In Part 2, I will be covering the tactics section of PES Club Manager. The tactics section in the Edit Team page consists of 2 parts: Basic tactics (Circled in blue below) and advanced tactics (Circled in yellow below).
Your tactics define what your team’s overall playstyle is in PES Club Manager. Do you like to play possession football and keep your opponent off the ball like FC Barcelona? Or do you like to launch abrupt and devastating counter-attacks like Liverpool FC? Formation alone does not fully explain what your strategy is.
Basic tactics can easily be changed in real-time while the match is being played. They are simple to modify but drastically affect the overall playstyle of your team.
You can also see your opposition’s basic tactics before each match by pressing the shield button on the left of the screen (Circled in red above).
1) Attacking style:
Possession game means keeping the ball, so you should generally expect your team to stick together in both attack and defence.
Counter-attack relies on fast wingers to launch unexpected attacks down the flanks after your defence gets possession of the ball. This tactic is perfect for catching your opponents off guard after they commit a lot of players forward.
Counter-attack is my favourite style of football. But in the Beginner’s Division, I would recommend starting off with Possession game as it is unlikely that you will possess wingers with very good dribbling, speed and passing abilities.
2) Build up:
Short passing is suitable for possession game. Long passing is suitable for counter-attacking. In general, short passes are easier to perform and less likely to get intercepted.
3) Attacking area:
This refers to the part of the field your team focuses on for launching attacks. Wide is synonymous with counter-attacking.
Centre is usually not recommended because team formations tend to crowd the middle of the pitch, meaning your attacks are more easily intercepted. Use this option if you do not rely on your wingers to launch attacks or if your wide players aren’t good at crossing.
4) Defensive style:
Other than the slider bar that you use in-game to adjust your team’s focus on attacking or defending, this is an option that you might regularly switch in-game too.
In general, you should start the game with frontline pressure as this ensures that your players always pressure the opponent for the ball. All-out defence means your players will fall back and form a defensive line when possession is lost. This is obviously useful when dealing with counter-attacking teams.
You should make the switch to all-out defence as soon as you lose the ball so that your players can make it back in time to defend the counter-attack. But if you already have enough players defending, then switch back to frontline pressure.
Always start the game with aggressive pressuring as this ensures your players work hard to win the ball back. However, feel free to play conservative when you want to preserve stamina or avoid unnecessary bookings due to reckless tackling.
Advanced tactics are found under tactical options in the strategies section. They are more troublesome to assess and take more time to make changes, so it is inadvisable to do this while the match is ongoing since you will not be able to see what your players are doing in the meantime.
Maintaining formation means your team will maintain the shape of the formation as far as possible. Flexible positioning means your players have the freedom to make creative moves, particularly in attack, by interchanging positions with other players.
But defenders playing out of position can weaken the defence significantly. Flexible positioning should be avoided unless your team has a high teamwork value.
2) Support range:
The longer the support range, the further your players space out from each other. Long support range is especially good for playing through balls, but is pointless if you find that your passes keep getting intercepted.
Shorter support range is good if you have multiple flair players in attack since it is easier to do creative passing moves like the one-two.
3) Numbers in attack:
Set few in attack if you are playing counter-attack. This is especially good when facing a strong team that you are unable to compete with for possession since you have more players helping out in defence.
Have more players in attack if you are playing possession game because your team attacks as a cohesive unit, so you want as much support as possible.
4) Short corner:
This is meant to draw an opposition player away from the penalty box during corners. But players in PES Club Manager can be quite stupid. I notice that corner takers regularly mess up and fail to deliver the ball into the box. Just turn this option off.
5) Containment area:
This determines where you intend to contain your opposition. It is better to set the containment area as wide (i.e. Force your opponent wide). This is because attacking down the middle covers less distance and is, therefore, easier compared to attacking from the sides.
6) Defensive line:
A high defensive line is susceptible to through balls, so it is definitely not recommended against counter-attacking teams.
A deep defensive line means your defence plays close to your goalkeeper. While this protects the goalkeeper well, your opposition will have greater possession and can definitely punish you if their players are very good at keeping the ball.
Loose compactness means your players will space themselves far apart. This is good if you want to cover a large area of the field and for long passing. Loose compactness compliments wide containment.
Tight compactness means your players will be close together. This is good if you want to apply pressure on a specific part of the field, particularly an area where the opponent is strong at. Tight compactness compliments middle containment.
8) Numbers in defence:
Playing many in defence is essentially like parking the bus, which is more suitable for counter-attacking playstyle or when facing very strong opponents. Play fewer in defence to allow more players to join the attack.
9) Offside trap:
Your defensive line will try to push forward momentarily to leave the opponent’s forwards in an offside position. But I advise against this as I notice that good forwards don’t seem to fall for this trap.