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4-3-3 and high press


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Hey, there are a lot of teams that employ a 4-3-3 and are pressing high up the pitch, most known teams are probably Barcelona, Liverpool and Man City but what I want to know if these teams are often using a destroyer, someone that sits back and tries to intercept passes, break up play etc, a bit like a BWM or maybe an Anchorman does (except he’s not instructed to close down a lot). At City I wouldn’t say Fernandinho is necessarily a destroyer, at Barcelona I am not sure about Busquets profile but then I wouldn’t say he’s a destroyer, at Liverpool aswell, can’t recognise someone that does that job. So the idea is if you press high up the pitch and try to recover the ball as a team, do you still need a specific player doing a specific role within the team.

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As I replied in the other thread, it doesn't have to be a destroyer. Let's simply call him sitting midfielder. Maybe midfield sweeper. Or deep distributors.

I think all 3 of them Busquets, Fernandinho and Henderson know when to press high, when to sit and intercept passes, etc. They are also very useful and important on the ball. 

I think you mean someone like Makelele used to be back in the day. Or Deschamps perhaps before him.

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@yonko 's answer is a good one, I agree that I think you're mixing a lot of roles there and not entirely sure what you're asking/envisaging from that player(?). My own thoughts, taking all of the things you mention, would be:

A "destroyer", to me at least, is someone who gets around the pitch and actively hunts the ball and tries to win it back. This differs from an "Anchorman" (or, sitting midfielder is a good term used above) who will sit in front of the defence and protect that zone and tackle/intercept from there. I'd also say if you want a purely sitting midfielder then you likely aren't pressing high as a team, reasons expanded on below. Others may see it differently, but that is my personal interpretation.

As for those three players (particularly Fernandinho and Busquets' roles) you mention, and the tactics they play in, they do different things depending on where the ball is on the pitch but essentially when the ball is lost they are about restricting space. Because their teams press high they will be looking as the first opportunity to step forward, get tight, and prevent the ball advancing up the pitch by a tackle/intercept and stopping a counter attack, but if the opposition does work the ball up the pitch then they patrol the zone in front of the centrebacks.

If that's the type of player you want to emulate specifically then there are multiple things to think about. In FM terms, it needs a correct role and strata (which is hard to get right and different people will interpret differently) - will do a bit of pressing and sitting but also reflects that the high press and the tactics employed are aggressive and do carry risk if a team can play past it. The player will need stacked mental attributes, plus some physical and technical as well. And that's before we get on to what he does with the ball. If you desire him to be heavily involved in constructing play then further technical/mental attributes will be required. It's a demanding role, that needs one of (arguably even your best) player.

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Basically, the type of player you are referring to could be either half-back or deep-lying PM on defend duty. Even though these two roles don't have high pressing hard-coded in their PIs (unlike BWM), given that you use a very high level of team pressing, their pressing levels will still be comparatively high when compared to systems that employ lower or normal (standard) levels of pressing.

Anchorman is similar to these two only in terms of pressing intensity, but not in other aspects of play.

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When teams have aggressive fullbacks the centre backs tend to pan out to both provide passing options and cover a break which may come down the flank.  Then it is typical for a DM role to sit centrally to protect the gap and a counterattack down the middle.  As the team recovers shape the fullbacks get back into position and so do the centre backs.

So a bit similarly to @yonko it sounds as though you are looking for a holding role allowing other players, both those mentioned and other players in more advanced positions, to be more aggressive.

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Why would they need a destroyer per se, if they are pressurising the backline into mistakes?  The high press is done to fluster sides into releasing the ball. The reason why some of these sides actually struggle to keep a clean sheet in some games is that teams have now worked out a way to get around the high press, so using a destroyer to help circumvent that isn't going to help. That's the main reason why Klopp went from a high press to a middle press this season and why LFC went from a 433 to a 4231

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On 31/10/2018 at 00:26, Robson 07 said:

When teams have aggressive fullbacks the centre backs tend to pan out to both provide passing options and cover a break which may come down the flank.  Then it is typical for a DM role to sit centrally to protect the gap and a counterattack down the middle.  As the team recovers shape the fullbacks get back into position and so do the centre backs.

So a bit similarly to @yonko it sounds as though you are looking for a holding role allowing other players, both those mentioned and other players in more advanced positions, to be more aggressive.

This makes a lot of sense, but the question is, can FM19 replicate the same panning out of the CBs?

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Liverpool certainly employs Henderson, Gini, fabhino (in preseason at least) in a central position to clean up the mess in between the CD split (VVD and fillin other usually pretty wide with Robertson and TAA flying forward.

i personally don’t feel defensive mf is correct strata though because they can have more responsibility. I personally am working on a tactic that places emphasis on shorter passes, less risky passes, sits deeper, (maybe) holds position in MF strata. Think I’ll do this with CM-support but need more testing.

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On 31/10/2018 at 11:20, Rashidi said:

Why would they need a destroyer per se, if they are pressurising the backline into mistakes?  The high press is done to fluster sides into releasing the ball. The reason why some of these sides actually struggle to keep a clean sheet in some games is that teams have now worked out a way to get around the high press, so using a destroyer to help circumvent that isn't going to help. That's the main reason why Klopp went from a high press to a middle press this season and why LFC went from a 433 to a 4231

Liverpool haven't used the 4231 as much as the 433 if I'm not mistaken. It seems as though Klopp uses the 4231 in "easier" games when he wants to give Shaqiri a chance to use his flair and help unlock a side. Plus, isn't a 433 better for middle press anyway as it uses 3 midfielders?

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6 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Nah he’s been using it from the start even Gomez admitted that it in a recent interview that they need to get used to this style. 

Shaqiri is the only player I've seen playing as a #10 for liverpool this season. I'm very sure that threy've mainly used a 3 man midfield (Wij, Milner, Keita usually) with the Firmino, Mane and Salah trident in attack.

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Yeah, LFC (Klopp) have used a 4-3-3* in most games so far in the season, although they did play a 4231 as well in a couple of matches. The key difference compared to the previous season is that Klopp does not insist on gegenpressing anymore (moreover, he even does not insist on high pressing all the time, but rather selectively).

*This particular 433 is not a 433 with 3 literal strikers, because Mane is actually AML, while Salah plays something between AMR and a striker (in FM it would be most similar to RMD I guess). Sometimes (in tougher games) they also use a DM as part of the midfield trio, and it's usually Henderson that occupies this position (either as HB or DLP).

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On ‎02‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:33, Armistice said:

This makes a lot of sense, but the question is, can FM19 replicate the same panning out of the CBs?

Thanks.  I've only just got FM19 but I imagine is does behave this way as I felt FM18 did particularly in more attacking systems when the team plays higher and wider.

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The most important thing for me re pressing in a 4-3-3 on FM is to use more urgent rather than very urgent, and then have your AP's personal setting up a notch from the default setting.  

If you have the TI on very urgent, the ap is capped at less urgent and his position relative to the front three is too deep so it doesn't work. There ends up being a hole for opposition FM's to come into and pick up the ball. 

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