One of the first patches around Christmas time definitely put AI defending in. Where before the patch, non controlled defenders wouldn't put in tackles, they would just sort of jockey, unless you dribbled it right into them, but after it programmed them to put in a tackle from a further distance.
I remember watching a video of a guy who played in the champions cup final and didn't even control any of his defenders and he won 3-0. This was the patch that killed skill runs and skill gaps because doing skills would just be cut out by stupid AI tackles with perfect timing.
They patched it in to stop the 'kick off glitch' of people speed dribbling it through the defence. When they should have just nerfed the speed dribble.
It can be frustrating when your player fails to make a simple pass or plays the pass behind (I really, really hate that. Especially when you have it set to possession and you still have players running away from you) but it is really rewarding when it all Cheap FUT 16 Coins. Don't want to be "that" guy but I play possession and I've won Div 1. All I use are silver and bronze players, it would probably be easier if I had a full gold team. Not bragging, just saying that it can be done.
Plenty of games are against high pressure, but there are possession players out there too. Sometimes I am able to control a match against the pace crazy teams, but when it goes wrong it usually goes wrong early. Pressure always comes with risk and the spaces will be there. Learning to be decisive an opportunistic is the challenge.
The problem with UT is playing defense isn't about cutting off passing lanes or staying on the ball. It involves following the ball until you see a forward making a run and making sure one of your defenders is going to be able to stay with him. And even if they do, the pass might be so perfect that it lands right on the forwards chest and he gets a speed boost. EA knows what they're doing. These features are there for a reason and aren't going away. All we can hope for is mechanics that make defending more manageable.
I've really enjoyed putting squads together and haven't spent a dime on points or coins. I do have a pretty pimp squad because I get joy out of the xfer market. It doesn't take a phd to figure out a few strategies that make you plenty of coin... there are inefficiencies all over the place if you look into it.