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On my current save I'm now on my 11th team and to keep things interesting I've tried to create a new tactic with every team. I decided for my current team (Orlando Pirates in South Africa) that a 4-2DM-3-1 would be the tactic I'd build. I only had 15 senior players and was bottom of the league, so I could build essentially whatever I wanted. Using all the hints and tips I've picked up from this forum over the years, this is the first draft of the tactic that I came up with. I wanted a nice mixture of players moving between the lines, with the RPM being the main playmaker (I've had a lot of great performances out of this role with other teams and tactics) and playing progressive possession football.

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This was a reasonable success, seeing us rise from bottom of the table after 13 games to 5th by the end of the season. But we struggled mightily the next season so I had to make some tweaks. The first thing I noticed from the average positions analysis was that the RPM and AMC were basically playing on top of each other when we had the ball. The RPM was pushing forwards while the AMC was just hanging around. Wanting to keep the RPM I bumped the AMC up to attack to move him further forwards and away from the RPM to give him more space to operate in.

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The next thing I noticed was that there were a lot of passes going to the right of the penalty area but hardly any to the left (see the white image below). I originally bumped the LB to FBsu but this left me with the same issues, so I bumped him to WBsu which gives the right balance between attacking intent while not being wildly attacking (the red image is much more balanced IMO)

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Talking about wildly attacking, the RB was getting forwards as I wanted into the opposition area but looking at the goals conceded assists chart we were conceding more goals from that side of the pitch than anywhere else. I still wanted him as an attacking force so I dropped him down to CWBsu from CWBatt.

Next I noticed that both of the DMs were sitting too deep and I wanted them to be more involved in the play. The RPM wasn't going to change, so I bumped the DMCR to BWMsu to get him chasing the ball down higher up the pitch and being more involved in the attack. He's now chipping in with a fair few goals as I was hoping for while keeping our defensive stability.

Finally, the poacher role just wasn't as 'active' as I wanted my striker to be, so I bumped him to AFa. This one is still a work in progress, he's scoring but not as many as I wanted.

Anyway, where did we end up?

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This was great and we went on a great winning run to the end the season except for the games where we played teams who lined up in 4-4-2. To try and take the sting out of the extra forward, I shifted the DMCR back to the centre of defence and bumped the FBs up to WB to give a weird 3-3-3-1. I came up with it while 2-0 and came back to win 3-2 and have also used it a couple of times since to great success

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All of these changes have led to this start to the season. We've won 5/5 in the league and lead by 5 points despite only being 4th or 5th favourites in the season preview. We won the African version of the Europa League last season and I'm fairly confident we can push on to the title this year. Hopefully this helps some of you who are looking for ways to improve your tactic and what to look for in the analysis that the game offers. I'm by no means an expert at the game but I hope I can help give something back to the community that I've taken so much from over the years,

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Edited by Britrock
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Good post. This is the sort of thing I find very useful as someone who tends to be able to come up with a logical tactical idea that works but then not be able to understand how to improve it when results tail off, usually rage quitting in season 2!

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5 hours ago, Blünderbossu said:

Good post. This is the sort of thing I find very useful as someone who tends to be able to come up with a logical tactical idea that works but then not be able to understand how to improve it when results tail off, usually rage quitting in season 2!

That's what led me to share this. The season was starting to go off the rails for me and I was flitting between this, 4231 with 2 MCs and 4141 DM wide and not getting anywhere. In the end I went back to what I wanted to build and tried to work out why it wasn't successful. A few minor shifts in roles and duties and my team has turned into a juggernaut - we're currently on a 20 game unbeaten run.

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18 hours ago, TheGoodRebel said:

Great job on using the tools at your disposal to identify the areas where your tactic needed improving. Did you have any joy with your AF, or is that still a work in progress?

Yeah, I think the move to the AF paid off, my two main strikers ended the year with 20 and 27 goals respectively (although the backup did play the IFa role quite a bit as well) and this year my starter is on 29 goals in 37 starts.

The star of the show was the BWMs though - my starter averaged 8.18 (!!!) over 36 appearances, scoring 10 goals and chipping in with 19 (!) assists. His free kicks helped with some of that, but that's an insanely high average for a season. He was constantly on the edge of the area helping with the attacks and I didn't lose any defensive solidity either - I conceded 9 goals in 30 league games.

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12 minutes ago, Britrock said:

The star of the show was the BWMs though - my starter averaged 8.18 (!!!) over 36 appearances, scoring 10 goals and chipping in with 19 (!) assists.

That’s an amazing output from a role you wouldn’t typically associate with goals and assists! Just goes to show what is possible when you spend the time, like you have done, analysing your tactic properly. 

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For anyone interested, my season review can be read in the Ultimate Challenge thread here

The AMC was ok, but I've struggled getting that position to work in FM20 with so many teams playing DMs. My starter (Mhlongo) averaged 7.20 with 6 goals and 6 assists in 39 games, while my backup (Notsi) averaged 7.12 with 5 goals and 5 assists in 34 games. So that's 11 goals and 11 assists in total from the position in 60 games (there were a lot of substitute appearances) which is not fantastic but not a total waste of space either

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