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Opposition Instructions


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I started playing around with Opposition instructions in last year's version of FM, simply because I found myself becoming too robotic in giving them - close down/weaker foot for wingers, tight marking for a dangerous CM, etc. The results were mixed, though on a few occasions I did manage to make headway. For example, "never" closing down an anchorman when I wanted to keep things organized in midfield and not overcommit stupidly helped, as did the tight mark/never close down non crossing not so clever wingers like Theo Walcott.

In this version, it seems OI's have more of an impact, and for a few pre-season matches, I gave that responsibility to my Assistant. I found him using OI's much more sparingly than I did. Generally, against equal opposition, I tend to use OI's on four players. It got me thinking more about the "never" Opposition instruction. For example, a weak link DC with poor passing, or a poacher with poor decisions, as well as the impact of "always" instructions on the overall tactic and team shape. This is probably most relevant in central midfield - for example, having "always closing down" on the side where you've already got a BWM would result in players around him getting drawn out of position - perhaps decent for an area where the opposition is using an inside forward, for instance, but more often than not resulting in players going all over the place and too many gaps.

Another issue is that in this game the AI seems to be using more DLP's and Inside Forwards and wide midfielders. the "close down/weaker foot" combo, as far as I imagine, would then prove dangerous. A DLP with good technique, under pressure, would then probably use that weaker foot for a simple pass to the wide player who now has space as a result of players trying to close him down. Also, in case of the Inside Forward / wide midfielder, closing him down/weaker foot potentially leads to those nasty through balls from out wide and a pretty clean path on goal for a striker.

I'm still experimenting with this, although in recent games I've started using the OI's a little more creatively and sparingly, resulting in more organized defending and more streamlined effect. Rather than blanket pressure, I'm starting to see more instances where the key threats in the opposition are dealt with. This is a bit tricky when playing more versatile teams, though considering the AI in this version is more flexible and reactive during the course of the match, it can be an effective way of dealing with shifting threats.

As an example, in a recent game with Everton, playing against Martin Jol's Fullham, I noticed them using wide midfielders who cut inside, and building play through the flanks via their fullbacks. Tight marking them was effective enough as long as they were playing safe and defensive, resulting in them having to lump it long by their technically limited centerbacks. After I took the lead, their fullbacks became, essentially, attacking wingbacks, bombing forward and giving more throughballs. Tight marking them, particularly with my defensively challenged wingers, left me exposded through the middle. I switched to closing them down and playing more narrow, rusulting in them staying along the byline but neither having enough time on the ball or opportunities for quick through balls.

Excuse my post for being a little vague, but I think Opposition Instructions are an area of the game which has a lot of potential and can really help, and would be interested in any feedback regarding how different players use them and their overall effect.

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IMHO OI are an important facet of the game. If you want to use the same tactic without having to go create another. In my stafford thread i've shown how i use OIs to disrupt the other teams approach. I also show how you should use stats in game to help identify which player to shut out.

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I totally agree, OI's are massive and can really change the momentum of a game if us as manager's see things we can counter. Had a lot of success with them on FM12 when I actually thought about what I wanted to achieve and not just use them without a second thought.

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I am of the opinion unless youre coming up against a Messi, you shouldnt use them. I always remember Paisley and Fagans advice - if youre worrying what the opposition are doing, you arent doing what you should be doing

I know the games changed, but the principals are still the same :)

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Well basic prinicples you practice in every game are the same:

a. if player is very skill ful at crossing always try and show him the wrong foot

b. if player has a great long shot dont let him get close and close him down..

those are fundamentals i learnt when i was 6

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depends what the basic principles of the team are.

a. if a player has the ball get it off him!

b. if a player has the ball get it off him!

Although the basics you pointed out are common sense, for a your defender will stand off and and wait to be attacked before reacting. I prefer my team to tackle as soon as possible, forcing the opposition to increase there tempo, thus forcing more mistakes. Never let the other team dictate the pace, thats what you should be doing imo

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