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Old 25-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #1
karan316
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Default Fullbacks getting skinned by fast, skillful wingers

If I could put a stop to this, Im sure I'd concede half as many goals as I currently do. I have tried putting my fullbacks on easy tackling, reduced their closing down, taken off all forward runs, even went to opposition instructions and told them to show the winger inside. But they still repeatedly just get skinned and allow the winger plenty of time to put in a cross.

Any solutions, apart from getting better fullbacks? I have Andrew Taylor and Mears, they arent that bad
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Old 25-02-2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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Fast and skillful wingers will always rip all but the best full backs a new hole.

The only thing that beats pace and skill is brains and brawn. A slow full back can easily counter a fast winger provided that he's smarter than him. Showing inside is indeed useful, but what's more important is that whoever you play at full back has top notch stats for anticipation, decisions and positioning (in that order). If I remember correctly, the full backs you listed are only mediocre in this regard...

Anticipation will help prevent the full back from skinning you. Decisions will prevent him from making dumb forward runs at inopportune moments and positioning will allow him to intercept more balls before they reach those horrible wingers. These attributes are in my opinion far more important that pace, tackling, strength, heading or indeed any other defensive attribute. Mears especially is a sprinter, not a thinker; is your second choice any smarter?

Pacy full backs are useful for covering your centre backs, not necessarily for countering pacy wingers.

From a tactical perspective, it really depends on the formation you're up against but I find that three in the middle at the back playing zonal defending will also shore you up considerably. If you can't stop those wingers, stop trying; stop the striker's receiving the ball by bunching up your defense in the box.

In summary: buy smart full backs, or play five/six at the back.
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Old 25-02-2008, 09:17 PM   #3
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Cheers mate, good post

I do have decent centerbacks who are both strong in the air but the thing is, if you have 20 crosses coming in then surely they're going to make one count

And Im not too sure about going 3 at the back because then I'd probably have to sacrifice my attacking midfielders in my 4-2-3-1 formation.

I guess its time to go shopping for fullbacks

and you're right, Mears is definitely a sprinter, he's quite obtuse when it comes to them mental stats
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Old 26-02-2008, 12:11 AM   #4
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One thing I did forget to mention, if you play with your full backs using a more attacking attitude than your centre backs you might have some success simply trying to "muscle" those skillful wingers out using tight marking and hard tackling and just generally giving them hell. It won't really stop them, but it's certainly a very satisfying feeling to see world class wingers being carried off on the stretcher!

I hinted at it with my brawn comment, but somehow never got around to saying anything about it.

I'll assume as well you've tested using a 2-4-3-1 instead, with your wing backs using a very defensive attitude? I had some limited success with 2-3-2-1-2 playing offside trap and pushing up against teams that would try to play out the wings, as usually what the wing back missed would be cleaned up as the centre backs moved over to tidy up, and the defensive mid would fall back to pickup the unmarked man in the box. If they tried to switch to humping it down the middle, they'd usually get caught offside; after all, a two man line is much easier to coordinate than a 4 man line.

With your existing pacey full backs, such a backfooting tactic might actually work better than trying to prevent the wingers from making for the byeline.
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Old 26-02-2008, 02:45 AM   #5
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To be honest I've never gotten any sucess from playing defensive fullbacks who sit deep and let wingers run at them, better to play high up the field with an offside trap and stop them before they even get going.
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Old 26-02-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camilo View Post
Fast and skillful wingers will always rip all but the best full backs a new hole.

The only thing that beats pace and skill is brains and brawn. A slow full back can easily counter a fast winger provided that he's smarter than him. Showing inside is indeed useful, but what's more important is that whoever you play at full back has top notch stats for anticipation, decisions and positioning (in that order). If I remember correctly, the full backs you listed are only mediocre in this regard...

Anticipation will help prevent the full back from skinning you. Decisions will prevent him from making dumb forward runs at inopportune moments and positioning will allow him to intercept more balls before they reach those horrible wingers. These attributes are in my opinion far more important that pace, tackling, strength, heading or indeed any other defensive attribute. Mears especially is a sprinter, not a thinker; is your second choice any smarter?

Pacy full backs are useful for covering your centre backs, not necessarily for countering pacy wingers.

From a tactical perspective, it really depends on the formation you're up against but I find that three in the middle at the back playing zonal defending will also shore you up considerably. If you can't stop those wingers, stop trying; stop the striker's receiving the ball by bunching up your defense in the box.

In summary: buy smart full backs, or play five/six at the back.
VERY GOOD POST.
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