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Handling Super-Dribblers


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Have been asked by SI to post a quick note on how you might defend against FB/winger super-dribblers in the 13.2.1 ME.

Thus far, the best method seems to be specific marking them with either a winger, an AM or an FC, depending on which is the most logical for your formation. This encourages your player to get behind the dribbler before he gets up to speed, which generally stops the dribble before he sets off. Although it does knock on to some unusual deep marking patterns, which might slightly handicap your ability to counter attack, it does significantly reduce the number of dribbles and provides defensive stability.

I've not tried specific-marking an FC super-dribbler, but doing that with an MC or DMC should produce similar results. Merry Christmas and enjoy playing.

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I thought they had after 10 games, but have just faced Chelsea (with Hazard and Ben Arfa) in the CL final.

I watched the full match, and they battered me to win 1-0 in the first half, Hazard waltzing past a reasonably competent Adriano (currently playing as Barcelona) repeatedly before slotting the ball home.

By simply setting Alba and Adriano to man-mark Ben Arfa and Hazard, the game flipped on it's head and I won 3-1. I made no other changes whatsoever, other than conditioning changes.

What I'm not sure of is if the swing was entirely due to the man marking - I have always been a zonal marking guy and have never touched man marking to know whether this is typical of the approach.

If it is, and if I just need to check out the opposition assist stats prior to a game and man mark those player(s), then it feels like a bit of a hollow "tactical" victory. Sample of one, so not a great example admittedly.

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So zonal marking that 90% of teams today use, will not work against teams with dribblers? Hardly seems realistic.

I'm not sure about that, but early signs are that perhaps you do need to do some specific marking to stop these players.

Whilst Zonal marking is the more common option in real life, I'm sure that whilst the majority of a team plays zonally, it isn't impossible that specific instructions are set on some players to counter certain threats.

What would be a shame is if countering these threats really is just a case of selecting a name from a drop down box. That would just be a box ticking exercise and would detract from the notion of there being any strong tactical intelligence.

wwfan's tone implies that SI have primed him to make a post, on the proviso that they are aware that the issue still exists, and they want to address it.

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There's only a very few world class dribblers you need to do this against. For 90% of matches, it is not necessary.

I'd argue that targeting a specific threat isn't horribly unrealistic. The overpowered nature of the threat is the problem.

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There's only a very few world class dribblers you need to do this against. For 90% of matches, it is not necessary.

I'd argue that targeting a specific threat isn't horribly unrealistic. The overpowered nature of the threat is the problem.

That makes sense - I hadn't even seen the issue until facing Chelsea, with two rather handy wingers.

Out of interest, how does man marking work in FM?

I can set "Man Marking" on Team Instructions without having to set player A to mark player B.

What automatic logic is applied in terms of my players choosing who to mark?

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If it is, and if I just need to check out the opposition assist stats prior to a game and man mark those player(s), then it feels like a bit of a hollow "tactical" victory. Sample of one, so not a great example admittedly.

When I was working out the solution, I turned 6-3, 5-1 and 4-1 loss sequence into a sequence of 2-0, 1-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0, 3-1 defeats / draws, so it isn't a guaranteed win. It just gets you on a level playing field against a certain type of player.

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That makes sense - I hadn't even seen the issue until facing Chelsea, with two rather handy wingers.

Out of interest, how does man marking work in FM?

I can set "Man Marking" on Team Instructions without having to set player A to mark player B.

What automatic logic is applied in terms of my players choosing who to mark?

You have to use the 'drop down' menu in match (top left) and apply specific marking instructions through that. Bit annoying and fiddly, and you need to pause the match as it starts.

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You have to use the 'drop down' menu in match (top left) and apply specific marking instructions through that. Bit annoying and fiddly, and you need to pause the match as it starts.

That's what I thought, and is what I meant in my earlier post "What would be a shame is if countering these threats really is just a case of selecting a name from a drop down box. That would just be a box ticking exercise and would detract from the notion of there being any strong tactical intelligence."

This is where you can't have your cake and eat it - I want players to just know who to mark, in the way that they theoretically know which zone to cover.

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What is interesting is that I have never, ever employed man marking before.

In the four games since doing it (based on the analysis tab and where the opposition goals are coming form), I have absolutely stopped the issue, so credit to wwfan for nailing it, and it is interesting food for thought with my ongoing tactical learning.

As wwfan points out, is it too unrealistic to need to man mark specific opponents?

You could argue that you would benefit from man marking all of the oppositions main assist providers and playmakers to cut off supply to their front men.

I was considering some crazy back three wing wing backs / defensive wingers to block of the threat of these players, but now I can use my same three tactics, and just employ man marking sensibly.

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So, right now we must do our tactics, in order to defend our asses from the ME engine, and not the rival team ?

Great prank SI, and wwfan ! It's a shame you're trying to tell us what to do in order to protect us from bugs, instead of eliminate them...

Now i understad the " It's your tactics" cliche.

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There's only a very few world class dribblers you need to do this against. For 90% of matches, it is not necessary.

I'd argue that targeting a specific threat isn't horribly unrealistic. The overpowered nature of the threat is the problem.

Thats not true, I've just faced Kakuta in League one and got torn a new one.

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That makes sense - I hadn't even seen the issue until facing Chelsea, with two rather handy wingers.

Out of interest, how does man marking work in FM?

I can set "Man Marking" on Team Instructions without having to set player A to mark player B.

What automatic logic is applied in terms of my players choosing who to mark?

Overpowered issue aside, isn't this also a debate of proactive vs reactive? When up against a Ronaldo, Robben etc most teams IRL would generally have some sort of plan to try and neutralise them, whether its top sides relying on their quality full back to get tight etc, or fielding a harder working winger etc, or smaller sides packing the lines to prevent them getting in behind. Or even rather than react to their threat they simply try to cut them out of the game by imposing their own style, so surely its right that some of that logic apply here?

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Overpowered issue aside, isn't this also a debate of proactive vs reactive? When up against a Ronaldo, Robben etc most teams IRL would generally have some sort of plan to try and neutralise them, whether its top sides relying on their quality full back to get tight etc, or fielding a harder working winger etc, or smaller sides packing the lines to prevent them getting in behind. Or even rather than react to their threat they simply try to cut them out of the game by imposing their own style, so surely its right that some of that logic apply here?

Exactly right, it's just tactical accuracy.

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So, right now we must do our tactics, in order to defend our asses from the ME engine, and not the rival team ?

Great prank SI, and wwfan ! It's a shame you're trying to tell us what to do in order to protect us from bugs, instead of eliminate them...

Now i understad the " It's your tactics" cliche.

The high speed dribbler issue is a knock on to generally improved defending against wide play. For all but the high speed, agile players, the FBs are able to push them onto their weaker foot, knock them off their stride, crowd them out and stop the dribble. However, world class dribblers are able to change their direction so quickly that they can completely negate all of this FB work. In reality, this wouldn't matter so much, because the winger would be tracking back to help. However, in FM, the winger too often ignores the defensive aspect of play and leaves the FB to deal with the threat single handedly. The specific marking fix forces the winger to track back and help the FB out, which stops the world class dribbler from simply running round the FB.

I think there are seven reasons for it happening (the first of which being the general unwillingness of wingers to track back and get involved with defensive play). None of them would have been apparent until the previous fixes were put in. Packet of Xmas Smarties to anybody who can get all the other six. I'll be extremely impressed if anyone can.

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There's only a very few world class dribblers you need to do this against. For 90% of matches, it is not necessary.

I'd argue that targeting a specific threat isn't horribly unrealistic. The overpowered nature of the threat is the problem.

Yeah, it seems that marking a top winger or forward is pretty much standard, I'd do it anyway.

I'm worried that my team might be over-powered though, I have some pretty top class dribblers on a par with Ronaldo and Messi, and I'm thinking they'll give me an unfair advantage? But I don't want to handicap them too much either.

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I have been Specific Marking dangerous wingers from release and it has worked fine for me. Another good reason to do it is that these wingers are also a danger on the far post if a cross floats from the other side, in this case the FB will be closer to him and often clears the ball before he gets to it.

If the winger cuts inside or in the channel it's hard for the FB to keep up but that is when the CB's and CM's are supposed to help out getting the ball and cover free players.

Suffered a goal yesterday because of a winger that moved in channel gave the ball to attacking CM that shot from just outside the box; watched the play several times until i had to accept that was a great play move and there was nothing that could have prevented it. :)

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Personally I have been using OI for the longest time, and the best way to cut out the fb/am fb/ml/r combination is to use OI, set hard tackling on the fullbacks and wingers, then set tightmarking to the wingers.

If people think that the match engine should block these runs automatically, then i'm sorry they can keep on waiting. The fact is the OI can be a potent weapon. You may set the set to easy tackling and still set to hard tackling..it justs tells players who are in the zone that if the target enters a dangerous zone whoever can close him down and tackle him should. The reality is in any kind of team sport, players are either assigned simple man marking targets or if we are doing it zonally, then we are just told to make sure that a "player" isnt allowed to cut inside.

Its fairly easy to set up. One needs to be fairly observant to set it up, and after a while it should become instinctive.

To top it off in esp tough games I have good tacklers with good composure and technique set to hard..if they pick up a card they go to easy..and i hardly have sending offs..I am enjoying the game thus far, its definitely more challenging.

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