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I've tried to play they way you're saying you should, and I am still failing.

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I've really had a mixed time with FM this year. I first started playing like I always do and it started out quite well, but then it became stupidly frustrating. It seemed like some of the logic was taken out of the game. So I finished my only season after finishing 4th by the skin of my teeth with Arsenal. I gave up playing for a while, tried to go in and play again, was having same problems, tried some different teams still nothing. I uninstalled the game and deleted all the graphic packs and stuff I had downloaded, I gave up with the game basically. It felt scripted, and I don't mean just to make me lose, but when the same teams buy the same players on completely different games, it just looks **** fishy.

But regardless after having read the "What to do when you just can't win" thread that is pinned in this forum. I thought you know what, that sounds like something that makes sense and that I'd enjoy doing. Re-Installed and re downloaded all the graphic packs. Start one up with Arsenal. Before even clicking continue I went over the whole team and looking at whats needs tweaking, improving and focusing on and set out about changing it.

I probably spent 2 hours before clicking the first continue scouting players, adjusting staff, setting training for team and individual, setting tactics, set piece instructions and basically sorting out everything.

I then replaced the staff who just weren't good enough and I now have 4 stars across all levels on that staff thing and I have some of the best scouts on the game. This was all before I had even attempted to sign anyone.

I changed the squad role of each player if I didn't think it was correct. So basically I just spent ages in order to create a great starting platform in order to scout my first buys. I has happy with everything.

I only sold a couple of players, Mannone, Arshavin and Squillaci my only casualties. Coquelin went out on loan. I looked at my squad and the £26M I was given and went about signing players I felt were needed, which were basically just midfielders.

My "big money" transfer was Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar for £12.5 rising to £16M after 30 games played. I also picked up Gonalons on loan for the season as was in need of DM cover. I also got Praet from Anderlecht for around £5M, wanted an up and coming AM to possibly learn from Cazorla or just play his own game. And I also signed Scheniderlin for Southampton as further DM cover, he was home-grown and my scouts rated him better than Coquelin, which is why I let him go on loan.

So I got the players I wanted and felt were needed, all of which my scouts said were must buys. With 20,20 on player judgement they can't be that wrong.

But anyway start the first few pre-season games with the tactics that I sat and spent 30 minutes tweaking rather than just setting one and thinking it should do the job. I fine tuned it for the players I had and the roles they are best at.

Now pre-season is one that always bugs me, cause I either smash every team like 7-0 and then when it comes to the first league game I get battered, or my players who are miles better than the teams I'm playing only just manage a win, or draw or even lose. Yep I lost to some team I've never heard of 2-1..

Anyway, I thought, doesn't matter, I'll just adjust the tactics, it must be something I missed. Paying attention to my assistants messages and well as the stats of the games.

So I have a problem, Play Direct and I get "Our long passes just aren't working, we should play a shorter style", fine I'll use shorter passing "Our players are misplacing a lot of short passes today" and "We should try a more direct style" So after that I'm just like, FINE DEFAULT. "Our players are misplacing a lot of passes today, maybe we should focus on one style". Are you fing kidding me. I'm playing with some top passers here and none of them can **** pass properly?

I somehow get passed off the pitch by a bunch of randomers and my players can't seem to either get the ball near the goal to shoot or when they do miss completely.

Anyway after more frustrations in pre season, my final pre season game went quite well, 3-0 win, dominated the game and Gnabry grabbed a goal. All 3 tactics I have are very close to being fully learnt and training has been going well, according to the coaches.

So first game of the season, Villa away. I scouted their team, looked at who was injured and their weak spots. They played a narrow 41212, so I thought, cool, use the wings to my advantage, set the tactic to play down the flanks more. Did that help? Nope wingers played terrible and were my two lowest rated players for the first half, even though statistically they were playing against much weaker and slower full backs.

While they had an extra man over me in the midfield, my 3 players were statistically and positionally better than theirs were, yet it was their players who were passing to each other, while mine were passing to them.

Was 1-0 down in the first half, Darren Bent scored after my CB played the ball to my midfielder who thought it would be a brilliant idea to pass the ball to Darren Bent for a 1 on 1. Anyway, adjusted the tactics a little at half time, took away the flanks play, wasn't working. Took off Arteta as he was getting tired. Early in the second half got a corner, scored. Setting up those set pieces worked, as a couple minutes later had another one and it hit the bar! But it was working so I was happy with that.

But again, going forward my players were just dreadful. Misplacing passes everywhere, not making smart decisions, doing nothing good at all. And to rub it in even more at about 80 minutes, Bent scored again. But this goal was worse than the first. For some reason one of my players decided to just hoof the ball up into the air back into my own box, keeper came out for some reason, defender missed his header? Ball then bounced and Bent just tapped it in.

So yeah. What the f? I get told time and time again "Oh it's realistic, you have to pay more attention to this and this and do this and this and this". Do all of that and I still get beaten, by a weaker team and my team plays like a bunch of morons. This is not realism, this is a joke.

My line-up for those interested:

Szczesny

Jenkinson -- Koscielny -- Vermaelen -- Monreal
FB (S) CB (C) BPD (D) FB (Auto)

Schneiderlin
DM(D)

Mkhitaryan -- Arteta
DLPM(S) (CM auto)

Walcott ----------------------------------------- Cazorla
Wing ( A )---------------------------------------IF ( A )

Giroud
TM( A )​

I played Jenkison as Sagna starts off injured. Didn't buy a replacement, but he hasn't been an issue at all so far. I also tried 4231 like so:

Szczesny

Jenkinson -- Koscielny -- Vermaelen -- Monreal
Fb (S) CB (C) BPD (D) FB (Auto)

Arteta -- Mkhitaryan
CM (D) DLPM (S)

Walcott ------------ Cazolra -------- Chamberlain
Wing ( A )------------ AP ( A ) ---------Wing ( A )

Giroud
AF ( A)​

I had the same results with this, except I was more vulnerable to counter attacks.

My main setup usually consists of:

Fluid
Control

Shorter
More expressive
Press more
Default tackling
Zonal
Default crossing (Tried both the others, never works with Arsenal)
Stick to position (I used to use more roaming, but players were always out of position, so I change this)

With that setup and that line up teams like Villa shouldn't even be a problem in my opinion. I cannot for the life of me see what is going wrong now. I done all the training properly, I think the tactics to play vs Villa are pretty spot on, my morale is fairly high (New manager and all that) but then they play like a bunch of league 1 players.

I took my time with this and it's still not working. I get that it's different this year, but it's just not making sense as to why I am not at least playing well. Heck if the team came off at 60% possession and just had one of them days, it wouldn't bother me that much. It's just that they aren't even performing, even when in their preferred positions and roles.

I've tried FMC before, I don't like it. Not enough depth. That is not the answer. Please help.
 
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1. Fluid doesnt go with stick to position. If you think your players sticking to their position is better then have it at least at balance if not rigid.
2. Rigid is much more effective than people think it is btw.
3. Also, you have too many people on attack duty up front in both tactics. This means that you re very easy to negate especially in your second set up with only one player on support. So I'd try the following (in the first set up). Have Cazorla SUPPORT and Monreal wb ATTACK (or auto) and Jenkinson fb auto.
In your second set up maybe turn CAZORLA again to support
4. The most important thing to train is not tactics but team cohesion. Once the tactical bars are more than half start heavily training that. I would train general training team cohesion for at least a month and then once in a while. If your tactics are short/control etc in season Id train as follows Ball Control /Attacking/Ball Control/Team Cohesion/Attacking/Ball Control/Attacking/Team Cohesion etc (on low/average).
5. Basically you need to be aiming for two things tactically - having a variety of threat outlets and controlling the mf.
6. Also watch matches on extended at least - eg a lot of people complain that they let in goals in the last minutes of matches. This rarely happens to me (if anything Im the one who does the late scoring usually) but this is because I dont just press contain etc 5 mins before the end. I tweak tactics themselves as well. eg I like having wbs on attack duties but If Im only leading by one goal Ill instruct them to defend in the last 5/10 minutes. Also going from very attacking to contain may be too much of a jump. So I sometimes just go to defend.
 
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Dont look at the feedback from the assistant manager as the truth of what to do, but instead he is just stating the facts. Here, its that you are missplacing to many passes, simple as that. Now, the assman does not really now how you want to approach the game, or if playing a more direct style would suit your overall approach, the players etc. The missplaced passes might come from you not having enough passing options, lacking of movement, to big gaps between your stratas etc.
 
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Dont look at the feedback from the assistant manager as the truth of what to do, but instead he is just stating the facts. Here, its that you are missplacing to many passes, simple as that. Now, the assman does not really now how you want to approach the game, or if playing a more direct style would suit your overall approach, the players etc. The missplaced passes might come from you not having enough passing options, lacking of movement, to big gaps between your stratas etc.
Something must be very wrong. It took you too long to interject in this discussion.:p
 
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Something must be very wrong. It took you too long to interject in this discussion.:p
Dont come here showing of with your fancy words. Remember that I dont really know how to read or write English ;D.
 
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Yeah, don't pay too much attention to what your assistant manager is telling you during matches. I get "So and So is making too many mistakes today" but he's rated 7.7 and has notched up an assist. There's a bit of a disconnect sometimes.

I'm not a tactical expert, I mostly play with downloaded tactics myself, but it does look to me like your tactics are a little imbalanced. I would set Giroud as a TM to support. He kind of does that IRL, collects balls and pings them back to Walcott/Cazorla/Podolski. He's still going to attack as well. I'd also change your two CMs to Advanced Playmaker and Ball Winning Midfielder. A DLP and CM on auto would tend to sit too deep I imagine. On your 4-2-3-1 tactic, switch Arteta to Ball Winning Midfielder instead of just CM.

Also, just remember that's one match. If you're playing Fluid it takes a while for your players to be comfortable with your tactics. Add to that you brought new guys into the team and the team cohesion needs to settle. Wilshere and Ramsey are both fantastic players though, don't underestimate them.

Like I said, I'm not a master of tactics, but I do know patience is key in FM. Your first match sounds like a really frustrating result, but we've all had those "WTF are my players doing!?!" moments.
 
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Mkhitaryan is a complex player on this FM .In real life he scored around 25 .Unfortunately to make him perform you need to make him learn few moves.Sold him for 50 million after 3 seasons because he gets that good.As you see his stats one thing gets highlighted.His flair is very high .He got around 15 dribbling.And some nice finishing and composure stats.Make him learn first to run with the ball more.Than change his position to CAM.Take cazorla out on the left cutting inside and change monreal role to fb attack.Use ox and walcot as rotation on right.Second move make him learn is run through the middle .Second season onwards he is gonna be your best player.He will get you assists ans goal for fun.

Now play wilshere and arteta and dlp(s) and Dlp(d) and use strategy of rigid so that they cover for monreal when he gets forward.
 
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Counter - Fluid

4-1-2-3(2-1)

-------------P(Att)-------------
--W(Att)---------------W(Att)--
---------AP(S)-DLP(D)----------
-------------A(D)---------------
WB(Auto)-CD(X)-CD(C)-WB(Auto)

That's my tactic I have been crushing the BPL - give it some time. Let the players get used to it.

Passing-Mixed
Tackles-Soft
Deep Line (1 or 2 ticks left of center)
Stand off more
Tick the counter attack box

Poacher (Giroud) - I would sign someone with more pace (up near 18-19-20 with good finishing)
Wingers (Good dribbling and pace and crossing) Walcott and Ox should do on the right, might need a replacement for POLDI on the left.
Advanced Playmaker (Cazorla). DLP (Wilshere)
Anchor Man (Replacement needed - Tall, and Fast with good heading and jumping he is the *Stopper as some call him).
Wing backs (Monreal, Gibbs on the left - Jenkinson, Sagna on the right)
Center backs (Limited Defender Mertesacker, find a replacement who is faster but still big and can jump and head)
Cover defender - Vermaleen and Koscielny will do for now.

If you don't win the title after 2 signings then I will be shocked.
 
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Counter - Fluid

4-1-2-3(2-1)

-------------P(Att)-------------
--W(Att)---------------W(Att)--
---------AP(S)-DLP(D)----------
-------------A(D)---------------
WB(Auto)-CD(X)-CD(C)-WB(Auto)

That's my tactic I have been crushing the BPL - give it some time. Let the players get used to it.

Passing-Mixed
Tackles-Soft
Deep Line (1 or 2 ticks left of center)
Stand off more
Tick the counter attack box

Poacher (Giroud) - I would sign someone with more pace (up near 18-19-20 with good finishing)
Wingers (Good dribbling and pace and crossing) Walcott and Ox should do on the right, might need a replacement for POLDI on the left.
Advanced Playmaker (Cazorla). DLP (Wilshere)
Anchor Man (Replacement needed - Tall, and Fast with good heading and jumping he is the *Stopper as some call him).
Wing backs (Monreal, Gibbs on the left - Jenkinson, Sagna on the right)
Center backs (Limited Defender Mertesacker, find a replacement who is faster but still big and can jump and head)
Cover defender - Vermaleen and Koscielny will do for now.

If you don't win the title after 2 signings then I will be shocked.
So you tell me to replace almost everyone but say you'd be surprised if I didn't win the league with just 2 signings.. How does that make sense?
 
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As others have said, the Assistant Manager shouldn't be listened to too heavily. Mine is always harping on about space between my midfield and back line, but I'm very happy with how my team sets up.

I've always found more success in setting rigid/very rigid and less expressive as team rules, and then tweaking individual player roles to allow more creativity for select players. Otherwise I notice they don't keep their structure, and do some really stupid things occasionally.

My team still has off days, but I've always attributed that to me playing a number of younger players. I don't know what you set your background as, but I've got enough street-cred now that I just go nuts at players who underperform and its normally received well, I hand out warnings for particularly awful games, etc. Team morale has a pretty big effect in the game, but making your expectations clear to players at the start of a game goes a long way I find. I even use the "Why can't you play like that all the time?" after game talk if they've been up and down lately rather than just saying "Great Job". If your players are acting like idiots then you want to get a "Seemed to gain focus" reaction out of them if possible.

Yes FM13 can be a frustration beast, but I think there's a lot more going on under the hood than previous years. Morale just has such a big effect, players playing against an old team is normally a boom or bust for me, calling out an opposition player in the media can screw with his game or make him play like a champ... There's things in this game that you can't find a 1-20 number for in a stat column.
 
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As others have said, the Assistant Manager shouldn't be listened to too heavily. Mine is always harping on about space between my midfield and back line, but I'm very happy with how my team sets up.

I've always found more success in setting rigid/very rigid and less expressive as team rules, and then tweaking individual player roles to allow more creativity for select players. Otherwise I notice they don't keep their structure, and do some really stupid things occasionally.

My team still has off days, but I've always attributed that to me playing a number of younger players. I don't know what you set your background as, but I've got enough street-cred now that I just go nuts at players who underperform and its normally received well, I hand out warnings for particularly awful games, etc. Team morale has a pretty big effect in the game, but making your expectations clear to players at the start of a game goes a long way I find. I even use the "Why can't you play like that all the time?" after game talk if they've been up and down lately rather than just saying "Great Job". If your players are acting like idiots then you want to get a "Seemed to gain focus" reaction out of them if possible.

Yes FM13 can be a frustration beast, but I think there's a lot more going on under the hood than previous years. Morale just has such a big effect, players playing against an old team is normally a boom or bust for me, calling out an opposition player in the media can screw with his game or make him play like a champ... There's things in this game that you can't find a 1-20 number for in a stat column.
You, sir dont post much (or uncle MAD doesnt remember seeing any of your post) but you TALK A LOT OF SENSE!
 
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You, sir dont post much (or uncle MAD doesnt remember seeing any of your post) but you TALK A LOT OF SENSE!
Yeah I'm more of a lurker normally, but I'm in the middle of falling in love with FM13 for the 3rd time this year so I wanna talk FM with someone and the wife doesn't wanna hear it :p
 
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Imo the key component in this FM seems to be patience. The first season almost always is a bit weird and I think it actually takes longer for a new tactic to become really fluid for your team then the tactic screen indicates, especially if you brought in new players in. In my experience it takes usually around half a season until you start seeing your team really kicking it off.
 
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So this just happened. What am I doing wrong exactly? I listened to you all and this happens..



My setup:



 
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Have the individual settings been changed in any way.
You have a very high line mate eith no offside.Gibbs should not be starting over monreal.Arteta is not a bwd.If the window is still open i would suggest you buy capoue( spelling) check in france team.Buy for 15 mil with 48 months option.Lastly change wilshere role to attacking midfielder and show us your training screenshot.
 
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Have the individual settings been changed in any way.
You have a very high line mate eith no offside.Gibbs should not be starting over monreal.Arteta is not a bwd.If the window is still open i would suggest you buy capoue( spelling) check in france team.Buy for 15 mil with 48 months option.Lastly change wilshere role to attacking midfielder and show us your training screenshot.
Gibbs is easily good enough to play vs Reading.. I have a BWM in Nianggolan, but he got sent off last game. Arteta has played that position for me perviously and was fine. Under his roles rating it's the same as all the others.

I don't see what changing Wilshere from APM to AM will do but sure..

Training:



And tactic familiarity:

 
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