Kris' Swan Song

Kris

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Sep 17, 2005
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Introduction

Hi Everyone,

I don’t post very often any more and I certainly don’t start many threads. However I've just finished what I would whole heartedly call my greatest achievement in FM13 and the Football Manager series as a whole since the split from Eidos.

Since the release of FM13 there have been countless threads with users posting grievances with the game and in particular, the match engine. Too hard, not fun any more, the engine is flawed, nothing is working or my personal favourite “ I've had 99% possession and 30 shots to their 1% and two shots, this game is so unrealistic” (slight over exaggeration alert) but you get my point.

I was one of these users, although I wasn't AS vocal as others, I was hitting a bona fide rage gage with my lack of success in what I thought were flawless systems/set up’s and who can blame us? We don’t play computer games to lose, we certainly don’t play them to lose 5-1 at home at the Philips Stadion to a team you can barely pronounce in your head that presumably play Sunday League and were the lucky team to win the “Enter the Dutch Cup Lotto”

Owned by that guy!​


Like so many others, I’d grown used to downloading the latest exploitable tactics with the trendy name like “Athena Goddess of war net buster 7.0 “ that found ways of exploiting the games engine, rather than playing to it’s strengths. You find yourself playing the game, but not really as all you seem to be doing is clicking the space bar to continue through it, almost guaranteed a victory every week, until one day SI patch the game and you are left waiting until version 8.0 is released, new and improved showing great victories to reel you in once more.

View attachment 290398
Thou shall smite thee with thy 4-3-3!

The new match engine appears to have brought down Athena and her minions with a thunderbolt and users like me have to fend for themselves! And that my friend is exactly what I have done.


Swan Song

Although I eventually ended up at Swansea, my original plan was to go Stoke. I was over at a friend’s house and he had FM fired up at the time. He happened to make a remark about being afraid for his Spurs side, away to Stoke on a wet Wednesday night funnily enough. He was concerned about the height and sheer physical presence they seemed to have over his team and that got me thinking “ I've seen about 1000 different versions of possession football but not once have I come across a tactic which looks to take advantage of strength, power and height”

As you can imagine, I failed miserably. Rage Gage strikes again.

Then a few days later, I got back on the wagon and decided to go one of my favourite teams over the past four or five years…Swansea.

Since Roberto Martinez took charge of Swansea, they have gained numerous plaudits for the brand of football they play, which now appears to be part of the clubs overall philosophy. They have been known on occasion as the “British Barcelona” which of course is ludicrous because no-one can truly match the way Barcelona play. To do so would require the sort of chemistry that they have, as well as the ridiculous ability of Xavi, Iniesta and of course Messi.

However…

I do feel that they play similar in certain degrees, playing possession football, trying to find space or breaking at speed when an opportunity presents itself. So in the end I came up with this…


The System


I actually decided on Balanced/Counter after a discussion with TheBetterHalf. In all honesty I have never used the counter strategy before. I’ve always thought of Defensive and Counter strategies as negative and something to be avoided, when in complete contrast, counter is perfect for what I require. I want everyone to be that bit deeper when in possession, looking to split the opposition’s midfield or burst away with my inside forwards/full backs.

Balanced has always been my point of call for style. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, the middle ground. This allows my Full Backs to push forward without worrying about defensive laps.

* *​

I used the Report > Comparison screen to decide my Team Instructions. On previous occasions, I have decided that I know best on these matters & would pick options depending on whatever mood I was in when creating the tactic. This appears to be one of my major flaws when creating tactics in the past.


As you can see from the report of all 20 sides, Swansea are extremely high in decisions, first touch, passing, work rate and team work. Which lead me to the following…


As you can see I have completely ignored the sliders. Major flaw number two was complete lack of awareness regarding the sliders. Messing around with them ‘***** Nilly’ I probably destroyed any hope my formations had, right from the get go. I don’t feel comfortable using them, however I am using shouts which should make up for it. My only amendment is to make my Deep Lying play maker my key play maker since he will be a lot deeper and most moves will go through him, just like Barcelona.


My advise: Don’t use them unless you are 100% comfortable with them.

* *​

Shouts I have taken directly from Raikan007's Possesion discussion thread. which is a great insight for anyone looking to play possession football on football manager.


FYI - I have made only one Player Instruction amendment and that was for my Keeper to distribute to my most attacking Full Back - Neil Taylor.

How Does It Play?

I'm not sure what the reason is, perhaps someone with greater knowledge can explain? but my team do not keep as much possession as anticipated. Instead they press high and hard, hoping to pounce on the opposition’s lack of focus or concentration. When we are in possession of the ball however, we play some amazing football as you can see from the clips I've uploaded below.

[video=youtube;nn2DEjlBXvM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2DEjlBXvM[/video]

In this clip, we play some great passing football, with my full back overlapping my inside forward before picking out Ki who floats the ball in perfectly for Michu to score an amazing header. This was on of my favourites.

[video=youtube;1-RGj9Q9TUc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-RGj9Q9TUc[/video]

Here we see my wing back at the heart of things again, his pass to Ki is amazing vision but then Ki plays a perfectly timed pass back to Hernandez who drills it in to Taylor to tap it home.

[video=youtube;SJetDNiRkzY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJetDNiRkzY[/video]

This final clip shows my team's high pressing at work, in my result of the season. At the start of the clip you can see that I have 6 players in Man United's half, pressing hard and eventually capitalising on an error and going onto score.

End Result

The season ended better than I could ever have expected, 5th place. I was in fourth for a lot of the season but fatigue managed to play it’s part with such a small squad. That and injuries to key players, but I don’t want to make excuses. 5th (prediction 19th) was amazing.


Hold The Line

I decided early on that I wanted one of my full backs to play attacking and the other support. This was due to Swansea being predicted with such a low finish, I wanted to play it safe and avoid being exploited by the bigger sides in the league. There for as Taylor had better attacking attributes than Angel Rangel (come on, you can’t say his name without including the full thing) he was set to support while my central defenders played Stopper/Cover and that was chosen based on player attributes.

I believe having Vorm as a sweeper keeper helped in start plays from the back but also his rushing to collect the ball saved me a few times. (also cost me on a few occasions) Which is also worth noting if your keeper is a bit eccentric?

As you can see from the pictures, we scored on of the fewest amount of goals in the league and watching Taylor and Vorm in particular is very enjoyable if you like to view matches.



The Three Musketeers

The Tequartista & attacking inside forwards was a Barcelona inspired idea. I figured I could make it work fairly well with Michu as my Tequartista, even though he wasn't fully comfortable in the forward role, he often dropped deeper, dragging defenders away, looking to feet the inside forwards. He managed to bag himself 15 goals over the season with 11 assists. Watching him in action was amazing and his link up play, magical at times. Given his height, he was also ideal for hold up play on the occasions that Vorm was forced to play the ball long.

As you can see from the pictures below, my inside forwards also benefited well from him.



Results

Here is a selection of pictures from my results against some of the bigger opposition.





Conclusion

I've had my most enjoyable season of FM for a very long time and cannot wait to continue and test further with different sides. While I still believe it to be very challenging to create the right formation, anyone can succeed if they try. Never give up, keep learning and follow whatever advice you can. You’ll have much more enjoyment and fulfilment if you accomplish things with your own tactic.

A few weeks ago I was overly critical of a match engine which I now think, because I took the time to consider my team, set up and style before hand, works wonders when done correctly.

I have uploaded my formation for anyone who wishes to use it. I'd love to know how it works with other teams.

LINK


Kris
 

JP Woody

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Jan 11, 2009
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Looks good Kris. Im currently using counter strategy myself for the first time but with a 4231 formation and direct passing.
 

Raikan007

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Feb 6, 2009
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very nice post Kris, great writing and good explanations..

for some reason, as long as I have been playing Fm/Cm I have never seen that report comparison screen, I think I might take a little look into that and try and create a brand new tactic for Fm13 (not my Fm13 versions of older tactics)

great stuff, I think I might just give this a go :)
 

k3r0s3x

Member
Aug 4, 2009
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dezaxat.com
Game no.5:
Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool

Stats:
View attachment 290463

***Note: Until now, my ST (the trequartista) scored 0 goals. I don't know why exactly..no goals and everytime a small rating.

Game no.6:
Liverpool 0-1 Man. City

Stats:
View attachment 290464

Game no.7:
Liverpool 3-0 Zenit

Stats:
View attachment 290467

Game no.8:
Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Stats:
View attachment 290471

***Note: I've changed my striker to Deep Lying Forward (attack) and banged 2 goals. For now :)

Game no.9:
Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland

Stats:
View attachment 290480

***Note: Another goal scored by the striker with DLF.

Game no.10:
Blackburn 0-0 Liverpool

Stats:
View attachment 290481

***Note: That was a **** game.

Conclusion after 10 games:
View attachment 290482

10 games, 6 wins, 2 draw games and 2 loses.

Good defensively, very poor at creating CCC. The 2 big games I've had, lost, so not that good against big teams.

But it's a good tactic..maybe with some tweaks will be better.
 
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Kris

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Sep 17, 2005
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Looks good Kris. Im currently using counter strategy myself for the first time but with a 4231 formation and direct passing.
How are you getting on? It seems to work wonders on FM13 but given that I've always thought of it in a negative light, it could have been the strategy to use in previous games.

very nice post Kris, great writing and good explanations..

for some reason, as long as I have been playing Fm/Cm I have never seen that report comparison screen, I think I might take a little look into that and try and create a brand new tactic for Fm13 (not my Fm13 versions of older tactics)

great stuff, I think I might just give this a go :)
Thanks :) Yeah I just found it the other day, was a total lightbulb moment. It's easy to see exactly where I've been going wrong in the past. It really helps you choose the correct instructions for your players.

Game no.5:
***Note: Until now, my ST (the trequartista) scored 0 goals. I don't know why exactly..no goals and everytime a small rating.

***Note: I've changed my striker to Deep Lying Forward (attack) and banged 2 goals. For now :)

[Good defensively, very poor at creating CCC. The 2 big games I've had, lost, so not that good against big teams.

But it's a good tactic..maybe with some tweaks will be better.
Thank you for taking the time to test it out. I hope I have not destroyed your season. Liverpool were actually one of the sides I wanted to give it a shot with.

So you’ve only conceded two goals in ten games? That’s pretty impressive! Lack of goals is slightly worrying though.
It looks as though you aren’t creating enough chances? Who are you playing as the DLP and AP? It could be that they aren’t creating enough or maybe the forward isn’t coming back?
 

will8578

Member
Dec 13, 2009
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seems the best football team in the world is jinxed, ****** hard with Lfc, the only season iv completed on this fm, i came 8th, 3rd round of fa and league cup, got beat in the final of the europa, sneeky b++tards tho, i got to june and thought at least they havnt sacked me, next thing i know iv been sacked, im like whered that come from, report said they let my contract run out and didnt renew it, thanks very much werner.
 

kazm

Member
Mar 3, 2012
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Since the release of FM13 there have been countless threads with users posting grievances with the game and in particular, the match engine. Too hard, not fun any more, the engine is flawed, nothing is working or my personal favourite “ I've had 99% possession and 30 shots to their 1% and two shots, this game is so unrealistic” (slight over exaggeration alert) but you get my point.
1 your/my/their tactic creates lots of chances
2 opponents tactic barely creates any chances
3 this happens game after game

Please explain to me how the tactic used (which plays good football and creates enough chances) is bad and explain to me how this is even REMOTELY realistic. I am sorry but this is not realistic AT ALL and it never will be. I see why they want you to change your tactic once in a while but thats not because of realism it's because of not letting the game get too easy/boring.

Take for example the EPL. How many managers really adapt to their opponents the way the AI does against your tactic? Mourinho did it Inter vs Barca and he STILL SHOULDVE LOST. No offense but half these managers dont think deeper than: 'derp 442 derp 11 players GL HF derp.' Sure there's some managers smart enough to think: 'yeah they got a superfast left winger, maybe I shouldnt put Jamie Caragher right back and push up high' but I think there litteraly is NO manager that really abuses the opponents tactic. Even IF the opponents manager adapts to your tactic IRL it wouldnt come out the FM 'yeah just aim at the bar again' way, it would come out in the Spain vs Italy: 'oh you had Pirlo on the field, we never noticed' way.

So now we have a tactic that does what it is supposed to do: dominate, create chances, score. Except that it doesnt score. Why? Because the AI doesnt want you to.

I like this FM a lot better than 12 and 11, but STILL i really really really HATE this. If I have a good gelled team playing a good well thought out tactic with good morale and I lose points consistantly in the way described my tactic isnt bad, the game is bad.

What I hope is that SI improves the ME to the point where this isnt necessary anymore, theres not much bad in the fact that they adapt to you. But it is bad if stuff like this happens over and over again.

The best real life example is Barca: imagine them going 0-0, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2 game after game, while playing the football they do now with amount of chances they create now...realistic in FM, almost impossible IRL.

/rant over :D

PS. I am gonna try this because I agree the game = most fun when you create your own tactic. I just dont agree with some of the arguments used (by SI) and i never will.
 

Mike.

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 15, 2009
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1 your/my/their tactic creates lots of chances
2 opponents tactic barely creates any chances
3 this happens game after game

Please explain to me how the tactic used (which plays good football and creates enough chances) is bad and explain to me how this is even REMOTELY realistic. I am sorry but this is not realistic AT ALL and it never will be. I see why they want you to change your tactic once in a while but thats not because of realism it's because of not letting the game get too easy/boring.

Take for example the EPL. How many managers really adapt to their opponents the way the AI does against your tactic? Mourinho did it Inter vs Barca and he STILL SHOULDVE LOST. No offense but half these managers dont think deeper than: 'derp 442 derp 11 players GL HF derp.' Sure there's some managers smart enough to think: 'yeah they got a superfast left winger, maybe I shouldnt put Jamie Caragher right back and push up high' but I think there litteraly is NO manager that really abuses the opponents tactic. Even IF the opponents manager adapts to your tactic IRL it wouldnt come out the FM 'yeah just aim at the bar again' way, it would come out in the Spain vs Italy: 'oh you had Pirlo on the field, we never noticed' way.

So now we have a tactic that does what it is supposed to do: dominate, create chances, score. Except that it doesnt score. Why? Because the AI doesnt want you to.

I like this FM a lot better than 12 and 11, but STILL i really really really HATE this. If I have a good gelled team playing a good well thought out tactic with good morale and I lose points consistantly in the way described my tactic isnt bad, the game is bad.

What I hope is that SI improves the ME to the point where this isnt necessary anymore, theres not much bad in the fact that they adapt to you. But it is bad if stuff like this happens over and over again.

The best real life example is Barca: imagine them going 0-0, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2 game after game, while playing the football they do now with amount of chances they create now...realistic in FM, almost impossible IRL.

/rant over :D

PS. I am gonna try this because I agree the game = most fun when you create your own tactic. I just dont agree with some of the arguments used (by SI) and i never will.
So now we have a tactic that does what it is supposed to do: dominate, create chances, score. Except that it doesnt score. Why? Because the AI doesnt want you to.
Wrong: The game doesnt work this way. Fact. Match Engine cannot tell the difference between AI and User.

Take for example the EPL. How many managers really adapt to their opponents the way the AI does against your tactic? Mourinho did it Inter vs Barca and he STILL SHOULDVE LOST. No offense but half these managers dont think deeper than: 'derp 442 derp 11 players GL HF derp.' Sure there's some managers smart enough to think: 'yeah they got a superfast left winger, maybe I shouldnt put Jamie Caragher right back and push up high' but I think there litteraly is NO manager that really abuses the opponents tactic. Even IF the opponents manager adapts to your tactic IRL it wouldnt come out the FM 'yeah just aim at the bar again' way, it would come out in the Spain vs Italy: 'oh you had Pirlo on the field, we never noticed' way.
With the greatest of respect, this post badly exposes your lack of knowledge footballing concepts (from which the Game takes it's focus).

Answer: most managers do it, all the time, you see Phil Neville get touch tight to Gareth Bale because his greatest asset is his pace.

You see Stoke and Villa, would traditionally play 4-4-2, play 3 men at the back, in order to have a spare defender to mop up against each others aerial prowess.

You see Ferguson sacrifice men in midfield, knowing that his wide players will have space against City's narrow 4-2-3-1.

You see Wigan playing a 3-4-3, because it counters a 2 man attack and also overloads an opposition's defensive line

The truth is most of them to a great extent make small/large player and tactical adaptations. They dont always work (football is never that simple).


The best real life example is Barca: imagine them going 0-0, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2 game after game, while playing the football they do now with amount of chances they create now...realistic in FM, almost impossible IRL.
The best example is actually you not actually being able to get the best from Barcelona, as one of our mods runs riot with them as we speak.

I like this FM a lot better than 12 and 11, but STILL i really really really HATE this. If I have a good gelled team playing a good well thought out tactic with good morale and I lose points consistantly in the way described my tactic isnt bad, the game is bad.
Then clearly its not a "good" tactic persee. Kris has completely demonstrated that in the above. Since you play the exact same match engine, you are doing something or some things badly that Kris is doing well.
 
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Mike.

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Feb 15, 2009
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Kris, the thread didnt disappoint. Excellently thought out logic

I'm not sure what the reason is, perhaps someone with greater knowledge can explain? but my team do not keep as much possession as anticipated. Instead they press high and hard, hoping to pounce on the opposition’s lack of focus or concentration. When we are in possession of the ball however, we play some amazing football as you can see from the clips I've uploaded below.
Counter gives them a deeper mentality so they are sitting a bit deeper in the field. But you also have more pressing so once the ball enters that "zone " they are pushing higher and harder onto it. But your team instructions are set so that when they win the ball back, they simply don't just hit forwards, but actually play their back back up the pitch using quick short football. Not quite Barcelona in terms of possession, but very much so in terms of attack. If I was setting up as Barcelona, that would be my team instructions and player roles.
 

kazm

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Mar 3, 2012
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1 i dont have a game with Barca. i didnt even say it was impossible to do good with them on the contrary. I was talking about their IRL tactic/skill/form. IRL the stuff that happens in FM doesnt happen.

2 If a tactic:
- starts the season great, doing what it must do, create chances, defend the way you want AND score and win,
but then
- Still creates the same amount of chances, still defends the way you want, but doesnt seem able to score anymore and concedes 1 goal.
Then: 1 your tactic is good, 2 the game is flawed.


To clarify, this is a problem I have with FM in general, it is something that has been in FM since the first 1 afaik. It does seem better in FM13. edit: it might be the best ever and thus closest to perfect ever

I do think FM13 is a step in the right direction dont get me wrong but this is not the perfect football manager.
 

Mike.

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 15, 2009
31,891
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1 i dont have a game with Barca. i didnt even say it was impossible to do good with them on the contrary. I was talking about their IRL tactic/skill/form. IRL the stuff that happens in FM doesnt happen.

2 If a tactic:
- starts the season great, doing what it must do, create chances, defend the way you want AND score and win,
but then
- Still creates the same amount of chances, still defends the way you want, but doesnt seem able to score anymore and concedes 1 goal.
Then: 1 your tactic is good, 2 the game is flawed.


To clarify, this is a problem I have with FM in general, it is something that has been in FM since the first 1 afaik. It does seem better in FM13. edit: it might be the best ever and thus closest to perfect ever

I do think FM13 is a step in the right direction dont get me wrong but this is not the perfect football manager.
Except this just isn't true. If it was a game issue, then everyone would have the exact same issue. But they dont.

All that means is that you haven't been able to adapt to a change in rep and teams playing more defensively.

This isnt a game problem, that is somthing you need to work on yourself. I don't want to clog up Kris' excellent thread.

Its' your approach that is flawed, and until you accept that, you will have the same problems every single time.

I'm being very blunt and direct here, but I'm not really sure how else to get to you look beyond this so you can start enjoying the game.
 
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Kris

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should the shouts be aply before match?
I set them up for the game start. I really couldn't say if this is a positive or negative but considering the results and way it plays, I'd say it's a good thing :)

do you use any oi's with this tactic? also can the st be changed to poacher or advanced forward?
I usually let my Asst Man take charge of that. I'm not confident enough with it really. I do like to check scouting reports though and if they ask me specifically to show someone onto left for example, then I will. On occasion I will try and unsettle an opponent if he has poor moral. Tight marking him in game, may make it worse for him.

1 i dont have a game with Barca. i didnt even say it was impossible to do good with them on the contrary. I was talking about their IRL tactic/skill/form. IRL the stuff that happens in FM doesnt happen.

2 If a tactic:
- starts the season great, doing what it must do, create chances, defend the way you want AND score and win,
but then
- Still creates the same amount of chances, still defends the way you want, but doesnt seem able to score anymore and concedes 1 goal.
Then: 1 your tactic is good, 2 the game is flawed.


To clarify, this is a problem I have with FM in general, it is something that has been in FM since the first 1 afaik. It does seem better in FM13. edit: it might be the best ever and thus closest to perfect ever

I do think FM13 is a step in the right direction dont get me wrong but this is not the perfect football manager.
I’m sorry that this thread hasn’t been useful for you. By looking at things in detail I’ve managed to have a relatively successful game, playing exciting to watch football in the process.

Did you even look at what I was doing to change my fortunes around? Have you given it a try?

I didn’t change one thing about the tactic once the season got underway and didn’t amend instructions for adverse weather conditions or anything like that.

Maybe if you change your perception, you will have the same success or enjoyment? What do you have to lose?
 
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