Has this ever happened to you? You concede a free kick in a semi-dangerous position and the opposition rifles the ball in. The ball seems utterly stoppable for your goalie, but instead of just holding it or punching it clear, he releases the ball and some completely unmarked forward blazes past your defenders, who have turned into biblical Sodommian salt pillars, and taps the ball into an empty net, because of course your goalkeeper isn’t back on his feet in time to make even a semblance of an effort to stop the ball. Just to re-fresh your memory, here’s a wee visual aide.
Infuriating, isn’t it? Your players just freeze up and remain static, not moving forward or backwards at all, thus leaving any onrushing opponent with an easy rebound to tap past a helpless goalkeeper. If only there were some way to remedy this problem. Oh wait, there is!
I’ll gladly admit to nicking this idea off someone from the Facebookgroup FMCentral, it has reduced the amount of free-kick goals I conceded from direct free kicks to absolutely zero. No cheeky rebounds, no shots ricochetting in, none at all. The best part of it all is that it’s a fairly simple fix as well.
I know, it’s rather unrealistic, but it works very well. Let’s see it in action.
We can see the goal-line is packed, there is quite an extensive wall and one player guarding the edge of the area somewhat. If you’re like me, you are already looking at potential moments to abuse this setup and let’s face it, they are not hard to find.
There are plenty of players left wide, wide open inside the penalty area, available for a pass, at which point they can control the ball and just pick a corner to slot the ball into. That’s what would happen if this were real life. This isn’t real life though, this is FM15 and by FM15 logic, this happens in such a situation.
Apparently, this form of defence only applies to defending direct free kicks, so the AI obviously does not recognise the immense potential for scoring easy goals here, so this quite clearly preposterous set piece defence is quite effective at stopping the direct free kicks rebound problem, without sacrificing shots on target by wide open opponents. Indirect free kicks are defended by the corner settings somehow.