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Thread: The 3-4-1-2 - A Tactical Challenge!

  1. #1

    Default The 3-4-1-2 - A Tactical Challenge!

    Inspired by causeforconcern's challenge thread from some time ago, and also carrying on from my own 'How far can you go with the 4-4-2?' challenge, I would now like to invite all FM tacticians to take part in a new challenge.

    Last time out, the challenge involved the 4-4-2 formation, which was undergoing much criticism as being 'outdated' when compared to modern systems. The challenge was to attempt to take a top flight club as far as you could with the 4-4-2. There were many successes as pretty much everyone taking part reached the conclusion that 4-4-2 still had a lot to offer on Football Manager, especially if you had the right players to make the most of the formation.

    This time, I suggest having a go at another so-called anachronism - a formation with a back three! No longer as popular as it was in the 90s, it is still used to great effect by some teams, particularly in Italy. So just how far can a 3-4-1-2 formation take us in Football Manager?



    I've picked the 3-4-1-2 for a few reasons. Firstly, because it is strongly associated with Italian football, and the use of a trequartista in the AM position, which excites me! Secondly, because with an attacking midfielder and two strikers on the field, it would seem to have great attacking potency. Finally, because I think this will be a great challenge to get working on Football Manager!

    First of all, a little analysis of the formation. At the back, we have three central defenders. In the midfield, two central midfield players and two side midfield players. The two side midfielders are possibly the most significant in the whole team, given that they must defensively support the back three, as well as offer attacking width. We're looking for players here who are quick, mobile, have lots of stamina and a high work-rate, as well as being able to offer something in attack. Retrained fullbacks and hard-working wide midfielders will do the job here but you're unlikely to see any out-and-out wingers in this position. Finally, we have a playmaking attacking midfielder, often a trequartista, behind two central strikers.



    My rules for this challenge are outlined below.


    CHALLENGE RULES

    The rules of the challenge are pretty relaxed. I'm happy for people to pick whichever side they feel they can get the best out of with the 3-4-1-2.

    The simple aim of the challenge is to overachieve with your club. Whether that means winning the league, winning a cup, or successfully fighting relegation with your chosen side.

    The other rules for this challenge are that you must play a 3-4-1-2 formation (i.e. 3CDs, MR, ML, MC, MC, AMC, ST, ST), however the instructions, player roles, advanced choices etc. are totally up to you. The 3-4-1-2 will be your formation and your baseline but you can use any options to change the shape you see on the pitch.

    You can use an older Football Manager if you want, so if you are still playing FM09 or FM10 then you are free to continue using that. I know the match engines can be different between versions but I've always believed that good tactical and footballing decisions in each of the games brings the same result - tactical success! The idea here is to share some theoretical principles and ideas. I believe we will all learn something regardless of which of the recent versions are used.

    There is no transfer or loan restriction this time, so feel free to make whatever changes to the squad you need in order to suit the formation.

    It would be great if people could post up details of how they are setting up and the choices they make for certain games. Screenshots are encouraged. The main aim of the challenge is to share information and maybe some of us will approach things differently and make others think about their own choices.

    I would hope that everyone takes the challenge in the right spirit. Please do not attempt to use exploits or cheats because the main thing is the tactical ideas rather than 'winning' the challenge. As such, there is no winner anyway.

    Finally, just a reminder that the point of the thread is to see how far a 3-4-1-2 can take you in Football Manager. What I am interested in is just how much success can be had while playing with this system.

    This is your chance to prove that you are a tactical master on Football Manager!

    No doubt you've all mastered the 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Now for a real challenge - three at the back!

    Can the 3-4-1-2 still be effective in the modern game? Just how far can you go with 3-4-1-2?

    Anyone interested in taking part? Let me know.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 14-11-2010 at 19:21.

  2. #2
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    As I've said before, one of my biggest regrets from FM10 is that I never managed to get a back 3 working well. As any bad workman would, I blamed the tools and said it was the match engine's fault I'd love to have success with it though, so I'm well up for trying this. I'll get started on it tomorrow, but I'll be taking to the task with my beloved Liverpool.

    I think the squad Liverpool have is a decent starting point. In Carragher and Agger they have guys who are comfortable playing in the full back roles, so would do well in the side back positions. Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio (if you can ever get the bugger fit) would make good side midfielders whilst in Gerrard and Meireles you have midfielders capable in both attack and defence to play the central midfield roles.

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    Since its Italian in nature, how about the use of a sweeper or libero? I had just started a save using the formation with WB instead of wide midfielders but was finding that I was having trouble with getting the WB's up field consistanly enough to add any width. I was finding the libero to be working well.

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    Nice thread C, i will have a go at it. i managed to get a 3412 working really well in FM10. The results where really, really good but the football was awful to watch . Looking forward to trying it in FM11 to see if the flow looks "cleaner"

    The/My key in Fm10 was to let the wingers act like Defensive Central midfielders( or fullbacks holding the ball if you will), perhaps that why it was stable but produced boring football
    Last edited by TheBetterHalf; 14-11-2010 at 20:10.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terk View Post
    As I've said before, one of my biggest regrets from FM10 is that I never managed to get a back 3 working well. As any bad workman would, I blamed the tools and said it was the match engine's fault I'd love to have success with it though, so I'm well up for trying this. I'll get started on it tomorrow, but I'll be taking to the task with my beloved Liverpool.

    I think the squad Liverpool have is a decent starting point. In Carragher and Agger they have guys who are comfortable playing in the full back roles, so would do well in the side back positions. Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio (if you can ever get the bugger fit) would make good side midfielders whilst in Gerrard and Meireles you have midfielders capable in both attack and defence to play the central midfield roles.
    Yes, I'd imagine Liverpool would be a good starting point. Good luck Terk. I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke200046 View Post
    Since its Italian in nature, how about the use of a sweeper or libero? I had just started a save using the formation with WB instead of wide midfielders but was finding that I was having trouble with getting the WB's up field consistanly enough to add any width. I was finding the libero to be working well.
    I'd prefer to go with the flat 3CBs as in the diagram from Lucchesi's book (see opening post) but if you are really set on trying a sweeper or libero then I suppose that's fine.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBetterHalf View Post
    Nice thread C, i will have a go at it. i managed to get a 3412 working really well in FM10. The results where really, really good but the football was awful to watch .
    Great to see you having a go at it TBH.

    Why was the football so awful to watch on FM10?

    Looking forward to trying it in FM11 to see if the flow looks "cleaner"

    The/My key in Fm10 was to let the wingers act like Defensive Central midfielders( or fullbacks holding the ball if you will)
    Yes the two wide players tend to drop back like wingbacks on FM10 rather than acting dynamically, which was a bit of a frustration of mine. The way I see it, the two wide players should drop back on the side without the ball when out of possession to create a makeshift four, while the wide player on the opposite side presses like a regular wide midfielder, and the 'chain' of central defenders moves across to deal with the threat. That would be the dynamic movement I would expect, rather than both wide midfielders dropping off to form a back five. To be honest, I imagine not much has changed for FM11 but we will have to see. I haven't done any testing. I'm not going to let it bother me too much and I'll just try to enjoy it for what it is, as I'd really like to finally get to grips with a 3-4-1-2 at last.

    Hopefully, with the AM plus two forwards, you should be able to get some great attacking football. That's my hope anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Great to see you having a go at it TBH.

    Why was the football so awful to watch on FM10?
    Basically because we forced the opponent into making stupid errors(cutting angels really well, denying space and high pressure) and when breaking up these attacks, the ball bounced around too much. It looked rather hilarious.Mind you, this was in key highlights and the rest of the game where we did not make any good chances could have been the most beautiful football one had ever seen..but I doubt it ;D

  9. #9

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    Well, I hope for some more attractive football this time then TBH. ;)

  10. #10

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    I'll be using the TC and I'm intending on setting up something like the following:


    GK (d)

    CD (d) - CD (d) - CD (d)

    WM (auto) - BW (d) - CM (s) - WM (auto)

    Treq (a)

    DLF (s) - Poach (a)


    I really want to use a trequartista in the hole, so that was my first choice. The front two was always going to be something along those lines. In the midfield, I'm ignoring the tactics creator logic and operating with a ball-winner and a central-midfielder alongside him. Two wide midfielders on automatic duties, which will adjust depending on the strategy employed. Then three standard central defenders.

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    Does it have to be in that exact format? I don't like wide-midfielders and would prefer to push them up into the AMR and AML position.

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    Interesting, I used this tactic playing the old CM's, hopefully I might find some time to give this a go.

    What team are you managing Crouchy?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kawee View Post
    Does it have to be in that exact format? I don't like wide-midfielders and would prefer to push them up into the AMR and AML position.
    I'd prefer it if people were to stick with the 3-4-1-2 as defined in the OP. Otherwise, if you start to change things it ceases to be a 3-4-1-2 and becomes something else entirely. The one exception is the use of a sweeper for those who would like to experiment with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by higgins View Post
    Interesting, I used this tactic playing the old CM's, hopefully I might find some time to give this a go.

    What team are you managing Crouchy?
    Nice one Higgins.

    At first, I was thinking of just trying this out on my current St. Albans City save (FM10). But now, I'd very much like to give it a run on FM11 and see what has changed in the match engine. I'm thinking of perhaps running a small test save with Spurs actually because my immediate thoughts were of Gareth Bale in one of the wide roles, and van der Vaart behind Defoe and Crouch.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 15-11-2010 at 13:40.

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    crouchaldinho, I´ve experimented a bit in FM11 with different formations (three at the back + wingback or wide midfielders) and sadly I have to say that anything changed from FM10. The wide midfielders always form together with three central defenders the five at the back. I don´t know, if SI wants this purposely, but the wide mids shouldn´t act like that. Then you end with five players at the back versus two forwards (I suppose this formation should´t be used against one forward at all) as it´s a total waste of bodies. You will get outnumbered in midfield easily, although in theory midfield should be your biggest advantage in this formation.

  15. #15

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    That sucks Los_Culés. I was very much hoping that there had been some improvement on FM11 and some much needed dynamic positioning engineered to stop the static dropping back of the wide players.

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    I really like this idea Crouchaldinho, I have just seen your thread and now I simply can not stop thinking about it! Some tactical diagrams, thinking, marking problems are bumping regularly in my head, friendly challenges like this make the game even more fun, I am in

    I have not pick a team yet, Spurs are a good side to lineup like this I guess, with, as you said, Bale as a wingback / winger hybrid, ...well I a still wondering

  17. #17

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    Glad to have inspired you NakS. Good luck with whoever you decide to take up the challenge with!

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    crouchaldinho: Maybe we should write to SI to solve this issue. I really hope this thing isn´t purposeful, the ME shouldn´t treat wide mids in 3-5-2 as wingbacks. I know, that in Europe there are very few good teams if any that play variants of this formation, but eg. in South America it´s still pretty used formation and I would like to recreate it. However if you want to create something like Roma played under Capello, it´s still perfectly possible IMO.

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    May give this a go
    Got nothing left to play as im stuck in mid table obscurity in the 2nd division of Finland so nothing to lose and a gorgeous AM who fits in the Treq

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Los_Culés View Post
    crouchaldinho: Maybe we should write to SI to solve this issue. I really hope this thing isn´t purposeful, the ME shouldn´t treat wide mids in 3-5-2 as wingbacks. I know, that in Europe there are very few good teams if any that play variants of this formation, but eg. in South America it´s still pretty used formation and I would like to recreate it.
    Yes, well I think if we can get some screenshots about how the formation is falling down, then maybe we can post in the bugs thread and get them to look at it for FM12.

    The FM match engine seems very much geared up to the flat back four. But you are right, these formations are still very much used in certain countries, and even in the lower leagues here in England. I've seen my local team, St. Albans City, use this formation a couple of times. Also, I went to see the Egyptian national team playing England earlier in the year and saw how the back three can work in practice with an international side.

    However if you want to create something like Roma played under Capello, it´s still perfectly possible IMO.
    Any thoughts on how you would set this up?

    This is my one disappointment with recent FMs - I haven't once got a formation like this working to my satisfaction in the match engine.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanydude View Post
    May give this a go
    Got nothing left to play as im stuck in mid table obscurity in the 2nd division of Finland so nothing to lose and a gorgeous AM who fits in the Treq
    Good to hear it seanydude. Good luck!

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    crouchaldinho: It shouldn´t be hard, because if I remember correctly, in Roma´s formation Cafu and Candela really acted like wingbacks not like wide midfielders and ME handles wingbacks correctly. I would set it as following: three center backs (the middle one a bit more defensive than the other too), two wingbacks, two central midfielders (I would give them defensive mentality, they should be aware of space behind them, but they shouldn´t start in DM position to be able to begin pressing earlier, they should be workhorses (ball-winning mids), like Zanetti, Emerson and Tomassi were), one AMC - Totti and two poachers (Batigol, Montella).
    The problem is that eg. in Brasil, some managers play with wide mids instead of wingbacks. The main difference is that they stay higher up the pitch, and when in possession they can also move inward, they don´t have to hug the touchline all the time. Then the quasifullback (the outer DC) move wide and provide an option.

  23. #23

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    Interesting thoughts Los_Culés. Sounds spot on to me regarding Roma's set-up.

    I've got some match engine observations coming up next.

  24. #24

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    So, first of all, here we see the classic problem: the wide players immediately retreating to make a back five.



    In this case, the central midfield player has just sprayed a ball out to wide right. I'd expect the number 3 wide player to be further up the pitch and the number 7 wide player to tuck in to make a makeshift back four, with the three central players shifting across to the right.

    In this case, what happens is that the two wide players take up their static positions as fullbacks and then the number 3 eventually goes to close down. It's a reactive movement rather than dynamic and proactive.

    Much the same problem in this screenshot:


  25. #25

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    This next screenshot shows how the wide players and defenders line up in a back five and just how narrow they look.




    They just don't react in a dynamic way to the play going on around them:



    The wide player receiving that pass ought not to be free to run on to the ball like that. It's frustrating to see the Spurs number 3 just sitting in the fullback position and a back five with only one player to deal with.

    In my opinion, the wide player on the flank where the ball is should be higher up the pitch and reacting to the play. Meanwhile, the wide player on the opposite side should tuck in and the three centre-backs should shift across.

  26. #26

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    Next, here is a frustration with the way that the wide players react while in possession



    The player in possession in a central position is looking for a wide passing option but the number 3 doesn't give it to him. He ought to be 'on his bike' as 'Arry would say! The number 3 should be breaking forward and getting into a good position for a pass but he just sits and dwells in that position.

  27. #27

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    This is another perfect example of the static back five 'bug':



    Why are the wide players forming a back five in this scenario? You've got five players marking one man in this screenshot and the opposition have the ball in their own area!

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    How attacking are the wide midfielders?

  29. #29

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    Another screenshot of the lack of penetrating runs from the wide players:



    Defoe has the ball and is waiting for Bale to overlap for the pass out wide. It never comes and so he is forced to go it alone.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    How attacking are the wide midfielders?
    This is using the 'attack' strategy so they are both attacking and forward runs often.

    I also did some testing with 'control', which sees both wide players on mixed forward runs, and that really exacerbates the problem.

  31. #31

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    This is another example of a wide player hanging back:



    In the end, the forwards often have to go into the channels in order to create the width that you would expect from the wide midfielders.

  32. #32

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    Just so everyone knows, I have started a feedback thread on the 'bugs' forum with my observations - http://community.sigames.com/showthr...ee-at-the-back

    If anyone would care to add any of their own thoughts then that would be great.

  33. #33

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    One other problem I have been having - quite unrelated to the formation (at least, I think so!) - is the fact that my playmaker isn't getting as involved in the play as he should do. He doesn't seem to be the focal point of the play and doesn't receive as many passes as I think he should.

    It could well be a problem of my tactics or perhaps the player in question but I'm sure I read somewhere that this is a common complaint on FM11. Can anyone fill me in?

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    I don´t think I can help you here, cos I guess your playmaker is your AMC and I don´t play with AMC playmaker, but I can offer you some solutions.

    1. Don´t play with playmaker . Eg. in Roma´s formation Totti was/is more trequartista rather then playmaking n10.
    2. If you want to have AMC as you main playmaker, give him defensive mentality and fwd mixed or rarely. He should look for the space more. Todays world is full of defensive, tight marking midfielders, so your AMC might doesn´t have enough space in front of opposition defence to thrive as he is easily marked. I know, defensive mentality might sound strange, but my MC who is on defensive mentality plays great, always free to receive passes (and I don´t have him ticked as playmaker) and the defensive mentality is also assuring that he doesn´t play holywood balls when not necessary but he rather choose simple passes and waits for the right opportunity to play killer balls.
    Last edited by Los_Culés; 15-11-2010 at 19:01. Reason: typos

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Los_Culés View Post
    I don´t think I can help you here, cos I guess your playmaker is your AMC and I don´t play with AMC playmaker, but I can offer you some solutions.

    1. Don´t play with playmaker . Eg. in Roma´s formation Totti was/is more trequartista rather then playmaking n10.
    When I said playmaker, I meant trequartista. Sorry, should have been more specific.

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    I feel for you Crouchadinho. It's why I asked if I could push the wide midfielders into the AMR and AML position. If you do that, it solves the back-5 "bug." But alas, it would not be the 3-4-1-2 as we would want to see. The ME needs fixing if such a formation is going to work the way it's suppose to work.

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    It does certainly seem that way Kawee, unfortunately.

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    I think some micro-management can help.

    If you set your fullbacks to full pitch closing down, and specific man-marking, then they'd push up to mark the highest flank player. When playing against 4-1-2-1-2 you'd than have to depend on full-pitch closing down in hope that the FBs will push up and help the midfield battle.

    Ultimately though, the ME needs to be better if such a formation is going to work. It is why I never use wide-midfielders without fullbacks.

    P.S. Congratulations on your 10k post!

  39. #39

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    Thanks Kawee. I was hoping that the 10k post would be something witty, entertaining or failing that maybe profound. Turns out I missed the main event! Nevermind!

    I'm not sure the closing down would help, to be honest. The specific marking wouldn't really solve the problem either. To me, it's a positioning problem, where there is a lack of dynamic and proactive decisions from the two wide players.

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    I've decided to give this a go. I've selected Arsenal and will see how it goes. I'll get back to you with feedback later tonight.

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    No, it won't solve the problem. The only thing it does is, as we all know, make the midfielders defend from higher up the pitch. It's an imperfect artificial half solution. At the end of the day, as you say, the positioning must improve. Right now, it seems the wide midfielders drop deep into the defensive full-back position regardless of what was happening on the field.

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    I think I may have found a pretty good tactic. I just won the Premiership with Arsenal using this formation.


    Last edited by MZizzle2; 16-11-2010 at 05:20.

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    Just a thought.

    I remember from a thread last year about 3-5-2 formations that a suggested remedy for the 'static back 5' problem was to set the wide midfielders' mentality as far to the right as possible. I seem to recall that this appeared to have a beneficial effect and I wonder if it would be worthwhile trying it out in the 3-4-1-2?

    Obviously as a solution it's a bit of a bodge up - rather on the lines of my maths, where, if I ever do get a sum right it's because two mistakes have cancelled each other out! But it might be a solution worth trying until SI sort this problem.

    Edit: Going to try a save with a 3-5-2, setting the wide players as defensive wingers and their mentality as attacking as possible. Whilst this is not, of course, taking part in the challenge as such, I'll post any observations I make about how they behave, as it may be helpful to people.
    Last edited by Rupal; 16-11-2010 at 09:40.

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    Hi there,

    Your screens reminds me some of the problem I have faced using my 31231 formation which was in the first place a 31411, moving up in the AM slot make it better regarding defensive duty of my wide players.

    As others I have seen the same back 5 issue, whatever slot (FB, WB WMidfielder) if you don’t have a guy behind in the wide area, they just slot back to form an „at least“ 4 defensive line. I’ll come back later to make a proprer analysis and add some thoughts if needed in your other thread in the bug forum. (BTW I have picked Roma in a FM2011 save.)

    When it comes to defensive positionning, you have mainly 4-5 tools.
    Default position is not working as you pointed out.
    The defensive line will just delay the problem, at the end of the day when opposition has come to establishde possession you will have your back 5.
    Mentality can play a role here, but it seems to matter much less than default position and marking setting, a highish mentaly may help as Kawee said you counter a problem with another.
    Closing down is not the way to go, that I am sure of, because it needs to be triggered by how close an opponent player with the ball is. And it is reactive actually, not the best solution for a positioning tool as it has to be too late.
    Marking setting, IMHO the best (less worst) tool available even if it does not work properly in our very case. I do agree it is not the solution.

    For example I’d go for a named individual marking with my wide midfielders. But I’d not go for strict, because I still want my wide midfielders to be on the wing most of time (onöy wide players) and not track inside forward in the middle of the pitch where you are supposed to have at least 1 spare man with a CB (not ideal I know). Especially if the opponent have attacking fullbacks AND wingers, you can be overload on the wing with overlap for example.

    The thing is on which opponent’s players do you want to lock? On wingers (AM slot), no point doing this IMO, as they are very likely to be high up the pitch pretty soon (RFD often), maybe in this case I’d go for the zonal loose.
    On wide midfielders, maybe it can help a bit, but as usually they still have RFD often, here an named individual loose (somebody ever tried this combo, with the named individual, not even sure it worked the way I described it?) can make them lock earlier, and then track back
    Against a 41212, with attackings fullbacks, lock on them, if it works can be a solution as usually both opponent’s strikers drif wide, but hey you have 3CBs should not be that a problem.

    Well, just wanted to share some toughts I had in the sub this morning, not sure specific marking setting matters with this back 5 issue as Crouchaldinho said, I tend to believe a guy with 10k posts (congrats BTW)
    I suggest as well to put on screenshots, the „player-should-have-been-there“ position with a big flashy dot or something, I’ll do it tonight, I am at work right now so can not really play the game.
    Last edited by NakS; 16-11-2010 at 09:06. Reason: some typo

  45. #45

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    Good past NakS. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by NakS View Post
    Well, just wanted to share some toughts I had in the sub this morning, not sure specific marking setting matters with this back 5 issue as Crouchaldinho said, I tend to believe a guy with 10k posts (congrats BTW)
    Thanks! But don't make the mistake of linking post count to a good poster. It's quality and not quantity that counts. Haven't you ever been to OTF? ;)

    I suggest as well to put on screenshots, the „player-should-have-been-there“ position with a big flashy dot or something, I’ll do it tonight, I am at work right now so can not really play the game.
    Good idea, I'll try to do that in future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MZizzle2 View Post
    I think I may have found a pretty good tactic. I just won the Premiership with Arsenal using this formation.
    Well done!

    It goes to show that this can still be a good tactic on FM, despite our concerns about the representation of it in the match engine.

    Care to share your set-up here?

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    OTF? Well TBH, I have never been there! I know what yo mean with post counts, I aware of that , it was both a "wink for your 10k" and a "you may be right on this one (marking)"

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakS View Post
    OTF? Well TBH, I have never been there! I know what yo mean with post counts, I aware of that , it was both a "wink for your 10k" and a "you may be right on this one (marking)"
    Haha! Cheers!

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    Right, just got going with this. My formation set up is the same as you have, Crouchy, except for one change. Instead of a ball winning midfielder (defend), I've plumped for a central midfielder (defend). I've just played my first friendly, so admittedly the players aren't comfortable in the formation yet, but immediately I've run across the same problems.

    In this screenshot we have a flat five strung across our penalty area, marking one (offside) opposition attacker, and still leaving room for the opposition winger to be found with a simple pass. Luckily for us, opposition winger can't cross and put his effort straight into Pepe Reina's arms.



    In this screenshot, the wide midfielder on the right is further up the pitch than on the left, a good start. He should make the run indicated by the black arrow, giving Gerrard the option of the pass indicated by the white arrow. Unfortunately he decides to stay where he is and Gerrard attempts a shot from distance which sails wide of the post.

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    Right, now on to our first goal. In the first shot, we see that Alex, my newly signed trequartista has dropped deep to find the space and taken a pass from my CM(d), Meireles. From this point I would have liked to see either one of the wide midfielders make a forward run and occupy one of their wide defenders (I've only just realised that I've forgotten to add the black arrow for the right sided wide midfiedler, screenshot fail )



    Neither of them does, however, but good play from my DLF (Kuyt) sees him drop deep, bringing a central defender with him, take a pass from Alex and quickly move it onto my CM(s) (Gerrard). At this point my right sided WM (Johnson) should be 'on his bike' to stretch their defence even further.



    Johnson doesn't make that run, but because of Torres' movement and Gerrard's passing ability we still manage to make something of it. Gerrard threads a pinpoint pass through to Torres who, as you would expect from this position, finishes neatly into the corner. What I can't get over, however, is why both of my wide midfielders are only just over the halfway line.

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    Two examples of exactly the same situations I was finding in my experiments there Terk.

    (Edit - talking about your first post and not the last one, which you posted while I was replying!)

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    The example in second post is very frustrating. I take it this was with an attacking strategy and/or wide players?

    The problem with the wide players basically just makes them passengers in the game. They don't defend particularly well and they don't attack properly. What's the use of them! :mad:

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    Yeah, as I mostly do when I'm building a new tactic, I've begun with a 'standard' strategy but both the wide midfielders are set as 'attack'. It's all very well relying upon the skills of Gerrard and Torres to make the best of a bad situation against poor opposition in a friendly, but in competitive matches I'm going to need the wide players to make use of that space. Massively frustrating, but I'm not giving up.

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    Well, keep us updated. If you come across anything that helps, I'm dying to know!

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    Some great screenshots there Terk.

    Working on from one of them:

    As you can see in the picture below, Despite Liverpool's defense having 1 more player than the opposition's attack, two of our players were outnumbered. Number 7 and number 8 are marking two players. The guy with the ball, if he's any good, can easily play a one-two around the number 7. If he passes it to the number 6, then you know Liverpool's number 8 will close him down because he's the closest and thus leaving the opposition number 10 all the time and space in the world to put in a good cross. Then you have Liverpool's number 6 marking a ghost. He's useless there. For a team of Liverpool's calibre, this is unacceptably poor.




    The picture below shows the kind of reactive positioning the Liverpool's defense should be going. Looking at the red arrows, you will see the defensive rotation the Liverpool's players should make in order to make use of all the defenders and mark all the opposition players. Out numbering the attack by one player, there is no excuse for any of the opposition to have a free man. In fact, the two CBs closest to the opposition striker (3 & 2) are key. The two of them should ensure that they have the one striker handled. And if there is a defensive mess up somewhere, one of them, being the spare defender, and react and move in to cover.



    As Crouchadinho has said before, the positioning and marking of the players are simply too poor. There is no reaction to the situation whatsoever. They simply fall back to form a back-5 regardless of what else is happening on the pitch!

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    Well, it's a pity! As I said earlier, I thought I'd run some games with a 3-5-2 and have a look at the wide players' operation in the hope that it would be possible to get something out of them; I presumed that if a setup worked with a 3-5-2 it ought to work with a 3-4-1-2 as well.

    Unfortunately, like other people, I've found that the wide midefielders simply don't do what I want them to do - they act basically rather like inferior wingbacks and I haven't been able to come up with anything to improve the situation.

    SI ought to have a look at this problem. A major rethink of the ME might be called for!
    Last edited by Rupal; 17-11-2010 at 05:56.

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    Might be worth posting that exact post over in the bugs thread Kawee. See here - http://community.sigames.com/showthr...ee-at-the-back

    It's a shame this challenge thread doesn't seem to be working as I anticipated but then at least if we feedback to SI they can work on the issues.

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    I'm going to give this a try. I'll use Ajax, Both Emmanuelson and Van der Wiel are perfect for the wide positions.

    Note that I havn't tried anything like this yet but wouldn't the Wide midfielder problem be solved if you set them to Winger. Defensively you will be a bit weaker but if you set your wide players to specific man marking that will be minimalised I think.
    I'll have to test it out to be sure though.

    This is the way I'm planning to set up.

    Defense:

    Against a two striker team I'll play to CD's and a Sweeper
    Against a One striker team I'll play a Libero, and two CD's

    Midfield:

    Always a Balwining Midfielder and a Deeplying Playmaker and two Wingers on Support. If the other team is much better I'll play them as Wide midfielders.

    Attack:

    a Teq AM, A DLF on support and a Poacher on attack.

    I'll let you know how it turns out

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    Excellent analysis of those screenies, Kawee As crouchy said, it would be good to put that post in the bugs thread. If an ME could be developed that had the players move dynamically as you show in the second shot, I think I'd wet myself in excitement Out of interest, this

    If he passes it to the number 6, then you know Liverpool's number 8 will close him down because he's the closest and thus leaving the opposition number 10 all the time and space in the world to put in a good cross.
    Is exactly what happened in that situation. It was simply the poor crossing ability of the opposition #10 which meant that he hit his effort straight into Pepe Reina's arms. Against a better team we'd have been in a lot more trouble.

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    Lo and behold, an example of the attacking side working a little better. I decided for my final friendly against Genk to experiment with playing a far more attacking player in the wide midfielder role on one side. I chose Milan Jovanovic, who really doesn't have the defensive talents to play that role, but I was only interested in seeing how his more natural attacking instinct would affect the play.

    In this shot, we see that right from the off, Jovanovic has got himself into a more attacking position on the field and is offering my trequartista a simple ball out wide to stretch play.



    Unsurprisingly, Alex takes him up on the offer of the wide ball, and with Genk's right back now required to come across and close him down, we have a situation where our two strikers can get themselves one-on-one with the Genk centre backs. I had expected, at this point, the Genk #4 (a defensive midfielder) to drop in and help, but he is clearly worried about Alex (#7) making a late forward run as the guy who should be marking Alex (Genk #8) has let our little trequartista get goalside of him.



    Alex does make that forward run, meaning that their three defenders are covering three of our attackers. They have no spare man, so any sort of good delivery and we have a real chance. The Genk defenders are all goalside of their Liverpool opponents, but I would expect the Liverpool guys (Vucinic, Kuyt, Alex) to have better movement and anticipation.



    Vucinic anticipates the early ball from Jovanovic, moves into the space between his marker and Kuyt's marker and meets the ball at the back post, a simple header to score the goal. Attacking play that I'm really pleased with, the only downside being that Jovanovic can't defend worth a damn and during the course of this game we were often caught out down our left flank when Genk had the ball.

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    In light of this I'm going to see what effect training my defensively minded wide midfielders (Johnson & Aurelio) with the PPM 'Gets forward whenever possible' has. I shall report back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karax268 View Post

    Note that I havn't tried anything like this yet but wouldn't the Wide midfielder problem be solved if you set them to Winger. Defensively you will be a bit weaker but if you set your wide players to specific man marking that will be minimalised I think.
    I'll have to test it out to be sure though.
    I'd be interested to know if setting to 'winger' works. As far as I can tell, setting to 'defensive winger' unfortunately doesn't, although one would think that it ought to, given the tooltip explanation of that setting in the Tactics Creator.

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    What happens if you set the mentality to the highest attacking on the sliders?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupal View Post
    I'd be interested to know if setting to 'winger' works. As far as I can tell, setting to 'defensive winger' unfortunately doesn't, although one would think that it ought to, given the tooltip explanation of that setting in the Tactics Creator.
    I've played one friendly and so far it's the same as described previously on the defensive performance. They still form a back 5. Attacking play is good though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag man View Post
    What happens if you set the mentality to the highest attacking on the sliders?
    I did that - it doesn't work, alas!!

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    Just to let you know guys, I am experimenting with marking settings as I explained earlier, maybe I am on something with that, I'd report back tonight, my Roma is not fit enough yet to have a proper analysis

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    I almost got a similar formation working on FM10 but it was almost a 3-3-2-2 rather than a 3-4-1-2.

    My midfield 3 were: Ball Winner (S) - C Mid (D) - Adv Playmaker (S)

    I'm a big fan of the Ball Winner (S), he wins the ball futher up the pitch and helps in attack, the C Mid holds and looks after the back three whilst the Adv Playmaker keeps everything ticking with a view to moving the ball forward more than a Def Playmaker would. Having those three plus one of my strikers as a Trequartista helped me control the game a lot with the four of them passing around and a Poacher to finish off.

    For me, in formations like these you need to get the wide men right because you're often playing again conventional wide players, 2 full backs and 2 wide/wingers. In my formation is was determined to play with AM's - it's a shape i've tried to get right for a number of games and last year was the closest. I found that Defensive Wingers were the best way to go. I haven't had much chance to play FM11 yet but i'll be keeping a look out for this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Well done!

    It goes to show that this can still be a good tactic on FM, despite our concerns about the representation of it in the match engine.

    Care to share your set-up here?

    I'll post my exact tactic later if you would like.

    My set up is:

    CB: Central Defender
    CB: Ball Winning Defender
    CB: Central Defender

    CM: Box to Box Midfielder (Support)
    CM: Ball Winning Midfielder (Defend)

    MR: Wide Midfielder (Automatic)
    ML: Wide Midfielder (Automatic)

    CAM: Trequarista (Attack)

    FWD: Deep Lying Forward (Support)
    FWD: Complete Forward (Attack)

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    Well I am back early in the morning with some screenshots only focused on defensive move and totally unpundits thinkings along. Quickly my setup.

    Philosophy / Strategy: Rigid / Control

    CB: Central Defender / Defend (mentality 9) (marking individual tight)
    CCB: Ball Playing Defender / Cover (mentality 13) (RFD sometimes, marking zonal tight)
    CB: Central Defender / Defend (mentality 9) (marking individual tight)

    CMR: Deep Lying Playmaker / Support (mentality 9)
    CML: Ball Winning Midfielder (with creative freedom, passing and instruction same as DLPM) Support (mentality 13)

    MR: Defensive Winger / Support (mentality 13) (marking specific individual NON-tight, HUB: no, RWB: Sometimes, TB: Often)
    ML: Defensive Winger / Support (mentality 13) (marking specific individual NON-tight, HUB: no, RWB: Sometimes, TB: Often)

    CAM: Trequarista / Attack (mentality 13)

    FWDR: Complete Forward / Attack (mentality 17)
    FWDL: Complete Forward / Support (mentality 13)

    Here is a diagram of how I lineup

    Last edited by NakS; 17-11-2010 at 03:00.

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    Shots against a 442. My defensive wingers are supposed to make a specific individual on opponent's wide midfielders, no OIs

    Here the ball is coming down my left wing from the number 2 white. Number 8 was close enough to quickly close down the opponent.
    Opponent ST 10 is staying central and have to deal with my 3CBs.
    Opponent ST 11 is moving into channel down my right wing.
    Opponent left midfielder is closely marked by my right DWinger, number 5.
    Opponent's FBs have plenty of time and are completely free

    I have 2 spare men with my 2 CBs, it can be tricky down my right wing where I "only" have number 3, 5 and 6 against white 3, 7, 8 and 11, so could be 3 vs 4 there



    Almost the same situatio even if it is not the following move, I sat deeper and closer to my box.
    Again, my 2 DWingers keep watching closely the 2 opponents wide midfielders.
    I have 3CBs against 2 ST
    My 2 CMs and the CAM are shielding my D-line;




    Here you can see another common situation
    My 2 CBs are marking the 2 opponent's ST and my spare CBs is between them
    My 2 CMs are goalside of opponent's 2CMs and shield the D-Line
    My 2 DWingers are marking opponent's wide midfielders
    Still, opponent's fullbacks have plenty, plenty, plenty of time on the ball


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    Shots against Inter 4231n should be the one of the worst team to face with a lone ST, wingers and attacking fullbacks

    A quick one here in an unusual situation

    Here both 9 & 10 are almost offside against 3 CBs
    My 2 DWingers are marking opponent's wide midfielders
    Still, opponent's fullbacks have plenty of time on the ball, I have decided to make a specific marking with my ST on opponents FB as they are known to be attacking





    The main shot against a 4231.

    You have almost 2 vs 3 in the middle, the trequartista does not perform a huge defensive job. So you have 6 players in the middle of the pitch
    The hatching circle are specific marking instructions, my 2 DWingers on opponent's AMR and AML and both of my ST on opponent FBs
    Spare players are in hexagonal doted shaped, I have 2 CBs and opponent have one CB and one FBs as my ST 9 is somehow locked on the other CBs, means if they switch flank quickly I can be in trouble. Moreover if the free FB decide to overlap or so, I would be in a very unconfortable situation. But when they change wing more smoothly, actually my ST had some time to lock on "his" FB before he overlaps or so.




    Well, actually I have both recall inherent weakness of the 3 men defense and show how the use of specific man-marking can be a "half-decent artificial solution" not more. It still need some proximity to be triggererd and the defensive line attraction power is somehow to strong to be fully "counter" with a settings combination.

    I have not done all possible combinations of defensive settings, just playing here with defensive winger (closing down 20) with specific marking, I'd guess a higher D-line can help a bit as well, but that's not a convenient solution. Players attributes definitely come into play here, (teamwork, positioning, anticipation, marking, decision among others) as well as PPMs as somebody pointed out previously.
    Last edited by NakS; 17-11-2010 at 02:59.

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    That's very interesting, NakS.

    A curious thing which I noticed last year and which still occurs now with these types of formation (counting a 3-5-2 as a member of the same 'family' so to speak) is a strange comment which one gets in the assman's feedback! He tends to inform me that the forwards are isolated because they are too far away from the midfielders. This comment disappears when one moves one of the CMs into the back line, producing what amounts to a 4-4-2 and does not appear when one uses a 3-2-3-2, even though the only difference between the formations is that the latter uses 2 wingbacks rather than 2 wide midfielders

    Now what, if anything, this tells us about the problem I don't know but it is certainly very odd.

    I'll have another go fiddling around with settings to see if I can come up with anything else.
    Last edited by Rupal; 17-11-2010 at 06:20.

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    I think I've found something which may enable me to get closer to what I want.

    It appears to me that, somehow or other, the ME interprets the wide players' role as being deeper than the manager intends when there are only 3 at the back. Consequently, in a 3-5-2, 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2, it insists that they are part of the defence and so they take up a wingback/fullback position rather than a midfield one. No amount of fiddling with closing down, marking or mentality appears to be able to overcome this. It occurred to me that the same effect might appear if I put the wide men in as AML and AMR rather than ML and MR. Thinking about the challenge, I tried setting up what the Tactics Creator insists is a 3-3-4. Lo and behold, on the pitch, the wide players now align with the two MCs and, in essence, I am really playing a 3-4-1-2 even though the stupid Tactics Creator/ME doesn't appear to realise this!

    I've set the wide men as Defensive Wingers - obviously I will need to have a good look to see if the formation actually works in a practical way (only looked at a friendly so far) but this, unsatisfactory bodge up though it is, does at least appear to put the players where I actually want them to go. It might be worth people's while giving this idea a try.

    Edit: The formation in this guise certainly seems to give rise to interesting play; there is a tendency to score a lot of goals and to leak them as well (although maybe that's because my players are very bad!). It's all a bit too exciting for my poor nerves, so I'm going to try toning things down by setting up my 3-5-2 using similar wide player settings (which the TC again insists is a 3-3-4 when it ain't really!!). Will keep people posted.
    Last edited by Rupal; 17-11-2010 at 11:46.

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    I'll say the same thing I said about last season's 3-5-2 discussion: the Napoli AI is using the 3-4-1-2 to great success! Is there a trick to view exactly what settings the AI uses? Probably not

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    Really nice idea there Crouchaldinho!

    Since the FM11 demo I´ve been trying to recreate the formation that Marcelo Bielsa used with his Chile side, and to some degree when he was manager at Argentina.

    As seen in this thread: http://forum.fmsweden.se/viewtopic.php?t=29398
    Beware: the link is in swedish, though the pictures are not

    In reality it´s called a 3-3-1-3 and that´s how I put it up in the beginning.
    But just like everyone else here I came to the conclusion that the wingbacks would withdraw to deep and form a straight back 5 even when not necessary.
    So I tried to capture the formation in a later stage, after the wingbacks have pushed forward, to form a 3-4-3 diamond from the TC.

    But even with the wide midfielders set on attack duty, they would fall back to join the 3 central defenders.
    The only positive thing so far is that they frequently join the attack, both on the wings and trough the middle, to recreate some really dynamic and fluid attacking moves.

    So Yes, this really looks like a not so great thing in the ME (or even a BUG if you like that phrace more).

    Still I´ve been using the latter formation to great success since the realease of FM11.
    Claimed the Domestic title 3 years in a row and taking my (small) side to the groupstages in Champions League.

    The only thing I´d like you to be aware of is that a back 3 ain´t too great against teams who uses only 1 central attacker, as in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1.
    So against those teams I use a different approach(just like Bielsa irl) and move forward one of the centrebacks to the inner midfield to create something that looks like a 2-3-2-3 to leave 2 defenders to take care of the lone attacker and the rest of the team on more attacking duties.

    The 3-4-1-2 is an interesting formation though with 2 attackers up front instead of my lone one. So I´ll try to incorporate this one into my ongiong save to have some more choise up front when needed.

    Hope you don´t mind.

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    id like to have a bash at this, but how do i get my screenshots in my fm2011 screenshot folder into my post please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka View Post
    Really nice idea there Crouchaldinho!

    Since the FM11 demo I´ve been trying to recreate the formation that Marcelo Bielsa used with his Chile side, and to some degree when he was manager at Argentina.

    As seen in this thread: http://forum.fmsweden.se/viewtopic.php?t=29398
    Beware: the link is in swedish, though the pictures are not

    In reality it´s called a 3-3-1-3 and that´s how I put it up in the beginning.
    But just like everyone else here I came to the conclusion that the wingbacks would withdraw to deep and form a straight back 5 even when not necessary.
    So I tried to capture the formation in a later stage, after the wingbacks have pushed forward, to form a 3-4-3 diamond from the TC.

    But even with the wide midfielders set on attack duty, they would fall back to join the 3 central defenders.
    The only positive thing so far is that they frequently join the attack, both on the wings and trough the middle, to recreate some really dynamic and fluid attacking moves.

    So Yes, this really looks like a not so great thing in the ME (or even a BUG if you like that phrace more).

    Still I´ve been using the latter formation to great success since the realease of FM11.
    Claimed the Domestic title 3 years in a row and taking my (small) side to the groupstages in Champions League.

    The only thing I´d like you to be aware of is that a back 3 ain´t too great against teams who uses only 1 central attacker, as in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1.
    So against those teams I use a different approach(just like Bielsa irl) and move forward one of the centrebacks to the inner midfield to create something that looks like a 2-3-2-3 to leave 2 defenders to take care of the lone attacker and the rest of the team on more attacking duties.

    The 3-4-1-2 is an interesting formation though with 2 attackers up front instead of my lone one. So I´ll try to incorporate this one into my ongiong save to have some more choise up front when needed.

    Hope you don´t mind.
    Sounds good to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaffscazz View Post
    id like to have a bash at this, but how do i get my screenshots in my fm2011 screenshot folder into my post please.
    Press Alt-F9 to get a screenshot in FM automatically send to your screenshots folder.

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupal View Post
    I think I've found something which may enable me to get closer to what I want.

    It appears to me that, somehow or other, the ME interprets the wide players' role as being deeper than the manager intends when there are only 3 at the back. Consequently, in a 3-5-2, 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2, it insists that they are part of the defence and so they take up a wingback/fullback position rather than a midfield one. No amount of fiddling with closing down, marking or mentality appears to be able to overcome this. It occurred to me that the same effect might appear if I put the wide men in as AML and AMR rather than ML and MR. Thinking about the challenge, I tried setting up what the Tactics Creator insists is a 3-3-4. Lo and behold, on the pitch, the wide players now align with the two MCs and, in essence, I am really playing a 3-4-1-2 even though the stupid Tactics Creator/ME doesn't appear to realise this!

    I've set the wide men as Defensive Wingers - obviously I will need to have a good look to see if the formation actually works in a practical way (only looked at a friendly so far) but this, unsatisfactory bodge up though it is, does at least appear to put the players where I actually want them to go. It might be worth people's while giving this idea a try.
    Are you going for defensive wingers attack or support Rupal?

    I'm just worried about getting the balance right, I guess, if deciding to use AMR and AML. Will they still track back defensively? I still want my wide players to have defensive responsibilities/duties.

    I've been thinking of maybe getting around it by using something like this:


    GK

    DC - DC - DC

    DM - DM

    AMR - AMC - AML

    ST - ST


    Essentially, 3-2-3-2. But I believe this would give the 3-4-1-2 shape.

    My major concern, however, is the realistic behaviour of the wide players. I still want them to get back and offer defensive support.

    As I said to you in the PM I sent, it would be nice to get something like this working on FM11 but I have my concerns that we will have to wait for a match engine fix in a future version.

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    Well, I've only had a friendly game or two so I can't be definitive but I have found that they do seem to track back ok when set as defensive wingers on support. Whilst I'm doing a 'pseudo 3-5-2' I imagine that the wide players would operate in much the same way with either formation if set like this.

    I think the easiest thing might be for you to try out a quick save for yourself and see if the idea works for you. Nothing like seeing for oneself, after all!

    Edit: One thing I should have mentioned is that I've put the team setting on 'fluid'. This is contrary to how I usually set things up but I didn't want a 'rigid' setting to interfere with the 'wingers' contributing defensively.
    Last edited by Rupal; 17-11-2010 at 14:56.

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    It would be nice if the wide players behaved properly in the correct positions, but if you give them the right instructions then I don't see why sticking the wide players in the AM R/L position shouldn't work. I'm tempted to try this myself but am struggling to think of a team who are well suited to it. Few teams have enough CBs to provide adequate cover imho, would probably need to buy some players.

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    3-4-1-2 as a challenge? Not really. It's a decent tactic to try out, something different from 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, but it's nothing extraordinary, mediocre difficulty at best. A 4-6-0, 4-2-4 or something similar would be a real challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niton View Post
    3-4-1-2 as a challenge? Not really. It's a decent tactic to try out, something different from 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, but it's nothing extraordinary, mediocre difficulty at best. A 4-6-0, 4-2-4 or something similar would be a real challenge.
    Welcome to the thread Niton. We're talking here about the challenge of using so-called 'outdated' fomations/systems when compared to modern systems (in particular 4-5-1 variations). In this thread, we are having a look at a so-called anachronism - a formation with a back three, which is rarely used in modern football these days when compared to flat back four formations.

    Perhaps if you have anything constructive to say, that would be great. Otherwise, you are free to start your own challenge on 4-6-0, 4-2-4 or whatever formation you might like to, in your own thread. For what it's worth, I think you've missed the point.

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    Im using the 3412 formation mainly because i watched mexico use it v england before the world cup im yet to perfect it having same problems as many of you also im using carlise which prob isnt the best team but hey this is a challenge right? Ive got my dc's pressing high with man marking off which stops them dropping too deep. My wide players i use wingers on attack its not perfect but they attack and defend capably with a back 5 only occuring if the opp build slowly. im currently 4th in dec and most of the opp managers praise my football after the so although im still tweaking im getting there!

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    Thinking of other possible challenges, I just wonder how a reversion to the 1930s-60s style of 2 fullbacks, 3 halfbacks, and 5 forwards would do? Anybody tried it I wonder?

    Getting back to the main subject, after having tried a number of games, although I think that the play LOOKS better setting the wide men up in AML, AMR positions, I'm still not fully satisfied with their contribution as, although they do some token tracking back, they aren't doing as much defensively as I'd like. The system is very vulnerable to a long ball into the space behind the wide midfielders, which results in the MCs or DCs being dragged out of position to try to cover. The result, of course, is that any crosses coming in are very dangerous.

    Like Crouchaldinho, I've got an 'orrible feeling that we're going to have to wait for an ME fix, unfortunately.

    I'll have one more shot with the MR/ML back rather than AML/AMR - try them as wingers on attack and see what that does.
    Last edited by Rupal; 18-11-2010 at 06:25.

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    i can see them in the screenshot folder, but cant get them to appear here, how do i please do that.

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    I've just started trying this with Liverpool in my second season. I brought in Vucinic to play the DLF. Neymar is on the left wing. I've made the wide midfielders wingers and they appear to be defending and attacking. First two games I beat Man City away 2-1 and Cardiff at home 3-0. In each game the opposition only had one shot that was not a long shot, which is a pretty nice defensive stat. It does get a bit lonely up front though as I've got the central midfielders as DMs. Might move one into the centre next.

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    Have yet to read the full thread (but will do soon), but I have for quite some time been intrested in dabling with something similar to how Napoli play these days or how Roma played under the Capello era, had a try on fm10 aswell but could not come up with a tactic that gave consistant results back then....so im surly in for an other stab

    so would using wingbacks be acceptable? or exprimentation with droping a striker back to AMC?

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    Nak as a real challenge ;) what about using a zonal SW and 2 man DC when against a 2 strikers formation? Or do you lose to much "width" in DF coverage in this way? Mexes is perfect to test a SW defence.

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    I've done some further short tests (with a 3-5-2) and have found two reasonable options for me for settings for the wide midfielders.

    Option A: Use MR and ML, wingers, mentality slider to highest setting, attack, closing down whole pitch, man marking, no tight marking, no holdup, preferred moves: get forward as often as possible. I've used a fluid setting to avoid possible difficulties over the ME regarding these players as 'defenders'.

    Option B: Use AMR and AML, defensive wingers, mentality slider to lowest setting, support, closing down own half, man marking, no tight marking, no holdup, preferred moves: don't get forward too often. Again, used a fluid setting to avoid possible difficulties with the ME regarding these players as 'attackers'.

    In either case they seem to do a reasonable job both getting forward and defensively (as far as my rubbish players are capable of doing so!). So you pays your money and takes your choice. The second option looks a bit more like a 3-5-2 on the pitch, though, even though the silly Tactics Creator insists that it's a 3-4-4!

    I will now, with some trepidation, try the 'challenge 3-4-1-2' using LLM principles with Lewes. I'll go for the Option B setting for the wide men initially and see how it goes. If it's a complete disaster I'll go to Option A and see if that's any better. Knowing my managerial qualities I'm not expecting much - avoiding relegation if I'm lucky!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Funk View Post
    Nak as a real challenge ;) what about using a zonal SW and 2 man DC when against a 2 strikers formation? Or do you lose to much "width" in DF coverage in this way? Mexes is perfect to test a SW defence.
    Yeah, the Mexes role is imho one of the most interesting in 3412. Maybe you noticed I have put him at the same mentality as Totti in my setup. The thing is as Los_Culés pointed it out, you can get outnumbered in the middle while facing 3 men in the midfield, against a 442 i agree he should play a classic covering role as you said and your midfield flat 4 + TQ against opponent midfield flat 4. My screenshot number 3 illustrate that. But since I want him to use his passing skills, I have choosen a ball playing defender, with RFD "mixed", 13 mentaly and covering closing down and zonal marking. He did the job pretty well, I'll try to post more screenshots if needed or requested

    But against lone striker formation, I was expecting from Mexes to "cover" my CMs rather than my 2 CBs as it is 2 vs 1 at the back, kind of advanced stopper CBs/DMidfielder sweeping/covering behind CMs, I think I should this time, keep the previous setup (high mentality, RFD, TBalls) but with a much higher closing down settings to make sure he is the first to close down opponents RFD and maybe not strict as I still have 2CBs right behind. So I was likely to try a "revert" 3 CBs defences with 2 Covering duty CBs and the central one "tweaked" ball playing stopper Duty CBs.

    The point is to make a 1 (BPlaying stopper) -2 (CBs cover) defence instead of a 2 (CBs stopper) -1 (SW covering). My spare guy being behind CBs against 2 STs fornation, in "in front" against lone striker formation.
    Last edited by NakS; 18-11-2010 at 10:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupal View Post
    I've done some further short tests (with a 3-5-2) and have found two reasonable options for me for settings for the wide midfielders.

    Option A: Use MR and ML, wingers, mentality slider to highest setting, attack, closing down whole pitch, man marking, no tight marking, no holdup, preferred moves: get forward as often as possible. I've used a fluid setting to avoid possible difficulties over the ME regarding these players as 'defenders'.
    I am glad you are coming up with this Rupal , here was mine.

    MR: Defensive Winger / Support (mentality 13) (marking specific individual NON-tight, HUB: no, RWB: Sometimes, TB: Often)
    ML: Defensive Winger / Support (mentality 13) (marking specific individual NON-tight, HUB: no, RWB: Sometimes, TB: Often)
    I have got the same "key settings", no HUB non tight and individual marking settings, I have them pretty careful as they got "get forward whenever possible", so support (RFD mixed) did the job when needed, but I do agree RFD Often would have been helpful in some situations. Regarding closing down, it is much more a habit to choose defensive winger as I do like hardworking guys on the flank. I did not play with mentality settings though, I have choosen "rigid" philosophy, but since I have nobody in the DM slot, mentality speaking, it is more a fluid one as you used I guess (except wide midfielder mentality of course)

    Good job and good luck with Lewes!
    Last edited by NakS; 18-11-2010 at 10:23. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakS View Post
    But against lone striker formation, I was expecting from Mexes to "cover" my CMs rather than my 2 CBs as it is 2 vs 1 at the back, kind of advanced stopper
    Ah ok instead my philosophy would be to use a player like this man marking the striker (he has the skill to do it) and let the other 2 CB "free" to zone cover.

    I know understand you aim to have a stopper ahead the cb, instead of a sweeper-like formation.
    I thought you might have a more 5-3-2-like formation, now I got your objecitve: 2 basics CB and more pressure in the middle of the field.

    can you give a value 0-20 to your DF-Line height?
    Last edited by Da_Funk; 18-11-2010 at 10:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Funk View Post
    Ah ok instead my philosophy would be to use a player like this man marking the striker (he has the skill to do it) and let the other 2 CB "free" to zone cover.

    I know understand you aim to have a stopper ahead the cb, instead of a sweeper-like formation.
    I thought you might have a more 5-3-2-like formation, now I got your objecitve: 2 basics CB and more pressure in the middle of the field.

    can you give a value 0-20 to your DF-Line height?
    Actually, as the lone striker tends to drop deep, even with zonal non tight, he is likely to lock early on the striker from what I have seen, moreover with the highest closing down, he put pressure ASAP on him, as you said he is very capable of doing it, maybe man-marking instead of zonal can make it even better, that's a good point, I will go for man-marking non tight to see what is going on with this setting.
    Yeah my aim is to put pressure on the midifield because I am my trequartista to be free when we win the ball back, so he can not man mark or close down heavily. moreover Totti is not that fit with his low stamina for example. With this I counter the ST dropping deep and I end up with 3 players (one CB + 2 CMs) against 4 (deep ST + 2CMs and the regista "pirlo guy"), Usually what I do is using specific man mark on the regista with one of my ST, the other staying high to pin CBs, the trequartista being in the hole as the first clearing outlet. But, you still have heavy troubles with opponents attacking FBs, at the end of the day the geometry of the 3412 make it difficult again 451/433/4231.

    I play between Normal and Control, usually it is around 10-11. Put I do use shouts "play higher" or "play deeper" according to match events and opponent formation. A bit higher against lone striker formation, a bit deeper against 2 strikers as Mexes didn't have the same job, same goes for offside trap

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakS View Post
    Actually, as the lone striker tends to drop deep, even with zonal non tight, he is likely to lock early on the striker from what I have seen, moreover with the highest closing down, he put pressure ASAP on him, as you said he is very capable of doing it, maybe man-marking instead of zonal can make it even better, that's a good point, I will go for man-marking non tight to see what is going on with this setting.
    Plus, if Mexes wins the ball he can immediately begin your offense from a very advantage/advanced position on the field, since he's on the deep striker, which is what you want, Mexes between the lines when possible. Of course this is just theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Funk View Post
    Plus, if Mexes wins the ball he can immediately begin your offense from a very advantage/advanced position on the field, since he's on the deep striker, which is what you want, Mexes between the lines when possible. Of course this is just theory.
    Exactly, keeping in mind as well I play him as a ball playing defender, so through ball are "often", passing 10, I have to find the good balance of creative freedom to make him still reliable an secure and at the same time spreading play. I'll do some testing tonight and report back on the "Mexes against a lone striker" theory, we have just formulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NakS View Post
    Exactly, keeping in mind as well I play him as a ball playing defender, so through ball are "often", passing 10, I have to find the good balance of creative freedom to make him still reliable an secure and at the same time spreading play. I'll do some testing tonight and report back on the "Mexes against a lone striker" theory, we have just formulated.
    while setting different "creative freedom" can you please check if you see a different behaviour in the movement of the player, not only the passes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka View Post
    Really nice idea there Crouchaldinho!

    Since the FM11 demo I´ve been trying to recreate the formation that Marcelo Bielsa used with his Chile side, and to some degree when he was manager at Argentina.

    As seen in this thread: http://forum.fmsweden.se/viewtopic.php?t=29398
    Beware: the link is in swedish, though the pictures are not

    In reality it´s called a 3-3-1-3 and that´s how I put it up in the beginning.
    But just like everyone else here I came to the conclusion that the wingbacks would withdraw to deep and form a straight back 5 even when not necessary.
    So I tried to capture the formation in a later stage, after the wingbacks have pushed forward, to form a 3-4-3 diamond from the TC.

    But even with the wide midfielders set on attack duty, they would fall back to join the 3 central defenders.
    The only positive thing so far is that they frequently join the attack, both on the wings and trough the middle, to recreate some really dynamic and fluid attacking moves.

    So Yes, this really looks like a not so great thing in the ME (or even a BUG if you like that phrace more).

    Still I´ve been using the latter formation to great success since the realease of FM11.
    Claimed the Domestic title 3 years in a row and taking my (small) side to the groupstages in Champions League.

    The only thing I´d like you to be aware of is that a back 3 ain´t too great against teams who uses only 1 central attacker, as in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1.
    So against those teams I use a different approach(just like Bielsa irl) and move forward one of the centrebacks to the inner midfield to create something that looks like a 2-3-2-3 to leave 2 defenders to take care of the lone attacker and the rest of the team on more attacking duties.

    The 3-4-1-2 is an interesting formation though with 2 attackers up front instead of my lone one. So I´ll try to incorporate this one into my ongiong save to have some more choise up front when needed.

    Hope you don´t mind.
    A little off-topic:

    Been working on Bielsa tactics aswell and came to same conclusion regarding wide midfielders which end up being far too defensive (like in FM2010). I found that having 2 central midfielders (support/box-to-box) and making them mark wide midfielders, simulates Bielsas wide midfielders much better.
    1. They will cover the flanks defensively
    2. they will attack more through the middle

    This is not possible to simulate in FM if they play wide as they are stuck wide (even with "cut inside").

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    It is no surprise playing them as AMR and AML works better offensively. That's why I asked very early in the challenge if I can use them that way. However, there are a couple problems:

    1. Crouchadinho made it pretty clear that this would sort of "betray" the spirit of the tactic. It would, after all, not be the 3-4-1-2 that everyone knows. And that really is the whole point of this thread: to recreate this formation as closely to it's RL counterpart as possible.
    2. They don't defend very well at all. Against a 4-1-2-1-2 they can get away with it because they can track the fullbacks. However, against a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2, they would really struggle because being so high up the pitch, there's no way they can track back in time to catch the wingers. Even if they could, they get outnumbered quite easily. The reason any sort of 3-5-2 formation works in real life is because the wide-midfielders or wingbacks take turn push forward and staying behind, unless they're under no threat then both push forward. Such dynamism, I don't think exists in FM yet.

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    Quick update. Having started with my 'Option B' setting for the wide midfielders (ie AMR/AML) I rapidly found that with my useless players there was an alarming tendency to ship goals! I've therefore reverted to 'Option A' except that, taking NakS's observations on board I've been more conservative and set them as defensive wingers again. It certainly seems to have been somewhat more solid in the couple of pre-seasons I've tried so far.

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    I've been trying to work this out. With micro-management in terms of man marking, I got it working decently well. However, I can't get my middle CB to push up into midfield often enough. I use Roma for this tactic, but I can't get Mexes to push up and join the midfield, even with FWR on often. Anyone got this working?

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