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Second season tactic

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I apologise if a thread like this one already exists but I could not find it.

I was wondering if many people changed their tactics at the start of the second season?

I usually start the game with a big club (Barca, City...) to get a feel for the game, scout a few players, do a couple of seasons then I play with PSG, my team. The first time I played withy PSG I finished 2nd in the league but was sacked in my second season, without changing my tactics.

I then played with various lower league teams in different countries and have usually done a decent job with most of them (promotions...) but rarely changed my tactics in the following seasons.

Now I am playing with PSG again and I am nearing the end of my first season and I am again battling for the title with those pesky rats (Marseille) and won the League Cup.

I am trying to not to repeat the same mistakes I made the first time round and was wondering if I should change my tactics next season.

I am currently playing a very narrow 4-3-1-2 with Sessegnon as a playmaker and got Jadson on a free in January. I have signed Feghouli on a free from Grenoble for the next season and I am wondering whether I should change my tactics to either a Mourinho 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 with Sessegnon - Jadson - Feghouli as the 3.

This will give me more width and will be a massive change to what I am using this season.

Do you think in "closed" leagues like Ligue 1... other clubs become familiar with the way you play, explaining why I failed the first time round less than 6 months into the second season?

On the other hand, having won promotions with lower league teams, opposition teams in new leagues are unfamiliar with my tactics which could explain why I win back to back promotions?

Thanks for the help.

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I've found that after 1 season finishing 2nd, winning The Cup and the Europa Cup with Atletico Madrid in La Liga playing a very similar formation that second season with the exact same formation and a much stronger team we fell away early and never competed. I too would be interested in some thoughts from more advanced FMer's.

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I'm not that much more experienced but I'm pretty sure I can tell you what's going on.

The more you win and the better your form, the better odds you get. The better odds you get, the more defensive and countering the AI will play against you. The more you win the higher your reputation gets. The higher your reputation gets, the more the AI plays defensively against you.

The more defensively the AI plays against you, the harder it is for your overachieving players to keep scoring. The more defensively the AI plays against you, the more glaring the holes in your tactics become. By 'holes' what I really mean is improperly utilizing your players.

This is why you see so many threads with people saying 'why is it that I get 20 shots and no goals but the CPU gets 2 shots 2 CCCs and 2 goals?' It's because the AI is counter-attacking and the shots from the user-team are almost certainly quite poor because the AI is playing so narrow and dropping 10 men into defense. Early on in a save they play their own game, not really worrying about what you're going to do, but once you've won quite a bit, they start playing you like you're way better than them. Usually, your players aren't THAT much better, and it becomes incredibly difficult to score.

I've noticed that most people tend to focus on the through ball - CCC method of scoring and really neglect crosses and headers. This makes it even more difficult as you're playing right into the AI's hands just pounding away with 4-5 attackers at a brick wall of 7 defenders.

To get over that hump where it FEELS like the CPU has 'figured you out' takes a few things IMO:

1) Incredible patience. Don't just switch to a brand new formation and tactic and sell all of your players. Don't start throwing your mouse against the wall. Don't just hurry up and start your next fixture because you're eager to see if your tweaks have turned it all around. Take your time and become more analytical. What is going wrong? How is the AI playing against you? Are there any players who are being underutilized or even improperly utilized?

2) You MUST know your players extremely well. You should always be looking to rotate in a few backups. When you do so, change their instructions to match their strengths! This has the benefit of 'mixing things up' to make it harder for the AI to figure out what you struggle against over the course of the season.

3) Don't ever let yourself think the AI is cheating. There IS a solution, it's just probably a difficult one. This game is certainly not easy, and definitely not made to be rushed through. A run of bad form will make you antsy and you WILL tend to rush. Slow down, trust me, it will make a big difference.

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Thanks for the response.

I know it sound silly but I try and make a point of playing my best players in their best positions. For example, first time round, I had Sessegnon as a Left Winger but now I have him as a playmaker and he is just incredible. So I change my tactics for pretty much every club I play with.

I know this is a very simplistic reply to your own reply but are you suggesting that instead of changing the system, I should change the players' instruction?

I am currently playing a very narrow and direct tactic, so should I maybe play a more mixed/short passing game (depending on how good the passing of my players is obviously) and use the width more without having to change the tactics too much? I know it'll take more than just that but is that the way I should follow?

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There are a number of ways to do things in this game, but the way I enjoy the game most is to try to squeeze every ounce of potential out of my players on the pitch.

If you have a good idea of what you want your team to play like then you may need to move some 'run with ball' or 'try through balls' instruction around. What I mean by this is to take from some players and give to other ones.

If you want to funnel the ball to a couple of good players, you have to tell everyone else they aren't allowed to do very much, that way the ball ends up at the feet of your playmaker and HE is attacking the defense more often.

It's a balancing act. If you just give every player the instructions for exactly what he's best at, your team won't play as a team. I always take a ton of time to redistribute the 'rarely-sometimes-often' instructions to match the strengths/weaknesses of my players. Other than mentality and wide play (to define positioning) this is where the meat of your attacking tactic is located.

Rotating in backups helps with morale, motivation, and fitness. You always want your backups to be match ready in case a starter goes down, and you always want your starters to have a rest now and then unless he is world-class conditioning-wise. I find that using a squad rotation system where I bring in 2 non-starters for every game is the ideal mix between rotating players and playing 'the best' players.

One last thing. I am definitely suggesting that you don't change the system (unless you really believe that the system is not ideal for your players, of course!). The problem with changing the system is that you will likely get even more frustrated. Your team will need time to settle in to the new system, but the AI will still be playing you defensively. You will struggle even more for a while.

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As has been said, once you've won trophies, finished high in the league, or generally over-achieved, how opposing teams prepare things tactically will alter. Congratulations, you've gained reputation! :)

Your team will now be considered favourites more. Teams will more likely defend or counter. It's not necessary to try something completely different, but it is important to adopt different mentalities.

For example, if your more attacking mentality is hitting a brick wall, take a step back, draw your opponent out, as they're most likely sitting deep, defending or looking to counter. Try control, counter-attack, or even defend as mentality shouts during matches. I find counter-attacking works well against more defensive minded teams. Invariably by playing counter or defensive, whilst changing nothing else, at some point my opponents usually change to a more attacking system, as suggested during match commentary. It's at this point, that I will usually re-adopt my more "normal" offensive mentality.

So, keep to your core tactical system, there's no reason why it suddenly doesn't work and I can 100% guarantee that the AI doesn't crack anyone's tactics. Just vary the mentality based upon your opponents. Watch what's happening during the matches and respond suitably.

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