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The Art of Attacking Football


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If everyone is roaming then no-one is sticking to their position, which means no-one is doing the things you want in the areas you need. People often confuse roaming with intelligent movement and think roaming can offer this. But it's not that simple and not always the case. Just because someone is roaming it doesn't mean it's beneficial to the team, players around him or for the tactic as a unit. The more people that roam the more people that will be out of position and when you lose the ball this can cause huge problems.

I take it more roaming for the team can work in certain situations though like the possession tactic you created?

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I take it more roaming for the team can work in certain situations though like the possession tactic you created?

It doesn't give every player roaming just certain ones depending on the roles you've used.

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If everyone is roaming then no-one is sticking to their position, which means no-one is doing the things you want in the areas you need. People often confuse roaming with intelligent movement and think roaming can offer this. But it's not that simple and not always the case. Just because someone is roaming it doesn't mean it's beneficial to the team, players around him or for the tactic as a unit. The more people that roam the more people that will be out of position and when you lose the ball this can cause huge problems.

I recently found this with my 4-3-1-2 system. Allowing the players to roam, essentially bunched up 2 or 3 of the 4 midfielders, reducing passing options. Yes, the space was there, but they all tried drifting into it. That meant that when one of them received the ball and they get closed down, there wasn't anyone to pass to. Having them stick to positions means (since I outnumber most midfields anyway) that I can pull defenders all over the place.

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I've recently taken off roaming from team instructions, I play a 4-3-3 narrow, so play with 3 strikers up top, I can adjust the tactic where necessary by making 1 or even 2 strikers play as a wide man, creating diversity. I have close down more, retain possession, more expressive, pass into space and play out of defence. My midfield consists of DLP(d) AP(s)and RPM(s), my thinking behind this is 1 sits deeper and controls the game, the other 2 will join in with the attack and also carry out their midfield duties. The 3 strikers are DLF(s) AF(a) and DLF(a), again 2 attack minded and 1 to drop a wee bit deeper and link up play with the midfield. The defence is straightforward, with 2 fullbacks (s), join in if and when needed but remain solid in their defensive duties as I have enough attacking players getting forward.

As I said I just move a couple of players around and from 4-3-3 narrow I then have 4-5-1 and change mentality to standard.

So far so good, scoring a good amount of goals, coming from quite a few players, all chipping in, just got to be careful with counter attacks, so I'll play D line normal instead of higher.

It's reading these threads that have made e understand a lot more about the game and how to enjoy it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Cleon, thanks for writing these articles, I really appreciate all your hard work over the years and am going to miss reading your content.

I am currently trying to do a youth challenge, so no signings at all, with Parma. Because of the lack of depth in my fullbacks I opted for a 352 formation with a sweeper, retraining my fullbacks to play there, both were tall, athletic limited full backs so perfect for the role. Despite the lack of depth, my team is fairly strong for the division so I wanted to play football that was attacking and exciting to watch.

I read through your original article and decided on this formation with these roles:

352ism0.png

I originally started with a TM-s and AF-a up top to make them my outlet, however this proved futile as they struggled to get into attacking positions, they were left stranded often and largely just wasted attacks. My WMs who are set up as IFs are scoring for fun so I tried to created an attacking partnership that supported them and gave them more room, I did this using inspiration from Leicester's front two this season a DF-d and a F9-s, keeping with the philosophy of pressing and pulling them out of shape.

Team instructions wise I pushed the defensive line to higher as I didn't want them dropping back due to the DM, I closed down much more to complement this and I played out of defence as they are already very high and close to the midfield support. I also thought the Prevent Short GK distribution complemented well too so we kept the pressure on but I'm starting to think this is leaving me vulnerable, a possible tweak I might make would be to remove this instruction.

Whilst things are going okay, second in the league, I have noticed some problems:

  • Some games we struggle to get on the score sheet, lots of long shots are taken so I turn on Works Ball Into Box, I don't like this as it doesn't complement the strategy of incisive passing. I am considering altering the worst culprits of long shots to shoots less often to counteract this.
  • Being caught on the break is also a problem, often one ball over the top catches us out and then we are on the back foot. I have added Use Offside Trap to try and counteract this but I have also considered just dropping the defensive line back to Slightly High to help.
  • Late game we conceded a lot, most likely a morale/team talk problem but if you have any ideas then that would be appreciated!
  • Defenders pass backs cause lots of goals, this is a problem with any tactic I make or use this year, I cannot get rid of it, have you noticed anything similar?
  • To help get balls to the attackers I considered changing the CM trio to something more attacking, a DM-d to allow him more mobility (may help with defensive problems too; a CM-s still as I want that link between defence and attack with the freedom for him to choose what to do (he is easily the best player in my team); and a AP-a, this would likely give me that little bit more attacking impetus that I need, my only worry is it lends more to a possession style tactic than an attacking one.

So, after reading that do you have any suggestions on how to tweak and change or do you think I am overthinking it and that I should just stick with it how it is? I would really appreciate any advice you could give me! :)

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  • 3 months later...

A fantastic Cleon write up. What's new?

I think I may have developed something really nice built around effectively pressing and making the most of the space when winning the ball back - using a mentality I've never used on fm unless blindly switching to it when in desperate need of a goal or two. Will use the weekend to give it some more testing and hopefully write something up before Monday :)

Thank you once again for another great article!

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I honestly don't know what roles is what. It seems to be that you screenshoted your tactics in another language...

9 hours ago, FeEmDeusEGol said:

OlimpiaV2.png

 

I'm trying to Emulate Sampaoli/Bielsa Tactics but I find sometimes I don't have enough ball possession with the first one and I wanted to know if the second is more suited to that with the same instructions ?

 

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6 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

I honestly don't know what roles is what. It seems to be that you screenshoted your tactics in another language...

 

brazilian :)

I think his roles are:

SGK, Sweeper, Limited CD, BP CD, a Regista in front of those 3, two Inverted WB, a BtB midfielder, a Target Man up front with an Engache behind him. I don't know what roles are at the wingers

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On 03/04/2016 at 22:58, Gee_Simpson said:

I take it more roaming for the team can work in certain situations though like the possession tactic you created?

I use roaming if strikers are better in term of movement than speed and dribbling. If midfielders have a good passing, technique, decisions, vision and off ball movement.

I start unemployed and the best offer came from Real Sociedad B. When look to team comparison strikers were within the best in movement. Midfielders are within the best on passing, technique, vision, decisions and off ball. I give instructions to dribble less and roam from position, and get promoted.

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OlimpiaV2.png

 

I'm trying to Emulate Sampaoli/Bielsa Tactics but I find sometimes I don't have enough ball possession with the second one and I wanted to know if the first is more suited to that with the same instructions ?

Should I use a sweeper like Bielsa/Sampaoli did or go with 3 CD?

Edited by FeEmDeusEGol
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11 hours ago, Cleon said:

I've added part 5 in post 5 to complete this topic now.

After reading your part 5 and adding some change in Instructions and i'm winning a lot more than I was used.

Do you recommend training  Ofensive moves for Match Preparation and Offensive in General team training?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been developing a 541 WB Wide, transitioning my team away from a more Possession style 4123 DM Wide.  My team was a bit mixed, the attacking players were mostly fast technical players, whilst my midfielders were slower intelligent players.  A few offers for those slower intelligent players came in and I decided to cash in and rebuild, I was left with no DM's and was struggling to identify what I needed, I then realised if I bought a single CB suitable for starting I could switch to a back three with two decent backups (plus decent youth prospects for cup games), slimming my squad slightly and making game time less of an issue.

My tactic is very like Cleons, the only difference initially was 2xMC (RPM + CM-S) instead of DMCR+MCL (BBM + REG).  I was pushing up my line, closing down more, Playing Out Of Defence, using CF-A, Flexible etc.  My attack was awesome but the defense was hit or miss.  When I analysed my tactic I identified:

  • Too much back to front play from defenders (even though the CBs are told to play short they were playing more like instructed to be direct)
  • Too much space in front of the defenders (CBs having to step up too much)
  • Too much space behind the defenders (a lot of goals scored by runners through the middle)

I reasoned the cause was because I had 2xMC and attacking mentality (with the tempo it comes with) so the defenders weren't waiting for a short option to become available.  The RPM+CM could end up closing down heavily and leaving no one in front of the CB's, the CB's would step out if needed but causes gaps and can leave runners free to run past my d-line. It also affected the transition from defence to attack.

I decided to do three things:

  • Changed team shape to Fluid from Flexible
  • Shorter Passing
  • Set Defensive Line to Default

The play now goes through my midfield more often due to the slightly slower tempo and the shorter passing preference, giving time for the 2xWB, RPM and CM to make themselves available.  The forwards and midfield are now closer to the defence even though I don't push up as far.  This has given more cover in front of the defence but also less space behind.  Even though my CB's will now be slightly more risky due to Fluid and have some more creative freedom, when they do go direct to the forwards, the forwards are closer to them making the pass easier.  The forwards are more involved in the transitions, playing a little deeper so they have closer support and runners, plus we get more space to run into behind opponent!

My only issue atm is my backup CM-S and CF-A do not fit this tactic.  The backup CM-S is too attacking and not good enough without the ball, I like more of a Ball Winner but who can pass pretty well.  My backup CF-A isn't quick enough and lacks the first touch to play at pace.  Too many good opportunities are lost because he can't control the ball, gets caught when he should be clear, or just loses the race for the ball when he has a head start!  It really is important to get players who fit the style of play, one player can really affect the whole teams performance.

Edited by summatsupeer
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  • 2 weeks later...
25 minutes ago, FeEmDeusEGol said:

EmelecSampaoli.png

 

 

Win the Libertadores 2nd Season with Emelec using this Formation.

Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge.

 

 

Where did you get the Ecuadorian league from?

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On 01/02/2016 at 07:28, Cleon said:

In this part of the series I’ll be focusing on the analysis side of things and fixing the big issues my formation has as well as making slight tweaks to be competitive and to give me consistency.

The shape I use looks really impressive at times, especially in terms of overall movement and attacking intent. However, when things are bad they’re really bad and it’s important you understand how and why you’re poor. One of the biggest factors with the shape I use is the lack of midfield players. This means at times we give up the midfield which can make it hard to get a foothold of the game. When this happens then the front three players can become isolated and supply to them is limited at best, which in turn means less likely you’ll score.

At times possession can also be hard to come by due to the shape. Remember the overview you see if that of your defensive shape. This means my front three are really isolated compared to the defence and midfield, making it hard to have them as realistic passing options at times. Your role and duty allocation are vital in shapes that have a few big glaring weaknesses like this, as you need to remedy it somehow. Hopefully how I set out to achieve this will show in this article.

The initial roles I used were never set in stone, it was always just a basic framework that I’d work from and change as time went on. I could probably get away without changing things in all honesty but if I want to be consistent and have an excellent formation rather than a good one, then I need to work on how all the players and roles link together and improve this area. The more I put into this at the beginning the less I have to do overall, which can save you a lot of time over the seasons. It’s one of the reasons I fly through seasons in a few short hours once I’m happy with how my side plays.

One of the main issues people have when playing the game is the stats and the actual context behind them. Stats alone mean very little and it can be deceiving at times in terms of how you are actually playing if you’re following the stats. So to give you an idea of what I’m waffling about, I’ve took one of my games to take a closer look at. This should also give me a great idea of how the team is playing as a unit and give me a deeper insightful look into what might need changing further down the line.

1

That’s the score from the match we are looking at, I won the game 2-1.

2

At first glance it looks like I had a rather easy game in regards to the amount of shots I had. But this isn’t exactly true at all.

3

Only four of my shots were on target. That’s simply not good enough. Against a much stronger side I’d have noticed the impact of the shots a lot more than I did in this game against a very weak side. So to understand this better, we need to use the analysis tab to see exactly what was wrong and why. Once I’ve identified the issue then I can work on potential solutions. I tend to work on a three-point system that is as follows;

Identify > Understand why > Possible solutions

The reason for this is simple, if you don’t identify the issues then you can’t fix them right? If you don’t understand why you’ve got the issues, then again you can’t fix it can you? So you can’t find a solution if you don’t identify and understand why something happens. Then you can try to solve the issues by dealing with the route cause of them. I appreciate this isn’t always an easy task though but hopefully this article will show how I approach things.

As i’ve already posted the shot stats above then it makes sense to start there as that was the main issue not only in this game but in others too. I should point out that you need to not panic if it’s just a one-off this happens. Only think it’s an issue if it happens time and time again. There could be many factors as to why, it might be a lack of balance in the roles and duties used. It could be a case of bad supply coupled with a lack of passing options so people just shoot randomly. This one is actually a big factor that people struggle with I’ve found over the years.

So let’s take a look at the game I’ll be analysing.

The first thing I do is head straight over to the individual player stats so I can see who was taking the shots.

4

We can see straight away the players who were taking the shots. But to understand why we need to look at the analysis tab and click on the shots themselves to view them. Before that though it's worth me showing you the formation overview so you can see where all the players played as it will make it easier to follow.

5

The two biggest culprits seemed to be my deep-lying forward who took five shots with only one on target. Then the Raumdeuter took three shots with only one on target.  Those are the two player’s I’ll be look at in more depth to begin with. In order to do this I need to head over to this screen and select the shots for all players;

6

This gives us an indication of the areas the shots were taken from and also breaks down the type of shots. The next step here is to click on the dots and watch the shots to see what we can learn. The actual shot itself doesn’t really matter, what we’ll be focusing on is the build up to the shot. By doing this we can quickly establish if it's a mentality issue and whether the player is rushing his shots when he doesn’t really need to. We can also establish if it was a case of lack of movement from the player himself or maybe it was a lack of supporting options so he was left with no choice to shoot. Or it could be a simple case of there was nothing wrong. Either way we need to establish this. The build up to the shot is something that often gets overlooked I’ve found when people focus on the stats. They see the end product (the shot) as the issue when normally nine times out of ten it’s what happens in the build up that is the most vital component.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet though is the mentality I’m playing on. Due to me using a high mentality (control or attacking are classed as high) then play in general tends to suffer in terms of quality compared to slower mentalities due to them being less aggressive. So sometimes the end product is a by-product of everything else and is part of the mentality structure you use due to higher mentalities structures rushing play more, using faster transitions, moving the ball about faster and so on. This doesn’t mean we can’t still produce quality shots or have good build up, it just means it’s harder to achieve than on the lesser mentalities.

7

This is the build up to one of the shots I’ve clicked on. The player circled in yellow is my deep-lying forward and is the player who ends up taking the shot. The player marked with 1 is the Raumdeuter. I think I can already see the issue here before I watch the rest of the clip. If you was to make an educated guess based on this screenshot as to what the issue is, what would you guess was wrong?

8

Here you can see just as the shot is about to be taken. The inside forward isn’t really a passing option as he’s blind side of Rubio. We then have the Raumdeuter who is marked out of the game and hasn’t made him run early enough. Then in midfield we have the box to box midfielder who has no chance of getting into the box. This means that the deep-lying forward has to take it on himself due to a lack of forward options.

I know I haven’t finished the analysis yet but I’ve identified this issue so now it’s time to explain why I think it’s happening. The deep-lying forward in on a support duty, so I’m instructing him to come deep. This is great for playing in the wide players however here we can see a lack of early movement from the Raumdeuter and the inside forward. So for this game my attack was disjointed and the deep-lying forwards main task of being the link player isn’t working. So it boils down to this;

  • Wide players poor movement
  • DLF too deep
  • No support from midfield

I don’t have to fix all of these issues, I should theoretically only need to address one of them and then it should have a knock on effect. The easiest option to start with would be the striker I think. If you look at the screenshot above you can see he has plenty of space to play in but this means that the oppositions central defenders are having an easy time with no work to do. If I made the striker more attack minded though he would then occupy the defenders and give them decisions to make. This would make it much easier for the two wide players to find space because if they beat their marker, the central defenders would already be occupying the striker. So if they did leave and go to cover, this would also mean the striker is either left alone or is left 1v1 which isn’t always a bad thing.

I only need to create movement in order to fix the issue. The other options I could take would be to mess around with the roles of the wide players and instead of a raumdeuter maybe an inside forward on attack in the hope he darts between the fullback and centre back much earlier and more direct rather than drifting around like the current role does. I could also leave the striker role the same and see if he then plays the ball to the inside forwards instead, if the space is being created by runners.

The hardest one to get correct and what would be a ball ache is the midfield runner. While it is an option to use a central midfielder on an attack duty, I don’t feel he’d help create space in front of the defence which is the real concern in this example. He’d make late forward runs but it seems I need the movement from the other way currently. I need people advanced at the start of the phase of play rather than being so deep. However it is an option but one I’d rather deal with when I’ve exhausted all other avenues.

I could possibly panic and change all three but what would the point in that be? You start small so you can understand how the changes you make impact your tactics and style of play. Changing too much in one go makes it harder to keep track of what is actually happening and why. Were as if you only change one thing then you easily spot how it plays differently.

9

Another example from the same game and it’s the same kind of thing we are seeing. In fact out of all the shots this is the common theme the shots share, so I’m right to be concerned. I’m just making it far too easy for the opposition to defend against and this is what’s restricting me to rubbish quality shots.

In the next match I made the striker change, I changed him from a deep-lying forward to a complete forward on an attack duty. The changes worked brilliantly and the front three’s flow was much better. My shot quality also improved.

10

I always aim for getting around 50% of all shots I have on target. That’s quite a high target considering I think the real life stat is somewhere more near 37%. But still, I aim high and become unhappy if it's low as it means I’m being wasteful.

11

And the team overview is;

12

I follow the same process as I did in the first example and this time we’ll compare the changes on how the build up play before the shots differs drastically.

13

Already we can see how more forward thinking we are and now we have the box to box midfielder playing the old role that the deep-lying forward used to play. My complete forward is occupying the defence and pushing them back. Meaning the two wide players are operating in more space and while the inside forward is the late options, the Raumdeuter is the initial higher options who then drops deeper as the phase of play advances.  All three of the front players are offering me different things and more importantly all of them doing it in different areas of the pitch.

14

That’s the point the shot was taken. We look much better going forward and this was against a side who used two defensive midfielder’s against us. Just one simple role change and the flow is better and the attacks accuracy is much better due to making it harder for the opposition to defend against. When I used a deep-lying forward, at times we would see the two wide players become isolated due to the striker being far too deep and not able to link play to them. Now though all the examples in this game and others I’ve played since show the balance is much better. Now the inside forward and Raumdeuter are much more involved and able to beat their man often.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and that someone can find what I’ve written useful :)

Makes alot of sense Cleon, small changes = big knock on effect! 

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I guess the formation is based from your old Syrup and Honey tactic from way back, can't remember what FM it was for, all I remember is playing that formation for a lot of seasons.  And thank you for making this guide, it helped me immensely with fixing my tactic, I could spot the issues I had, but never was able to figure out how to fix them.  I used a couple of your tweaks since I recognized the problems and my tactic plays a lot smoother now.

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3 hours ago, Jessan said:

I guess the formation is based from your old Syrup and Honey tactic from way back, can't remember what FM it was for, all I remember is playing that formation for a lot of seasons.  And thank you for making this guide, it helped me immensely with fixing my tactic, I could spot the issues I had, but never was able to figure out how to fix them.  I used a couple of your tweaks since I recognized the problems and my tactic plays a lot smoother now.

Syrup and Honey, you're showing your age now :kriss:

It actually wasn't based on that though it was based on Universidad de Chile in real life, from the 2011-12 season :)

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  • 5 months later...

Still find this one of the most helpful threads ever made. Whenever I'm building an attacking system I always think of it in terms of the cornerstones you set out:

 

Penetration

Mobility

Support

Creativity 

Width 

 

It's as simple as that. If you make sure you have those things, you will create opportunities. The rest is just seasonIng and flavour.

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  • 4 months later...
5 minutes ago, nightwalker22 said:

Can someone reupload the pictures? They are not working anymore.

Unfortunately not.  They link back to a website that is no longer available.

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1 minute ago, herne79 said:

Unfortunately not.  They link back to a website that is no longer available.

I noticed Cleon's site is also down, any idea what happened?

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5 minutes ago, nightwalker22 said:

I noticed Cleon's site is also down, any idea what happened?

I understand it was either a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion or Hulk smashed.

Or possibly none of the above and I have no idea :).

Shame really, I learnt a lot from Cleon.

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4 hours ago, herne79 said:

I understand it was either a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion or Hulk smashed.

Or possibly none of the above and I have no idea :).

Shame really, I learnt a lot from Cleon.

I agree, Cleon was one of my favorite FM players back then when I started looking more into tactics. As a side note, I am looking to reignite this discussion as I always am looking to play attacking football at my clubs, but sometimes I fail. :lol:

Edited by Armistice
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  • 1 month later...

So you have two options for deeper pass when in the attacking third (depth), two wingbacks rushing forward (width) and players attacking space vacated by others (Raum). But how would you do it if you play a top heavy system like 4-2-3-1? You mentioned it a bit in your article, but I always struggled with it. Can you give a few indications?

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My site was only down while I rebranded and changed the name. I wanted to move away from the 'SI' part due to obvious reasons. 

Quote

So you have two options for deeper pass when in the attacking third (depth), two wingbacks rushing forward (width) and players attacking space vacated by others (Raum). But how would you do it if you play a top heavy system like 4-2-3-1? You mentioned it a bit in your article, but I always struggled with it. Can you give a few indications?

How do I do what exactly, set up options for deeper passes and use space?

If you use a top heavy formation then players are already really advanced. So any space that exist tend to have to be created by you. So you'd need someone dropping deeper and then someone pushing higher into this space to use it, or to receive a pass. With a top heavy formation it's a good idea to stagger the duties, so if someone is naturally high (which they;ll be in a top heavy formation) you don't have to give them an attack duty. Give a support one instead and they'll drop deeper or start their runs later. This creates a staggered effect and gives you variety. If all the front 4 are on attacking duties, then chances are all 4 will be high at the same time.

The higher the players up the pitch, the more support they need from deep or the more aggressive you have to press to win the ball back high up the pitch to be effective.

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2 hours ago, Cleon said:

How do I do what exactly, set up options for deeper passes and use space?

If you use a top heavy formation then players are already really advanced. So any space that exist tend to have to be created by you. So you'd need someone dropping deeper and then someone pushing higher into this space to use it, or to receive a pass. With a top heavy formation it's a good idea to stagger the duties, so if someone is naturally high (which they;ll be in a top heavy formation) you don't have to give them an attack duty. Give a support one instead and they'll drop deeper or start their runs later. This creates a staggered effect and gives you variety. If all the front 4 are on attacking duties, then chances are all 4 will be high at the same time.

The higher the players up the pitch, the more support they need from deep or the more aggressive you have to press to win the ball back high up the pitch to be effective.

Of course, I usually set one attack duty in the attacking four but still struggle to do any good with a 4-2-3-1. Do you plan on doing a quick update or so of this Art of Attacking football using a top heavy system? Would be extremely helpful for many of us struggling with a demanding system.

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33 minutes ago, Armistice said:

Of course, I usually set one attack duty in the attacking four but still struggle to do any good with a 4-2-3-1. Do you plan on doing a quick update or so of this Art of Attacking football using a top heavy system? Would be extremely helpful for many of us struggling with a demanding system.

There isn't any need for an update really because the principles are the same regardless of shape you use. If you use a 4-2-3-1 then naturally that is already attacking. If you're struggling to get good movement, break sides down, getting in behind the opposition etc then I wonder why you'd even use a shape where you struggle to achieve these things? You should use a shape that you understand, this is key to everything on FM. If you use a shape that you struggle to do good with, then in most cases this will be down to not understanding how it should function, its strengths and its weaknesses. Regardless of what you want to achieve or the style you're creating, at the very least you need to know how the shape functions that you choose.

As for top heavy formations, you to create space and use it from deeper areas. There's a lot of ways to do this but its mainly dependent on the roles and duties. Personally speaking and I've said this a lot of times I'd never in a million years use a flat 4231. I'd always use either the deep version with 2 DMC's or go 4 defenders, 2 dmc, 1mc,ml/mr and a striker as that's a more realistic 4231 on FM in regards to real life.

I guess the point I was trying to make at the beginning of my post was ignore the style you want for now and learn how your system works first, then everything else falls into place. I think this is the aspect people don't seem to focus on, they go straight for a particular style or their favourite players without much thought on how the formation functions. I believe this is why a lot of people struggle in general. Understand the shape then role and duty allocation comes naturally as you'll know what will work, what won't and what is risky. Then you can focus on a particular brand of football.

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Okay so where does a humble player can learn what formations can and cannot do, besides your lot guides? Google? Real life analysis websites?

 

I only tried the 4-2-3-1 because I thought I should test myself after the Hartlepool experience. I was thinking maybe I improved my tactical abilities and I should try something different. I don't really like 4-2-3-1 anymore, my favorite formation is 4-1-4-1 (and its 4-1-2-2-1 variant).

Anyway I got this tactic going with Hartlepool right now, after realizing that in my previous tactics, I barely had depth in the attacking third.

 

OrsZGZg.png

 

Could you tell if this is missing anything out of the attacking principles?

Edited by Armistice
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Okay so where does a humble player can learn what formations can and cannot do, besides your lot guides? Google? Real life analysis websites?

All of those options are always good. There's normally sites that tell you the basics strengths and weakness of every formation.

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I only tried the 4-2-3-1 because I thought I should test myself after the Hartlepool experience. I was thinking maybe I improved my tactical abilities and I should try something different. I don't really like 4-2-3-1 anymore, my favorite formation is 4-1-4-1 (and its 4-1-2-2-1 variant).

4231 is tricky to get right on FM for most people because irl that isn't the shape the formation starts out as. 4141 is one of my favourite too, I wrote about that a few years ago now.

Now onto your formation, that's the tactic I used with Sheffield United and what I plan on using again on FM18. The only real difference is my striker roles are the same but the players the other way around. And instead of a AP Support I have a CM Support and two complete wingbacks. So it's basically the same roles bar the odd variation. It's a great base to work from. 

I'm not sure about the playing wider instruction though as the wingbacks are already wide. However if its working for you then don't change anything but personally I'd not use that if it was me, doesn't really make much sense for this formation to play wider.

If you struggle for goals or to get any consistency going, try playing on fluid because some games the 352 can be blunt against certain sides who nullify the central players, especially the attacking CM. But for most parts you should be fine.

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5 hours ago, Cleon said:

4231 is tricky to get right on FM for most people because irl that isn't the shape the formation starts out as. 4141 is one of my favourite too, I wrote about that a few years ago now.

I think one of the best set ups with 4231 formation that I have seen was by @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! in his Bielsa thread where he used Very Fluid/Attacking style but basically had no attack duty anywhere. He balanced everything by using the following roles:

2x CD-D

2x WB-S

DLP-D + CM-D as the 2 in midfield 

2x IF-S + AM-S 

DLF-S

PPMs and individual instructions modified players' behavior on the field.

Another way is to use 2 DMs in Support duty in Fluid/Control, more tamed set up

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  • 7 months later...

Hey @Cleon I guess the AI Antonio Conte is reading the forums too!

Look what just showed up in my scouting report ...

1590845376_ScreenShot2018-06-09at10_09_51AM.thumb.png.6096697ed33eaff6c10ce79407376a47.png

Pretty much your exact formation from the initial post, even the duties, except the Regista is a Deep-Lying Playmaker, one of the wingbacks has been pushed to CWB and he's got LaPorte as BPD instead of a CD. Standard/Structured instead of Attacking/Flexible but pretty close.

I have started using a 3 tactic system for 3rd season, but one of them is nearly the same. I dropped the central CD to a Libero-Attack and I play around with the wingers depending on the opponent. He's got better players though, so I'm going to have go to the Art of Something Else for this game I think. How would you beat yourself if you had to?

Edited by Joey Numbaz
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1 hour ago, Joey Numbaz said:

Hey @Cleon I guess the AI Antonio Conte is reading the forums too!

Look what just showed up in my scouting report ...

1590845376_ScreenShot2018-06-09at10_09_51AM.thumb.png.6096697ed33eaff6c10ce79407376a47.png

Pretty much your exact formation from the initial post, even the duties, except the Regista is a Deep-Lying Playmaker, one of the wingbacks has been pushed to CWB and he's got LaPorte as BPD instead of a CD. Standard/Structured instead of Attacking/Flexible but pretty close.

I have started using a 3 tactic system for 3rd season, but one of them is nearly the same. I dropped the central CD to a Libero-Attack and I play around with the wingers depending on the opponent. He's got better players though, so I'm going to have go to the Art of Something Else for this game I think. How would you beat yourself if you had to?

I don't really play like that (to beat the oppositions system). I tend to focus on what my side does and what they do well. I carry on with the style I'm building regardless of what shape the opposition use. It doesn't matter if they're the League Leaders or the team sitting on the bottom of the table. I stick to what I've/I am creating and never ever adapt to the opposition. If your side does everything you need, then you'll win.

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1 hour ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Its VERY rare to see my own tactics being used against me in this game. It could happen obviously but I would just wing it and hand off the keys to my players that are in form.

Yeah, I'll just roll the dice we are 4 games in and I have 12 points and they have 10 but they have way better personnel I think. I might just play the counter tactic as opposed to going directly head to head. Directly head to head would be fun though. We'll see!

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On 09/06/2018 at 07:15, Joey Numbaz said:

How would you beat yourself if you had to?

Like Jim Carey in the movie "Liar, Liar". :lol:

Sorry, I had to do it cause that is the image that popped into my head.

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Small off topic, might be discussed in the forums before. (Can direct me there)
Do people like, that scout reports say exactly what roles the opposite team uses? It can be helpful to get some knowledge how AI uses players etc, but might make facing them easier as you can counter their roles easier.

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I like it. I think a real coach (or his assistant) could figure that out pretty easily, and I'm just a guy who likes soccer and is playing a game. An intricate simulation, but it's still a game. Putting us on the same level as a real coach for some things like that is reasonable.

Maybe tying the accuracy of it to the tactical knowledge of your assistant would be cool. Like a really good assistant might get you duties and PIs and TIs too. No assistant might not get you anything more than the formation. That'd be kind of neat.

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I'd add that a lot of us struggle to figure out what to do with that information anyway. I only started watching non-World Cup soccer with the 2010-11 Premier League season. So there is plenty of basic knowledge that those of you who grew up with the game take for granted, that I don't even know what I don't know if you know what I mean. I started playing this game on the recommendation of a friend in 2010 who said it would be a great way to learn about the game, the players, the way the schedules work, etc.

So yeah, providing some things that help advance knowledge for us newbies is great, IMO.

Edited by Joey Numbaz
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9 hours ago, saihtam said:

Small off topic, might be discussed in the forums before. (Can direct me there)
Do people like, that scout reports say exactly what roles the opposite team uses? It can be helpful to get some knowledge how AI uses players etc, but might make facing them easier as you can counter their roles easier.

I'd be pretty angry if my chief scout or data analyst turned up to a tactical meeting and said "they will play 442, cheers, i'm off". It's more realistic to have an opinion on mentality, shape, roles etc.

14 minutes ago, Joey Numbaz said:

I like it. I think a real coach (or his assistant) could figure that out pretty easily, and I'm just a guy who likes soccer and is playing a game. An intricate simulation, but it's still a game. Putting us on the same level as a real coach for some things like that is reasonable.

Maybe tying the accuracy of it to the tactical knowledge of your assistant would be cool. Like a really good assistant might get you duties and PIs and TIs too. No assistant might not get you anything more than the formation. That'd be kind of neat.

this is a good answer... tie it in to your staffs ability. Maybe they could/should be wrong if they are poor scouts/analysts

Edited by westy8chimp
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I don't want to go too off topic here, but just to add to the above there's a fine line between giving us useful information to help our planning and spoon feeding us information to give us an advantage.  Personally I think it's gone a little too far into spoon feeding atm and there's probably room to adjust how much or how accurate the information provided is.

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3 hours ago, herne79 said:

I don't want to go too off topic here, but just to add to the above there's a fine line between giving us useful information to help our planning and spoon feeding us information to give us an advantage.  Personally I think it's gone a little too far into spoon feeding atm and there's probably room to adjust how much or how accurate the information provided is.

I have only played two saves so far in FM18, but doesn;t it depend on how good your scouting.analysis team are?

I can;t remember exactly, but I don;t think I was getting roles in the scout report at LLM, but am at AC Milan.

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