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In the end it's not so different from what I did for... FM18 a few pages (aka years) ago? Focusing on space and passing and playing rather quickly.

Wide CBs and DM: Close down less.
WM(S): Dribble More and Get Further Forward.
BBMs: Close Down More.
AMC: Move Into Channels, Roam From Position.
GK: Pass It Shorter.

The system is very top heavy, therefore focusing on creating space is absolutely critical to avoid clutters. As such, I'm not adverse to having parts of my diamond roam from position and as I've probably mentioned a while ago, roaming from positions doesn't turn CMs into Trequartistas either. Support duty for the wingers allows them to make runs from deep rather than being glued to the opposition's defensive line. I want a certain amount of freedom from them in the way they run with the ball, so the Winger and Inverted Winger roles are out.

I also prefer an Attack duty for my striker: it stretches the team upwards and opens up space as well as allowing to catch defenders napping. I also find that CFs on Support don't make a lot of forward runs (barring any Traits/PPMs they might have). Usually you'd want the run to trigger the pass; with a CF(S), I find that too often the pass triggers the run... when there's a run at all! F9 or DLPs serve little purpose for me: there's more than enough midfielders but only one striker, no need for the striker to keep dropping deep and be in the same zone as the AP and CMs. He's still a CF because I don't necessarily want a one trick pony that won't consider a pass to an open teammate, but I'd rather have him focus on his goalscoring work.

Obviously Defend Wider due to the shape, and I have wide CBs close down less since in FM, defenders cannot help but keep.  Forgetting. About. The. Far. Post. :seagull: The central CB can still close down as he wishes to pick up hoofs in mid-air. Dribbling CBs don't really get closed down too quickly in FM, so you can potentially ask them to Dribble More (beware lost balls!). I tried a HB instead of a DLP(D) thinking that HB standing a bit further back would help defensively; the results weren't clear cut at all, so the DLP(D) gets to stay. Asking the BBMs to tried Stay Wider was a defensive catastrophe in the half-spaces, and the Carrilero role doesn't seem to be designed to be too useful in that system (link to the discussion below); I'd rather consider a CM(S) as an alternative.

Defensively speaking, this setup is more focused on somewhat preventing the opposition from linking good passes and shots rather than trying to get the ball back as soon as possible. I tried to compensate for the rather inherent leakiness of the system by picking and choosing who closes down and who doesn't. I hope I've done a decent job at preventing on-target shots and being caught on the break... although if you're up against a striker as fast as Mbappé, perhaps it would be wiser to switch things up... :lol:

Anyway, since I'm not playing FM19 as much as I used to play previous versions I cannot really vouch for long term effectiveness. As usual, everything is up to discussions and suggestions are welcome. :)

fm_2019-06-19_03-48-02.png
 

 

Edited by BMNJohn
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Dropping this video that I hadn't seen before. It's hard to get this working in FM for various reasons; so for now, have a nice video about the way Ajax used to play it.

 

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I experimented with 3-4-3 tactics myself but failed to use it as a main tactic - it requires very good defense and quick wide players and anyway it struggles against the teams with 3 attackers - either ST + AML/AMR or 3 ST. Maybe it's not the best choice in the FM 2019 particulary because in this ME defenders tend to position themselves way too narrow and constantly loose wide attackers. But if you play against a team with 2 ST or even lonely ST (without AML/AMR) - it can be very good, because you have more man in the defense than the opposition in the attack. I also found BWM-S quite useful in the center - he's giving a defensive solidity and participates in the attacks pretty good.

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On 06/08/2019 at 11:48, Exius said:

I experimented with 3-4-3 tactics myself but failed to use it as a main tactic - it requires very good defense and quick wide players and anyway it struggles against the teams with 3 attackers - either ST + AML/AMR or 3 ST. Maybe it's not the best choice in the FM 2019 particulary because in this ME defenders tend to position themselves way too narrow and constantly loose wide attackers. But if you play against a team with 2 ST or even lonely ST (without AML/AMR) - it can be very good, because you have more man in the defense than the opposition in the attack. I also found BWM-S quite useful in the center - he's giving a defensive solidity and participates in the attacks pretty good.

The irony being that when you look at tactics made by Knapp, you can just within FM19's ME successfully go with extreme gegenpress and get away with the shaky defensive weakness of the 3-4-3 Diamond. It also helps when countering since you end up witht he ball while the opposition still is in a transition; which basically means completely out of position. After that, try to Pass Into Space with an Attacking mentality to start watching fireworks... with the severe irony that this kind of hard pressing, while unrealistic overall, isn't that far from what Ajax or Barcelona attempted to achieve. Another case of FM being realistic in its unrealism. :lol:

On a completely unrelated note and maybe it's been mentioned before, but Mexico's NT still uses the 3-4-3 Diamond in offence while defending in a 4-2-3-1 IIRC; or at least they used to the last time I watched them at the World Cup. They however do defend really deep on the pitch. I remember reading an analysis of it a few years ago, but it wasn't in French.

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Hi @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!! I've followed this 3-5-1-1 Ajax thread for ages now and implemented it in many teams since FM16. It's been my all-time favourite tactic and I see it working well in most teams. It was mind blowing in 16 and 17 and even decent in 18 and 19. Now as we've come to FM20, I find it a little tougher to implement. I see beautiful football against smaller teams but struggle against bigger ones esp away from home. I'm using the tactic in a draft tournament with mixed success so far. What tactical tweaks and adjustments would you recommend for pulling off the 3-5-1-1 in FM20? 

This is the team I'm using in the draft:
image.thumb.png.eb733373d0ef1791ab67c622d21de4b0.png


P.S. Thanks a lot for your contributions in the forum so far. Been a joy reading and putting them to practice

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3 hours ago, thev_666 said:

Hi @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!! I've followed this 3-5-1-1 Ajax thread for ages now and implemented it in many teams since FM16. It's been my all-time favourite tactic and I see it working well in most teams. It was mind blowing in 16 and 17 and even decent in 18 and 19. Now as we've come to FM20, I find it a little tougher to implement. I see beautiful football against smaller teams but struggle against bigger ones esp away from home. I'm using the tactic in a draft tournament with mixed success so far. What tactical tweaks and adjustments would you recommend for pulling off the 3-5-1-1 in FM20? 

This is the team I'm using in the draft:
image.thumb.png.eb733373d0ef1791ab67c622d21de4b0.png


P.S. Thanks a lot for your contributions in the forum so far. Been a joy reading and putting them to practice

 

Hey there, you're welcome. Thanks for getting in touch.

My latest (FM2018) iteration is as follows:
 

             F9(S)
W(S)         AM(S)        W(S)
     CAR(S) DLP(D) CAR(S)

     BPD(S) DPD(C) DPD(S)

             SK(D)


The key has been the compactness between the two wide Stoppers and the Carrileros is defensively solid.

Depending on the type of striker you have the False 9 could easily be an out and out striker - Advanced Forward, maybe - and then I'd put the wingers on Attack duty to stop him getting isolated.

Also, what formations are you typically coming up against? I found the diamond very effective at breaking down deep double pivots in France but less consistent against the 4-3-3. I'd suggest having a backup formation as 3-4-3 diamond is quite specialist so may not be optimal in every scenario.

Hope that helps. Cheers! :thup:

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! So glad you replied and that too so quickly! Thanks!

So as you can see above my team has Grimaldo and Cancelo as the wide men since I took your advice of playing Offensive wingbacks as wingers to make it balanced. They work a treat at the RM/LM positions. Could they still work as RM/LM winger attack in your FM18 iteration? Coz i dont think they can play in the LAM/RAM roles. The other players should be okay with these roles. 

Also what would the TI/PI be? I have largely followed your TIs from the initial post and they worked well till recently. Only for 20 I have gone through your later comments and made some changes like adding 'play through the middle', making CF to F9, making Standard to Control/Positive and adding CMs to go forward + Run channels. That's where my latest tactic stands. 

I have noticed that the tactic does well against lone strikers and even double strikers. It totally decimates weaker teams. The issue I see is when a top quality team plays possession/attacking/gegenpressing football with quality players in LAM + ST+ RAM or 3 STs combinations. The wider attackers create havoc in the spaces between winger and side CBs and break them open allowing the central striker or a running midfielder some space to attack or a through ball to find its way. 

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!Oh and another funny thing is that now FM20 attributes your tactics as 'structure/flexible/fluid' based on how you set them and its really irritating to see FM denote this tactic's Team fluidity as 'structured'. If i increase the mentality to 'Attacking' (Second highest after 'Overload') it shows 'Flexible'. I've tried changing around the TIs but it doesnt show 'Fluid' ever. Its really confusing that FM doesnt think this is a fluid tactic when it clearly is. After all the effort you've put it in to make it the most amazing fluid tactic I've seen, its blasphemous lol

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2 hours ago, thev_666 said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!Oh and another funny thing is that now FM20 attributes your tactics as 'structure/flexible/fluid' based on how you set them and its really irritating to see FM denote this tactic's Team fluidity as 'structured'. If i increase the mentality to 'Attacking' (Second highest after 'Overload') it shows 'Flexible'. I've tried changing around the TIs but it doesnt show 'Fluid' ever. Its really confusing that FM doesnt think this is a fluid tactic when it clearly is. After all the effort you've put it in to make it the most amazing fluid tactic I've seen, its blasphemous lol

Fluidity is just a label now denoting how many support duties you have. So more support duties will mean higher fluidity. So unless you need that for your tactic, don't bother what it says as long as your tactic works as you wish.

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1 minute ago, crusadertsar said:

Fluidity is just a label now denoting how many support duties you have. So more support duties will mean higher fluidity. So unless you need that for your tactic, don't bother what it says as long as your tactic works as you wish.

Aah. makes sense. I rarely bother anyway. but nice to know the underlying logic FM uses

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6 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Fluidity is just a label now denoting how many support duties you have. So more support duties will mean higher fluidity. So unless you need that for your tactic, don't bother what it says as long as your tactic works as you wish.

I wouldn't be surprised if it still did something but SI removed your ability to select it. But indeed, no reason to fret on this for too long, there's not much you can do about it besides altering the number of support duties.

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On 15/05/2020 at 18:49, Xavier Lukhas said:

I wouldn't be surprised if it still did something but SI removed your ability to select it. But indeed, no reason to fret on this for too long, there's not much you can do about it besides altering the number of support duties.


It's a mess. My understanding is that in FM2019 there was an underlying effect - i.e. a change in fluidity did alter individual mentalities accordingly - but now it is just an unnecessary label.

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Just to close my loop, I got my ass handed to me in the draft game. Lost 4-0. Played 3-5-1-1 with the latest settings and it was terrible. They played 3 strikers (3 ST position) and completely opened up the defence repeatedly.
In general im getting the sense that 3 ST is still quite OP in the game. I thought they negated that effect in previous games where it was clearly a hack. But still seems powerful. Especially in drafts. I might switch to a 433 myself for drafts. 

In my save I'm still trying the 3511, but again im seeing it get beat too often by good teams so im considering a different tactic for away games and bigger teams. Away games being tough in FM20 is also a big issue. Its not as easy as it used to be. Might keep the 3511 for easy home games to pick  apart small teams with good football. 
 

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  • 3 months later...

I've been trying to recreate this tactic since I started playing FM in 2018, but I've never gotten it to work, until now... I think I finally have a pretty good representation of this tactic in my current Portsmouth save in FM 20. I've lost two close games, but otherwise, since adopting this, mid-season mind you, I've gone 5-2-1, including a massive win in the CL over Bayern Munich, 4-0. Below are some screenshots of the tactic, results, and a highlight clip of a wonderful team play goal. I'm happy to answer any questions about how I've adapated it, and how I do in-game adjustments based on the formations I'm playing against.

 

One thing you'll notice, is my holding DLP is on support duty. The sacrifice here is that he often drifts away from the midfield circle, but this change was necesary in order to get my team fluidity to Very Fluid, as I needed more support players. 

image.thumb.png.ab558fad65cd33b55e4660d43a0bf171.png

Most of the PI's are taken from earlier in the thread from @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! 's actual adjustments.

Results have been great, we're playing some great ball, which is actually quite attractive to watch. Our two losses were away, and both had at least one set piece goal. Which of course, I had forgotten to update my set pieces on the tactic until after this point.

image.thumb.png.d05d7e86d49f070ccb7567e6f1c2067b.png

 

And finally, the team play goal, check out this beautiful play and team passing. You'll notice play goes through the DLP twice, then quickly moves through the middle and finishes with a great through ball.

 

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One of the benefits of this system, is the diamond shape and the passing triangles. This tactic works great against the press. Check out this play starting with the goal keeper, where we pass through Bayern Munich's high press (it is an away game too!) and get awarded a penalty deep in their box. 

12 passes back to front, utilizing the right flank and all 4 midfield positions.

 

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3 hours ago, 04texag said:

I've been trying to recreate this tactic since I started playing FM in 2018, but I've never gotten it to work, until now... I think I finally have a pretty good representation of this tactic in my current Portsmouth save in FM 20. I've lost two close games, but otherwise, since adopting this, mid-season mind you, I've gone 5-2-1, including a massive win in the CL over Bayern Munich, 4-0. Below are some screenshots of the tactic, results, and a highlight clip of a wonderful team play goal. I'm happy to answer any questions about how I've adapated it, and how I do in-game adjustments based on the formations I'm playing against.

 

One thing you'll notice, is my holding DLP is on support duty. The sacrifice here is that he often drifts away from the midfield circle, but this change was necesary in order to get my team fluidity to Very Fluid, as I needed more support players. 

image.thumb.png.ab558fad65cd33b55e4660d43a0bf171.png

Most of the PI's are taken from earlier in the thread from @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! 's actual adjustments.

Results have been great, we're playing some great ball, which is actually quite attractive to watch. Our two losses were away, and both had at least one set piece goal. Which of course, I had forgotten to update my set pieces on the tactic until after this point.

image.thumb.png.d05d7e86d49f070ccb7567e6f1c2067b.png

 

And finally, the team play goal, check out this beautiful play and team passing. You'll notice play goes through the DLP twice, then quickly moves through the middle and finishes with a great through ball.

 

Brilliant work! I'll try it out for sure as soon I'm done testing some other stuff on FM 20. On FM 18 I had great success with Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s version, but it did take some tinkering to get it right iirc. Can you please do a more coprehensive update at some point? I would love to see how the whole season goes for you. 

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7 minutes ago, Impacto said:

Brilliant work! I'll try it out for sure as soon I'm done testing some other stuff on FM 20. On FM 18 I had great success with Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s version, but it did take some tinkering to get it right iirc. Can you please do a more coprehensive update at some point? I would love to see how the whole season goes for you. 

Yes, for sure. I was thinking about it after I posted the above that I do have some particular PI's on the defense that I feel is important to get solid defense to work in the latest ME. 

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So the season ended up ok. My big issue was I had been simming a week or two while doing work, and simmed past the CL registration date for the second half of the season. For some reason my ass man, Arteta, unregistered several key players. I was short on defenders as well due to a suspension so it was tough to line up in the new 352. I also had a really tough draw. We lost by 1 on agg  to Barcelona, with our star midfielder they stole away from us scoring the winning goal, ouch. Also, in the PL, City is a beast and ran away with the league.

We ended up crushing bayern munich 6-1 on aggregate, which is fantastic. We had a little slip up towards the end of the season but we finished 3rd.

image.thumb.png.d1091c425df7d6bea5c752939dfccf88.png

image.thumb.png.5186c70403a0be0622a49b850fe3fa80.png

 

As for tactics for the defense, you can see the tactic above, but the PI's that are super important are close down less, and stay wider for the two outside CB's. The libero on support is necessary in order to get enough support duty players to get a very fluid team mentality. He also has close down less and hold position on, as I don't want him taking space from the DLP who is our orchestrator.

This off-season I'm moving on some talented players to bring in some similar but harder working players, as this was something that @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! stressed in the thread. I have a ton of high quality playmakers but have expressly found some with work rates of 15. I'm also bringing in some depth as backup to my starting three on defense. Lastly, I found a really good young left winger who will back up my main, but hopefully grow into a star down the road.

image.thumb.png.afabd514cbb718670bac473006b658bc.png

 

image.thumb.png.5fcbcc2f0db6854a204a91d27c44ea68.png

 

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Ok, so two in game tactical adjustments. When facing a high powered opponent with a 4231 shape, I add the below instructions to my DLP to try to take him out of the game.

image.thumb.png.6d0446ec72f6e332208b4a848a7ffed0.png

 

When I'm facing a 4141 dm, I run essentially the same risk, as their DM can mark my AMC out of the game. I wait until some game has transpired while watching this positional battle. If the AMC is struggling, I will do a positional change up top, which looks like this:

image.png.e490d2f5ea2e069e33f19a253300253b.png

 

I move the AF to the left as he is left footed, with no PI's on either player.

Hope all of this helps and you guys can find some success with this wonderful strategy as well on FM 20. Let me know if you try it out and have any specific questions, I might be able to help:)

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Very interesting. I got the itch to try it out and it does play well. I did this before your update, so here's my experience:

First, I changed the mentality to Positive. Balanced is too timid for my liking. I had too many draws initially with it. Then I played around with the pressing and maxed out the settings to try and get more possession. Not sure it improved things.  

I also added stay wider to my BPDs as I found that it works great with the wide players pushing so high up. Did not think about making the defenders close down less though, that might solve some defensive issues. The midfield is loaded and presses enough, I think the defenders holding their positions more is sensible. I did not like how the Libero was staying so close to the DLP so I changed it back to a simple CD. It also gives me the option to use not so technical defenders. I honestly did not think of making the Libero hold his position, might try it out to see how it plays. 

The Wingers are on support, but I added Get further forward, not sure it makes much difference. They are still key to any success with this tactic. 

The DLP on support role is brilliant as always. I think it's my favorite role in FM 20. I make sure to use defensively sound players with good technique, passing and vision in addition to decent defensive attributes. What amazes me the most is how the DLP drops to the backline as the centre backs spread, it basically makes a back 4 sometimes that cover the wingers until they can catch up. On Offence I see him supporting the play well, sometimes finding the wide players in dangerous positions. 

In front of him initially I tried the Mezzala - Carriero combo. It was alright, but recently I changed it to double CMs with one player getting offensive instructions and the other one is more of a supporting player. The instructions are the same as @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s in the first post. The main difference is that the more attacking CM makes more and better runs. 

The AMC is hit and miss for me. Sometimes decides games, sometimes does nothing. Super inconsistant, but that's just the way it is on FM 20. I haven't tried to push him up as a striker, seems logical and I've done it in the past with great success. 

The CFs just doesn't work for me in this FM. On FM 18 it's brilliant, here it just does nothing. Changed it to CF on attack and instantly we became more dangerous going forward. I don't care if I lose team fluidity here, as it appears to be just a meaningless label on FM 20. 

Here are my questions, 04texag:

- Do you touch the team mentality at all? How about the pressing and LOE? 

- Do you often dominate possession? I do most games, but sometimes we fall to below 50% which really annoys me :D 

- Have you tried a Trequartista in the AMC role? How about as one of the strikers? 

- Do you use BPD or just CD? In the first picture it was BPD, then in your update it was CD. I'm curious if it makes much difference. 

- Are your wingers very good going forward with little defensive qualities, or more complete and balanced players? Have you tried both types of players and did one type stand out more? 

- Is your striker scoring lots of goals as the CFs? If he does, can you please show me profile picture of his attributes and traits? I really struggle with this role. 

Overall, it looks good, it plays good, but you need proper players. I had too many draws, but we did have chances in most games. The control in midfield is beautiful and chances come from different patterns, which I find rare on FM 20.  

 

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Great post and questions. I'll update in a bit in response. I like how we both saw some similar challenges and in some cases responded similarly and in others different. Just up and drinking coffee so once in front of computer I'll answer properly. 

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2 hours ago, Impacto said:

Here are my questions, 04texag:

- Do you touch the team mentality at all? How about the pressing and LOE? 

- Do you often dominate possession? I do most games, but sometimes we fall to below 50% which really annoys me :D 

- Have you tried a Trequartista in the AMC role? How about as one of the strikers? 

- Do you use BPD or just CD? In the first picture it was BPD, then in your update it was CD. I'm curious if it makes much difference. 

- Are your wingers very good going forward with little defensive qualities, or more complete and balanced players? Have you tried both types of players and did one type stand out more? 

- Is your striker scoring lots of goals as the CFs? If he does, can you please show me profile picture of his attributes and traits? I really struggle with this role. 

First off, I agree, this system plays very attactive football, with multiple angles of attack and varied play. It does however demand certain players, some of which I'll put some info on below in response to your questions.

Team Mentality - I have found, with the players I have, balanced actually plays very well. That said, If we are having good possession but not getting enough shots off, I will move to positive mentality, as this increases my wingers mentality and they will move towards the box and we increase our overall attack mindedness. If we are desperate for a goal, I will adjust to attack. In both scenarios, I do adjust my tempo and passing so that they stay relatively the same (in other words, countering the change to tempo and passing that the mentality change makes.) Lastly, if we are playing an underdog and struggling to score, I will increase our attacking width, slow tempo down a notch, and increase passing directness one notch.

Possession - This is one area that I have been disappointed in. We DO NOT dominate possession. From what I've seen, this is mostly because our tremendous pressing starts more towards the middle third due to our numbers there. As such, the opposition is plenty happy to recycle possession in their own third, a well discussed situation on this forum. I have not worried about possession so far, as we have generally been creating enough fantastic chances that I'm ok with it. One change I did make at the end of the season that I will keep going into the next season is my default attacking width has moved to wide. 

Treq - I have yet to try that role in this system, although I was using it previously. One of Ozil's original ideas was not to play too many specialized roles, so I'm trying to keep with that for now. I agree, the AMC is hit or miss so far. They are dominating the tempo of the game or will sometimes disappear. As I mentioned before, some of this is that they are getting marked out, and thus I change to the two strikers variant to counter this.

BPD - So yes, I sometimes do change one of mine to a BPD, but I haven't really gotten a clear since yet if I prefer it. I do have really good BPD's but still playing them in this system in the CD role. 

My wingers are attacking midfielders whom I'm training to play in the midfield wing position. I think that starting next season I will see more consistent performance from them. They have had some good games putting in both assists and goals, but not as dominant as my front two.

My strikers are crushing it. One I only play in the CFS role, or as the AF-A when I use the two striker variant. He scored 26 goals, 5 assists across all competitions (remember only half the season was played in this system) Here he is: 

image.thumb.png.218e6395464e3e38f3efe6a75674ab2b.png

The other striker rotates with the above, but I also will use him occassionaly at ML - and also as the AMC. His output was not as high as Alvaro who is my clear goal scorer.

image.thumb.png.425944a14ea2df0ad293816cca04d285.png

 

I'm excited to take this system into a season from the start. I have added harder working midfielders, one complete stud defender to play libero, and have a more natural winger to play on the left. I'll post some updates as I make it through pre-season training exclusively this (with a modified version of this as a flat 4141 as Ozil mentioned, for backup use). Feel free to ask more questions.

 

 

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A quick note on the weaknesses of this system, which I keep meaning to post. The goals against us have come from two main sources. The first is set pieces. I'm in a bad habit of not setting set pieces initially when trying out new tactics, so some came from this lapse, but I also rarely train set pieces or specifically their defense. I'm going to work on rotating that in this year.

The more worrisome weakness is pacy opposition wingers. We rarely get hit over the top conceeding on counters. Most goals come from quick switches of play. A team that switches the ball to the opposite flank, particularly to a pacy winger, is this systems real weakness. I have not figured out how to prevent this. My initial efforts are to tightly mark, through OI, the wingers.

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One of the issues I'm having right now is trying to figure out which midfielder is best to play in which position, between the amc slot and the CMs guys. I have five guys who all are good enough, and trying to figure out what I really want out of the AMC and who would be best for it. 

As I've been playing through pre season, I also have not been happy with us being a little to stale. So I've upped mentality to positive, and abandoned the very fluid, since fm 20 this really seems arbitrary (very frustrating). I've moved the wingers both to attack. 

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9 hours ago, 04texag said:

One of the issues I'm having right now is trying to figure out which midfielder is best to play in which position, between the amc slot and the CMs guys. I have five guys who all are good enough, and trying to figure out what I really want out of the AMC and who would be best for it. 

As I've been playing through pre season, I also have not been happy with us being a little to stale. So I've upped mentality to positive, and abandoned the very fluid, since fm 20 this really seems arbitrary (very frustrating). I've moved the wingers both to attack. 

I am using Ilicic/Papu in the AMC role and it's working so far. They can easily go up front too if I need them. For the attacking CM role I use technical attacking players with a good pass and shot on them. Zielinski plays there for me atm. Sometimes Papu goes there too. For the more supporting CM role I use De Roon type of a player. Solid in defence, hard working with a good pass and if possible a decent shot. 

I've discovered that using really good and fast attacking players in the Winger slots is better(so far). I still keep them on support with "get further forward" ticked on. Signed Ansu Fati and made him play on the right side. For his back up I have a youngster who is similar in skills. On the left I signed a pure pacey winger with a great cross. Both flanks now are looking really good now creating lots of chances.

I have to say the CF on Attack works way better for me. Now my striker is way more involved and dangerous. Started scoring more. 

The only thing I find frustrating at the moment is closing out games. We go up 2 goals and control the game until the 70-80th minute, but then we collapse. When teams start pushing late in the game, we seem to have no answer. I am considering changing some roles late in the game to combat this.

The main thing that shows me a tactic is generally good is the youth team results. I keep an eye on them and so far mine are quite good. That tells me tactic overall is effective, I just need to find a way to make it more solid in defence when we need to hold a lead. 

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Sometimes to protect a lead, I'll change the wingers to defensive winger. Or, I'll sub in a FB/WB and put them in the forward WB slot, like a true 532. That can help to lock down a lead. 

I too have found pacey wingers to work best, but I'm still playing guys with a higher work rate over others. Also, in games that I'm struggling to create enough chances, I'll switch to my true 3142, and it works quite well, as the CB's take a little while to adjust to my change and can usually catch them for a goal.

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Here are my three current tactical variants on this style of play. The 31411 is my main tactic. Depending on what I'm seeing in game, I will use the others. Moving to two strikers really opens things up. Then getting rid of the DM and having an AM and 2 strikers feels a little overboard, but it can work well. Just be careful against a capable and pacey squad.

Primary Tactic

image.thumb.png.0c64f8afa3a6138d1013d892d0aa87ac.png

 

Secondary Tactic, typically it's the AMC that moves to the false 9 role

image.thumb.png.6b0db3fe3019efee1ef7abbd7d3da938.png

Aggressive, or vs big underdog tactic

image.thumb.png.279d7f241155642449d6c736663cbda1.png

 

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Look at what I just found... I don't remember ever seeing the AI using a variation of the 3-4-3 with no wingbacks.

 1038920746_AImanagerplayingamazingformation.thumb.png.cf6cb663e938fdfd32d589538981c8a7.png

I was shocked when I saw this report. Here is the manager:

1788574238_AItotalfootballmanager.thumb.png.653e8db18b09e9ca32ea45d3d1f46975.png

As you can see, he likes possession, attacking football with lots of pressing. Sound familiar? :D

Interestingly, he's been in charge of this team for about 10 years and has kept them around 3rd and 4th place for that time. I love this stuff and had to share :lol:

P.S. Apologies for not finishing my testing of the 3-4-3 on FM 20. I just can't get into that game, sadly. 

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Ya I've been struggling majorly with my FM20 save. So much inconsistency. I've upgraded my team massively as far as players and fit for tactic, and performance has gone down. 

I think sometimes the game creates coaches and players that will then suit the style of play that the player is using. I've never seen a coach quite like that one though. Good find!

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The biggest issue I've encountered when experimenting with Ozil's diamond and variants is being outnumbered in defence against 433/4231 formations and being heavily exposed on the wings. If there was a sure fire way to counteract this issue then this tactic would be my absolute favourite! I've tried setting CM's to mark opp. Wingers but this doesn't happen consistently. 

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As a follow up to my last post, I hope I have found a workable solution to the issue of being outnumbered on the flanks while having a diamond in midfield and it's about using IWB's on attack. I have uploaded some match screenshots which demonstrate this. 

My initial tactic is below and in further posts I will offer a more detailed explanation of my roles and duties. 

GD

DC DC DC

IWB DM IWB

W AM W

CF

Screenshots

Barca 343 Attack.png

A 334 shape in attack

Barca 343 Build Up 1.png

Diamond in build up 

Barca 343 Build Up 2.png

Second diamond midfield example

Barca 343 Build Up 3.png

3rd and final example of the diamond midfield

Barca 343 Defence.png

Collapsing to five at the back which should hopefully protect against counters and the wings being exposed.

Edited by 3LionsFM
captioned pics
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That looks good, but my goal is to get this working with out relying on a wingback of any type, or in that wb position. For the most part, my above tactics have all achieved this. With the right defenders, and the stays wide/close down less instructions, this works. The goals conceeded are not that great. My issue this season with these tactics has been around horribly inconsistent attacking play. That said, the tactics as I posted above have still been working well enough. I believe some of the issues surround team building in the PL in advanced years in FM20. I am thinking of doing a short term save using this tactic OUTSIDE england, at a mid to top level team.

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15 hours ago, 04texag said:

That looks good, but my goal is to get this working with out relying on a wingback of any type, or in that wb position. For the most part, my above tactics have all achieved this. With the right defenders, and the stays wide/close down less instructions, this works. The goals conceeded are not that great. My issue this season with these tactics has been around horribly inconsistent attacking play. That said, the tactics as I posted above have still been working well enough. I believe some of the issues surround team building in the PL in advanced years in FM20. I am thinking of doing a short term save using this tactic OUTSIDE england, at a mid to top level team.

From my small FM 20 experience, inconsistency in attack is just part of the game. I feel like top-top players like Ronaldo have been boosted to stand out more, while lesser players have been nerfed and perform sporadically. So most teams that you play with in game tend to be inconsistent going forward, unless you abuse the ME. Don't know how true this is, but that's my feeling at the moment. 

The 3-4-3 with the adjustments from @04texag is solid. The Gaspirini recreation one from @SixPointer is also good, but again it was inconsistent going forward. In another save I used a variant of 4-4-2 invincibles by Ozil, again was good, but inconsistent going forward. And when I wanted to see how exactly overpowered the Gegenpress is, I did a save with a small nation and qualified for the Euros with ease, beating much bigger nations with a basic 4-3-3 Gegenpressing. And you know what? Going forward was still inconsistent. We just defended well and scored from set pieces. 

From my experience it's not the tactic as much as lesser players generally being more inconsistent going forward in FM 20 compared to previous versions. Could be wrong, of course :)

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Good going guys. After my initial struggles, I've picked up some ideas from you both, @Impacto @04texag

FM20 ME is just very pro gegenpressing and set pieces and the wide and direct play in general. Like impacto mentioned if i just ditch a well-thought possession tactic i've been playing all season and suddenly play a 4231/433 standard gegenpress template ill win most of the games. Its that skewed. Ozils tactic was amazing till 18 and almost impossible to pull off consistently in 20 now. I'm still gonna try it again with the edits you guys have given above. Else, hopefully FM 21 saves the day with a more balanced ME

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm wonder how you'd set this up. I could see FB/S Libero/S (is that possible alone?) if not BPD. HB for the DM role, but I feel like he'd sit on top of the CB. AMR is a W/s, same with AML, shadow striker at AMC, with BTB mids in the midfield, or possibly Carrillero/BTB? Then the forward probably a poacher, or advanced? Curious what you would think?

 

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Good video, Ö-zil - I'm in need of a new project in FM 20 and I guess LVG's Ajax side shall be it. This'll be my starting point, based off the video.

image.thumb.png.ae844514a6040c1d01a824b3ddd5f026.png

I already have a few potential changes to make but am waiting on being able to do the eye ball test before proceeding further. The only PI at present is on the HB and that's Take More Risks (to get the HB playing lower percentage passes to the wingers like Rijkaard)- but that can be unticked when a HB with the right PPMs is playing there. 

Quite a bit different to my usual setups so it should be interesting.

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3 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

Good video, Ö-zil - I'm in need of a new project in FM 20 and I guess LVG's Ajax side shall be it. This'll be my starting point, based off the video.

image.thumb.png.ae844514a6040c1d01a824b3ddd5f026.png

I already have a few potential changes to make but am waiting on being able to do the eye ball test before proceeding further. The only PI at present is on the HB and that's Take More Risks (to get the HB playing lower percentage passes to the wingers like Rijkaard)- but that can be unticked when a HB with the right PPMs is playing there. 

Quite a bit different to my usual setups so it should be interesting.

This is the formation I plan on using and am trying to set up at the moment (ignoring team instructions for now).

My problem is, I want to use a Libero, but I don't know what role to use in the dm position as, as f I remember correctly, the Libero needs a clear path to be effective and, as @steakfacedsaid a post above, a half back would sit on top of the dc.

At present, much like you, I have opted for a BPD in the middle but, eventually, I want to use a Libero. 

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!, how did you get around that? I seem to remember you using a Libero at Man Utd (Mata briefly I think), although, I could be completely mistaken and it could have been someone else's thread. 🙄

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On 26/09/2020 at 15:00, 3LionsFM said:

As a follow up to my last post, I hope I have found a workable solution to the issue of being outnumbered on the flanks while having a diamond in midfield and it's about using IWB's on attack. I have uploaded some match screenshots which demonstrate this. 

My initial tactic is below and in further posts I will offer a more detailed explanation of my roles and duties. 

GD

DC DC DC

IWB DM IWB

W AM W

CF

That's a great compromise to counter against better opponents. The problem is position familiarity. It's tough to find players who can rotate between IWB and MC.

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8 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

Good video, Ö-zil - I'm in need of a new project in FM 20 and I guess LVG's Ajax side shall be it. This'll be my starting point, based off the video.

image.thumb.png.ae844514a6040c1d01a824b3ddd5f026.png

I already have a few potential changes to make but am waiting on being able to do the eye ball test before proceeding further. The only PI at present is on the HB and that's Take More Risks (to get the HB playing lower percentage passes to the wingers like Rijkaard)- but that can be unticked when a HB with the right PPMs is playing there. 

Quite a bit different to my usual setups so it should be interesting.

I understand the 'Defend Narrower' TI as the video mentioned about making the pitch as small as possible when out of possession. I would worry though, that it would leave a lot of space on the flanks. After all, the video does also say the left and right CBs were almost like full backs. Good luck with it though, its a tactic I've unsuccessfully tried to replicate in FM20 so would love to see someone pull it off.

Edited by ElJefe4
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14 minutes ago, ElJefe4 said:

I understand the 'Defend Narrower' TI as the video mentioned about making the pitch as small as possible when out of possession. I would worry though, that it would leave a lot of space on the flanks. After all, the video does also say the left and right CBs were almost like full backs. Good luck with it though, its a tactic I've unsuccessfully tried to replicate in FM20 so would love to see someone pull it off.

If you ready posts from over the last month, I got this working quite well in FM20 in the premier league. I still want to try it starting out and with a team in a different league. 

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20 hours ago, ElJefe4 said:

I understand the 'Defend Narrower' TI as the video mentioned about making the pitch as small as possible when out of possession. I would worry though, that it would leave a lot of space on the flanks. After all, the video does also say the left and right CBs were almost like full backs. Good luck with it though, its a tactic I've unsuccessfully tried to replicate in FM20 so would love to see someone pull it off.

It might have been said earlier in this thread (like years earlier), but because what you see on the tactics creator is your defensive positioning and not your offensive positioning, it's way easier to get a 3-4-3 Diamond working if you're using wing-backs instead of ML/MR or AML/AMR. Because what you see is your defensive formation, it's easier to get WBs inside the box when attacking than it is to make wingers drop deep and behave like defenders when you don't have the ball. Yes, I do know that it doesn't make sense that the tactics creator shows your defensive positioning when all the fancy offensive roles are in the offensive slots, yes I know that (almost) no team in the world actually defends in a 4-2-3-1 or in a 4-3-3 because it would be a disaster with 3 or 4 players up front who don't drop back, and yes, I do think FM should do like PES and offer an offensive formation and a defensive formation. But it is what it is.

At least the flip side of that is that retraining a winger to WB doesn't take much time: it's not like you actually need them to be good defensively, you just need to be there. Also, it has been mentioned many times that getting the 3-4-3 to work both IRL and in FM requires the right players with the right training, so positional training is just part of that. Also, running WBs allows you to use more interesting roles for the CMs, like MEZ(S) or BBM instead of more static roles like CAR or CM(S). It allows for your wing players to have more passing options as well as natural underlapping or cut-backs options, as positional interplay is more important nowadays than when Cruyff or Van Gaal were using the 3-4-3: nowadays full-backs are expected to overlap their winger; in the 90s, full-backs were essentially like FM generated full-backs: wide centre-backs who focused more on their defensive duties than bringing the ball forward. I had heard a joke that said that full-backs weren't allowed to go beyond the centre line because that's where football began... :lol:

The second problem with that formation in FM that I have an issue with is the positioning of the AMC. Most of the time, I find that having two strikers is more beneficial than an AMC and a ST one behind the other. Two STs spread and stretch the opposition's D-line better, and it's easy to have one of them drop deep when you desire by adjusting roles and duties, so not having them available creatively isn't an issue. Meanwhile, there's enough bodies in the midfield bringing the ball forward that an AMC can be very superfluous if not outright very unneeded. Alas, FM nor th eplayers in it are as smart or flexible in their positioning as real players can be IRL...

Anyway, with a High Line of Engagement, a Very High D-line, this is where the WBs stand when the opposition has a goal kick. The WBs are both WB(A); I don't like CWB as much since they have a Stay Wide instruction that kind of contradicts their Roam From Position instruction. In other words, I actually find that WB(A) are more flexible in their offensive positioning than CWBs, even though FM implies that it should be the opposite.

fm_2020-10-11_02-04-53.thumb.png.4ce3d6f1421d9005fd9cd76da6597c9f.png

Edited by Xavier Lukhas
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12 hours ago, EnigMattic1 said:

This is the formation I plan on using and am trying to set up at the moment (ignoring team instructions for now).

My problem is, I want to use a Libero, but I don't know what role to use in the dm position as, as f I remember correctly, the Libero needs a clear path to be effective and, as @steakfacedsaid a post above, a half back would sit on top of the dc.

At present, much like you, I have opted for a BPD in the middle but, eventually, I want to use a Libero. 

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!, how did you get around that? I seem to remember you using a Libero at Man Utd (Mata briefly I think), although, I could be completely mistaken and it could have been someone else's thread. 🙄

So far I've been pretty happy with the movement of the BPD & HB. They play in close relation to one another but I never really feel like they're right on top of each other. The HB does drop beside the BPD to create a back four as you'd expect and in build up, you even get the BPB moving into the space (more so when he's on the ball) either side of the HB. 

You do get the occasional moment when they are right on top of each other but it's rare enough not to be concerned about in my opinion.

I imagine a Libero wouldn't be much more of an issue in that regard but who knows?

7 hours ago, ElJefe4 said:

I understand the 'Defend Narrower' TI as the video mentioned about making the pitch as small as possible when out of possession. I would worry though, that it would leave a lot of space on the flanks. After all, the video does also say the left and right CBs were almost like full backs. Good luck with it though, its a tactic I've unsuccessfully tried to replicate in FM20 so would love to see someone pull it off.

We've only had one loss so far, 3-1 to ADO Den Haag and this is where they really hurt us. Well, my CBs all had a bad game but still - the wider CBs tucked in too narrow and left plenty of space to attack crosses toward the far post. I've ticked it off now. With 3 CBs and the diamond midfield the defensive shape is already fairly narrow so I am thinking the TI is overkill anyway and not necessary.

Edit: Having experimented with it off and watched a game or two, I am thinking that this issue is at least in part something else. My expectation is the two wider CBs should be mindful of those runs at far post and be looking to pick up the attacker in these situations (especially when they're only marking space). They don't do this, so a lot of goals are coming in towards the far post. The solution? Telling them to mark AML/AMR (I've yet to play against deeper wingers so we'll see) - they'll still defend narrow but pick up the runs of these players better. 

The other change I've made so far in terms of TIs is also removing Distribute to Center Backs. On goal kicks you'd get this sort of shape where the wide CBs were presenting as the passing option:

GBMGI.jpg

They get the ball and then most of their passing options are long, as you'd expect when they should be the width coming out and not central.

CF(A) to AF(A) as well. Ajax only really start with Huntelaar who isn't at all capable of playing that well and the strikers I've signed will take a bit to grow into CF(A)s. 

Averaging in the 60s for possession percentage so far, keeping the ball well and the shape is good at winning the ball back high up on the pitch which further helps. Not unexpected with this sort of set up (penning in the opposition aggressively) but goals are scarcer than I'd perhaps like but that may change over time.

Edited by NotSoSpecialOne
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My start point would be something like this:


[img]https://i.imgur.com/Vctg3GK.png[/img]


I found the explanation of the reasonably reserved midfield role particularly interesting.

For those playing FM2018 or earlier I would experiment with more structured styles of play.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!
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