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Thread: Show me some 4-4-2 love!

  1. #1

    Default Show me some 4-4-2 love!

    When I look through the tactics forum these days, I see a plethora of 4-3-3s, 4-5-1s, 4-2-3-1s and even some 4-3-1-2s/diamonds but the 4-4-2 doesn't seem to be get a look in any more! Indeed, whenever I read threads on these forums, it seems to me that pretty much everyone is obsessed with playing like the modern Barcelona! So I thought I would start a general discussion thread about playing the classic 4-4-2 formation for a change!

    So, is anyone else still stuck in the 90s like me and reliving some of their favourite football tactical styles from that era? Or perhaps you've brought the 4-4-2 into the modern era and have it set-up to play out like a 4-2-3-1 in terms of player mentalities, free roles and forward runs?

    Who in the community is still opting for the 4-4-2 formation on Football Manager rather than fancy modern systems with lone strikers and inside forwards? ;) Are you enjoying playing with a classic strike partnership up front or attacking wingers down both flanks? Perhaps a lethal destroyer/creator partnership in the middle of the park that you're especially proud of? As long as it's 4-4-2, let us know in this thread!

    What success stories do we have for the good old 4-4-2? Please share and show some love for 4-4-2!
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 26-04-2012 at 13:34.

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    4-4-2 . On my Chester save, I'm playing a basic 4-4-2 with 2 wide midfielders, 2 CMs support. Two Advanced Forwards along with full backs on auto and my cbs and gk on the default setting. I play a short passing, more pressing game. It helped me climb to the top of the table at the end of October in my first season with them. We stayed there until the final game of the season. We went up through the play-offs as though. In the BSP I plan on using that formation still.

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    I like 4-4-2 in the lower leagues, but in the top league of a division I prefer a staggered 4-2-3-1 formation.

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    4-4-2 is dead in modern football, sorry.

    Now seriously, i usually always play either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 but on my current save i've been using a good old fashioned 4-4-2 and it's great fun to watch and simple to find good players for it, what i'm using is:

    FB: Auto
    CD: Cover
    CD: Stopper
    FB: Auto
    Winger:Attack
    CM: Defend
    Box-to-Box: Support
    Winger: Attack
    Deep Lying Striker: Support
    Advanced Forward: Attack

    I wanted initially to use a wide midfielder on support instead of two wingers so i could kind of reenact the old Manchester United with Giggs as a pure winger and Beckham as a wide midfielder but it seems harder to find players good enough for that role and couldn't get it to work properly so i switched to a good old fashioned winger.

    Still, it makes me feel dirty of not using a three man midfield though i'll play a 4141 on harder away games but i think i will eventually switch to a 4-3-3, using a 4-4-2 just doesn't feel right nowadays.

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    I actually used a 4-4-2 for quite a while and posted about it in here http://community.sigames.com/showthr...-Know-About-FM, I'll copy and paste how I set it up here for you though.



    The Tactic

    It might surprise people this year to see me opt for a 4-42. Normally I avoid using two strikers as it limits the formation you can create when having two upfront. But I thought I’d be a bit different this year,especially as I keep seeing people post saying 4-4-2 is dead, it doesn’t work anymore blah blah. That’s simply not true; it’s still a very formidable formation ifyou know the strengths and weaknesses. Every single formation has advantages and disadvantages. It’s just a case of knowing your own and then making the best of them in games. I’m also seeing people use 4-2-4 and claiming they have no choice but to push the wingers wide as it helps them score more goals and get more assists. Again also not true in my opinion. I can get my wingers very involved in a game and have them score a few goals and chip in with a few assists.


    The main disadvantage the 4-4-2 brings is the lack of central midfielder, when playing against 4-5-1, 4-3-3. Not only does it lack the extra man in the middle, it also lacks an extra attacker as the 4-3-3/4-5-1 hybrid pushed wingers up making it a 3 pronged attack. But that doesn’t mean the 4-4-2 is any less effective than it used to be. You’ve just got to learn to adapt to situations and have a plan b should you feel something’s not working in a game. The 4-4-2 does bring its own advantages though and is one of the most versatile formations that you can use. Hopefully over the coming seasons I can show you how versatile and adaptable the 4-42 really is.

    So let’s take a look at it;



    That’s the formation and starting strategy.



    And those are the team settings.

    Some of you might be a little confused or wonder why I’ve chosen some of the settings I have, I’ll try and explain why. I’m a big club in a small league, in this league I am the Man Utd’s and Barcelona’s. Everyone wants to beat me; we are the big name attraction this season. So why not play like the above teams? I know I have a great squad filled with experience and youth. I have a really good blend of them both. So with that in mind I wanted to play attractive football. Some of play players that I have in certain roles don’t have the required attributes to play that role. However it’s more about how I want the team to play as a unit, so I’m hopefully going to demonstrate that you can use the role to good effect even if you don’t have a player who typically fits the mould for the selected role.

    We will touch upon that once I actually play a game, but for now that’s the shape and setting I am using.

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    Beating the 4-2-2-2


    I will be talking about the tactic in great detail and look at how each position in the tactic works. But first I’m going to talk about something to help you understand why the tactic works. What I’m going to do next is talk about what I do when I face certain formations. I’ll show you how I adapt depending on what formation I might come across. As I’m playing in Brazil I thought it would make sense to start with the 4-2-2-2 that many of the clubs use. Remember I’m using the 4-4-2 that is posted further up the thread unless stated other wise
    J

    The 4-2-2-2can be very hard to break down at times as it over powers the midfield if you have fewer midfielders than them.

    Take a look at this screenshot;



    Just by looking at the screenshot you should be able to see where the 4-4-2 might struggle against it. As the middle of the pitch is far too congested you need to go around them. Playing through the middle 9 times out of 10 simply wouldn’t work, even if you have a superior side. The middle is too packed and your players won’t find the space to break them down. So what I tend to do is go as wide as possible and use the exploit the wings shout. This means my players will focus the player down the wings where the 4-2-2-2 is exposed. Meaning I’m exploiting their weakness. Basically that is all I do and so far I’ve done really well against the 4-2-2-2 formations as you can see on the screenshot below;



    I can only beat the opposition put in front of me. To do that I have to prepare and take advantages of other formations and exploit their weaknesses. Its just common sense really that it all comes down to. If you put the 4-4-2 on top of the4-2-2-2 formation then you’d see instant the difficulties and see where the game can be won or lost. 7 times I’ve faced it and scored 17 goals and conceded just the one. Not too bad going if you ask me, especially as the 4-2-2-2 is oneof the hardest formations to break down. Well in my opinion J

    I was been lazy yesterday and forgot to prepare before a game as I was posting on here haha. Anyways when I went back to my game (I was playing in highlight mode) I realised I’d not prepared. I think 30 minutes game time had passed and I was getting over played by Paulista. I’d not even had a shot on goal and lookedl ike I couldn’t break them down. Which makes sense as the tactic I posted above(my 4-4-2), as focus passing set to mixed. So my players were still attempting to go through the middle at times which isn’t any good. Anyways, I changed things around and scored within a minute. My side never really looked back and I managed to win 0-4. Here are the highlights from the game;


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    Beating other 4-4-2's

    Playing a side that plays the same shape as you can be difficult at times because even though the shape may be the same, the actual tactical instructions differ. This can be said for all formations though. So for me it's really important that I view a small proportion of the match so I can see what is happening. It’s vital in my opinion so you can get a more general view of how the tactic is playing out. The same goes for any tactic.



    I don't encounter 4-4-2's much playing in Brazil; in fact it’s rather rare that I come across them. This makes watching bits of the game even more important. It was quite clear early on that the way to beat this formation would be to use the exact settings I had started the game with. Which is the tactic posted at the start of the thread. Man for man I had the better side and knew I should be able to cope with any threat from the opposition.

    The things you can do when playing other 4-4-2's is to try and play a little bit wider to give that creative midfielder a little bit more space. I find this really effective especially when both sides are equally matched. The same can be said for overlapping fullbacks, this can create some really good link up play but can cause a little bit of defensive vulnerability. So you have to find the right balance between attacking and defensive duties.

    I can't really add much more about beating this just yet though as I've not encountered any problems yet as I don't play it regular enough. But if I do come across it more I'll be sure to update the post.

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    That's what I wrote in the thread at the time but I enjoyed huge success at all different levels with a 442. From teams like Santos, Sheffield United, Queens Park, River Plate, Chengdu Blades, America Mex, Portland, Sheffield FC and Hallam.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coentrao View Post
    4-4-2 is dead in modern football, sorry.
    Get OUT of my thread! :mad:

    In serious real life terms, I don't think 4-4-2 is dead in modern football. I think the conception of 4-4-2 as a rigid tactic with four banks of four and two up front is outdated at the very top of the game but I believe it must be possible to play a fluid version of the 4-4-2 with players dropping off and changing the shape in a dynamic system (and so on and so forth). The question of how much that is still a 4-4-2 formation or actually something else entirely is something for another thread though!

    In FM terms, the 4-4-2 is definitely not outdated. In fact, you could argue that the Tactics Creator settings kind of bring the 4-4-2 into the modern world anyway with the default duties more or less giving it a shape we might more readily associated with modern systems. A striker tends to drop off and play in the hole, the two midfielders will often sit, for example. The more fluid versions of the 4-4-2 on FM probably look something a little like 4-2-3-1 on the positional analysis screen, I would imagine!

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    How about a 4-4-2/4-2-4? I was using that quite well in my game as I had a lot of strikers and I wanted to play them together with AML/R. But then through injuries hit my front line and I had to drop one and bring in a DM, suddenly my form went through the roof and I realised the 4-3-3/4-5-1 was much better.

    So I guess I love the 4-3-3/4-5-1 but only 'like' the 4-4-2/4-2-4.

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    I play 442 , with 2 attacking wingers and one Defensive midfielder with a playmaker

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    Very nice contribution, Cleon!

    Surprised I could rely on you for some 4-4-2 love as I know you more as someone who prefers lone strikers so that you can have more options for setting up your midfield.

    Interesting to hear you outline how you get the best out of 4-4-2. I'll be even more interested to read more about how you cope with coming up against other systems that flood the midfield! Must be quite interesting in Brazil!

    Good stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Very nice contribution, Cleon!

    Surprised I could rely on you for some 4-4-2 love as I know you more as someone who prefers lone strikers so that you can have more options for setting up your midfield.

    Interesting to hear you outline how you get the best out of 4-4-2. I'll be even more interested to read more about how you cope with coming up against other systems that flood the midfield!

    Good stuff!
    I wouldn't have normally posted but I thought I'd shock you with the use of 2 strikers

    For some reason over the last year or so I'm growing more fond of the 4-4-2 and using it quite a lot. Actually I think the real reason is looking back at some old threads and reading posts by yourself and wwfan. That and the fact that people keep claiming it's dead in real football and in terms of FM. I always like to go against popular opinion and show that it can and still does have a place in football.

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    General Cleon... "Shock and Awe"


    I'm still happy using a 4-4-2, though I usually push my wide players into the AML/R slots. I mostly tend to use the shape in the lower leagues, but also use it regularly as an option with bigger teams, as I do like to have three formation options, based on mostly the same player positions and roles.

    So in effect, I vary amongst 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1. All have two central midfielders and two wingers, the defence remains the same in each (positions and roles), all that alters is using an AMC or DMC, instead of a second striker.

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    I played 4-4-2 with Stoke on one of the early fm12 patches, worked pretty well (finnished 4th in the first year) and it was a good learning experiance since im by no means an expert on this formation

    from my impression it works best with a rigid/counter attacking approch two tall lads up front, creative and fast wingers, defensivly gifted central mids (on defensive roles), and 4 centerbacks in defense (I did learn that the hard way, I started of by signing a couple of fullbacks in Bridge and Bandalovski, but that turned out to be a missguided error, a season later I was playing Wilson/Huth/Higginbotham and that functioned a lot better in the ME)
    Last edited by Falahk; 26-04-2012 at 14:25.

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    4-4-2 is the most flexible formation there is in football. You can attack with 8 or defend with 10. You can attack any flank or down the middle. You have plenty of support up front with 2 strikers, you have plenty of crosses with two wingers and two full-backs and you have plenty of cover in defence.

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    I seem to struggle to get the 4-4-2 working. In Germany they seem to play with one up front a lot, and the 4-4-2 (in many cases) struggles to handle the space between midfield and defence which is exploited by their AMC. It's hard to stop the MC's bombing forward with the fullbacks too, leaving a vulnerable couple of DC's behind. Those with more time and tactical nous could perhaps combat this better than I.

    In the tactic upload section there are a number of 4-4-2's coming through. Fuss's seems to have good success (not for me so far though..) and Marcelo is using a strong attacking version. Knap too has created several within one thread.

    So I think FM12 has seen the 4-4-2 gain in popularity. It is flexible - but for me the lack of DMC can cause me problems.

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    what about 4-2-2-2? basically 4-4-2 but with wingers pushed forward

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
    I wouldn't have normally posted but I thought I'd shock you with the use of 2 strikers

    For some reason over the last year or so I'm growing more fond of the 4-4-2 and using it quite a lot. Actually I think the real reason is looking back at some old threads and reading posts by yourself and wwfan. That and the fact that people keep claiming it's dead in real football and in terms of FM. I always like to go against popular opinion and show that it can and still does have a place in football.
    Whereas I'm using a 4-1-2-2-1 at the moment. Did use 4-4-2 in some earlier seasons, even a 4-2-4 at times. However, I prefer to play on the counter at higher levels, so need a DMC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
    I always like to go against popular opinion and show that it can and still does have a place in football.
    Ditto! It's become a point of principle for me now. I like to bring back the 4-4-2 and rule the footballing world with it.

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    personally i love to play 4-4-2 in this version, even more than 4-2-3-1 which i use since 06. it easy and a balance formation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coentrao View Post
    4-4-2 is dead in modern football, sorry.
    Tell that to Brian McDermott - he's just won us (Reading) the league playing it

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    442 for 28 seasons now, changing only for 6 months before going back. I just love how solid and balanced a formation it is, and how if set up correctly it can counter basically anything that the opp throws at you. It would take a lot of convincing to get me to move away from it. I love playing two strikers as well, i hate just playing with one, i like goals spread out amonst various players more than having 1 or 2 goal machines in my squad.

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    I'm using a 4-4-1-1 formation at the moment but I should probably look into the 4-4-2 formation to get me out of the current rut I'm in.

    Three seasons battling relegation and I still can't pull away.

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    Afer creating a 5-3-2 with wingbacks I'm tempted to switch and get a 442 working especially since reading older football stuff about Quinn and super kev, i want to get a Target man and poacher thing working

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    Many of the most popular tactics right now available for download are 442's. To me 442's seem to be much more effective in FM 12 than ever before. I remember ten years ago the tactics that worked well were formations like 2-3-2-1-2, and it used to be very difficult to get a 442 to work properly. Now it's a piece of cake.

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    I used to use 4-4-2 but quickly realised how boring and sometimes ineffectual it was. Currently I almost always use 4-3-3, even if the team are against much greater opposition as it still seems to work well.

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    I never use a tactic in FM that doesn't have an AMC and a DM, i'm a sucker for having players between the lines!

    Loving this set-up at the moment:

    DC - DC -DC

    WBR - DM - WBL

    AMR - AMC - AML

    ST


    Wingbacks are as attacking as they can go

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
    That's what I wrote in the thread at the time but I enjoyed huge success at all different levels with a 442. From teams like Santos, Sheffield United, Queens Park, River Plate, Chengdu Blades, America Mex, Portland, Sheffield FC and Hallam.
    Would it be possible to write your thoughts of how to beat the 4-2-3-1Denmark with a 4-4-2? thanks for your help

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    I've always like the 4-4-2, typically its my default formation. But as many have said with the advanced wingers at AMR and AML. I often set it to fluid with a direct and attacking style, and change the central midfielders to suit what i have. Generally i like it because you often end up with 1on1's all the way across their defence, but you need good defenders to make it work, usually have a ball winning midfielder to help secure the defence. Generally my aim in matches is just to outscore the opposition!

    I have to say though i generally adapt my formation to suit my players this is just my default starting formation, oftne later in the game i play a 4-1-3-2 (AMC and SC) becuase i find top class wingers hard to come by.

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    Does this qualify?




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    I'm still rocking the 4-4-2

    It's pretty old school as well. Flat back four, defensive/attacking central midfielders, proper wingers who run down the wing beating the full back to cross it and two strikers up top.

    I've tried building another formation but I just can't do it, I'm far too attached to my 4-4-2.

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    It's always been my intention to succeed in England with a conference side, working my way up, playing 4-4-2, but I can never quite seem to do it - the attempts always end horribly. One of these days I'll stick at it and make it work. My successful saves tend to be in other countries, and for the most part I've been playing a variant of 4-3-3 with inside forwards (sometimes wingers, depending on the player and the level I'm at) at AML/AMR.

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    my Malmö FF team plays a 4-4-2 most of the time, and I've just won the League and Cup double.

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    Ive been using Vodu's 4-4-2 in my Rangers save since the 1st season (now in 7th season).

    Won 6 league titles on the trot, won 5 Scottish and League cup's so thats 5 domestic trebles on the trot and i have steadily progressed to reaching the last 8 of the CL every year. Including beating Barcelona 2 of 3 times we have met in the last 3 seasons (last game i won 5-1).

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    My squad is built with the 4-4-2 in mind as my main formation. I have also experimented a bit aswell and find that defensive and attacking tactics work aswell as each other with this formation. The key is not getting overrun in midfield against variations of the 4-5-1/4-3-3 with 3 cm's. Maybe I am a bit "oldskool" as I love me some 4-4-2.

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    I have finally got 4-4-2 working for the first time in a long time in my latest FM save. I'm Newcastle and intended to play 4-2-3-1, but due to Ben Arfa's injury and Guti never being fit I had to play 4-4-2 at the start of the season. I signed Danny Welbeck on loan as cover for injuries and the ACoN, and injury/suspension to both Ba and Cisse led to him being partnered up front by Leon Best, who has been a revelation. Gabriel Obertan has also been excellent.

    Roles:
    GK(d); FB (auto), CD (x/d), BPD (c), FB (d); W (a), DLP (s), BWM (s), WM (s); TM(s)*, AF.
    *DLF when Best isn't fit.

    Common shouts are "hit early crosses" and "pass into space" because Welbeck and Best are the ideal front two for getting on the end of crosses, and encouraging through balls makes use of the abundance of pace and passing ability.

  38. #38
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    I don't love the 4-4-2, but I do think the 4-4-2 family (including 4-4-1-1 and the wide 4-4-2 Diamond [standard and inverted]) offers the only properly functioning formations in FM. While you certainly can win with other formations, they are all unnecessarily hindered by quirks in the match engine (refusal of AML/AMR to defend even on low mentality settings, unrealistic defensive behavior of 3-man defenses and wingbacks, narrow formations' tendency to create poor chances and raise the opposition keepers' confidence), rendering them either specialist formations or aesthetic luxuries for teams with superior players.

    The 4-4-2 is the only formation that you can really adjust for any situation regardless of the opposition formation and quality of their squad.

    In prior versions, the game's bias towards ultra-attacking formations and the massive morale boost provided by goal gluts meant you could often overlook the ME flaws regarding 433/4231 (in which the wingers are basically just strikers) and didn't have to worry about the poor conversion rate of narrow-attacking tactics, but the 12.1 morale changes gave the advantage to balanced tactics (as it should be) and brought the flaws in the representations of these other formations to the forefront. Now, 442s and 4411s are the only formations that, for me, provide any real sense of control over my players. With that said, you can make a much more realistic 4231 and 433 by setting the proper roles in a 442, 4411 or 451, they just won't be called 4231 and 433 by the game.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-04-2012 at 20:30.

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    i've always played 4-4-2 in every FM,2DC set to ultra defensive,2 WB set to defend,2 Wingers set to attack,1 DLMC set to Defend,1 AMRC set to attack or support(playmaker),the 2 strickers are avanced fowards,very fliud,attack,all players mark tight(man mark)except for strikers,set wide and push right up,,,the 2 wingers will jion in and make it 4-2-4 at times and also fall back when defending,its worked in every FM,,very enjoyable game,,
    Last edited by ringwoodrob; 26-04-2012 at 20:41.

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    I love my attacking fullbacks in my 4-4-2 I still use it as one of my tactics.

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    I use 4-4-2 Wing ever since day one I play FM 12, and 7 game years later it's still the only one I use . I like it's versatility the most. Defensively it can sometime have too much space so I always uses standard strategy to start game which is more than enough to push up, and only change to counter if I want to keep a lead.

    http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59...7E2AC39EF7B9F/

    Backs:
    Both backs I use according to each player's offensive abilities, if they're able to push up and create plays then I let them Run/Dribble Up but their main offensive duty is to help keep the ball in the last attacking 3rd

    CDs:
    I tried to play with a CD-Cover and CD-Stopper, CD-C is necessary for my last line of defense, while CD-X is the one that intercepts the long passes

    CMs:
    DLP/BWM/BBM - any kind of holding midfield would work here, as long as he has high work rate and aggression, the one most likely to get yellow cards (but I tone down their tackling once they get one so it's all good!), passing ability/long range shooting is a bonus

    CM-A or AP-A - depend on his ball control skill, expected to make the through passes and run to outside/inside the box to help out with offense

    Wings:

    One W-A, one IF-A. Because I play more roaming both wings by default will be a free-role player. Not necessarily expected to make crosses but is expected to run up to become a passing option/ open up defenses, also because of their roaming option they would help out in defending

    Strikers:

    One Poacher, One holding or roaming striker (TM/CF/DLF). The poacher is necessary to take advantage of any counter chance I get, the holding/roaming striker is for building up an attack


    Uses work the ball into box and retain possession on opponent with fast forwards

    Strength: Versatility, ability to keep the ball on the last 3rd of the field

    Weakness: Against formation that uses more than 2 central midfield will struggle bringing the ball up, uses "play out of defense" to help with this, can struggle against pacy strikers

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    The thing with a 4-4-2 in real football is that the successfull 4-4-2 has to be very fluid like any other formation, so it is pointless saying that it is bad/good or that any other formation is better or worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    When I look through the tactics forum these days, I see a plethora of 4-3-3s, 4-5-1s, 4-2-3-1s and even some 4-3-1-2s/diamonds but the 4-4-2 doesn't seem to be get a look in any more! Indeed, whenever I read threads on these forums, it seems to me that pretty much everyone is obsessed with playing like the modern Barcelona! So I thought I would start a general discussion thread about playing the classic 4-4-2 formation for a change!

    So, is anyone else still stuck in the 90s like me and reliving some of their favourite football tactical styles from that era? Or perhaps you've brought the 4-4-2 into the modern era and have it set-up to play out like a 4-2-3-1 in terms of player mentalities, free roles and forward runs?

    Who in the community is still opting for the 4-4-2 formation on Football Manager rather than fancy modern systems with lone strikers and inside forwards? ;) Are you enjoying playing with a classic strike partnership up front or attacking wingers down both flanks? Perhaps a lethal destroyer/creator partnership in the middle of the park that you're especially proud of? As long as it's 4-4-2, let us know in this thread!

    What success stories do we have for the good old 4-4-2? Please share and show some love for 4-4-2!
    I'm getting some incredible results with the 442, take a look: http://community.sigames.com/showthr...edible-results

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    In fm2009 and 2010 I played a very attacking 4-4-2 with the back line pushed as high as possible up the pitch and it was too easy. Even with pretty average players, as long as you have pace in the back four you can completely dominate home and away.

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    The 4-4-2 formation is useful. To address the problem of shortage of a central midfielder when playing against 4-3-3 and 4-5-1, I would assign one of the forwards to be a 'deep-lying forward' with 'support' role. That would make him more like a Rooney, who moves in between the midfield and forward lines.

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    I'm a big fan of the 4-4-2. I've trued numerous saves on FM12 and used various formation, all with a similar theme: 4-2-3-1, 4-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1 etc. As a Liverpool fan, I decided to give them another go and developed a 4-4-2 that I thought would the best out of my strike options. After a somewhat successful first season (FA Cup winners, League runners-up, League Cup runners-up), I have a flexible squad that can play a devastating 4-4-2, set up like this:

    GK - SK, D

    RB/LB - FB, S
    rCB - CD, C
    lCB - BPD, C

    RM/LM - W, A
    rCM - BWM, D
    lCM - AP, A

    rST - P, A
    lST - TM, A

    I have three first team strikers - one target man, one poacher and one that can fill either position very well. In defence I have a BPD (C), a BPD (X) and a CD (C), which means that I can pick any two of the three to play together effectively. It's a great formation that generally means I am attacking and defending with 5 players and gives a great balance. The goals flow nicely as well - at the midway point of the season, my 3 strikers have 36 goals from 58 games between them, and I've scored 45 goals in 18 league games, averaging 2.5/game. Lovely.

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    In the words of the greatMike Basset Four Four (ummm maybe not) Two!!!!

    I play 4-4-2 in my Gillingham save (I call it Gillingham save as I was there for 12 seasons, but I am now at Fiorentina)

    In 12 seasons, I took Gillingham from League two to the Champions League (and won it). I didn't manage to secure a premier league title though, the closest was losing on goal difference to Man City.

    I still think 4-4-2 is a versatile formation, and as long as you have a good mix of players in the squad, it can be very attacking, or rock solid defensively. Midfield is the key and in particular a good group of wingers. I have 2 lightning quick wingers, think Theo Walcott and two more technical, defnsive minded wingers.. think David Beckahm. If I have a game I am expected to win, particularly at home, I wil play both my quick wingers as wingers with attacking orders. I wil also play a box-to-box midfielder with attacking orders alongside the regular Defensive midfielder with defensive orders.

    If I have a trickier game, will play my more defensively aware wingers as wide midfielders with support orders. If things aren't going well at half time, I will throw on one of my quick wingers and then f I am still losing/drawing after an 60-70 minutes, the 2nd one comes on.

    In my 4-4-2 I have the creative midfielder, threading through balls for the quick striker and my wingers floating in crosses for the 'lump' of a target man.

    I also have a couple of full backs on the bench, and I am not afraid to stick them on the wing with defensive orders to shut up shop.

    I love 4-4-2, with the right players, it can be a great formation, and allows you to rotate easily depending on the opposition.

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    Not played 4-4-2 since Fm11
    Looks like I've converted to the darkside with several one striker formations.

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    tactics depend on the squad. but the normal 442(no wingers) should get a few good ml(r) who not only good at attacking but not bad on defending skills as well, in order to reach the balance.

    but those player are quite rare these days.

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    Four-Four-Two... I Love You!



    Having a good squad of well suited players, certainly helps though...



    Plus, I've done nothing "special" tactically. A combination of using the tactics creator, good squad of players and attention to detail before and during matches. Making suitable shout instructions based on what the statistical panels, assistant feedback, as well as what my own eyes tell me.

    I have a 4-2-3-1 backup, but I've yet to use it in a competitive game this season. Only difference is use of an attacking midfielder "support", instead of two strikers. Both my strikers are on fire, fed plenty of crosses from my wingers... so why change a good thing...
    Last edited by heathxxx; 27-04-2012 at 20:41.

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    Reloading must help too, Heathxxx?

    Of course I jest! I know you're definitely not a cheater and that it's completely legit.

    What's your goals per game ratio? Looks amazing!

    FA Cup 4th round! Very nice run! Must have been a bit gutted with the draw in the 3rd and 4th round though? A Premier League team away from home would have been the business!

    Let us know how you do against Wolves please.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Reloading must help too, Heathxxx?

    Of course I jest! I know you're definitely not a cheater and that it's completely legit.

    What's your goals per game ratio? Looks amazing!

    FA Cup 4th round! Very nice run! Must have been a bit gutted with the draw in the 3rd and 4th round though? A Premier League team away from home would have been the business!

    Let us know how you do against Wolves please.
    "Legit" depends upon one's perspective... as you already know and will have noticed no doubt, I'm accompanied at Altrincham by some of my good friends from Reunion, plus some Uruguayan exiles.

    I don't reload though... but it takes me a long time to play my saves. Attention to detail.

    To be fair with the cup run, up until Wolves in the 4th round, I've not exactly faced stiff opposition. The non-league opponents were a breeze, whilst the league clubs were all in bad form and low morale. I was hoping for one of the "big" clubs in the 3rd & 4th rounds, but the away match at Wolves netted the club about 500k, plus the bonus of a home replay. I'd actually rather have got someone like Man Utd or Arsenal away in the 3rd round, made a stack of cash, but taken an inevitable thrashing.

    Aside from Wolves, my toughest opponents this season have been the mighty Colwyn Bay, who played a 5-3-2 formation. Was 2-0 down, getting no joy in the middle through three midfielders and three central defenders. Focused passing down the flanks with shouts in the second half and turned the game around.
    Last edited by heathxxx; 27-04-2012 at 21:16.

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    Here's the season stats page, so far, crouchaldinho...



    I'm saving the Wolves replay for tomorrow's FM session though ;)

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    I love 4-4-2. I try playing other formations, but always end up going back to 4-4-2. It's simple and very pretty to watch. I love seeing wingers streaking down the flanks and pinging in a sweet cross which connects with one of the strikers and ricochets into the back of the net.

    I've found, though, it can be problematic because the defensive MC never wants to plug the DM position "hole", so I end up getting a lot of opposition AMs & through balls tearing my defence apart. This tempts me to change formation to one with a DM, and then I end up in a confused mess. :\

  55. #55
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    I never used any other formation than 4-4-2 with AMR and AML. Enough said!
    www.fmbosnia.com - The game starts here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie MUFC View Post
    I love 4-4-2. I try playing other formations, but always end up going back to 4-4-2. It's simple and very pretty to watch. I love seeing wingers streaking down the flanks and pinging in a sweet cross which connects with one of the strikers and ricochets into the back of the net.

    I've found, though, it can be problematic because the defensive MC never wants to plug the DM position "hole", so I end up getting a lot of opposition AMs & through balls tearing my defence apart. This tempts me to change formation to one with a DM, and then I end up in a confused mess. :\
    Play your defensive MC with a roaming duty Suzie this way he'll be more likely to want to go back and get the opposition AM (until one of your CD pick him up), the through ball thing though is a toughie, the only thing I can do is to use my best CD-C (high ant/acc) when I'm faced against a good Striker/AM combo

  57. #57
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    the 4-2-2-2 version of 4-4-2 is very quick and easy, requires very little creation to work, and you get some immence results.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie MUFC View Post
    I love 4-4-2. I try playing other formations, but always end up going back to 4-4-2. It's simple and very pretty to watch. I love seeing wingers streaking down the flanks and pinging in a sweet cross which connects with one of the strikers and ricochets into the back of the net.

    I've found, though, it can be problematic because the defensive MC never wants to plug the DM position "hole", so I end up getting a lot of opposition AMs & through balls tearing my defence apart. This tempts me to change formation to one with a DM, and then I end up in a confused mess. :\
    Do you use stopper/cover central defenders though, as I find that often helps plug the "hole". If the defensive midfielder isn't tracking the movement of an AMC, the "stopper" DC usually steps forward to make challenges.

    Of course if you want to man mark an AMC, then obviously there's perhaps no substitute for plopping a DMC on them, but that's changing the shape of your system. Every formation and system has strong and weak points, so I guess it's a case of working with them.

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    I have one of my midfielders set to defencive, the other to attack, helps to link up the play

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post

    Let us know how you do against Wolves please.
    You'll like this... I know I did!

    Picture the scene: Compact non-league ground, not the best of pitches and snow...



    Very much a game of two halves.

    First-half was a backs to the wall job. Wolves were clearly on top and my Alty side barely had a sniff at goal. Fortunately though, a combination of resolute defending and Wolves having their only effort on target blocked, with a goal line clearance, we held out. They had lot's of shots, just not on target and many from range.

    Zubar was sent off for a second booking very early in the second-half, they changed to three central defenders and a 3-4-2 shape. Thanks Mr. Zubar, you've just handed me what I want.

    Target man Chuchla comes on comes on for the jaded deep-lying forward Couñago and time for some suitable shouts...

    · Get the ball forward
    · Pass into space
    · Exploit the flanks
    · Pump the ball into the box
    · Hit early crosses
    · Get stuck in


    Extra man and space to play with, Wolves rattled, we began to take control of the game.

    The rest, as they say, is history...



    If you want the full match or highlights, here's a PKM to download and view in FM - http://www.gamefront.com/files/21623...ves+FA+Cup.pkm
    Last edited by heathxxx; 28-04-2012 at 13:02.

  61. #61
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    I like using 4-4-2 in the lower leagues. Gives a good balance between defence and attack and if you get the rest of the tactics right then you will get good results over the long run.
    However in a top division I have to throw it out of the window. Quite simply, nearly all the best wide midfielders are classed and better in the AM roles. Move them back and the number of assists and goals they get will drop by quite a distance. I'm not going to put the brakes on my wide players by playing them further back so I use a 4-2-3-1

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Things Could Get Messi View Post
    Move them back and the number of assists and goals they get will drop by quite a distance.
    Trust me, they won't. Positional familiarity doesn't have a very noticeable effect and ML/R on attack duty are hardly restrained on the attack. I won the Champion's League in the second season with a largely unaltered Liverpool squad using a 4-2-2-1-1 with ML/R on attack duty. I had Maxi Rodriguez playing as ML, his positional familiarity was only "Competent" and he led the Premier League in assists at the end of season despite suffering a 3-month injury in November. I played Kuyt at MR and he scored quite a few goals.

    If anything, the fact that ML/R actually move around in defense often means they are better positioned to move into gaps in the opposition formation on the counter rather than just holding hands with the fullback. That is especially vital if you're playing a possession game as the AML/R will often mean your defensive midfielders have less decent passing options after winning the ball back. Even if you play direct, the better positioning means they'll be more likely to have a moment or two to do something with the ball before being closed down.

    Try playing a 4231 against a flat 451 and, even against crap teams, you will often get destroyed in terms of possession because your AML/R will give the opposition a 2-man advantage in midfield while your wingers will rarely be making genuinely intelligent movements off the ball (dropping back for passes when the counter breaks down, drawing fullbacks out of position, etc.).

    AML/R weren't that bad before 12.1 because they're basically just strikers and, when you could consistently maintain very high morale, you had a better chance of converting poor chances that result from just packing the penalty box with attackers. Now, they are very poor at the top level and disastrous at lower levels. There's a reason United is such a force in this version while Arsenal and Chelsea are terrible until Wenger/AVB are replaced.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 28-04-2012 at 21:13.

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    Grrrr...

    After knocking Wolves out of the 4th round of the cup, got Coventry away in the 5th round. Very even game, but my Altrincham side had two perfectly good, onside goals, disallowed for offside. :mad:

    End result was 0-0, so have it all to do again, plus the extra income, so can't really grumble. ;)

  64. #64
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    ...but the urge to win that replay just got bigger!

    Draw for the quarter final... Man Utd v Altrincham/Coventry.

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    Good luck Heathxxx! Go for it!

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    Do you notice big improvements by using AMR/Ls instead of MR/Ls? I prefer the flat 4-4-2 but I never had more than moderate success with it...

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    Just a personal preference for me, using AMR/L's instead of MR/L's.

    I've always been one for more attacking oriented play. Risk vs. reward really. I know where the weak points are in such an approach, but am prepared to risk them for the potential rewards of stronger attacking play.

    That and there's far more options for players who are "natural" AMR/L's, than there are for the MR/L positions.

  68. #68
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    I usually play a 4-2-2-2 (two DMC's and two AM R&L), but with some minor adjustments a flat 442 version works just fine. I started a game with Germany's worst team, Darmstadt, and currently in January with no signings I am fighting for promotion.

  69. #69
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    Ever since I started to really dominate teams, I've been playing 442. I don't change anything if playing home or away, against a big team or small.



    I use defensive wingers because they don't hug the touchline and will get more involved and they press like crazy when the opposition has the ball. The advanced forward/deep lying forward combo seems to work pretty well, even with the deep lying forward on attack duty.

    The only thing I changed from the tactics creator was to tick counter-attack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Good luck Heathxxx! Go for it!


    Very similar game to the replay with Wolves in the previous round. Instead of snow, this time we had a downpour of rain.

    Coventry very much on top in the first-half. Thanks to a string of fine saves from my keeper and Coventry hitting the woodwork three times, we held out. As soon as we scored in the second-half, it completely tipped the balance of the game. Coventry started to throw everything forward, left themselves open at the back and we hit them for two more goals on the counter.

    Now for a highly unlikely but short trip, along the A56, then past Macari's chippy, to Old Trafford for the Quarter Final.

    Expecting to get slaughtered, but the club will make a shed load of money in the process. ;)
    Last edited by heathxxx; 29-04-2012 at 20:57.

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    Nice.

    Wonder if Roy Hodgson will bring back 4-4-2 with England?

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    I'll be happy to be his assistant if he needs any pointers ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Nice.

    Wonder if Roy Hodgson will bring back 4-4-2 with England?
    Just seen the news. I'm very surprised they overlooked 'Arry as he seemed to be the fans choice. Oh well good luck Roy.

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    I'm backing Roy, for sure. I hope he is a great success. Fully behind his appointment if it goes ahead.

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    I actually think Roy should have had the job a long time ago. Amongst those tipped for the job, he's perhaps my first choice.

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    Roy will bring a calm head and a lot of organisation. He's done well for himself in testing circumstances minus the Liverpool expedition, his time at Inter I think it was when the club was in a horrible state and he managed to steady things up and got some good results. And he is perfectly suited to modern international football with his defensive playing style. As long as Redknapp doesn't get it, England can at least hope during the group stages

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karnage94 View Post
    Roy will bring a calm head and a lot of organisation. He's done well for himself in testing circumstances minus the Liverpool expedition, his time at Inter I think it was when the club was in a horrible state and he managed to steady things up and got some good results. And he is perfectly suited to modern international football with his defensive playing style. As long as Redknapp doesn't get it, England can at least hope during the group stages
    Liverpool was the wrong club for Roy at the wrong time. The media and fans didn't want him because he is a southerner.

    In my opinion, Roy is a great choice for England. I really hope that he will be a success as I like him as a manager.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Liverpool was the wrong club for Roy at the wrong time. The media and fans didn't want him because he is a southerner.

    In my opinion, Roy is a great choice for England. I really hope that he will be a success as I like him as a manager.
    As someone who has only ever been in England twice, I haven't quite grasped the whole Northern/Southern thing and why there's such a fuss made over it. But yeah, his record wasn't as bad as what Kenny's is over the same amount of games if I recall correctly (that stat I think is a few weeks old and Liverpool have picked up a few points) but yes Roy was given a horrid time by the media and fans. It wasn't to be for him, but that's football. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Euro's pan out and if he does play the 4-4-2. I think the way Roy works and how Trappatoni works with the ones down south are remarkably similar, and RoI have been defensively superb under him. So on that basis, Woy for England!

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    If it's any consolation, Rayo Vallecano played a 4-4-2 double pivot against a Barcelona 4-3-3 tonight... and lost 7-0

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    I use the default 4-4-2 tactic with no tinkering. I have won one Prem and 2 League Cups with it with Forest (plus some mid-table years as well). I just buy players to suit the 4-4-2. I've always used 4-4-2, the only problem being most midfielders seem to be AM/AML/AMLs, or a DM, rather than simple MC/ML/MRs, so it is tricky sometimes to get a player to be a natural flat midfielder. But in those time I do get such a midfielder I do better than when I have to shoehorning an attacking midfielder in.

    In other words I've never been one to try and work out formations, and rather just play the best players for the position as I can get and ket the opposition work it out.

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    This is the first version of FM where I haven't used it as my default tactic on at least one save or team. I use it occasionally to counter specific threats or to close out a game, especially if I think I need to protect my full-backs.

    Like someone else said above I tend it use it more in lower leagues and do enjoy the versatility you get within it.

  82. #82
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    Absolutely LOVING the 4-4-2 love in team 442!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcker View Post
    I use the default 4-4-2 tactic with no tinkering. I have won one Prem and 2 League Cups with it with Forest (plus some mid-table years as well). I just buy players to suit the 4-4-2. I've always used 4-4-2, the only problem being most midfielders seem to be AM/AML/AMLs, or a DM, rather than simple MC/ML/MRs, so it is tricky sometimes to get a player to be a natural flat midfielder. But in those time I do get such a midfielder I do better than when I have to shoehorning an attacking midfielder in.

    In other words I've never been one to try and work out formations, and rather just play the best players for the position as I can get and ket the opposition work it out.
    Sounds like you have a similar approach to me.

    Whilst I'm happy using a variety of different formations and tactical approaches, I tend to stick with one system (or set) with any club I manage. I then build my team around that system.

    Always feels much easier to take that approach, than constantly tinkering tactically. A decent tactical approach will always work, so long as you have suitable players in each position and role.

    When it comes to the 4-4-2 approach though, I always play with AML/R's, simply because it's much easier to find suitable players, because as you say, the options around for ML/R's at all levels of the game, is fairly limited. My personal preference for a winger, is that they have good positional ability and attributes for AML/AMR, plus SC. I often find that having wingers who are also competent (or better) as strikers, helps them weigh in with a good share of goals, as well as assists.

    Something I like too, that's worth people looking into, is tall wingers. The amount of goals I see tall wingers score from headed goals, getting on the end of far post crosses, is not to be sniffed at. ;)
    Last edited by heathxxx; 30-04-2012 at 11:21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heathxxx View Post
    I often find that having wingers who are also competent (or better) as strikers, helps them weigh in with a good share of goals, as well as assists.

    Something I like too, that's worth people looking into, is tall wingers. The amount of goals I see tall wingers score from headed goals, getting on the end of far post crosses, is not to be sniffed at. ;)
    This. I also find having wingers that can play as strikers (and vice versa) is a good way of mixing things up and throwing off the oppositions man marking.

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    Due to the match engine issues with some modern tactics, I'm thinking about setting up a 4-4-2 but then convert it to 4-2-3-1 with player roles.

    I highly believe that the 4-2-3-1 is just an extreme case of the old 4-4-2 with one of the two forwards playing way behind the other to exploit the holes between the midfielders and defenders, like an extreme version of the striker/deep laying forward typical partnership. So in resume, i don't think the 4-2-3-1 in real life is way different than the 4-4-2, for example look at R.Madrid, that despite being set as a 4-2-3-1, plays more like a 4-2-4 in real life.

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    I always play "four four ****ing two" and usually as bad as Mike Bassett's teams.

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    4-4-2 got my promoted with Sheff Weds 1st season am bottom of the top half come Jan of 2nd season, 1st season in Championship

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolanthustrel View Post
    This. I also find having wingers that can play as strikers (and vice versa) is a good way of mixing things up and throwing off the oppositions man marking.
    Something I'd like to be able to do in my 4-2-3-1 is have more swapping options. So I usually swap AML & AMR around, but would like one of them to also be able to swap with SC...similar to the Ronaldo/Tevez/Rooney rotation of 08/09 etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karnage94 View Post
    Roy will bring a calm head and a lot of organisation. He's done well for himself in testing circumstances minus the Liverpool expedition, his time at Inter I think it was when the club was in a horrible state and he managed to steady things up and got some good results. And he is perfectly suited to modern international football with his defensive playing style. As long as Redknapp doesn't get it, England can at least hope during the group stages
    Agree on this, he does well with poor teams so he should be suited to managing England.

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    heathxxx how did you do against Manchester United?
    Last edited by Fabio MVP; 04-05-2012 at 16:02.

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    In my main game, I'm successfully playing a 4-4-2/4-2-4 at Arsenal. I play my wingers as AML/R rather than ML/R, but I still think it qualifies as a 4-4-2.

    I've had it both playing pretty football and effective direct football too. It's a versatile formation that lets my skillful Trequiesta / Fast poacher combinations dominate.

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    I'm a strictly 4-4-2 man. Having some decent success in Italy with Genoa at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by avine View Post
    Would it be possible to write your thoughts of how to beat the 4-2-3-1Denmark with a 4-4-2? thanks for your help
    Make sure your wingers are very attacking (in a flat 442) and that you counter-attack quickly. The 4231 Denmark tactic is an extremely attacking tactic which often ends up as a 2-0-8 tactic, so if you have three or four players in the AM-F strata at the right moment you will attack four vs two and destroy them.

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    Judging from the way the OP has addressed the title thread to his wife/girlfriend/partner, I'm guessing that '4-4-2' can only be some kind of kinky sex move.

    Pictures or gtfo.

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    It depends on the players really. If I have 3 beastly strikers it has to be 4.3.3 or 3.4.3. Same with midfielder and defenders! But if the team is average I always use 4.4.2.

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    Just finished my 3rd season on 2012 playing 4-4-2 with all-out attacking wingers,playing as AFC Bournemouth,1st season-JPT Winners-Lge1 Champions,amazing FA Cup Winners(no players over 125PA but high on determination)
    2nd Season-League Cup Winners-Championship Champions-Eufa Cup Winners(only 4/5 players over 124PA)an amazing game at Napoli which ended 4-4 got me to the final!
    3rd Season,Uefa Supercup Winners,League cup winners,Uefa Cup winners(2nd time),FA Cup Winners,Premier Lge Winners,beat Maniur 4-2 at home(Rooney sent off) with 3 games left to win it,amazing 3-3 draw at Man City,managed by Jose,he does not like me,they finish 3rd,Fergy retires at the end of season!,,a 4-4-2 with wingers does work!

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    from experience, playing a 4-4-2 in FM makes you very vulnerable to through balls as the defenders dont know to defend against them. thus when i decide on playing 4-4-2, I always play one of the central midfielders in the DM position. has anyone tried playing with two DMs and LM/RM?

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    my 4-4-2.

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    FA Cup QF





    FA Cup QF - Replay




  100. #100
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    FA Cup SF




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