Jump to content

4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 Discussion


Recommended Posts

Just to set the scene for this topic slightly: I'm currently managing Arsenal in the 2024/25 season and we've recently been taken over (on the day of the Carabao Cup final which we then lost, far from ideal!). I survived the rumours of being replaced by Steven Gerrard and once the board confirmed I was staying, they subsequently launched offers for Ryan Gravenberch & Ilaix Moriba - both central midfielders. And as anyone who's had this happen to them in their game knows, you can't cancel the offers or the transfers. Moriba was actually my best player at my former club Leeds so I'm quite happy about that one, but Gravenberch I just didn't need. He is however a great player so I won't complain, especially as the money didn't come from my transfer budget!

So now due to my abundance of central midfielders, I'm considered playing a 4-1-3-2 or a 4-4-2 diamond next season in order to fit most of my key players into the team. Before I do so I just wanted to get people's thoughts on playing with these systems and any success or problems people may have had from doing so.

These were the instructions I was thinking of for a 4-1-3-2 or 4-1-2-1-2:

In Possession

Shorter passing - I want to play good, possession based football so this is a non-negotiable for me really.
Play out of defence - I want us to build from the back and play through the diamond, until we can involve the wing backs higher up the pitch.
Focus play through the middle - Seems a fairly obvious one for this shape, but at the same time I want to involve my wing backs in play so I'm not totally sure on this.
Hit early crosses - Again, not totally sure on this one but I'm thinking I want my wing backs to cross whenever they can - rather than feeling like they have to reach the byline and then have a long way to recover.

In Transition

Not sure if I need anything here, potentially just counter to utilise our 2 strikers and taking advantage of any 2v2's that occur against the opposition centre backs.

Out of Possession

Higher defensive line - I want condense the space the opposition have to play in, particularly with the numbers we have in midfield to try and win the ball back.
More urgent pressing - I want to put pressure on the ball and stop the opposition getting down the sides of the diamond and creating overloads against my full-backs.

 

I have some ideas on player roles based on what I want from my team. I think the full-backs will need to be wing backs, and the DMC as a half-back for when the wing backs push on so high. Has anyone had any experience of this?

Basically just keen to hear what everyone thinks about these systems. Do those instructions look ok? Is there anything I should add or take away? 

@Experienced Defender - Would be good to hear your thoughts too mate, as you've helped me in the past. And I remember reading you had a successful diamond formation on FM19 with Man United. What made that work so well?

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

@Experienced Defender - Would be good to hear your thoughts too mate, as you've helped me in the past. And I remember reading you had a successful diamond formation on FM19 with Man United. What made that work so well?

In my personal opinion, key positions - and consequently players - in this (narrow) type of system are fullbacks/wing-backs. The reason is quite simple: as the only wide players within the system, they must be able to both provide sufficient attacking support and properly fulfill their regular defensive duties. If you do not have FBs/WBs capable of that, then better avoid playing in a narrow system and go for something more conventional.

When it comes to my narrow 442 diamond tactic at United working "so well", I am pretty sure it would have worked even better if I had been brave enough to ignore Pogba's side preference and put him in the MCR instead of his preferred MCL position. But given that he was one of my team leaders - and knowing his problematic ego from real life - I did not want to risk alienating him :lol: (Although I would occasionally play him in the AMC)

You also need to know 2 more things when it comes to my FM19 save with Utd.

First, if you think that we won the league - no, we did not. But I did meet board expectations and qualified for the ECL by coming in 4th, which was an overachievement compared to media prediction (6th). So all - the board, fans, players and myself - were pleased with my management of the club. 

Secondly, precisely because of the aforementioned fullbacks getting overburdened over time, later in the season I had to create a secondary tactic that employed the more conventional 4123 wide formation in order to relieve them of that much pressure. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

In Possession

Shorter passing - I want to play good, possession based football so this is a non-negotiable for me really.
Play out of defence - I want us to build from the back and play through the diamond, until we can involve the wing backs higher up the pitch.
Focus play through the middle - Seems a fairly obvious one for this shape, but at the same time I want to involve my wing backs in play so I'm not totally sure on this.
Hit early crosses - Again, not totally sure on this one but I'm thinking I want my wing backs to cross whenever they can - rather than feeling like they have to reach the byline and then have a long way to recover

If you want to play possession-based football, then the Hit early crosses TI does not make much (if any) sense. And I think the reason is obvious. Hit early crosses is a lot more suitable for direct counter-attacking and fast attacking styles.

Also, I don't see why do you think that focusing play through the middle seems "fairly obvious"? If you want to play possession football, it's reasonable to assume that your team is good enough and hence likely to dominate most of its matches. If so, you can logically expect most opponents do defend in a deep, tight and compact fashion - packing the very middle (central) areas in which you want to focus your play. So why would you want to do something that is highly likely to limit your players' attacking options and thus potentially make you struggle to break those defensive opponents down? On top of that, the formation is already narrow. meaning most of your players (except for the fullbacks) are occupying central positions anyway. 

4 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

Not sure if I need anything here, potentially just counter to utilise our 2 strikers and taking advantage of any 2v2's that occur against the opposition centre backs

Nothing wrong with the counter per se, but remember that you yourself said you want to play possession-based football. 

 

4 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

Out of Possession

Higher defensive line - I want condense the space the opposition have to play in, particularly with the numbers we have in midfield to try and win the ball back.
More urgent pressing - I want to put pressure on the ball and stop the opposition getting down the sides of the diamond and creating overloads against my full-backs

Okay, although I would always be wary of higher pressing urgency, primarily for defensive reasons and even more so if you play on a higher team mentality (positive or above). Because higher team mentalities automatically entail more aggressive manner of defending (including pressing urgency) by default. 

NOTE: If possession is so high on the list of your tactical priorities, then a narrow system may not be an ideal choice, simply due to the shortage of players on the flanks, which opposition can always take advantage of. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 19/04/2020 at 00:13, Experienced Defender said:

If you want to play possession-based football, then the Hit early crosses TI does not make much (if any) sense. And I think the reason is obvious. Hit early crosses is a lot more suitable for direct counter-attacking and fast attacking styles.

Also, I don't see why do you think that focusing play through the middle seems "fairly obvious"? If you want to play possession football, it's reasonable to assume that your team is good enough and hence likely to dominate most of its matches. If so, you can logically expect most opponents do defend in a deep, tight and compact fashion - packing the very middle (central) areas in which you want to focus your play. So why would you want to do something that is highly likely to limit your players' attacking options and thus potentially make you struggle to break those defensive opponents down? On top of that, the formation is already narrow. meaning most of your players (except for the fullbacks) are occupying central positions anyway. 

I think this is why I wanted to get the discussion going. To get other views and considerations that I may not have thought of, as of course what you're saying makes sense.

I've attached what I ended up going with/creating and it's working pretty well at the moment. I often play on positive at home but keep it balanced when playing away. I also sometimes from the AMC into MC when playing strong teams and add 'defend wider'. I have found that the sides of the diamond, and the outside MC's when playing with a 3, do a decent job at getting out to press the oppositions full-backs when they advance forward. I haven't been caught out in wide areas as much as I thought I would be, but I do have 4 very good full-backs and often dominate possession pretty well.

The only issue I have really at the moment is that both my strikers favour the advanced forward role, so I'm not sure how to play them both. I've tried the deep-lying forward & advanced forward combination, as seen on the screenshot, which seems to work out but seems to compromise the striker that plays in this role. If it works for the team, I'm happy of course but would like to try and find a way to get them both scoring and thriving if possible. Perhaps I don't have the right players to do this, I need to recruit for a deep-lying forward, but they're 2 very talented players that I'd hope would be able to create a good partnership.

Does anyone have a good way of getting the best out of 2 strikers and what roles provide a good scoring partnership?

Screenshot 2020-04-25 at 12.38.36.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

The only issue I have really at the moment is that both my strikers favour the advanced forward role, so I'm not sure how to play them both

How do you mean they "favour the AF role"? Players are able to play successfully more than just one role. How good a player will be in a certain role depends primarily on his attributes. 

If you post screenshots of their player profiles, I'll tell you which role combinations would suit them well. 

3 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I often play on positive at home but keep it balanced when playing away

When it comes to mentalities, you need to be aware of 2 things:

1. a lower mentality itself does not make you more defensively solid, so a simple switch from one mentality to another may not suffice if you want to make the tactic more defensive in a certain match;

2. the mentality automatically affects all other instructions (plus individual player mentalities), so when you change the mentality - you have actually changed a lot more than just the mentality 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

How do you mean they "favour the AF role"? Players are able to play successfully more than just one role. How good a player will be in a certain role depends primarily on his attributes. 

If you post screenshots of their player profiles, I'll tell you which role combinations would suit them well. 

When it comes to mentalities, you need to be aware of 2 things:

1. a lower mentality itself does not make you more defensively solid, so a simple switch from one mentality to another may not suffice if you want to make the tactic more defensive in a certain match;

2. the mentality automatically affects all other instructions (plus individual player mentalities), so when you change the mentality - you have actually changed a lot more than just the mentality 

I meant that the game suggests that's their strongest role I guess. Here are their profiles:

220877452_Screenshot2020-04-25at17_32_54.thumb.png.cb71f75836daa249fc5b9be757459ef1.png Screenshot 2020-04-25 at 17.32.46.png


I feel like maybe Aloísio could be a good complete forward (attack) and Cohen an advanced forward (attack) but don't know if that's the best combination.

1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

When it comes to mentalities, you need to be aware of 2 things:

1. a lower mentality itself does not make you more defensively solid, so a simple switch from one mentality to another may not suffice if you want to make the tactic more defensive in a certain match;

2. the mentality automatically affects all other instructions (plus individual player mentalities), so when you change the mentality - you have actually changed a lot more than just the mentality 

I did try to select my team instructions with that in mind, so that if I change mentality it makes a fairly subtle change to these rather than anything drastic. I don't know if you feel like I've achieved this or not? But it seems to be working ok so far.

Edited by TheInvisibleMan
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

meant that the game suggests that's their strongest role I guess

Do not follow what the game suggests blindly. It's players attributes that matter the most when it comes to role selection. 

 

6 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

220877452_Screenshot2020-04-25at17_32_54.thumb.png.cb71f75836daa249fc5b9be757459ef1.png Screenshot 2020-04-25 at 17.32.46.png


I feel like maybe Aloísio could be a good complete forward (attack) and Cohen an advanced forward (attack) but don't know if that's the best combination

When I look at these 2 guys, the first combination that comes to my mind is CF (Aloisio) and poacher (Cohen). But it does not mean that it's going to work automatically if the rest of the tactic is not set up properly. One potential problem is that CF as a role might struggle a bit in this type of system (albeit less so than in a 4231 for example). 

CF and AF can also be a good combination in general, but like any combination - it requires that the whole tactic makes sense. Otherwise, it's hardly going to work. 

6 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I feel like maybe Aloísio could be a good complete forward (attack) and Cohen an advanced forward (attack)

Both strikers on attack duty is a good idea for counter-attacking tactics. But your tactic does not look like that. To the contrary, it's rather possession-based (although with a bit problematic setup of roles/duties). 

 

7 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:

I did try to select my team instructions with that in mind, so that if I change mentality it makes a fairly subtle change to these rather than anything drastic. I don't know if you feel like I've achieved this or not? But it seems to be working ok so far

If it works, then great :thup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

CF and AF can also be a good combination in general, but like any combination - it requires that the whole tactic makes sense. Otherwise, it's hardly going to work.

I've tried that in recent games and it's been ok.

12 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Both strikers on attack duty is a good idea for counter-attacking tactics. But your tactic does not look like that. To the contrary, it's rather possession-based (although with a bit problematic setup of roles/duties). 

Perhaps I could try Aloisio on CF (Support) then? It seems like he'd still be able to do this pretty well.

I have a more conservative tactic for harder away games which is more counter based, so playing them both on attack when using that could work. But my main tactic will always involve short passing, it's just purely what I feel is the best way to play in real life like many managers do. As you said in a previous post, this shape isn't ideal for possession and I've seen that in the games I've played so far, but I've only gone with this shape due to the circumstances. It's more than likely next season I will change again when I can recruit for other positions and possibly move one or two of my central midfielders on.

I tried to do the roles as best I could, and it's been ok but there's always room for improvement I feel. I think the setup is generally ok, I could perhaps just be better at putting players on certain sides, or having players closer to each other that will link up well.

Edited by TheInvisibleMan
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TheInvisibleMan said:
On 26/04/2020 at 01:41, Experienced Defender said:

(although with a bit problematic setup of roles/duties). 

Are you able to explain any further on this please, mate?

This was my whole sentence: 

On 26/04/2020 at 01:41, Experienced Defender said:

Both strikers on attack duty is a good idea for counter-attacking tactics. But your tactic does not look like that. To the contrary, it's rather possession-based (although with a bit problematic setup of roles/duties)

So i was primarily referring to 2 things:

1. the use of AP on attack duty does not go hand in hand with a possession-oriented style - and your team instructions are possession-oriented - so that's a tactical contradiction;

2. playing a CWB and mezzala on the same side, which not just makes that flank potentially too vulnerable defensively, but such tactical imbalance can also adversely affect your attacking play (because you have 2 highly roaming and adventurous roles operating close to each other)

However, this does not mean that you should play the CWB with the BBM, because such combo is also not optimal (albeit less risky defensively). While BBM is less attack-minded than mezzala, it's still neither a holding nor covering type of midfield role, but also roaming, which can basically cause similar kind of problem. 

Which consequently means that you should pair the CWB with CM roles like carrilero, BWM on support or DLP on support (in this type of formation). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...