The travesty that is the AI 4-2-3-1 tactic - an urgent fix is needed!
I have yet to win the Premier League with Bradford, although this season (18-19) I am closer than ever. Mourinho's Manchester City seemed invincible, rarely ever giving up points and he had built up a strong squad with signings like C.Ronaldo, Alaba, Neymar, Sigurdsson and Modric. He used an Italian-style 4-3-1-2 tactic which was a struggle to break down. Then the 22nd of February 2019 things changed; he left for Juventus, and City hired Laurent Blanc who is using a 4-2-3-1 tactic which I suspected would make things much easier for me in the future.
Lo and behold, his debut match is the Champions League 1st knockout round away vs Inter. They lost 4-2 and were overrun. "Well, could be debut nerves" I thought, fearing strong opposition in the upcoming League Cup Final vs... you guessed it - City-
Nothing to fear, though; they were as chanceless as I hoped they would be. The space my forwards is given is baffling, and the ease with which I create chances vs this arguably stronger side just horrifies me and takes the joy out of the good performance... it isn't me being good it is them not being given a fighting chance. It's like stealing candy from infants!
Fair enough - it is in the 86th minute and they are pushing forward for goals, but that gigantic space in between their midfield and attack has been present the whole match, and after every attack where I win the ball in my defensive zone I get to run straight at their defense with all four forwards/wingers and there is nothing they can do about it as long as their tactic is as unbalanced as this.
This tactic is supposed to be one of the most balanced ones in modern football! It is used by many strong sides particularly in Spain (Barcelona comes to mind), and it is strong because it is both a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 when defending and attacking respectively. In FM it is unimpressive when attacking and horrible when defending because all three midfielders are unable to both find space and to cover space at any given time, while the wingers function neither as wide strikers nor as midfielders, leaving the four defenders and the striker to influence the game in any relevant fashion. Unsurprisingly, playing against this tactic is like playing against a 5-man side and a keeper.
SI needs to tighten up this tactic in order to maintain realism, as it is a common tactic globally. I think it needs to be much more narrow, the two MC's must be set to much more defensive duties and the defensive line must be much higher with more aggressive defenders. Alternatively, they can change the tactic to the version with two defensive midfielders with support duties (minimum), as that is a much better tactic both when it comes to balance and realism.