory. Usually I have good results, but that's not enough. I want to actually enjoy watching the matches. Winning is not enough, I want to see my team building up to a goal, passing through defense and creating scoring chances in a team effort.

A few days ago I asked in General Discussion topic out of frustration if anyone as managed to make IFs work and @StuartM gave me a tip to use them on the attacking line instead of the attacking midfield line. And so I started yet another save test with Sporting CP and actually enjoyed this version of the game for the first time. So much so that I decided to share it here, for you guys to possible test it and get some feedback.

I called it "The Black Hawk".

 

Tactic Overview

 

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First things first, before I reached to this I tested A LOT of versions using different kinds of combinations, instructions, player roles, passing styles and so on. IFs still didn't work, they always looked like fisherman, always clinging to the line (eh? eh?). What I noticed, tough, is that they lured opponents full backs to them, creating gaps between opponents full backs and centre backs to explore.

So my last attempts were to explore that gap by using two box-to-box midfielders and instructing my team to "work into box" and "run at defense". The goal was to convince midfielders to run through that gaps and provide them with scoring chances. It did somewhat work, but I hated having my IFs used just as bait and not taking part of the creation process. With this version, I finally got them to take an active part of it. They scored and made assists and I liked what I saw.

 

Objectives

 

I am a control freak. I like to score as many goals as any other man, but not at the expense of suffering a lot too. Usually I try to find a balance between both, so my teams don't score a lot, but they score enough and don't concede that many. My midfield is often offering support and IFs are the ones creating chances, both by making breakthrough passes to the back of the defense or exploiting the back of the defense themselves.

As IFs don't work that good anymore, I tried to design something that put my midfielders to run into the box, as explained before.

As you can see, I set this to "Control" with a narrow width and a very high defensive line. The idea behind this is mainly to have the ball as much as possible, pushing the opponents to their own box, so if they recover the ball have no other option than play it long to their forwards, who will be all alone. When we recover the ball, we start it all over again.

For this to work, our Roaming Playmaker as defensive midfielder is key. He will be the one who gets the ball and starts our attacks. The two box-to-box and two wing backs will provide support in this phase. When the team gets to the front, they try a lot of different way to work into box as instructed.

Sometimes they make a series of passes through the center until they open a gap in the defense that the IFs or the box-to-box themselves can exploit.

When that don't work, they lure everyone to the middle and our wing backs can explore the line. Funny thing, I took "look for overlaps" and so they cross early and I found that provides some goals both to striker and the IF at the far post.

Regarding IFs, sometimes they stay wide, sometimes they rush into the middle. When they stay wide, the two box-to-box rush through the middle. When the IFs get inside, the two box-to-box stay close providing support just outside of the box.

What I liked about what I saw is that the team actually tries to find different ways to create scoring chances, they do not stick to one plan only.

 

Players

 

Regarding the players to use, mainly I think the player roles are very self explanatory, they must have the attributes demanded to the role in which they are used. But there's some positions where some attributes are key for this to work.

Centre backs must be fast or at least not sluggish. The opponents will often dispose of the ball from their box to behind our centre backs, so they must be sufficiently fast to get it back before their strikers get it. Agressivity helps, I found that the higher it is, the faster they react and that sometimes is the difference between getting the ball or leaving their strikers one on one with our goalkeeper.

I found no significant difference in using right or left footed players as box-to-box at the right or left, but I used Daniel Bragança at the right (he is left footed) and Hidemasa Morita at the left (he is right footed).

It helps if IFs are used in the other side of their favourite foot (don't know how to put it better in English, but is to use right footed IFs at the left and left footed at the right. This is to make them cut inside more times when having the ball, otherwise they will tend to the outside.

There will be a lot of shooting chances for the three midfielders, so it will help they have good Shooting.

Overall, the higher the Resistance, the better. This system is very demanding to both wing backs and box-to-box and also to the pressing forward. I often had to use subs with them.

 

Sporting CP

 

Before I show results with this, let just me say that Sporting CP is an odd choice to test this tactic because:

- my centre backs are not fast. Sebastian Coates and Gonçalo Inácio have Pace 10 and 12, so I suffered some goals that otherwise with good pacing defenders would not have;

- my main box-to-box midfielders, Daniel Bragança and Hidemasa Morita, are not fast nor have good attributes in movement or shooting;

- apart from Pedro Gonçalves, my IFs have low stats at shooting, so they failed an awful lot of chances;

- my strikers are Paulinho and Jovane Cabral. Paulinho has a whopping 12 at shooting and Jovane Cabral isn't even a striker, but is competent enough to play there and I don't have anyone else, so I roll with it;

- Sporting CP has a lot of promising young players, but our first team second choices are risible. For example, I played in the midfield mainly with Manuel Ugarte, Hidemasa Morita and Daniel Bragança, and the second choices were Dario Essugo, Mateus Fernandes and Sotiris Alexandropoulos, all of them young players not nearly at the level required for a title contender. Everytime I had to rotate my squad, and I did that a lot to avoid injuries and keep their fitness, noticed the downgrade on the pitch. By the end of season they where already getting the hang of it, but at times they make it harder to put up the numbers.

Anyway, this is what happened during the one season test save I did.

 

Results

 

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I am pretty happy with how this went. We lost three games whole season, two UCL against Atlético and Liverpool, one last day of Portuguese League against Porto - which made me livid because it took the opportunity to win all 34 games.

128 goals scored and only 26 conceded in 57 matches. Only conceded more than one goal three times against Milan (2-2), Atlético (1-2) and Porto (1-2).

As for the goals conceded, I suffered mainly from three kind of ways: long balls that my centre backs where not fast enough to catch it before my opponents; from corner kicks, my team is short (in real life Sporting CP has the same problem, we suffer a lot from those); and when already winning comfortably at the end of the matches, our boys relaxed and the opponents attacked in search of reducing the disadvantage, usually my roaming playmaker was not in position and someone appeared in front of the centre-backs (if it wasn't to test this tactic, I would change the role do defensive midfielder and those goals maybe wouldn't happen).

I will post prints of some games in spoiler at the end of this post. I'm still bitter of the defeats against Liverpool and Porto.

Bear in mind that I did the whole season without any change, it was plug and play. At times I was tempted to change some things, especially when already winning. I suffered some goals when already winning by two or three that I maybe wouldn't if I changed the Roaming Playmaker to Defensive Midfielder to provide support to my centre backs, or turning my Wing Backs into Full Backs or even Defensive Full Backs to secure my defense, but the goal was to test this tactic, so...

Anyway, as intended the team had normally possession somewhere between 54/55 to 60%. Had still a lot of matches with more than 60%, some few outliers with less than 50%, but the average possession was about 55%.

I remember a handful of matches where I had less shots thany opponents, usually against stronger teams from UCL (happened against Leipzig and Liverpool in the second leg) or when we were already winning comfortably. Usually, we had more than 10 shots every match averaging about 15 per game, sometimes more than 20.

Our opponents ranged from 0 to 5/6 shots per game. In 34 matches for Portuguese League, we conceded 10 clear chances to our opponents, which I think is a good record - and remember my centre backs are not fast.

 

Stats by position

 

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Nothing much to say here, we did conceded few goals.

 

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As you guys can see, my centre backs scored some goals and all of them from corner kicks or indirect free kicks (don't know how they are called in English, but I'm talking about the free kicks from the side of the area).

I don't use a trick per se on corners. What I do is to put my stronger centre back marking GK, the other one attacking far post and my striker attacking near post. The rest of the team is left in "go forward" and one guy waiting outside of the box. I don't give any instructions as to where the distribution is made.

 

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Don't mind the goals scored by my Wing Backs, they were taking the penalty kicks to not influence the goal numbers of the rest of the team so we have a clear picture of who scores in this tactic.

I do still beg your attention to the assists of these guys. As I said before, my wing backs with the "overlap" option ticked off try mainly to provide support to box-to-box and IF, making short passes and occasionally crossing early. So they made some assists both from through balls to IFs and early crosses. Esgaio revealed himself in this early crosses, in real life he is not that good unfortunately...

 

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So, here the fun begins.

As you guys can see, all of my six midfielders scored and assisted and also played a lot (SB1 was the substitute of Ugarte, SB2 of Bragança and SB3 of Morita). Together, they scored 20 goals and made 34 assists, which is something I never got on FM 22 Mobile.

Now, they had an awful lot of shooting chances during the season and the numbers are modest, they should have scored at least the double. With box-to-box with better movement and shooting, I believe that can be accomplished (for reference, Bragança has Movement 11/ Shooting 10 and Morita 10/11).

Anyway, these three guys are always close to the box. They get a lot of chances either to run into box or receive the ball from the attackers to shoot just outside of it, and they were able to be in a position to provide assists as the numbers show.

Looking now at this, I think I could have used Bragança instead as Roaming Playmaker and Ugarte as Box-to-box, it would have made more sense.

 

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Now, this whole thing was to get these guys to work and this is what I've got. Together, they provided 31 goals and 43 assists in 128 goals, which means they roughly either assist or score every 1 out of 2 goals.

Sure, I've put them to take corners so there's maybe 15 or so from these, but still I'm happy with the result because I've seen A LOT of assists to our strikers that where missed from ways I cannot describe. Also, apart from Pedro Gonçalves all my IFs have poor shooting so they too missed a lot of close ranged shoots. These numbers could have been a lot better.

Remember, none of my IFs scored from penalty kicks (those where to my wing backs) or direct free kicks (those went to my strikers).

 

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Finally, my guys upfront. Paulinho with Shooting 12 and Jovane who isn't even a striker. They did well.

Paulinho scored a lot of goals and still missed probably most of his chances, as one should expect from a guy with 12 of shooting. He did provide lots of assists to my IFs and Box-to-box.

Jovane isn't a striker so he wasn't very fond of doing the work of an pressing forward, but he did score using his pace to get behind opponents back, especially entering the field late in the game when they where already tired.

 

Conclusion

 

I won't describe again how the team plays, I already write about it - and I know, I write a lot, can't quite change it. Believe me, I tried :D

I will just say that this can be used as an plug and play tactic, I believe will provide wins frequently, but this may be better with some tweaks along the way.

When already winning, maybe changing the roles of the defensive midfielder and both wing backs will help secure the result and stabilize the team. I will test further to find another ways to make it work better defensively.

There were a few games I call outliers where we had close to 40% of possession against smaller teams (happened maybe 3/4 times), but I didn't mind because we where still creating chances and shooting a lot while out opponent didn't. I believe it happened because my midfielders in those games were the three youngsters.

Finally, I was happy with the results but wanted to try with another team so I did a second one season save test withy hometown clube, Amora Futebol Clube.

Amora is a small club from Liga 3 (Portuguese third tier) that I've seen end up being somewhere from 3rd to 12th when managed by the IA (Liga 3 has two series of 12 teams each). So I would say they are not a top tier in Liga 3 and would be a fair assumption that they are a middle table team.

Here are the results.

 

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The first phase of Liga 3 has two series (north and south), the top 4 gets to play a second promotion phase.

 

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The second phase is the promotion one, divided in two series of four teams each. The first placed is promoted and gets to play the final against the winner of the other series.

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Here's the final.

I had a rough start, things weren't working. Casa Pia and Arouca are from portuguese top tier (Primeira Liga) so I wasn't expecting to win, but there were a lot of draws where our attacking was ineffective.

Funnily enough, things started clicking in the middle of a game, against Académica. We were losing 0-1 and suddenly somewhere during second half we began creating chances and reverted to a 3-1 victory. From there we only lose twice and one of those defeats was against Boavista for the Portuguese Cup.

Now, Boavista is another team from Primeira Liga (our top tier championship) and led the game almost 80 minutes until a stupid error led to a penalty kick 85 minutes into the game. In extra-time, the same guy that made that error let one of their attackers steal the ball into an one on one situation wih our goalkeeper. You already may imagine what happened there.

Nevertheless, I was damn proud of our display, 55% possession and 9/9 in shooting chances while being 80 minutes ahead against a team two tiers above us. Not bad.

There was a moment where we had a lot of draws because my team was suffering from low morale, they weren't ready to deal with the pressure of keeping the invencibility. But we overcome that and won the title in a fantastic display.

We scored 59 goals and conceded 15 in 29 league games, which was a bit worse than with Sporting CP but that was to be expected with a smaller midtable team.

 

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Those were the players I used, you guys can see were they played in the picked position (first print with my preferred starting eleven, second with their substitutes).

Just like Sporting CP, Amora didn't quite have the ideal players to play like I designed. For starters, my only good defensive midfielder (Jefferson), while solid enough, has more of a defender than a playmaker (in real life he is even playing as centre back).

My other midfielders are below average, severely lacking in movement, passing, shooting and more critically in tackling. So I really struggled at times to control the game. Jefferson is not a good playmaker and the two box-to-box always tried the easiest route because they couldn't do better, so Amora explored more both flanks and less the middle.

All centre backs are slow (the two starters have Pace 11) so I suffered a lot behind with that, and all my IFs are right footed - seriously, the four of them - so the right IF didn't played as much inside as I would hope.

Still, the numbers are there.

Wing Backs performed much like the ones from Sporting CP. My centre backs managed to score seven times from corners, often in latter stages of the season.

The midfielders provided 10 goals and 12 assists, which is still a respectable number despite their flaws, and IFs 24 goals and 18 assists, which I found a fantastic performance. More goals between them than what my two strikers did.

So, in conclusion, there's a tactic that make something out of IFs, not at the levels of IFs on FM 22 Mobile, but something acceptable. The team plays good football despite the fact that some players where not ideal to what is wanted from them, especially with Amora. I like that the tactic provides alternatives for the players to choose the best way to play, which makes every game unique and fun to see.

There's room to improve and I will make a few more tests, but for starters I liked it enough to share it here for the first time.

Hope you guys give it a chance and give feedback on your experience :)

 

In spoiler I leave some prints of some games of Sporting CP in UCL and against our rivals Benfica and Porto.


 

Spoiler

 

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This was my first UCL game with this tactic and I was really worried how it was gonna work. We suffered a goal from a corner kick early in the game, but our guys managed it well. Unfortunately, my goalkeeper Adan failed a pass and gave the ball to Zlatan close to the final.

 

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Here one example of how we performed against bigger clubs in UCL group stage.

 

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I was almost being FMed here, Benfica created one chance all game and scored. My guys managed to miss so many chances that I was almost throwing my phone away.

 

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Here a game for Portuguese Cup, we needed the extra time to make our superiority count (winning at the Dragão is always hard).

 

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Three days later from last print, we trashed Porto in our home. They did make some shots after our second goal who balanced the stats, we explored their defense late in the game to score two more.

 

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And then this happened in the League Cup final. Was probably our best game of the season.

 

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I always hate to play against Atlético, they are deadly on the counter-attack and strong in set pieces which is our main weakness. I feel we deserved more from this game

 

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But then we win second leg and should have settled it before the penalty shootout, but we were ahead anyway.

 

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Both games against Liverpool on the Quarter Finals were evenly matched, we actually played eye on eye with them.

I did one mistake in the first leg that almost cost me dearly: left Coates against Darwin Nunez. Three times he left him behind in the first half, it was a miracle he didn't score. After that I changed Coates for St. Juste and it did not happen again.

It was hard to lose in the last minute on the second leg, but it is what it is. They are stronger.

 

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We still managed to win against our biggest rival Benfica on their ground playing only with my second choices.

 

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And then this. I was absolutely livid at the end of this game, it robbed the chance to win 34 times in 34 games for Primeira Liga. Still hurts to look at the stats and then the score...

 

 

Edited by Black Hawk
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Great post, you've clearly thought about this and very thoroughly. Your tactic is similar to the setup I finally got to work with RP and BBM triangle as well! I'll post my results when I get a bit more time (don't expect as much detail though 🙂).

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42 minutes ago, Tshiamo said:

I love how you explained the tactic, I'm tempted, I'm gonna try it out...what are the things I must look out for?

Fast defenders!!! :D

From my experience in those two save tests, it may not click imediately. With Amora it took some games to the team to adjust to it. Roaming Playmaker with good technique and passing if possible, movement to box-to-boxs.

The team may suffer at times when winning because with a roaming playmaker and two box-to-box no one actually maintain their position to protect the defenders, so in that times adjust the role of the defensive midfielder to one that covers them.

I have yet to test this with an truly awful team to see how it performs with truly underdogs :)

Edited by Black Hawk
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22 minutes ago, Legend288 said:

I read it )) good job . I will test and post results

 

 

 

 

10 minutes ago, StuartM said:

Great post, you've clearly thought about this and very thoroughly. Your tactic is similar to the setup I finally got to work with RP and BBM triangle as well! I'll post my results when I get a bit more time (don't expect as much detail though 🙂).

Looking forward to both feedbacks (in case of StuartM, to his tactic :)).

Edited by Black Hawk
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Glad to see I'm not the only one inside forward movements is pissing off, they stay too wide and barley take shots. It's ruined a lot of go to formations for me. Good write up

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Yeah.. been pushing IF pair up on left/right Forwards on this kind of 4-3-3, really works magic compared to the AML/R IF version..

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7 hours ago, Legend288 said:

Dont worked  for me.

 

  tactics with 3 forwards are working better now then other tactics.

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I feel like some more in depth feedback could be useful to OP. 

  • What does your starting XI look like?
  • Did you make any transfers?
  • What did the stats look like in the games you drew/lost?
  • Did you pick your team, or allow assistant to pick?
  • Your run of bad results was against fairly decent teams, in close succession, were all of your players fully fit?

I agree with you that 3x ST tactics seem to be more effective currently, but this is the OP trying to make IFs work in a more expected way than they have been in the AM positions.

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I bought fast defenders. + Gk.

Ifs in many games are involved in game but when not tactic is not working then.  

I played with totenham and was going well but there are many draws when playing weaker teams. 

I am not so much fan of if-s thats why i will play with stronger tactics. 

 

P.s your tactic worked better then this for me.

Edited by Legend288
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54 minutes ago, Legend288 said:

I bought fast defenders. + Gk.

Ifs in many games are involved in game but when not tactic is not working then.  

I played with totenham and was going well but there are many draws when playing weaker teams. 

I am not so much fan of if-s thats why i will play with stronger tactics. 

 

P.s your tactic worked better then this for me.

IF you are still using my tactic for anything, I have had success by removing Shoot on Sight, and I switch to Overload mentality + Direct passing when chasing a game.

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9 hours ago, Legend288 said:

Dont worked  for me.

 

  tactics with 3 forwards are working better now then other tactics.

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Stats don't seem bad, tough. Who are underperforming in your team?

This tactic relies a lot on possession, so teams with a midfield that doesn't hold it may suffer a bit. Both by losing the ball and allowing counter-attacks and not creating scoring chances.

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I find it strange how it was giving you good results with lots of goals scored and then it suddenly stopped working. Something happened there?

With Amora I had a rough series of games when them struggled with low morale because they didn't believe they could keep the invencibility. But they overcome it and got even better results than before.

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This tactic made me extremely happy, it's great to see the moves and see your team really playing together. I think an essential point is the Roaming Playmaker, De Jong simply made magic playing there, when the ball reached him it seemed that the game flowed in a very beautiful way.
Champion of the CL, and of the Supercup.
The defeats to Real and Atleti by 3x1 were even normal in my opinion, in both games Araujo and Kounde played very poorly and conceded 2 goals.
There were a lot of draws, but most of them happened when I replaced my players, especially the full-backs, even so I thought that some draws were very exaggerated but nothing that made me angry.
Great tactic. 

P. S: I didn't buy any player

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9 hours ago, heguero said:

This tactic made me extremely happy, it's great to see the moves and see your team really playing together. I think an essential point is the Roaming Playmaker, De Jong simply made magic playing there, when the ball reached him it seemed that the game flowed in a very beautiful way.
Champion of the CL, and of the Supercup.
The defeats to Real and Atleti by 3x1 were even normal in my opinion, in both games Araujo and Kounde played very poorly and conceded 2 goals.
There were a lot of draws, but most of them happened when I replaced my players, especially the full-backs, even so I thought that some draws were very exaggerated but nothing that made me angry.
Great tactic. 

P. S: I didn't buy any player

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Happy to know it worked well. How went those defeats against Real and Atletico? Did you dominated the game and were unfortunate or things simply went wrong?

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Double post to give feedback regarding the experience of @Legend288.

I was intrigued by the way things went in your save so I did a test run with Napoli (Parthenon is Napoli, right?). I went as far as the World Cup break and got different results.

 

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Now, I don't know what went wrong in your save, but I did notice somethings that may help to explain it.

First, Napoli players are a pain in the ass. Really! Their morale drops because God knows why. I was still winning since the start of the season and they were all yellow, orange or red. Don't know why, but it could be because I choosed to be an unknown manager (some of the players did complain as didn't respect me as a manager). That obviously affected our global performance in some games and if I have drawn or lose a game or two in a row things might have escalated. Fortunately, it never happened.

Second, we did struggled to score early in the season and I don't know why. Here's some examples, 3 of the 4 first games for Serie A went like this:

 

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In the two first games, we struggled a bit with possession (I did warn that this thing might take a while to start clicking with some teams), but we dominated both games and missed a lot of chances to score. Really, shots from inside the box that went somewhere outside the stadium, close ranged headers that failed the goal. By all means we should have won those games clearly.

Then AS Roma, we trashed them, 13 shots on target and we only scored from a corner. I was kind of expecting them to score an equaliser late in the game, that's the kind of thing often happens in FM, isn't it? Looking at this, 1-0 looks like a joke.

Other thing I noticed, Napoli midfielders are very good, not saying otherwise (the prints I post down below will show it), but they could've been a little bit better at creativity. Apart from Zielinski, who have 15, all others have 13 or below. I think that might be the difference between a pass through ahead that creates a scoring chance or a pass to the side or behind.

That said, I noticed they often played it simple, which means we played more down the flanks than what I've seen with the test I did with Sporting CP in the first post. Nothing wrong with it, it just means that I learned something knew I did not thought before: creativity in the midfielders should help, particularly against teams that sit behind.

It did not help me at all that I have lost Zielinski for two full months because of an injury...

As for the UCL games where we had worse results, it was down to us. We did complicated things ourselves as I show in these prints.

 

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Beggining with the first day, we were doing really well until Mario Rui picked two yellows in 4 minutes. Atletico charged from these point, but we hold our ground and even had more possession still.

 

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Then at Munich, we were slightly better than them and missed a penalty kick in injury time (we missed 4 in our 19 games, now that must be some kind of record). There's 2 points lost (and 1 point for Bayern).

 

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At our home, we had the upper hand until Kim elbowed someone and was sent off. Bayern did some shots after that and scored from a long range shot.

 

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And finally, we went to Turkey and somehow got another player sent off. Nevertheless, we still were the better team, missed a few goals, but someone (I don't remember who) made a poor pass that left their guy alone in the box. Then Lozano missed yet another penalty kick.

We could have had at least more 5 points out of these games and end up in the 1st place of our group, but still managed 2nd place.

So, here the stats (just like the first post, first print with the starting eleven I used more times, the second print with my second choices).

 

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My Wings Backs did well, providing 9 assists to our 37 goals. The midfielders started scoring latter in this 19 games and ended up with 8 goals between them. The highlight of their performance are the assists, they did 18 and should Zielinski not been injured I believe the number would have been higher.

As for IFs, 10 goals and 6 assists, a bit lower than what I've got with Sporting CP and Amora. Politano didn't perform at all, so much so that ended up in the bench at some point.

Funny thing, the team played more down the flanks as I explained before, but often my Wing Backs would pass to the midfielders just out of the box and were them who would assist to the three attackers, which is something different from the other two save tests I did.

As I said before, one thing I like is that the players search for different kind of ways to play. Sporting CP, Amora and Napoli, while with the same central idea of controlling the game, they did seek their own way to create chances.

As for the difference between our two experiences with Napoli, don't know what caused it. I've seen teams in different saves performing differently, one time at the top of the table, other times nowhere to be seen. I've seen Sporting CP being champion or ending up 4th or 5th. Can't explain it.

Also I found that no tactic is bulletproof, the best one can do is to make something that gives the means to the players to end up winning. Sometimes the ball doesn't want to go into the goal, or an important player is injured, maybe there's a crisis of confidence and the morale takes a drop. I've got some save tests where things went well until individual errors that led to goals conceded caused one or two defeats in a row and everything falls apart from there.

I think that's the magic of this game, if there was a sure way to win it would be tedious. I can't quite promise this tactic to guarantee wins, nor I think any tactic can promise that.

Edited by Black Hawk
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I think need more goals.

 

For osimhen kvicha and lozano. 9.4.3 is not good yes?

I hade same problems cant score many games but in others osi can do hattrick. 

 

Need some changes in game when we cannot score. 

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The last post on this thread is my season with this formation:1544261304_Screenshot_20230114_131621_FM23Mobile.thumb.jpg.bdebae0833675866b1257b6adb87c8c4.jpg

Luis and Stretton only played wide so scored 1 in 3 ~ish and the other forward occasionally played wide when I was rotating.

765567523_Screenshot_20230114_131610_FM23Mobile.thumb.jpg.53434023c60dc5b844908bd9c16f32a8.jpg

A few differences from the Black Hawk but a few clear similarities too 👍

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On 13/01/2023 at 12:14, Legend288 said:

I think need more goals.

 

For osimhen kvicha and lozano. 9.4.3 is not good yes?

I hade same problems cant score many games but in others osi can do hattrick. 

 

Need some changes in game when we cannot score. 

The thing is, I do rotate my players a lot. Osimhen has 9 goals in 18 games, but Simeone has 5 goals in 18 games also. They didn't played together anytime, which means my strikers scored 14 goals in 18 games which is pretty good considering everyone in the team is also scoring. We did score 30 goals in 13 Serie A games.

My goal is not to create a one man show tactic. I want a tactic where the team creates chances and anyone can score. I don't mind if it is the striker, the IF, one of the box-to-boxs or the roaming playmaker.

Sometimes there's games where no matter what you do, the team simply misses a lot. In that print of Milan you shot 18 times and created 3 clear cut chances. That's not bad at all, just bad luck.

I'm sorry this is not working for you, but what you did post with Napoli shows me that you quit as soon as the team not won two games in a row, and with Milan the draws were away games with Lazio and Napoli, at home with Inter and a defeat in a game where you were unfortunate, which is something that often happens in FM. There's even a word for it: being "FMed".

I will post in a bit the most recent test I did were tou can see how my striker actually scored a lot and where I too had bad results at times, but the team bounced back every time.

PS: let me just say that I'm not critizing you, I do believe there's room to improve. Right now I'm just testing with this and in time I'll try to search for tweaks that could help some times when we need desperately to score or to secure a win. It's a work in progress :)

Edited by Black Hawk
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9 hours ago, StuartM said:

The last post on this thread is my season with this formation:1544261304_Screenshot_20230114_131621_FM23Mobile.thumb.jpg.bdebae0833675866b1257b6adb87c8c4.jpg

Luis and Stretton only played wide so scored 1 in 3 ~ish and the other forward occasionally played wide when I was rotating.

765567523_Screenshot_20230114_131610_FM23Mobile.thumb.jpg.53434023c60dc5b844908bd9c16f32a8.jpg

A few differences from the Black Hawk but a few clear similarities too 👍

Yeah, I find some similarities in the numbers too. We are almost walking the same road :D

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I've done a new save test with a different team that would provide a new challenge. Until now I tried with Sporting CP and Napoli who are title contenders (I will still do the rest of the season with Napoli to see how it ends) and Amora who is not a title contender but still is a mid to top table team. Now, I tried with Paços de Ferreira.

In real life, Paços de Ferreira is currently dead last at Portuguese Primeira Liga (funnily enough, they got today their first win, but are still last placed with 6 points in 16 games). Usually, in the save tests I've been doing I find them last placed or close to it. In the save test with Sporting CP they were 18th and in Amora they were 15th (out of 18 teams). This means that they are a good test to see how the tactic perform in a team from the bottom of the table.

Now, Paços de Ferreira is dredful. The centre backs are nowhere good for Primeira Liga, only Tiago Ilori (on loan from Sporting CP) is competent and even so he is prone to injuries (and for that reason ended up missing about 15 games throughout the season). Most centre-backs are slow and their positional sense is worthy of a Sunday League team.

There are two good midfielders in the squad: Luiz Carlos (Roaming Playmaker) and Nico Gaitán (whom I used as Box-to-Box). The problem is that they are 37 and 34 years old respectively, so they rarely played a whole game and, when they did, they stopped performing somewhere during the second half. This means that the team suffered a lot in latter stages of the games to keep possession of the ball, either because those two were too tired, or because I had to replace them with others for whom the ball is too round. As a result, I actually conceded a lot of goals in the last 15 minutes.

In the attack, the team has two good IFs: Matchoi Djaló and Kayky (this one on loan from Man City), both 19 years old. Being young, they were somewhat erratic in their displays. The third option was a Chilean called Delgado, which even performed a little, but the fourth option, Uilton, meh...

The star of the team ended up being their main striker, a guy named Butzke (on loan from Granada) that is a beast! The only good attribute he has is Aerial (15), but boy, oh boy!, what a season he did.

Keep in mind that I was kind of expecting a disaster. The tactic relies a lot on possession and this team was nowhere good enough to do that. I was prepared to be happy if we simply avoid relegation, which we did, but we ended up a lot better than that.

 

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So we ended up in qualifying places for European competitions (I think 6th place gives access to the UEFA Conference League). We were the 6th best attack and the 5th best defense, the latter despite conceding too many goals on the counterattack and especially in latter stages of the games, which cost us precious points.

The first half of the season was chaos. The first four games were against four of the best teams in the League (including two from the Big Three, Benfica and Sporting), we bounced back from that stage with some consecutive wins, but then we didn't win any of the last five games for Primeira Liga before the break for the World Cup.

This also goes to show that no tactic performs miracles and this one also has flaws. We had bad sequences of results throughout the season, but we also recovered from them and ended up having a great season.

You guys can see how there's a gap between 9th and 10th. I was long time in 9th place, but beggining January we started performing better and clawed our way to 6th.

I won't lie, there was a bit of luck in some games. We won some we shouldn't, but we draw or loose some we should have won. All in all, there wasn't much difference between we and Famalicão (9th), so if I was to repeat this season to test again I believe we would end up somewhere between 6th and 9th, which is pretty good.

We went far in both domestic cups but got lucky in the draws. We didn't face any team that was too strong until the semi-final of the League Cup (where we lost against Benfica) or until the final of the Portuguese Cup (where we lost against Porto). Even so, we had to win the games to get there. We did our job.

I also leave the prints of the games against the Big Three to get an idea of how Paços de Ferreira performed in games against opponents whose B teams have better players than us...

I'm specially proud about our draw against Benfica at Estádio da Luz.

 

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We did managed to recover from a 2-0 at Estádio da Luz late in the game, the last goal when already one men down! I think our performances against the Big Three were good all things considered. Were our players a bit better and some of those games would end up with different results. Specially against Porto, they scored all those goals from counterattacks, they really killed us that way.

Finally, I leave two prints of the stats of the most used players. The first is from the usual starting lineup, the second from the second choices. They are picked in the positions they were used.

 

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So, my Wing Backs did 12 assists (don't mind the goals by Antunes, he was my penalty taker) and my centre backs scored only 5 goals from corners, which is a low number and shows how terrible they are.

My midfielders provided 16 goals and 30 assists (!!!). No surprises there that Luiz Carlos and Nico Gaitán have the best numbers (Gaitán was the corner taker when playing, I believe half of his assists where from it). Rui Pires was very good when getting the ball close to the box and made himself a lot of assists.

The team lost possession a lot specially at early stages of our plays (most times by poor passing from our centre backs) and suffered so many goals from counterattacks, but when my midfielders managed to bring the ball close to the box they actually performed pretty well.

My IFs scored 19 times and assisted 20 times. I remember we scored 86 times this season, so this was close to half the contributions to goals, which is consistent with what I've got in the other tests I did and posted.

Finally, my beast Butzke. 32 goals. Didn't knew him and I have to say that this guy is pretty good! He scored from headers and long shots, he ran through opponents centre backs, he was fantastic. Sales, our second striker who played mainly in Cups or late in the game when Butzke was tired, scored some goals too. Koffi just played 4 times and score one time.

Together, my strikers (I remember that only one plays at a time) scored 41 goals in 46 games, which I think is pretty good for a team like Paços de Ferreira.

Also, I've seen that this tactic makes our striker to score consistently. Paulinho (Sporting CP), Tiago Rodrigues (Amora) and Osimhen/Simeone (Napoli) also scored regularly when I tested with them. That is because if the team did what is expected and pushes our opponents to their won half, we usually end up with eight players there too. So there are so many players exchanging passes there that at some point someone will be able to provide scoring chances to the striker too.

Now, they don't score 2 goals per game nor it was expected of them. They are Pressing Forwards to open gaps for other players to explore, mainly the IFs but also the box-to-boxs. The fact that they also score a lot is a bonus.

The main problem I'm struggling right now is to put a stop to my opponents counterattacks. We did not concede that many considering how dreadful the defense Paços de Ferreira has, but it was an issue.

I'll now try this at Premier League and try to work some variants that actually manage to keep ourselves from conceding late goals.

Edited by Black Hawk
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Firstly I would just like to say that this is one of the best tactical write up’s I have ever seen on FM Vibe. Thank you for taking the time to explain your thinking. 
 

I had great success in my first season with Newcastle winning the league and getting the IF’s to score. I know it is Newcastle and I had a lot of money to spend but it is still an awesome tactic.  I kept it the same 90% of the time. On odd occasions against teams with a fast striker like Haaland I would put the defence line to balanced to ensure I don’t get caught out by a pacy striker. 
Also i would put creative freedom on discipline or balanced if I had a narrow lead and wanted to make certain of the win. 
 

On about 4 -5 occasions if I was losing I would switch one of the BBM’s to a shadow striker and this seemed to work well. Tried to keep mentality as control in most games and only went to attacking if I got really desperate.

pics below of results. Will let you know how I get on in season 2 in the champions league.

 

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As I've said, I tried this tactic on Premier League. I've choosen Wolves, a somewhat mid table team. Reached half season so far.

My only signing was Jerry St. Juste from Sporting CP. It was the only fast centre back at my reach, all others were too expensive. Also, I recalled from their loans / promoted from reserves Hayao Kawabe, Connor Ronan and Luke Cundle, all three centre midfielders as Wolves only had three in their main team (Rúben Neves, João Moutinho and Matheus Nunes).

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So far, so good!

Premier League is a lot harder than Portuguese Primeira Liga, so I had to find a way to defend some of our advantages. This tactic relies on possession and our centre backs often are alone, what makes them vulnerable when our opponents charge late game trying to recover their disadvantage.

So, I tweaked the very first tactic I tested on FM 23 Mobile (heavily based on the one I used on FM 22 Mobile) and changed some things to keep my main idea, but providing more support to my centre backs.

I use it late in the game (somewhere between 70/80 minutes) if we are already winning to face our opponents charge until the end. So far, I've been able to keep them from scoring most of the times. For example, I used it against Man City for almost 40 minutes when we got to 2-0 and they didn't create any clear chance.

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As can be seen, I kept the main philosophy behind the tactic, but now the goal is to support our centre backs (who are ofteb alone in the main tactic). To do that, I changed:

- the roles of my Wing Backs to Full Backs to make them roam less from behind, giving support to centre backs so that they don't have to leave their position so many times;

- took my IFs from the offensive line to the attacking offensive one so they can be a bit more behind and go with opponents wing backs (that way, box-to-boxs and roaming playmaker don't have to leave their positions so much on the inside);

- ticked on the time wasting (this one is obvious) and mixed passing style so that my defenders have the option to make long passes when under pressure (reducing the chances to lose possession close to our box).

The team is a lot less effective attacking with this. When I tested this one some time ago my teams scored only 1,0 to 1,5 goals per game, but suffered less than 0,5 goals per game (I believe I did a season with Sporting CP with only 9 or 10 goals conceded in 34 games). IFs will perform poorly too and will often be too wide, running down the line with the ball.

But at that times the goal is to secure the advantage we already have, so I don't mind it. Until now, I suffered goals when winning only twice, against Notts Forest and Crystal Palace, but not in the same way we conceded in previous tests. Notts Forest scored from a cross at 66th minute (our defense was well, their striker was simply stronger than St. Juste in aerial challenge) and Crystal Palace from a corner at 45th minute. I hadn't conceded late goals when winning.

I'll keep testing this for the reminder of the season and will post how it went.

Edited by Black Hawk
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36 minutes ago, Rav44 said:

Firstly I would just like to say that this is one of the best tactical write up’s I have ever seen on FM Vibe. Thank you for taking the time to explain your thinking. 
 

I had great success in my first season with Newcastle winning the league and getting the IF’s to score. I know it is Newcastle and I had a lot of money to spend but it is still an awesome tactic.  I kept it the same 90% of the time. On odd occasions against teams with a fast striker like Haaland I would put the defence line to balanced to ensure I don’t get caught out by a pacy striker. 
Also i would put creative freedom on discipline or balanced if I had a narrow lead and wanted to make certain of the win. 
 

On about 4 -5 occasions if I was losing I would switch one of the BBM’s to a shadow striker and this seemed to work well. Tried to keep mentality as control in most games and only went to attacking if I got really desperate.

pics below of results. Will let you know how I get on in season 2 in the champions league.

 

BD7F9C01-CD72-460A-8ECB-0B661C430A23.jpeg

C76DA8F3-57DE-401B-91B9-DDD4EF01367E.jpeg

1625AEB2-82BA-4514-B98B-1E8A3C4291DD.jpeg

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Glad it worked for you.

Amazing stats too, both from IFs and global ones. Looking at those assists, I believe Osimhen scored a lot from headers provided for early crosses from your Wing Backs? I've seen that happening in my tests.

I just posted a test on Premier League where I also felt the need to change something to guarantee some advantages, but I tried more to try to guarantee coverage to my centre-backs who usually have to leave their position when several opponents appear close to him (and it happens a lot late game when our opponents start to put a lot of people ahead).

Am yet to try some attacking versions as I've been more concerned with late goals conceded from previous tests, but will try you idea to see how it performs.

Really, I'm very happy it worked for you :)

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Bro, this is an interesting tactic, but since you use it for Sporting, and they took away trophies from my Casa pia 3 times, I am very not pleased!(a joke, the tactics are really very good, but it was enough for one season :( )

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