Welcome to FM Base
Want access to our Standard Logo Megapack and P20 kit packs? You know what to do!
Register

How do you defend crosses in this game?

Death Ball

Member
May 17, 2009
2,337
0
0
Exactly. First of all is looking at how those crosses start. Is the crosser with much space? Is that because you are playing a formation with only one wide player and your rivals use two and they're overloading your wide defender? Is it because your wider defender isn't closing them down enough? Is it because your defender is too eager to try tackle and in failing to do so he misses his position? Is your wide player that should close that player not doing so because he was too hasty closing down a different, more central opponent? According to that, then you may consider changing to a formation with a second wide player, making your wide defender to close down more, close down less or tackle less hard.

Once you've made so your wide defenders will obstruct opponents trying to cross from out wide, things should improve, but then you can improve more by trying to have centrebacks who are good in positioning, strength and jumping reach. I bold the latter because looking at YT series, I see too often players speaking very much about aerial prowess for their defenders because of a high heading stat, then react all weirded out because their player with 10 jumping reach and 16 heading was beat in the air. Heading is the ability of the player to send the ball he's headed where he intended, getting high enough to get the header is what jumping reach is about, with influence from positioning to be where he can reach the ball and strength to take that position and stop the opponent from taking it. It doesn't matter how high your player's heading is if he lacks the jumping reach to get his head to the ball. Having centrebacks actually strong in the air will be the final touch that will compliment the important work at the start of the cross with their part at the end.
 
Last edited:

louiscfc

Member
Apr 2, 2012
1,371
0
0
My main issue is my full backs and centre backs. I have tried so many different formations, player roles, team instructions, player instructions and opposition instructions and nothing ever works. At least not with my current team with a very similar tactic to previous successes which actually didn't concede that many goals.

I play a 4-1-2-2-1 or a 4-3-3 with a DM. I typically play a FB support duty but the problem isn't that they get caught out of position on a counter attack or doubled up from the opposing full back, the problem is they dont close the crosser down quick enough. I've tried asking the full backs to "close down more" but the problem with this as opposed to irl is that you cannot tell them what situations they should hold and when they should press and this results in my full backs closing all sorts of players down and getting caught out of position or beaten by a skillful winger in bad situations. I currently have them set to close down "sometimes" in the hope they will choose the right situation to close down.

I've also tried playing a wider width so the FBs are in a position to close down wide players quicker but when I do this I leave big gaps in my defence allowing for too many through balls being played between the CB and FB channel. Again, if I play a narrow width I find it hard to get the FB to close down crosses.

Another thing I tried was to play with defensive wingers to help out the full backs. This still didn't work as this gave the opposition full backs freedom to play further forward and took all threat out of my attacking play and I still found myself conceding from crosses.

I have some very good centre backs with good marking, anticipation, jumping reach, positioning but they always get beaten by the forwards from the crosses. As for midfield runners, I find it very hard for my midfielders to track their runs. I've had previous success using an anchor man but I'm finding at the moment for him to be too stationary when it comes to tracking runs etc. Would a defensive midfielder be better? Also what about central midfielders? I play with a B2B and CM-Attack. Would a BWM perhaps be better in the hope they could close down wide areas whilst the anchorman sits in front of the defence?

In terms of opposition instructions I feel like i've tried the lot. Close down wingers, show onto weaker foot, tighter marking. Done the same with full backs. Even shown them onto their inverted foot and force them to cut inside but they still get their crosses off on their stronger foot.

My team instructions are currently close down more, normal d-line with a balanced width but i've also tried very narrow tactics with 2 DMs, 2 defensive wingers and close down less in the hope of making the team as narrow as possible getting lots of bodies in the box, giving up crosses and just trying to defend them and thats even worse as my defenders just get beat to the ball. Again these are top defenders with very good attributes so i definitely think its a tactic related issue and not player related.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,477
8
38
The issue still isn't your centre backs. It's the fact that you need to stop crosses and you need to get your D-line right.
 

louiscfc

Member
Apr 2, 2012
1,371
0
0
You're never going to stop every single cross, no team could do that so yes, the centre backs are part of the issue as they're not defending the ones that do come in well enough. That doesn't help whatsover...
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,477
8
38
You're never going to stop every single cross, no team could do that so yes, the centre backs are part of the issue as they're not defending the ones that do come in well enough. That doesn't help whatsover...
It wasn't a long post, so you really need to read all of it.
 

Bigpapa42

Member
Sep 30, 2009
718
0
16
42
Before I suggest anything to add to what WJ has already correct said, a few questions....

-how often are you seeing these crosses resulting in goals? Is it every single match? Several per match? One every so often?

-what highlights do you watch the match on? If you are not watching on Comprehensive or Full, you may be missing a lot of instances the your players blocking crosses from ever coming in, or winning the ball?

-when your defenders do get beat, do you take the time to analyze why? Did they not react quick enough? Did they react but get muscled or out-maneuvered by a quicker player? Is it a midfielder making a run? Likely, its something a bit different each time but you can start to see what some of the causes are. A great defender who has poor Acceleration can be out-paced over a short distance. A great defender with mediocre Anticipation can still get caught out by that. That said, I do agree with WJ and its not really down to your defenders.

Football is a game of space. That's obvious. But you need to consider how you want to control that space. You cannot control all of it all the time. So decide what you want to concede. Getting the D-line right is pretty vital. Too low and you concede too much space, your team can't close down without losing shape, and attackers can run at you. Too high and you are vulnerable over the top and to thru balls. Having a higher line can help with crosses because you give less space for the wide defender to have to defend the cross, less room for the runners to make runs, and they have to cross it from deeper. But if you have slow defenders, it can cause problems. Again, you are making a choice.

A DM tends to be very helpful as you shield the defenders. Without that, you can end up with 2 central defenders trying to mark 2 strikers and a runner or two coming in free. An Anchor Man is static. A DM is a bit more mobile. A BWM is much more mobile but also tends to go chasing and can leave you exposed. You can have great success with a BWM but it takes the right player and system. You mentioned having a B2B and a CM-A in the midfield. Neither are very defensive. The B2B will help out but often has to cover a ton of ground so may not be positioned well.

Do you have wide besides the full backs? You mentioned using defensive wingers but do you have wingers normally? Even if they are fairly attacking, they can provide some cover and keep your defenders from having two attacking players on their side to deal with. If you use a narrow formation, that's always going to be a drawback. Opposition instructions are great, but you still need players capable of actually doing so effectively.
 

Death Ball

Member
May 17, 2009
2,337
0
0
Maybe you can try to raise defensive line while taking closing down lower. Or making central midfielders to close down more than the fullbacks, so when at the moment fullbacks go to a central player will see it already marked and turn to the wingers.
Also you could set the fullbacks to man mark the wingers, which will cause issues if they switch positions.
 

louiscfc

Member
Apr 2, 2012
1,371
0
0
Thanks for the feedback Death Ball and BigPapa. I've almost sorted the issue by making a super aggressive, attacking tactic and have only conceded in 3 games despite being nearly 2 months into the season. I aim to close down every opposition player with the opposition FBs and wingers being tightly marked and being shown onto the inside. This has no doubt worked but in those 3 games i have conceded 6 goals and 5 have been to crosses. I have watched replays of goals and checked match stats and I have been limiting teams to only a couple of "successful" crosses on average. Again, my only problem is these successful crosses always end up being goals.
For instance in a league cup game I drew 2-2 and won on penalties and I only allowed the opposition 2 successful crosses in 120 minutes and both of those resulted in goals. Same when I drew 2-2 with Arsenal.
I dont care what team you have or what tactic you use you're never going to stop every cross, that would be unrealistic. No team does that irl but the cross conversion rate seems to be so high in this years game. Again, most of the goals I score come from crosses too so you're telling me no AI manager can prevent this either? I feel like attacking full backs are a must in any good tactic this year simply for how easy and how important it is to score from crosses.

I feel like i have got my tactic the best it can be dealing with crosses, 2 per game, with no chances whatsoever coming from any other phase of play.
 

Bigpapa42

Member
Sep 30, 2009
718
0
16
42
be aware that being really aggressive will begin to catch up with you after awhile. Gradual success will build up your reputation as a club and you will start to be favored in more matches. That will make opposition be more defensive - essentially they will park the bus. You will break thru sometimes, but it gets tougher. And you leave yourself open to counter attacks. You will get "FM'd" at times - lose 2-0 when you have 70% possession and 30 shots to the opponent getting 2 shots and scoring both. they will do to you what Leicester did to the Prem last season.
 
Top