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I'm playing as Sheffield Wednesday. Won promotion to the Premier League but now I'm having real trouble. I usually play a 2-3-2-2-1 (the 3 being 2 wb's and a DMC) against other relegation threatened teams and a 4-4-2 when against the other teams (except the big boys) and it's going fairly well. The problem is whenever I'm playing one of the big teams I get absolutely destroyed.

Obviously I can't use my more attacking tactics as their superior players do the business for them and I don't have a chance of winning. I've been trying to develop a defensive/counter tactic to try and stifle them and maybe sneak a win but it's my first attempt at a counter formation in FM13 and it isn't going well. I had a very successful 4-4-2 tactic in FM12 that worked wonders for me but I seem to be getting overloaded in midfield on 13 so I've been trying something like:


View attachment 375740 View attachment 375742 View attachment 375741



However, I'm not seeing highlights of my team attacking, the only time my team are in possession they can't seem to find a pass and usually give it away, and the defending isn't even any good.

Player types:

There's not much to say about GK or defenders.
My DM isn't good on the ball but has high attributes for the Anchorman role.
The midfielders are passers - not great dribbling or flair but high passing with decent tackling/marking.
My wingers aren't particularly skillful but have very high pace and dribbling and decent (but not great) crossing.
Strikers I have a TM though he isn't really Premier League quality, a couple of poachers and a DLF.


Any help/advice on what I'm doing wrong or how to create to a good counter tactic would be much appreciated.

PS don't hesitate to tell me I'm doing it completely wrong - I just got beat 7-1 by Spurs using this tactic so its obviously very flawed!

Thanks
 
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Player types:

There's not much to say about GK or defenders.
My DM isn't good on the ball but has high attributes for the Anchorman role.
The midfielders are passers - not great dribbling or flair but high passing with decent tackling/marking.
My wingers aren't particularly skillful but have very high pace and dribbling and decent (but not great) crossing.
Strikers I have a TM though he isn't really Premier League quality, a couple of poachers and a DLF.


Any help/advice on what I'm doing wrong or how to create to a good counter tactic would be much appreciated.

PS don't hesitate to tell me I'm doing it completely wrong - I just got beat 7-1 by Spurs using this tactic so its obviously very flawed!

Thanks
Hey man, I don't know your exact player attributes but I am in a similar situation. I play Wehen Wiesbaden in Germany got promoted from 3rd to 2nd division, stayed 1 year in the second and now am promoted to Bundesliga. My players are decent second division players and my budget is less then Ribéry earns at Bayern so I am a HUGE underdog in every game in Bundesliga. Surprisingly I score many goals despite playing very defensive. Currently I am 9th in Bundesliga and even though I lost 0:5 to Bayern most other games were very close.
Here are some observations I made:
- You should not restrict creative freedom too much as your players won't find any openings at all and just senselessly lump the ball forward into empty space, especially if you set passing to "more direct" and your opponent is pressing you hard (which is almost every team in EPL) - I have a defensive midfielder with 8 in creativity, 5 in flair and 11 in passing who plays on the standard Defensive Midfielder/Support setting who has a 7.78 rating, the 8th best rating in the whole league... the key is his his 16 decision making stat. The amount of creative freedom you give a player should be more dependent on his decision making, a low creativity stat will just limit his ability to see more options but giving a lot of creative freedom can make good use of formidable decision making even if the player lacks creativity/flair
- Your formation does not suite your play style - the defensive 4-3-2-1 does not have enough players up front for counter attacks, it is a formation more suited for possesion dominating teams à la Barca with a slow build-up play
- Only go with Zonal Marking if your players are up to it, there is no shame in Man Marking at least with your Center- and Fullbacks which is the case if you set Marking to "Default"
- Stand-off more and a Deep defensive line are okay to use but you should play very narrow in this case as well, as a wide formation with low pressing will leave plenty of space for your opponents to use
- Only use a very high tempo if you have pacey attackers and your opponent is playing a rather wide formation, if he is playing a tight system you will give up possession too easily and your opponent will dominate the game
- I find that short passing at home and more direct passing away is the way to go no matter what kind of team you manage, I tend to just switch between "more direct" and "default" in away games and "short" and "default" at home depending on the opponents pressing
- Even if you use more direct passing you should individually set your defensive minded players with poor passing stats to very, very short passing otherwise they waste too much possession, the same goes for your keeper, if he has bad kicking/throwing/creativity set him to "defender collect" and low creativity
- in general, if you manage an inferior side I find that it is more important than ever to have more then three trained tactics - as you can't fill more preparation slots this just means combining the trained three settings on a match day and create a lot more variety as a result - in my three preparation tactics I use each one for each existing passing type, marking type etc. so the team can switch appropriately from game to game and does not lack in familarity, as mentality I use defensive/counter/standard and then i use three very different tempo/width types (though i do not use any width settings right from the center as i find that would be suicide with a poor team as mine) in each preparation tactic - before you start a match you just adjust one of your three preparation tactics with all the appropriate settings from all three preparation tactics and mix them to one final match tactic for the day
- Have a close look on your opponents strikers, if they are not super-pacy and you play at home I found that playing the defensive line too deep is not a good idea, if there is any possibility to defend higher up the pitch without getting overrun it is always better, as it gives you more controll over the game
- don't automatically play/use the most technically gifted players, teamwork and workrate go a long way if you are the underdog, you want your players support their teammates under pressure
- play your games on an extended highlight view, this way you get a better insight into how you are wasting possession, whether you play too narrow or too wide, etc.
- accept that you might loose many games anyway, as your opponents just have vastly superior players - don't be too harsh on your players if they loose 2-3 games in a row, always give individual feedback on their performances to keep morale high, which is one of the most important aspects in the game actually (in case you didn't know: if a player had a 7.0 rating or better you will always get a positive result if you praise him for the last game as long as you choose the right statement, if a playmaker had 0 keypasses don't praise him for setting up chances despite his rating - criticising is more complex, volatile players might react badly to criticism, but in general if a player has below 6.8 rating in recent games you can criticise him for a decline in performances and if he had a bad tackle (defenders) pass (attackers) success ratio in the last game combined with a rating below 6.8 you can criticise him for that, too and get a positive reaction)

These are my three stettings atm:

View attachment 380203
View attachment 380204
View attachment 380205

I find the two defensive midfielders give a lot of stability and while my AM is set on support duty here, i often set him individually to very attacking and many forward runs if I play a direct passing style and a high tempo while the opponent plays a wide formation - this way the system almost becomes a 4-2-4 and you can set up great counter attacks, ideally the AM should have decent finishing, off the ball, decision, anticipation and work rate stats.

I hope you can use the input, although I realize your post is a week old and you might not even read this. Excuse my grammar I'm not a native speaker.
 
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Just 5 minutes ago I beat Dortmund at home 2:1, they where at the CL final last season. I used the defensive tactic, but set on default pressing and "more aggressive"

View attachment 380212
 
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I hope you can use the input, although I realize your post is a week old and you might not even read this. Excuse my grammar I'm not a native speaker.
Thanks so much! I guess there is still a lot I don't know about tactics on this game. Possession-style tactics are pretty much all I can do. I'll definitely be using a lot of your ideas and hopefully will be able to put up more of a fight against the bigger teams.
 
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