Conceding poor goals in Football Manager? Let’s find out why


It’s a few hours after my last post (read here) and I’ve been for a bike ride, done some shopping and calmed down.

Now let me tell you how I plan to improve our results instead of dwelling on what’s gone wrong.

I’m too open. 99% of the time I start ‘attacking’ and as my forwards and midfield push up, it leaves my back four vulnerable.

When my wing backs push up our play style looks even more risky.

I don’t know why I haven’t noticed these dangers before, I guess I was in an all-out-attack mindframe.

It’s so important when playing FM to be as open-minded as possible. Watch games in ‘full match’ mode and be patient, allow your brain to process what is happening, and you should notice important features of your play that are contributing to negative issues.

While I was writing the first part of this blog, I was watching us lose 0-5 against Chicago.

This is their first goal. It’s hard to say anything tactical caused this because there are 4-5 defenders around the goalscorer. Maybe it’s a simple case of my defenders can’t defend very well and they’re weak in the air.

dc united

dc united 1

But the thing is they’re not all terrible in the air or apparently bad at defending if I look at their attributes.

chad marshall

This guy was our worst player, rating-wise, with a 5.8 but he has 15 marking, 16 heading, 14 jumping, 15 strength and he’s very tall so why was he so bad and why couldn’t he stop the opposition scoring at will?

I’m currently playing the game after the 0-5 defeat and after bringing him on due to our young right back being sent off he somehow got away with this tackle:

And he proceeded to dive in like a complete idiot so I had to substitute him.

I guess it could be my fault that my players are diving in as I always use the ‘get stuck in’ team instruction. I rarely have a problem with using it though, and rarely receive any red cards.

Moreover, even after changing from ‘get stuck in’ to ‘stay on feet’ another defender of mine decided to dive in to a tackle but got away with it.

It wasn’t my team talk as I simply assertively told the players to not get complacent.

Back to the 0-5 loss. Here is the second goal we conceded

I challenge anyone to analyse this. You might say it’s just a case of bad luck, an inability to clear, lack of desire to get to the ball before our opponents. Either way, it left me feeling a lack of control.

OK so as I’m analysing our big defeat, something has developed as a pattern. Chad Marshall diving in again. Chicago’s third goal against us was a penalty.

The penalty was given when Marshall dove in on Player of the Match, Juan Luis Anangono. See below.

marshall foulThe foul is clearly outside the box for one but that’s not my point. It looks like Marshall, who’s a new signing at the Rio Tinto Stadium, is slide tackle-happy and it’s not helping us one bit.

Here we see the build up to their third goal:


We have seven defenders ‘back’, they have seven players attacking. To me, the situation at first glance looks benign. We only have four, maybe five men behind the ball though as we’re being counter attacked, and we’re out of shape.

Shipp passes short to Anangono who holds the ball for a couple of seconds while team mates make runs.

anangonoShipp runs in to space created by Ananono’s movement and he waltzes past my centre back, Nat Borchers, who seems completely oblivious, to slot in for a fourth. Too easy. It brings a whole new meaning to shipping goals 😉


What a load of Shipp!

In fairness my back four were exposed as the rest of the team failed to get back. I should point out this attack developed from a simple long goal kick. It wasn’t really a counter attack, my players should have been positioned to sufficiently deal with it.

I clearly need to work on where I play my midfield and attack and look at their work rates, team work, etc, or this will happen again. It reminds me of playing football at school and everyone gets tired and you only leave one man back to defend!

It’s disappointing the opposition found it so easy to get behind us. I use a very high line to catch opponents offside and encourage opponents to force passes makin it hard for this sort of thing to happen but it clearly failed here.


build up 5They proceed to work the walk up the pitch, everything looks safe, nothing to worry about?

build-up-4Without warning Chicago get seven players forward again while our lazy attackers saunter around waving to friends in the crowd.

There’s so much space and the defence is outnumbered again. Shipp picks it up to rekindle his dangerous partnership with Anangono and he once again finds a through pass, this time to left back, Magee, a left midfielder/ striker playing at left back.

MageeIt’s a good goal as well as poor defending and maybe highlights their understanding built up over time. We have a mix of new signings, very young guys who have just broken in to the first team, and some players who simply aren’t good enough.

What I’d like you to take away from this article apart from enjoying reading it, is you CAN stop the rot, you can win again, if you pay attention to hints the game always gives you. Sometimes your issues aren’t difficult to identify at all!

I’ll be back soon to let you know if I managed to plug the holes in my defence and if I managed to get winning again.

Follow me on Twitter @fmscrapbook

Related articles

Categorized: Tactics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.