High pressure is a very effective tactic both in real life and in the game when it’s used well, and over the years of playing FIFA I’ve lost many matches to opponents that were excellent at applying lots of pressure whenever I had the ball.
I felt rushed against very good pressers and would often end up either forcing a forward pass that wasn’t really on or trying an aimless hit-and-hope long ball, both of which almost always resulted in me losing possession. Constantly giving the ball away meant facing wave Buy Fifa 14 Coins after wave of counter-attacks from my opponents, so it was difficult for me to get results.
But as the games went on I eventually worked out that the key to countering high pressure in FIFA was to keep the ball moving around the pitch while looking out for gaps opening up in my opponents’ teams, which would usually happen after fairly short periods of time because they were pressing the ball so aggressively and wandering out of position.
There are of course still plenty of times now when I get caught out by high pressure players, usually because I’ve made a poor decision, hit a bad pass or taken too long on the ball. But generally speaking I do a lot better against this kind of tactic than I used to, so in this week’s Backpage we’re going to look at some of the things that help me to keep the ball moving, avoid tackles, open up space and create better chances in attack.
If you’ve been struggling to counter high pressure players then I recommend giving these a go, as the tips here have certainly helped my game.
Once I notice that I’m up against a player that’s going to consistently press or double press me, I immediately try to limit the amount of touches I take on the ball – especially at the back – and concentrate on moving it around my players to keep the other team chasing while I steadily try to advance into an attacking position.
If I can control the ball with my first touch and play a pass with my second then I will do. There’s no room for overplaying against good pressing teams or trying to fool them with a turn because that’s how they catch you, so I find it helps to almost stick to a two or three touch rule until I can work the ball into an area where I have space to take my time and be more creative. So my passing style in games like this is quicker than usual but never rushed – although the ball may be moving pretty quickly from player to player I’m not trying to go forwards with every pass.
It’s about playing simple passes to team-mates in space, even if they’re to the side or behind you, rather than trying rushed or speculative forward passes that have a smaller chance of success. Often just passing the way you’re facing or returning the ball straight back to the team-mate that just played it can be enough to help avoid the pressers and keep possession while plotting your next move.
And spotting your next move is absolutely crucial when you’re up against an excellent pressing team.
As the ball is travelling from one of your team-mates to the next, scan as much of the pitch as you can to identify where your players are and what is happening around them. Are they in enough space to receive a pass, and will they have somewhere to play it next?
You’re not just trying to spot who to pass to with your next pass, but who you’ll pass to after that, too. I often used to make the mistake – and still do sometimes – Cheap Fifa Coins of passing the ball forward to a team-mate that was in enough space to receive it, only to find that he had nowhere to go because his team-mates weren’t close enough to help out. I was effectively isolating him, which just made it even easier for the pressing team to win the ball back.
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