Liverpool - Tactic Advice

DannyLFC1892

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Apr 14, 2013
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As the title suggests, I'm looking for some advice with tactics for Liverpool.

Pre-season went well, scoring quite a few goals, albeit against lesser opposition, and as far as I could see, I didn't have any issues with assigned player roles and team instructions.

I've never had any issues with previous versions of FM, but this time I seem to be getting it horribly wrong!

Below is my pre-season results, and results of my first two league games. I also lost 3-1 to Villa and drew 1-1 with Newcastle before the game crashed.


The idea behind the asymmetric tactic is that Clyne, Moreno and Ibe are to provide crosses into the box for Benteke with my IF cutting inside for the knock-downs and my AP playing in behind Benteke to play through-balls. Lucas is to shield the defence and also give support to the midfield as/when needed.



For the narrow 4-2-3-1, again I'm looking for Moreno and Clyne to provide width and crosses with Lucas staying back and Can to support my AP in the middle who then provides through-balls two my two AP's either side.

Any advice on where I am going wrong would be much appreciated, and I can post more screenshots if needed.

Cheers.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
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Looking at the 4-2-3-1 Wide:

It's massively attacking. You have 2 players staying back during an attack. What that causes, is that you'll make Carlisle look like Barcelona. Your defensive transition phase will be very chaotic. The Attacking mentality combined with an aggressive duty selection will see players all bursting forward.

The whole idea behind a 4-2-3-1 is that you have 2 holding/steady midfielders which will allow 2 attacking fullbacks. Neither of your midfielders will show any restraint in staying where they are, being on Support duties, combined with aggressive roles and an Attacking mentality.

The TIs don't really make sense. It's an aggressive, attacking setup, but you're asking Ibe and Origi to play narrower and hold up the ball when nothing else indicates that you actually want this? You talk about crosses, but you're reducing that too. I also don't see Benteke doing very well with your Run At Defence instruction.

Looking at your vision:

Lucas WON'T screen the defence. That support duty will see him keep up with play to support and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets close to the box (although PPMs could hold him back) when you have possession.

Ibe will burst forward with that Attack duty and sit on top of the opposition fullback. If he does get the ball, he will already be ahead of Benteke and with Ibe's pace, Benteke will never get into the box in time.

Looking at the 4-2-3-1 Narrow:

Again, your vision is questionable. You want the AP/S to play through balls to the 2 AP/As? Is that right? All 3 are playmakers, so all 3 will want to gravitate to the ball, rather than making runs ahead.

--------

Have a look through this. These guides are brilliant:

How to Play FM: A Twelve Step Guide

Pairs & Combinations FM2015 - UPDATED

Lines and Diamonds: The Tactician's Handbook for Football Manager 2015 - Even if you just look at the Team Instructions section.

Don't worry that they're for FM15. The logic is sound, so it applies to any version.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
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It will be good to sit and think about how you want to play a bit more. Don't go overboard initially with the TIs either and please read the descriptions for the TIs in the link I supplied. That should help your understanding.
 

torres555

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Sep 14, 2010
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I'm also playing as Liverpool, using a 4-2-3-1 formation similar to yours except I have a BWM (def) in CM rather than as a DM in your example. He offers better cover for the attacking full backs. I also use Benteke as a Complete Forward (support) and that is working well as he has 11 premier league goals in 8(1) matches.

Maybe just try reigning in your approach slightly as WJ has eluded to. There certainly isn't a 'Xabi Alonso' type passer in the Liverpool midfield anymore than would suit a direct passing game so you might want to try a more basic approach.

I play a very considered approach when in possession, resisting the temptation to play direct to Benteke. I do push my full backs on and utilise the overlap to try and get crosses in, but I don't rely on them to score.

My main issue is trying to get consistent performances out of my Advanced Playmaker/Inside Forward (Coutinho and Firmino). My winger performs very well but the performances of the other creative players is not as influential as I'd like it to be. I'd be interested to hear yours (and WJ's) thoughts on the best way to get consistency out of these types of players, Coutinho especially as it's very frustrating when you know he has all the ability needed to dominate a game.
 

WJ

Member
Apr 3, 2014
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I'm also playing as Liverpool, using a 4-2-3-1 formation similar to yours except I have a BWM (def) in CM rather than as a DM in your example. He offers better cover for the attacking full backs.
Depends on the setup, but generally, he won't. He'll be all over the place to win the ball - which could open up gaps in front of the defence. It'll depend a lot on the rest of the setup.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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I had some success on 15 with a similar set up to your 1st tactic, but with DM as anchor & CM as DLP. Also had one WB with IF ahead of him, one FB with winger in front, & moved AMC slightly closer to winger, with DLP covering the side that the WB bombs forward on. But so far this tactic doesn't seem to work as well on new engine...
 

DannyLFC1892

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Apr 14, 2013
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WJ & Torres555, thanks for your suggestions.

I've read How to Play FM: A Twelve Step Guide, and followed your suggestions and my tactic now looks like this:

View attachment 217454

So far, it seems more balanced, Lucas stays back, shielding the defence, as I originally intended. I've changed both Sakho and Lovren to LD's after some shocking back passes, one resulting in a goal for the opposition.

The results: Away to Villa I won 2-1 and home to Newcastle I won 3-1.
 
Oct 30, 2013
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Your new formation looks much more balanced.

Have you changed your vision for currently Firmino's position (as I can see Coutinho is out injured?) It's just I've noticed you now have AM - A rather than an AP, he will now look to score/assist while I see the AP more likely to try to assist and get the odd goal. I would also consider Origi's duty, on support he is more likely to cut in early and try longer shots. and be less likely to get close to Benteke, as he would on an Attack duty where he'd look to feed off of Benteke a bit more.

Lucas will definitely sit back and defend as you wish now though so that makes sense.

The only other thing I've noticed, you have retain possession on, is this something you really want? I imagine with the likes of Firmino/Benteke/Origi/Coutinho all fit, this could hamper them a little bit as they can all finish, while retain possession will see them more likely to keep the ball than go for goal?

Also having Limited Defenders coupled with Play out of defence is a bit of a clash. Play out of defence is going to mean your team are going to try and play their way out of trouble yet a limited defender is much more likely to clear the ball.

I'd keep an eye on those two above especially.
 
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