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The Art of Counter Attacking


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what the hell. the op has stated he wants to play counter attacking and plays with no player instructions! wouldnt it have been better if you had done your work properly and given tips on how to set player instructions so an ordinary reader could get the most out of a counter attacking tactic. i play 4 2 3 1 control, standard, and counter depending on my opposition. who said a 4 2 3 1 couldnt counter??? i have beaten utd, chelsea, city etc and its all down to player instructions.

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what the hell. the op has stated he wants to play counter attacking and plays with no player instructions! wouldnt it have been better if you had done your work properly and given tips on how to set player instructions so an ordinary reader could get the most out of a counter attacking tactic. i play 4 2 3 1 control, standard, and counter depending on my opposition. who said a 4 2 3 1 couldnt counter??? i have beaten utd, chelsea, city etc and its all down to player instructions.

Firstly don't be the village idiot, they lose their appeal very quickly. Secondly, I showed the concept of counter attacking not how to make a tactic. So if you didn't get this from the thread then you failed at reading or understanding the purpose behind the thread. I showed everything the user needs to make counter attacking work and explained why. Thirdly if you play a control mentality with a 4231 and think you play counter attacking and start many counter attacks then you are 1000000000% incorrect and have a lot to learn.

You're one of those people who go around making stupid statements yet has no clue what he's on about.

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no i play 4 2 3 1 with 3 tactics depending on my opponent and what my staff recommend i play. standard, counter or control.

Counter is all about the player instructions. Direct. Deep. Long, Fast. Exploit flanks. Hit early crosses. Keeper long kick. Stick to positions. Creative freedom normal. Narrow. And thats just off the top of my head.

Using this counter tactic I have beaten utd and city and chelsea with a much weakened team (Blackburn 1st season in premier league after transfer embargo)

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no i play 4 2 3 1 with 3 tactics depending on my opponent and what my staff recommend i play. standard, counter or control.

Counter is all about the player instructions. Direct. Deep. Long, Fast. Exploit flanks. Hit early crosses. Keeper long kick. Stick to positions. Creative freedom normal. Narrow. And thats just off the top of my head.

Using this counter tactic I have beaten utd and city and chelsea with a much weakened team (Blackburn 1st season in premier league after transfer embargo)

No it's not all about player instructions. You have no clue what you're on about.

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my point is that player instructions go hand in hand with the type of football you want to play.

No they don't. They go hand in hand with getting specific behaviour from a player that he doesn't currently offer or is doing to much of. They don't create the style, the PI's can be used to refine it. But in no way, shape or form do you have to use PI's.

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no i play 4 2 3 1 with 3 tactics depending on my opponent and what my staff recommend i play. standard, counter or control.

Counter is all about the player instructions. Direct. Deep. Long, Fast. Exploit flanks. Hit early crosses. Keeper long kick. Stick to positions. Creative freedom normal. Narrow. And thats just off the top of my head.

Using this counter tactic I have beaten utd and city and chelsea with a much weakened team (Blackburn 1st season in premier league after transfer embargo)

Sounds to me like you are confusing a fast, direct game with counter attacking.

When a "counter attack" is on, it's the ME that determines this, not the user and their tactic. The whole purpose of this thread is to try to encourage this behaviour in the ME. When it kicks in, your team suddenly becomes very attacking regardless of your own tactical instructions.

Therefore, whatever tactical instructions you set only affect play when you are not counter attacking. Which in your case is about kicking the ball long, direct and at pace.

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no i play 4 2 3 1 with 3 tactics depending on my opponent and what my staff recommend i play. standard, counter or control.

Counter is all about the player instructions. Direct. Deep. Long, Fast. Exploit flanks. Hit early crosses. Keeper long kick. Stick to positions. Creative freedom normal. Narrow. And thats just off the top of my head.

Using this counter tactic I have beaten utd and city and chelsea with a much weakened team (Blackburn 1st season in premier league after transfer embargo)

A number of those instructions happen automatically when a counter attack is triggered. So they aren't really needed to play counter. What you are doing is telling the players to play that way with the ball when its not a counter attack. It can work, but its absolutely not required.

Not sure why you think PIs are required. The layout Cleon has provided is certainly effective. With no TIs or PIs, it can be very effective. Both TIs and PIs are more about tweaks than establishing the overall style.

Edit - and beaten to it by Herne

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Great thread Cleon. Does anybody know (or know how to find out) how the instructions work in FM? As previously mentioned, you said the mentality changes the likelihood of a counter attack being attempted, how do you know this? Also how do you know which team and player instructions (eg, exploiting the flanks) are used when a counter attack is happening? Hope that makes sense, cheers.

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Great thread Cleon. Does anybody know (or know how to find out) how the instructions work in FM? As previously mentioned, you said the mentality changes the likelihood of a counter attack being attempted, how do you know this? Also how do you know which team and player instructions (eg, exploiting the flanks) are used when a counter attack is happening? Hope that makes sense, cheers.

In older versions you could see the sliders so that helped in some aspects. The other stuff comes from talking to developers and being involved with the game in various different ways over the past 20 years.

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In older versions you could see the sliders so that helped in some aspects. The other stuff comes from talking to developers and being involved with the game in various different ways over the past 20 years.

Yeah I remember the sliders. I also remember a few FMs ago where you could ditch the new tactic creator and use sliders still. Is there anywhere which will explain in more depth any of the instructions? Or is it only through what you said, talking to developers and such, and not available on the internet somewhere?

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I normally play with a possession based tactic, but because I'm playing a youth only challenge at the moment (so most of the time I'm the underdog) I used your guide to create a counter attacking tactic to use when facing teams that are better than mine. The thing is, even after following your guide, my counter attacking tactic still ends up giving me more possession than the team we are facing. Don't get me wrong, I'm still winning games against bigger teams with it, but it seems odd. This makes me feel that I might as well use my possession based tactic, because most of the time the other team doesn't have enough possession to warrant playing on the counter. Am I just overrating how much better the other team is than mine (this means I expect them to have more possession) or is something else going on?

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I normally play with a possession based tactic, but because I'm playing a youth only challenge at the moment (so most of the time I'm the underdog) I used your guide to create a counter attacking tactic to use when facing teams that are better than mine. The thing is, even after following your guide, my counter attacking tactic still ends up giving me more possession than the team we are facing. Don't get me wrong, I'm still winning games against bigger teams with it, but it seems odd. This makes me feel that I might as well use my possession based tactic, because most of the time the other team doesn't have enough possession to warrant playing on the counter. Am I just overrating how much better the other team is than mine (this means I expect them to have more possession) or is something else going on?

Well it's expected especially if the other team isn't pressing you hard and allowing you space and time on the ball. It becomes a slow patient probing style. It's expected. It's also a natural progression in styles, you go from counter attacking to possession based one as you get better and become a stronger side. So in your case you are probably overrating the teams compared to your own.

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Hi, Cleon.

I'm wondering how many counter-attacks (as defined by FM) you manage to trigger per game, and I'd love to watch some videos of them, if it were possible. I'm playing defensive and I'm having success, but can only trigger counter-attacks on defensive set pieces, which isn't much.

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Having watched this video, I got the idea of trying something similar. Given that Real were playing 4-2-3-1 at the time, which formation would be appropriate, according to ideas in the first post (primarily, number of players behind the ball)? I was thinking about 4-2DM-2-1-1, since I believe that AMC was instrumental in their play when they weren't playing on the counter, so I am reluctant to drop him in order to play 4-2DM-3(MRLC)-1. Any thoughts?

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I'd also like to know if Cleon thinks it possible to have a successful counter attack with a top team like Real Madrid. I can't get it working simply because teams won't come at me.

This http://www.zonalmarking.net/2014/04/30/bayern-munich-0-4-real-madrid-real-go-ahead-through-set-pieces-ensure-thrashing-with-counter-attacks/ shape 4-4-2 with creative DM's worked quite well for Ancelotti...

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This might be one of those 'test it and see' type things, but if you were looking to play a counter-attacking style with a bigger team (say like Arsenal or Real Madrid or PSG) what kind of instructions do you think would be of benefit given that they'll usually have a higher quality of player on the team (and will generally be facing teams that tend to sit back a lot more against them)?

Obviously top teams tend to play more of an attacking/controlling type game by default but there are examples in the past of big teams using counter-attacking tactics to great success (look at Liverpool last time they won the CL). A team with a lot of talent and pace that can control a game but is more interested in forcing the other team to open up and make a mistake before hitting them quickly on the counter.

I feel like at home against other teams that aren't big things like retaining possession, run at defence, playing wider and passing into space might be beneficial in terms of adding a more attacking element to the side so that they are more dangerous when a counter opportunity isn't available (without altering team shape or depth so they can still invite the other team to make mistakes).

EDIT: Somehow I missed the post above mine which seems to be interested in something similar.

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I'm not really going to play with Real or any top club for that matter. It's the principles that i'm concerned about. The question is, will wingers and AMC stay deep enough or I may have to drop AMC in order to invite pressure and create opportunities for counter attacking.

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Cleon,

I have been following this thread since it was created and I want to commend you for all of your advice. You offer excellent "under the hood" advice that I would not have known otherwise.

Are you able to provide an answer to the following?

1. You state that all TI's are ignored when your team enters a counter attack. What is actually adopted in FM terms when a team initiates a counter attack? Direct passing? Increased Tempo? Anything else? Are PPMs and Player Instructions also ignored?

2. When using a counter strategy - what approach do you use when you go behind or you are chasing a result? Do you abort the system and try something else or do you make changes to your tactic/player roles? The reason I am asking is because if you were to go behind at home with 15 mins to go - the away opponent will most likely drop deeper and won't be advanced in your half enough for a counter attack to be adopted by the ME.

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I'd also like to know if Cleon thinks it possible to have a successful counter attack with a top team like Real Madrid. I can't get it working simply because teams won't come at me.

This http://www.zonalmarking.net/2014/04/30/bayern-munich-0-4-real-madrid-real-go-ahead-through-set-pieces-ensure-thrashing-with-counter-attacks/ shape 4-4-2 with creative DM's worked quite well for Ancelotti...

This might be one of those 'test it and see' type things, but if you were looking to play a counter-attacking style with a bigger team (say like Arsenal or Real Madrid or PSG) what kind of instructions do you think would be of benefit given that they'll usually have a higher quality of player on the team (and will generally be facing teams that tend to sit back a lot more against them)?

Obviously top teams tend to play more of an attacking/controlling type game by default but there are examples in the past of big teams using counter-attacking tactics to great success (look at Liverpool last time they won the CL). A team with a lot of talent and pace that can control a game but is more interested in forcing the other team to open up and make a mistake before hitting them quickly on the counter.

I feel like at home against other teams that aren't big things like retaining possession, run at defence, playing wider and passing into space might be beneficial in terms of adding a more attacking element to the side so that they are more dangerous when a counter opportunity isn't available (without altering team shape or depth so they can still invite the other team to make mistakes).

EDIT: Somehow I missed the post above mine which seems to be interested in something similar.

I'm not really going to play with Real or any top club for that matter. It's the principles that i'm concerned about. The question is, will wingers and AMC stay deep enough or I may have to drop AMC in order to invite pressure and create opportunities for counter attacking.

The principles are all the same no matter the size of the club. However if a team doesn't attack you then it'll become a possession based system as that's the next stage of evolution in the tactical process. Although you can play counter attacking against weaker sides you just have to draw them out and it relies on team instructions or using roles that will allow this.

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Cleon,

I have been following this thread since it was created and I want to commend you for all of your advice. You offer excellent "under the hood" advice that I would not have known otherwise.

Are you able to provide an answer to the following?

1. You state that all TI's are ignored when your team enters a counter attack. What is actually adopted in FM terms when a team initiates a counter attack? Direct passing? Increased Tempo? Anything else? Are PPMs and Player Instructions also ignored?

2. When using a counter strategy - what approach do you use when you go behind or you are chasing a result? Do you abort the system and try something else or do you make changes to your tactic/player roles? The reason I am asking is because if you were to go behind at home with 15 mins to go - the away opponent will most likely drop deeper and won't be advanced in your half enough for a counter attack to be adopted by the ME.

1. I covered this in the thread and explained exactly what happens. Any instruction, settings etc is all ignored for any player involved in the move. They play with the most attacking mentality, the highest tempo and most aggressive passing.

2. You still can. But there is a million different things you could do but it's all about the context and in what kind of scenario. Going behind doesn't mean much, you can be outplayed and go behind, you can play well and go behind etc. How you deal with it depends on the actual situation and what's gone on before it.

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Thanks for the reply and advice Cleon.

I think Pearsie's second question and mine add up to the same thing. How do you draw a defensive team out so it can be 'counter-attacked'?

Based on his reply to my question I would imagine most of it is done in player instructions and team instructions. What would you do in a real game to get a defensive team to open up? I mean, in some cases it's just not going to happen because they're shutting up shop but that early in the game I would imagine having your team drop deeper, not having players higher up (so I would imagine most roles that say 'get further forward' would be a bit counter productive) the pitch for the defence to sit back on, and maybe allowing the other team a bit more possession so they're stepping out of their shell more to try and attack you.

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Cleon, would there be any roles or TI's in particular that you would never use? Irrespective of scenario or context?

Not Cleon (duh? :p) but I wouldn't use an attacking playmaker like a Treq or an F9 because they are attacted to the ball and can slow down transitional plays. Lower Tempo, Retain Possession, Look for Overlap as a TI because then you are playing a different kind of game and then maybe I'll never set my GK to distribute long kicks. Just ruins any chance of a counter by hoofing it away.

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BTW, you can't say that a big team cannot play counter against a smaller side. Example Mou's RM 5-0 victory with Valencia

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2013/01/22/valencia-0-5-real-madrid-ruthless-counter-attacking-puts-real-five-up-by-half-time/

Ronaldo and Ozil were basically the only players on attack duty it seemed (Ronaldo a Raumdeuter and Ozil as a SS?)

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Not Cleon (duh? :p) but I wouldn't use an attacking playmaker like a Treq or an F9 because they are attacted to the ball and can slow down transitional plays. Lower Tempo, Retain Possession, Look for Overlap as a TI because then you are playing a different kind of game and then maybe I'll never set my GK to distribute long kicks. Just ruins any chance of a counter by hoofing it away.

Thank you Jean. Duh myself there then as I normally tend to use Retain Possession haha. I guessed it is a way of keeping possession of the ball UNTIL a counter is launched? However your views contradict that then?

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The principles are all the same no matter the size of the club. However if a team doesn't attack you then it'll become a possession based system as that's the next stage of evolution in the tactical process. Although you can play counter attacking against weaker sides you just have to draw them out and it relies on team instructions or using roles that will allow this.

How about direct attacking/counter attacking hybrid? Possession per se is not what I'm striving for. I'm thinking about relatively deep formation (4-2DM-2-1-1, with mostly support roles, according to principles in the thread), with instructions suited to direct attacking football.

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Thank you Jean. Duh myself there then as I normally tend to use Retain Possession haha. I guessed it is a way of keeping possession of the ball UNTIL a counter is launched? However your views contradict that then?

You also have to keep in mind what the mentality Counter does when a counter isn't on. In the old slider days, typically you'd have a slow, patient play and the defenders are direct, but the attackers are expected to pass it short. Still applies to this game, too. That is why I like to use TI such as Play Out of Defense to nagate the effects that the mentality has on my defenders. I don't want my defenders to immediatly try to look for a counter, instead I look for them to patiently play the ball out when everyone has a chance to make a run and support the striker(s). Retain Possession only shortens the passing length for EVERYONE and that is not really needed for attackers IMO.

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Oddly enough, here's my current system with Sporting Lisbon. Same Mentality, same Team Shape, same lack of TIs. Top of the league after 19 games; we have conceded two goals. Two :eek:

screen-shot-2015-11-28-at-19-53-38-e1448740612898.png

Since this is still the 4-1-4-1 you also used last year, do you still adjust TIs depending on the opposition's formation? Or in this case of counter attacking football is it best not to focus play in a specific way (flanks, middle, play wider, etc).

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Since this is still the 4-1-4-1 you also used last year, do you still adjust TIs depending on the opposition's formation? Or in this case of counter attacking football is it best not to focus play in a specific way (flanks, middle, play wider, etc).

I'm actually trying to write something about a 4-1-4-1 at the moment. Not a counter attacking one and my approach with TIs is very different now. Watch this space......

EDIT - It is here: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/450609-Tactical-development-at-Aston-Villa

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Hi Cleon,

Need a little help to analyze my 4123-DM Wide tactic, with counter mentality.

I'm trying to implement this tactic, as my second tactic, to use in some away games, against stronger opponents.

I've read your thread and, the most used formation is the 4-1-4-1, but i would prefer to use the 4123-DM formation manly because my first tactic use the same formation.

This is how i set up the roles:

G(d)

WB(s)

CD(d)

CD(d)

WB(s)

DM(d)

BBM(s)

AP(s)

W(s)

IF(s)

CF(s)

Team Shape: Flexible

TI's: Close Down More, Roam from position, pass into space

And that's it.

So far i only play one game with this tactic, and lost 2-0 away against Atlético Madrid. I play with Benfica.

Madrid play with a 4-4-2, with Vietto and Martinez upfront. Martinez score both goals.

I'm not surprise that i lost the game. Madrid have a top team.

But i was a little bit surprise with the space that my defense/Midifield gave to 4 advanced player from Madrid (the 2 forwards and the 2 winger). For a counter tactic i was expecting my team to be more compacted.

Could this be related with the 4123-DM Wide formation, with the space that exist between the WB(s) and the W(s), im compare with the 4-1-4-1, where the wide players are more close?

If that is the case, could you give me any advice?

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The wide players are in AML/AMR positions? Why did you think it would be compact when you use adventeous roles? You have a winger, inside forward, box to box and a AP who all go forward, so when you lose the ball they leave gaps or have to retreat back to position, which means you'll be anything but compact.

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Thks for the reply,

Yes, the wide players are in the AML/R position, and i understand waht you're saying about the roles.

But, i dont want to change the formation, manly because i really like the 4123-DM wide formation.

So, i guess it's all about changing the roles of the players, so that can give the tactic what i want.

In the midfield, it easier to change the roles and give my tactic compactness. I could go with a DLP(s) - MC(s) combo for example, ahead of my DM(d).

But in the wide positions, can you give me any sugestions? The only thing i can think of is:

a) changing the winger(s) to a AP(s)

b) give the wide players the "hold position" PI

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Thks for the reply,

Yes, the wide players are in the AML/R position, and i understand waht you're saying about the roles.

But, i dont want to change the formation, manly because i really like the 4123-DM wide formation.

So, i guess it's all about changing the roles of the players, so that can give the tactic what i want.

In the midfield, it easier to change the roles and give my tactic compactness. I could go with a DLP(s) - MC(s) combo for example, ahead of my DM(d).

But in the wide positions, can you give me any sugestions? The only thing i can think of is:

a) changing the winger(s) to a AP(s)

b) give the wide players the "hold position" PI

I completely understand what you mean when you say you have a preference for a certain formation.

Out of interest, what do you think the 4123DM gives you that moving the AML/R back to ML/R to form a 4141DM wouldn't?

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Out of interest, what do you think the 4123DM gives you that moving the AML/R back to ML/R to form a 4141DM wouldn't?

To be honest... nothing.

In fact, i realize that for a counter tactic it makes much sence to have the wide player in line with the rest of the midfield.

But, the thing is... since FM2005 i think i always played with a 4123-DM wide formation, previous known as 41221, so changing formation is not a option to me, or i don't want that option.

And because i believe, i could be wrong of course, it's possible to make a counter tactic from any formation, it a matter of trying different roles untill i achieve what i want.

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You can't make a counter tactic from any formation though. Some formations suit it and others don't. The ones that have lots of players deep in the oppositions pitch are not suitable really.

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You can't make a counter tactic from any formation though. Some formations suit it and others don't. The ones that have lots of players deep in the oppositions pitch are not suitable really.

So, in your opinion the 4123DM Wide is not suited for a counter tactic?

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If I set my widemen as 'winger(support)' rather than 'wide midfielder' would that completely ruin the system? It's just that nearly all my wide players are much more adept at the winger role.

Edit: Secondly, is the 'flexible' team shape crucial to this? I have always had better results in my teams with 'structured' team shape on this game - but I can see how flexible and counter may go together. Would counter + structured be likely to fail?

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If I set my widemen as 'winger(support)' rather than 'wide midfielder' would that completely ruin the system? It's just that nearly all my wide players are much more adept at the winger role.

Edit: Secondly, is the 'flexible' team shape crucial to this? I have always had better results in my teams with 'structured' team shape on this game - but I can see how flexible and counter may go together. Would counter + structured be likely to fail?

Depends on your system, I haven't put a tactic up to be downloaded or used. But rather, I posted about the concept of counter attacking. Anything can work, it just depends on what you want and how you implement it.

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If you want to develop a system that tries to play on the counter, with just one striker and use wingers, a good tip would be to use work ball into box, as it will reduce the amount of times the wingers will take pot-shots or try crosses into the box, making it more likely that they will run with the ball further up the field, while the others catch up.

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It's just that nearly all my wide players are much more adept at the winger role.

i know what you mean ,probably u are referring to tackling and positioning that many wide players difficult to find(especially the wingers)

i play them as WMs because u can edit their move better than Wingers

if i choose a winger role that would be the Def.Winger for better defense but then i would play exploit the other flank with an WM(A)

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Great thread Cleon and others that have contributed. I've been playing a similar system to this with my newly promoted Bradford side in the Championship but I think i'd gotten carried away with TIs and PIs in trying to dictate how my team would play when they weren't counter attacking and ended up overcomplicating things, so after reading this post I've stripped things back in order to actually watch and learn how my team plays and start from the ground up. It's actually been a very refreshing exercise and really interesting to learn what the small tweaks I'm making actually do when I'm not adding six or seven at a time and I've ended up with a system rather similar to yours only with a few added tweaks here and there to suit my individual players and to counter specific opposition.

However I've noticed in a couple of games recently my players struggling to start counter attacks. This was particularly apparent in my last game against Bolton. They played a narrow 4-3-2-1 christmas tree and seemed to be playing a very high pressing game which was just nullifying my counter threat. Even from set pieces if one of my players won the ball the opposition were all over them, covering passing options, so my players were either running into blind alleys or hoofing it up field to no one.

What would you suggest to counter this? I've got a few ideas I'm planning on trying, I toyed with the idea of playing wider and/or going more structured to create more space and make it more difficult for the opposition to press, but I'm concerned this may make me more vulnerable in defence. So I'd also considered the other extreme and actually going narrower and more compact so my players should have closer passing options when they're on the ball, but then that makes them even easier to close down. I'd also considered playing a more advanced striker to take advantage of the opposition's high line, the problem I have at the moment is I don't think any of my strikers are fast enough to take advantage of that space.

I haven't had chance to test any of these ideas yet as like i say it's only the odd game here and there that tends to be against narrow high pressing teams. I'd love to hear what you think, and thanks again for a great thread!

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i'm having massive difficulty in producing counter-attacks using a 'counter' mentality.

after a season of playing half my games with it or so, i have produced only a handful of counter attacks, and no goals from them.

is anyone else having a similar problem? or have any ideas about how to produce more counter attacks?

i am playing as margate, just promoted to league 2, and thus predicted to be relegated. therefore, i'm the underdog in the majority of games.

i have been using a 4-1-4-1 and player roles closely modelled on cleon's original suggestion / demonstration / discussion.

(i.e. two defensive CBs, two support fullbacks (sometimes a wing back), anchor man DM, box to box CM, support CM, winger support, wide midfielder support, and various kinds of strikers experimented with)

to remedy this, i've tried various things such as playing as deep a defensive line as possible, in order to cede space and possession to the opposition so that i have space to counter-attack into, as well as playing around with all sorts of variations on the striker's role. i've also tried shifting to a 4-1-2-2-1, so that i have more players in attacking positions from which to attack quickly.

any thoughts or ideas?

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As hinted at earlier, I'm going to attempt a counter attacking tactic with Sunderland. It will be based on a very old tactic in the CM3 series called "defensive_counter". This formation was annoyingly difficult to play against, especially in home matches in the Champions League and was very difficult to break down, regardless of tactics employed. It lined up with 4 at the back, 3 defensive midfielders, 2 AMC and a lone striker. I think this formation has the potential to work very well in FM16 and we could see some nice counter attacking football and a very tight defence. I will be on here Sunday night or Monday and will create a thread that will go into this in much more detail.

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Has anyone tried playing this system without a striker?

For most games I'm playing a BBM in the RCM position with the PI to get further forward, and then my RM as a WM(A), the reason for doing so is these are my two best players and I wanted to encourage interplay between the two of them and have them as my attacking outlet, and it works fairly well and hasn't seemed to compromise my defence or the number of counter attacks I trigger.

Recently all three of my strikers got injured in three consecutive games, followed by the 16 year old kid i chucked in getting injured in the fourth game (talk about bad luck!) so I was forced to either play a player out of position, or change my system. I ended up choosing to play a 4-1-4-1-0 with a Shadow Striker in the AMC position being my furthest man forward. With the SS only available on Attack at first I was a little concerned about having two Attack duties in my team plus a rather attack minded BBM but of all the AMC roles the SS seemed to me to be the one most suited to the system. So I contemplated switching my WMR back to Support, but honestly, I forgot and left it as it was.

Now I've only played this system for one game but I might have stumbled upon something that works quite well. My team still seem solid at the back, my SS presses their players just as much if not more than the DF I was using, I'm still triggering counter attacks, and the synergy between the SS, BBM and WMR has produced some excellent football both from normal play and counter attacks. Not only that but it seems to have reduced the amount of times my deeper players are just punting the ball up field, which was really bugging me! Previously I was also struggling with a similar issue to RTH in his Villa thread where my attacking play was faltering in the final third due to lack of options, but being a newly promoted side I was happy to just keep it solid at the back for now and not rock the boat, however the introduction of an SS seems to have partially allieviated this issue. With him being slightly deeper than a Striker he seems to be pulling defenders out a little more, which in turn is creating more space for my BBM and WMR to run into, which in that one game resulted in my BBM being put through one on one three times (he missed all three chances but that's Championship football for you!).

None of my strikers are back for at least a month so I've little choice but to test this further anyway! So we'll see how it goes.

My biggest issue currently is that Joe Rothwell (the player playing the in SS role) still hasn't unlearned that bloody 'Shoot From Distance' PPM!!

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i'm having massive difficulty in producing counter-attacks using a 'counter' mentality.

after a season of playing half my games with it or so, i have produced only a handful of counter attacks, and no goals from them.

is anyone else having a similar problem? or have any ideas about how to produce more counter attacks?

i am playing as margate, just promoted to league 2, and thus predicted to be relegated. therefore, i'm the underdog in the majority of games.

i have been using a 4-1-4-1 and player roles closely modelled on cleon's original suggestion / demonstration / discussion.

(i.e. two defensive CBs, two support fullbacks (sometimes a wing back), anchor man DM, box to box CM, support CM, winger support, wide midfielder support, and various kinds of strikers experimented with)

to remedy this, i've tried various things such as playing as deep a defensive line as possible, in order to cede space and possession to the opposition so that i have space to counter-attack into, as well as playing around with all sorts of variations on the striker's role. i've also tried shifting to a 4-1-2-2-1, so that i have more players in attacking positions from which to attack quickly.

any thoughts or ideas?

I must admit my experiences have been the same. Whenever I've tried Counter mentality, even when closely modeled on Cleon's ideas here, all it seems to do is invite pressure on us, and the counter attacking element never materialises. I was close to just casting Counter aside altogether as something that doesn't work, but some people on the forum obviously suggest otherwise.

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