Defending in football is not just about parking the bus á la Mourinho and placing as many players as possible in front of the goalie, forming a sort of human wall between the opposing offence and your own goal. Defending is too complicated and sophisticated to simplify it in terms as simple as stacking players in front of the goal. Normally, it’s a fairly decent strategy to force the opposition wide and rely on the strenght and power of your central defender to deal with those pesky crosses. In FM16, that may not be a smart move as your defenders turn into vampires, who petrify whenever a cross comes in.
In Football Manager 2016, two observations regarding wide play are that the effectiveness of attacking play down the wing has greatly increased, often ending with cross and goal, as the striker (or anyone who receives it) easily slots the ball to the goal and secondly the rather appalling and overall ineffective closing down of the player who crosses the ball. The two bothering issues which oftenly cause negative impact on the defensive line. How then I set up the play to face against such issue, here we go.
Defending is absolutely not only waiting for crosses then hacking them away. It’s not only waiting on the deep area then get stuck in to the opponents with the ball on his feet. Defending is about all 11 players. Defending is about a unit of players. It is about collectivity. Defending is about understanding attacking tactic so you can overcome and beat it at the right moment and come out as the winner. It’s about nulify the opponent plan and break it.