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Defensive Football is it Possible?


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I've been going Swansea recently and I'd like to play strong defensive football but I just can't play it. I've got a 4-4-2 with everyone playing defensive apart from one forward playing 'Advancing Forward' I don't feel my players are that talented so I use WM and CM to keep things simple and not ask to much of them. I play Defensive, Rigid, Short and I just loose goals. Can anyone show me a way to play a tight game of football, I don't mind getting draws. I'd rather be able to first learn how to get a team to draw and build on that than start to play creative football my first season.

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It depends what you mean by defensive football. There is no point in not trying to score for the sake of keeping scores low when attacking would be a better option. The only time it makes sense to be defensive are when you already are in the lead or you are giving the opposition too many chances. Often attack is the best form of defense. If you are going to only commit a limited number of players to attack then you need to ensure these players are exploiting the weaknesses in the opposition to increase the chance of scoring even when outnumbered. This will probably require pace as well as you will only have a limited time to attack before you are outnumbered again.

When attacking look at your players that are not going forward and question if it is necessary for them to still be defending. If they aren't needed to mark attackers or provide cover then get them to attack and try to get a lead. Once in the lead, you can then sit back more and counter as more space will open up. Generally I use 4-5-1 and when playing a stronger team than me I will drop a winger in line with the centre midfielders to provide support to a fullback in defense. Also, against better teams you should probably counter straight away as they are likely to attack straight away.

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You need to find something that works for your squad: from the sounds of the description you're giving it sounds like you're over doing it and going too defensive. If you don't have a plan to threaten to score then you're just going to get pressed back into a corner until you break. Morale matters a lot in FM13, if your players see the opponent taking shot after shot with very little of the ball themselves they'll start to get frustrated/anxious and play badly.

It's certainly possible to play defensively, in my current save I've conceded 20 through 26 games with a very average lower division side, only conceded multiple goals 3 times.

Playing a 4-1-4-1/4-4-1-1 hybrid, rigid counter attack, all other team settings default. Standard keeper, full backs on support, centre defenders on defend, defensive mid on defend. Two wingers on attack, MCL is a BBM, AMCR is an AP support, and an advanced forward attack.

Unfortunately I'm also scoring just under a goal a game, but that meets the definition of defensive football, no? :) In fairness only my striker can kick the ball into the ocean, if my wingers were on form I'd be scoring more, they get their chances they just can't take them at the moment.

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What you must remember is that there are several ways to defend. You have to consider the opposition and the way they play. I play very basic classic tactics so can't really help with the TC but an example. I played a game against Man City away from home. To start with I played a 4-3-2-1 with three deep lying DM's and played narrow and on the counter. After 15 mins I was being demolished and yet it was still 0-0. I realised that I was getting done by crosses that were hitting Dzeko every time and sooner or later he was going to out one away.. So I stuck with 4-3-2-1 but went more of a normal width, pushed the defensive line up, closed down more and played the offside trap because I realised that City's forward line aren't quick. I kept counter attack on but I was winning the ball back on the half way line and countering from there and eventually won the game 1-0 with City only getting two more chances on goal. It was a risk because Maicon could have timed his runs better from right back but it was a risk worth taking because Dezeko would have scored.

Against Arsenal this probably wouldn't work because they have the likes of Walcott who have the pace to beat an offside trap. Arsenal are tough because they have pace but are good in the air so it's a tough decision. I didn't fight fire with fire against City but I did play more reserved and it's just an example that "defensive football" doesn't have to be narrow, deep and tight you just have to consider where the opposition threats lie.

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i to like defensive tactics and have come up with a pretty good one with Inter Milan. Firstly my team does not have any 'superstar' players as i sold the few ones Inter did have. The squad is pretty average and i finished 2nd by one point to juventus. PLD 38 W25 D13 L0 For65 AG11 PTS88. The formation is the common brazilian box setup (4-2-2-2 i tactics selection). My team instructions are as follows:

Rigid and control.

More direct passing.

C/F at default.

Press more

More aggressive tackling.

Zonal marking.

Float crosses.

Stick to position.

No playmaker or TM assigned.

Player roles are:

SK (s) - only change is defender collects, normally a wb

WB (a) - thats both r and l and with no changes to their settings

DC (d) - both dc's and the only change is marking to Man and not zonal

A (d) - the right dmc and no changes

DLP (s) - the left dmc and no changes

AP (a) - the right cm and no changes

BWM (s) - the left cm and long shots reduces to zero

AF (a) - the right st and long shots to zero

DLF (s) - the left st and you guessed it long shots reduced to zero

Occasionally I change to 'attacking' philosophy and the shout 'get the ball forward' if im chasing the game but mainly the only shout i use is 'play out of defense'

This the best defensive tactic i've had on FM13 and on the current patch/version. Although im inter i dont have any big names, my starting front two second season were Vargas (Napoli) and Chamakh and they managed to do a good job for me. Got to Champs League semi final but lost 0-1, 1-0 to barcelona.

This tactic has worked for me so maybe it will work for you. Didn't score a great deal but kept a bucket load of clean sheets. My gk Handanovic pld 56, conceded 26 and kept 36 clean sheets.

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You need to find something that works for your squad: from the sounds of the description you're giving it sounds like you're over doing it and going too defensive. If you don't have a plan to threaten to score then you're just going to get pressed back into a corner until you break. Morale matters a lot in FM13, if your players see the opponent taking shot after shot with very little of the ball themselves they'll start to get frustrated/anxious and play badly.

It's certainly possible to play defensively, in my current save I've conceded 20 through 26 games with a very average lower division side, only conceded multiple goals 3 times.

Playing a 4-1-4-1/4-4-1-1 hybrid, rigid counter attack, all other team settings default. Standard keeper, full backs on support, centre defenders on defend, defensive mid on defend. Two wingers on attack, MCL is a BBM, AMCR is an AP support, and an advanced forward attack.

Unfortunately I'm also scoring just under a goal a game, but that meets the definition of defensive football, no? :) In fairness only my striker can kick the ball into the ocean, if my wingers were on form I'd be scoring more, they get their chances they just can't take them at the moment.

I'm Hearts and I play a similar type of 4-1-4-1 and I do feel it's one of the better formations this year (alongside the 4-4-1-1). It is simple, structured and can turn from defense/attack or attack/defense easily. My roles are:

GK

FB (a) - CD (d) - CD (d), WB (s)

A (D)

W (s) - BBM (s) - CM (s) (or APs depending on player) - W (a)

DLF (s)

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