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Aston Villa Issues: Inconsistant and Struggling. (4-3-3/4-4-1-1)


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1278639324_AVFormation1.thumb.png.a0ed739d8ae6e57ba2efcada201a9eed.png1035902455_AVFormation2.thumb.png.15e4f2a66b3a63278b109c19b8693fcf.png

 

So i'm a Villa fan IRL and every season I try and get a grand Villa game on the go. This year is the most difficult I've ever seen.

I think it might be the fact that the Team Cohesion is awful, but the team is so inconsistent and I'm struggling with the team making simple mistakes constantly (and don't get me started on them trying to defend set peices)

I'm trying to do a fluid counter attacking style, with a positive mentality to try and encourage players to take more risks when getting the ball forward. The biggest issues I've found is that Grealish has been a bit rubbish (if I'm being polite) and I'm generally struggling to score and create (which I expected to an extent but not "top scorer has 3 Goals and our top creator has created 3 chances bad) Again I'm not sure if this is just something that will improve with time as Villa start with awful Team Cohesion and the game even says that it effects our already poor decision making. But I do want to check to see if my formation actually makes some sort of sense.

My Main Squad, for those who are interested:

GOALKEEPERS:

Tom Heaton

Orland Nyland

FULLBACKS:

Frederic Guilbert

Matt Targett

Karol Fila
Borna Sosa

CENTERBACKS:

Tyrone Mings
Bjorn Engles
Rodrigo Tarin
Ezri Konsa

MIDFIELDERS:

John McGinn
Douglas Luiz
Marvelous Nakamba
Connor Hourihane
Andre Anderson

WINGERS:

Trezeguet
Anwar El Ghzai

Jack Grealish

FORWARDS:

Wesley
Jonas Wind

 

I feel this might contribute as well, as my teams not the most amazingly fantastic in the league (although theres a lot of potential in there) so I'm not expecting to do anywhere other than a relegation scrap. Finally, I do have a few young players out on loan who I'll be looking to intergrate long term (Johan Hove, Emanuel Vignato and Nico Serrano being the biggest prospects I've picked up, the former 2 getting the first half of the season out on loan to see how they fare) and in jan I'm looking to bring in another winger to replace/challenge El Ghazi (another player who's not been pulling his weight)

Thanks for Any Advice

 

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Hi mate,

The main issue I have with your 433 is that your midfield seems to be at odds with the style of play. You’re looking to draw teams in an attack quickly which makes sense as Villa are a weaker team, but not one of your CMs is really looking to get forward to support the strikers. Even Grealish as an AP-A will drop deep to collect before running with the ball, and won’t really enter the box all that much. You’ve also got a ST on attack so this further damages the link between midfield and attack. 
 

Also your left flank seems somewhat passive if not a tad confused. An IWB is a good choice if you have a player in MCL that’s aggressive and pushes up I.e MEZ-S/A, but makes little sense behind a CAR as is a role primarily concerned with covering for an aggressive full-back, filling in on the flank when he goes up to attack. 

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Thanks for the reply,

After reading what you said I'm considering the following:

1. Swap the INF(S) to INF(A)
2. Swap the DLF(A) to DLF(S) [Edit: Maybe a TM(S) for Wesley?]

3. Swap the CAR(S) to either a B2B(S) or a RPM(S) and put it on the right side of the midfield 3

4. Swap the AP(A) to either a MEZ(A) or CM(A) on the left of the midfield 3

Anything else I'm missing?

 

Edited by Aesorian
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A couple of questions for you, which hopefully will get you thinking.

For the 4141:

1. Why two playmakers in your midfield? What is the thinking there?

2. Why a Car(S) on the left? This side of your squad is not particularly attacking, so why do you need lateral movement from this player to bring him into the same area as the WB(D).

3. Why a positive mentality for a counter attacking strategy?

For the 4411:

I actually find the roles and duties quite well balanced here.

1. Who is supposed to be the main goalscorer and who is supposed to supply the assists?

2. Your left flank seems rather passive, what are the IW and the WB supposed to do in this formation?

This is first season Aston Villa? You will have to accept that it will be a struggle for you almost whatever you do. Villa have one of the worst teams in the league (no offense intended!), and so even if you set up every game perfectly, the quality of players may tell.

I think the idea of counter attacking is a sensible one. However you have not really got any pace up front. Neither of your strikers is going to be good at getting being the opposition defense. Trezeguet is a bit faster but he is not a striker. This will hurt your build up play because long balls into space to chase simply will not work against any defender with 13 pace. Wesley is an excellent target man however, and would probably be very good at holding up the ball. This would suggest he could hold the ball up and play it to players bursting beyond him. However the midfield is also not particularly fast (this team is so slow!!), which makes this hard too.

If I were you I would invest in a pacy striker with good anticipation and off the ball (and finishing, but that goes without saying). Then I'd consider using Wesley as a target man and the new player as a poacher and go old school. Or you could stick to the 4141 and play the quick player.

I would definitely also try to get yourself a good set piece routine set up that gets Wesley on the end of it, because he is great in the air.

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16 hours ago, Aesorian said:

1278639324_AVFormation1.thumb.png.a0ed739d8ae6e57ba2efcada201a9eed.png

 

I will focus primarily on your 433 tactic for now. Later we can discuss the other one (4411) if you want.

16 hours ago, Aesorian said:

I'm trying to do a fluid counter attacking style, with a positive mentality to try and encourage players to take more risks when getting the ball forward

Well, the first thing you need to know about a fluid counter style is that it's more demanding and thus requires better players than a simple counter style. If you are confident of your players ability to execute such a style, then okay.

Now, I'll tell you what tweaks I would recommend if you want to play a fluid counter style using the 433 (i.e. 4141dm wide) formation under the Positive mentality. 

Let's begin with roles and duties:

CFat

IWsu                                      Wsu

CAR     MEZat

HB

WBsu    CDde   BPDde    IWBsu

SKsu

Remember, we are talking about fluid counter, hence the selection of these particular roles. Also pay attention to whom you will assign to the HB role (in case you decide to try this setup).

Now the instructions - taking the Positive mentality as an important factor into account:

In possession - shorter passing, run at defence, fairly narrow width and pass into space (you can use higher tempo as well, but may not be necessary under the Positive mentality)

In transition - counter (and possibly regroup on occasion)

Out of possession - standard DL and lower LOE (get stuck in may also be an option, so you'll need to experiment and see how it works both with and without the instruction)

If you play Tarin (or Consa) as a CB, I would opt for standard (default) defensive width, simply because these 2 guys are not so good in the air.

In terms of player instructions, I'd go with a soft version of split block with only the striker and mezzala involved.

Look carefully at this tactic I proposed for a fluid counter style and think once again if your players are good enough to put it into effect, both in terms of roles/duties and instructions.

Of course, feel free to ask me any questions you may potentially have :thup:

 

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433 seems ambitious for AVL in their first season. You can get there, but I'd advocate for 4141/4411/451. You could always switch to 433 later in games if you're chasing, although, given your players, it might make more sense to go 442, play wide, and start pumping crosses into the box late. 

Either way...

Trezeguet  IW-A, El Ghazi W-A. If you want Wind as a DLF, then I'd suggest switching him to support (and consider developing him as a F9). Alternatively, Wesley as a TM. He seems completely inept as a TM from what I've seen, but his FM attributes suggest otherwise.

Why did you go with Fila/Sosa over Guilbert/Targett? Seems like you're going potential over current ability, but maybe I'm missing something. I'm biased towards having both FBs bombing forward (usually one attack, one support), in which case you need a more defensively focused holding midfielder (not thrilled with your options here), but if you're only pushing one forward, then it should be the one on Trezeguet's side, to maintain width in attack. Your RB could provide deep crosses, while El Ghazi attacks and crosses from the byline. 

Midfield depends on configuration (and your FBs). I'm normally a huge advocate for a DLP, but given your options, I might lean 451, with Grealish as an RPM in the middle. If your LB pushes forward, with Trezeguet cutting inside, then you'd want a CAR-S or CM-D on the left. RCM depends on your RB. What are your CM side preferences?

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10 hours ago, Hilly1979 said:

(...) surely being Villa your aim is just to avoid the drop, so are you really doing that bad?

My concern was how inconsistent the squad is; I'm 20 games in to this season now and have 11 Loses and of the 5 wins I do have, 3 have been 1-0's that I've been outplayed and nnot a single player has an average rating over 7 (Hell, I only 2 have an average rating over 6.9) and Don't have a single player with over 3 goals and I really struggle to create chances, we've created 31 chances and 1.1(ish) chances created per game isn't sustainable. I know Villa are pretty bad, and I'm in for a huge fight down at the bottom of the table but that makes it more important for me that I make sure I don't miss anything obvious , doubly as this is the first season I've not just thrown my hands up and gone "Forget it, gonna download a tactic".

If i can get a solid base I can tweak the players (or at least thats the way I'm looking at it) because I'm confident that witha  bit of luck and a solid base to build off of I can beat the drop (assuming I don't get sacked first)

 

3 hours ago, XuluBak said:

Why did you go with Fila/Sosa over Guilbert/Targett? Seems like you're going potential over current ability, but maybe I'm missing something. I'm biased towards having both FBs bombing forward (usually one attack, one support), in which case you need a more defensively focused holding midfielder (not thrilled with your options here), but if you're only pushing one forward, then it should be the one on Trezeguet's side, to maintain width in attack. Your RB could provide deep crosses, while El Ghazi attacks and crosses from the byline.

That's what I'd usaully want to do with my Fullbacks but I don't think I've got the rest of the team to cover it (although I have considered a back 3, maybe a 5-4-1?) Targett and Guilbert have been playing for me, but like everyone else they've been increbily inconsistent so I gave Sosa and Fila a try, and to their credit's they've been pretty solid Fila making less mistakes due to his slightly better positioning (Maybe?) and Sosa having created more chances (although outside of that he's grabed my attention just because Targett is one of the slowest players on my team which worries me massively)

So the new updated formations look like:

1529966503_AvFornation1(New).thumb.png.fc1fc46417e47742693349265f25c51d.png1135658045_AvFornation2(New).thumb.png.73b069661d7f1ae6bf05fab9c1687627.png

 

In my 4-3-3 I've altered the Midfield 3, making the DM a BWM(D) or a DM(D) (I'm still not 100% certain which is better for me considering I use 2 Center Mids that tend to roam from the centeral position a lot) a long with a RPM(S) and a Mez(A). The  in both formations the Left INF/IW is now on an Attack duty and the lone DLF is now on a support duty. Outside of the role changes I've removed the Pass Into Space TI as despite it being very good at getting me forward, I was losing the ball a lot because of it, for the same reason I've dropped the Mentality to Balanced and put the 4-4-1-1 onto Higher tempo to compensate. A lot of these may change again later in the season, but for now this seems like a good start while players are developing  a rapport.

 

5 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

*Shows what it would take to do the kind of football I'd love to play, and why there is not a snowballs chance in hell I'd be able to do it effectivly*

 

 

And while long term that's still my goal; I've still got a long way to go for it (and a really annoying Brexit too) Finally, as it's Jan I'm looking into bringing a pacy right winger on loan and maybe looking at another Forward if I can find one

Thanks again for all your advice

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11 hours ago, Aesorian said:

My concern was how inconsistent the squad is; I'm 20 games in to this season now and have 11 Loses and of the 5 wins I do have, 3 have been 1-0's that I've been outplayed and nnot a single player has an average rating over 7 (Hell, I only 2 have an average rating over 6.9) and Don't have a single player with over 3 goals and I really struggle to create chances, we've created 31 chances and 1.1(ish) chances created per game isn't sustainable. I know Villa are pretty bad, and I'm in for a huge fight down at the bottom of the table but that makes it more important for me that I make sure I don't miss anything obvious , doubly as this is the first season I've not just thrown my hands up and gone "Forget it, gonna download a tactic".

If i can get a solid base I can tweak the players (or at least thats the way I'm looking at it) because I'm confident that witha  bit of luck and a solid base to build off of I can beat the drop (assuming I don't get sacked first)

 

That's what I'd usaully want to do with my Fullbacks but I don't think I've got the rest of the team to cover it (although I have considered a back 3, maybe a 5-4-1?) Targett and Guilbert have been playing for me, but like everyone else they've been increbily inconsistent so I gave Sosa and Fila a try, and to their credit's they've been pretty solid Fila making less mistakes due to his slightly better positioning (Maybe?) and Sosa having created more chances (although outside of that he's grabed my attention just because Targett is one of the slowest players on my team which worries me massively)

So the new updated formations look like:

1529966503_AvFornation1(New).thumb.png.fc1fc46417e47742693349265f25c51d.png1135658045_AvFornation2(New).thumb.png.73b069661d7f1ae6bf05fab9c1687627.png

 

In my 4-3-3 I've altered the Midfield 3, making the DM a BWM(D) or a DM(D) (I'm still not 100% certain which is better for me considering I use 2 Center Mids that tend to roam from the centeral position a lot) a long with a RPM(S) and a Mez(A). The  in both formations the Left INF/IW is now on an Attack duty and the lone DLF is now on a support duty. Outside of the role changes I've removed the Pass Into Space TI as despite it being very good at getting me forward, I was losing the ball a lot because of it, for the same reason I've dropped the Mentality to Balanced and put the 4-4-1-1 onto Higher tempo to compensate. A lot of these may change again later in the season, but for now this seems like a good start while players are developing  a rapport.

 

And while long term that's still my goal; I've still got a long way to go for it (and a really annoying Brexit too) Finally, as it's Jan I'm looking into bringing a pacy right winger on loan and maybe looking at another Forward if I can find one

Thanks again for all your advice

You’ve literally got no holding players in the 4-1-4-1 the bwm even on a defend duty won’t sit and hold, you are far to open.

what is your thinking there? Why not a genuine holding role?

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On 18/02/2020 at 23:29, Experienced Defender said:

Good luck with either of these. You're gonna need it, I fear :)

Yeah I did, and sadly my luck wasn't enough. An Awful run at the end of the season saw us slip into the relegation spots and I couldn't stop all the stupid mistakes happening and I got the sack after having lost 26 games across the season (Didn't come bottom though which was something I guess)

Now it's time to step back, consider what we have in the new update (Maybe go 5-3-2 with a 4-4-2/4-1-4-1/4-4-1-1 as a backup?) and try again

 

Thanks for all your help everyone

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1 hour ago, Aesorian said:

Now it's time to step back, consider what we have in the new update (Maybe go 5-3-2 with a 4-4-2/4-1-4-1/4-4-1-1 as a backup?) and try again

The problem was not your formation, but the tactic you used within it. That's the area you should primarily focus on. 

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Well you done better than me at least! I played 18 league games without getting a single win, drawed 6, and got knocked out the League Cup by Middlesborough at Villa Park. My only win in the entire 4 month stint was away at Wycombe. I did have Grealish performing pretty well but everyone else was absolutely rubbish. 

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13 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

The problem was not your formation, but the tactic you used within it. That's the area you should primarily focus on. 

Yeah it's something I need to properly look at and it certainly doesn't help the board now want a mid-table finish AND want attractive and entertaining football in this update :eek:

Still, Samatta seems like a pretty good forward (Great Physicals,Some decent Mentals and Okay technical Ability) , Grealish and McGinn have been improved, Wesley's not the slowest player in the world anymore  (That's Borja Baston insetad) and still seems like a really solid supporting striker. Trezeguet and AEG seem like they've had a bit of a downgrade ut seem like they'll be good enough for the team.  The defensive midfielders side of the team needs some work (Worst Marking in the league, 3rd worst tackling, 4th worst Positioning ontop of 2nd worst work rate in the squad comparison)

31 minutes ago, MichaelNgoo said:

Well you done better than me at least! I played 18 league games without getting a single win, drawed 6, and got knocked out the League Cup by Middlesborough at Villa Park. My only win in the entire 4 month stint was away at Wycombe. I did have Grealish performing pretty well but everyone else was absolutely rubbish. 

That attempt was my 6th (7th maybe) attempt to do well with Villa this season and it was the futherest I've got. We're one hell of a challenge this year (or were, let's see what the update brings)

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