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I am currently in the Swedish Premier Division and I started off the season overperforming, however now I am struggling to score goals in games and my opposition likes to score long shots. I am currently trying to go for wing play where I'll move the ball up the flanks and then cross to either my target man or the poacher.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bargo said:

I am currently in the Swedish Premier Division and I started off the season overperforming, however now I am struggling to score goals in games and my opposition likes to score long shots.

With dropping your Line of Engagement Much Lower and using Stay On Feet (i.e. don't tackle), you're giving the opposition too much time on the ball, hence the long shots. 4-4-2 already defends quite deep in nature, I wouldn't say you need to drop your LoE at all, unless you want to defend in a really low block, which requires defensively exceptional players to pull off successfully (your defence will be under a lot of pressure constantly).

I would do the opposite, leave your LoE and tackling instructions on default and raise your defensive line a notch (Slightly Higher Defensive Line). That will give you nice compactness, while still being a mid block, which suits counter-attacking systems nicely. It's important to take your formation and Mentality into consideration when deciding on Out Of Possession instructions, since you obviously don't want to create an overkill.

I would also change your right Winger into Inverted Winger and your CM-De into a DLP, to create some variety. Ideally, you should always have more than one way to opposition goal.

For example, let's say you come up against defensive opposition who won't commit their full-backs forward very often. In that case, Wingers being your only real threat, you could struggle to create chances. Or maybe the opposition has aerially excellent defenders, which could again shut down your entire attack, with your tactic being built solely around crosses. That's when alternative ways, such as a playmaker trying killer passes from central areas, or Inverted Winger and overlapping full-back offering a slightly different threat, could help you out.

If you have a central defender that can play it, I'd also change one of your CD's into a BPD. Through balls from deep can be deadly when you're trying to counter-attack.

Also, a few instructions you could consider:

  • Counter
  • Higher Tempo
  • Run At Defence
  • Distribute Quickly

Those tend to go nicely with counter-attacking tactics, but you need to take your Mentality and personnel into consideration when deciding on them.

Here's a good 4-4-2 thread, if you're interested. It's in the Tactics Sharing forum, but the OP explained his principles, making it an educational read:

And more recently, Enzo_Francescoli's 4-4-2:

 

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Thanks so much for the information you have provided, I feel like that's given me a lot of insight into what I am doing wrong. I will try to adapt the parts of what you've shared that my team can work with and go from there. Looking back, I can spot now how I was being way too limited in the ways that I could score and the errors in the defense.

Edited by Mr. Bargo
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So after a successful season with my Swedish club, where I finished in 2nd with the goal being to achieve a top half finish, I decided to resign after noticing that higher reputation clubs were interested in me. I've joined OL in the French Ligue 1 and I've decided to use a 4-2-4 where I try moving the ball similarly to what I performed in Sweden, except this time I am using an advanced playmaker role in the center and I am using a DLF up top. So far I've won like two games with this tactic and drew once but I got put out of the domestic cup by a team I would classify as inferior. One of the main things I took away from the match stats of that match was that we were far from dominant on the ball with a low percentage of pass completion from my goalkeeper. Any advice on how I could improve my tactic in OL?

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Also @Zemahh, would you mind explaining your recommendations yesterday more in-depth regarding the countering, high temp, etc. (I'm a bit new to Football as a sport to be honest, I just started watching it in around 2017/2018)? These worked nicely and I feel like opened up the opposition a lot more, but I'm not exactly sure how and feel like I would benefit from understanding. I did take away from that how to prevent the long shots and that I need to provide some variety in the ways that I can score goals, and together with your other recommendations I nearly won the league. If anyone has any good resources they recommend on building an overall philosophy for a team, that would be very useful as well because I do find myself struggling to identify what attributes support what philosophy or what my players are capable of playing at times.

Edited by Mr. Bargo
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1 hour ago, Mr. Bargo said:

Also @Zemahh, would you mind explaining your recommendations yesterday more in-depth regarding the countering, high temp, etc.

If you mean these four:

  • Counter: encourages counter-attacks more often
  • Higher Tempo: encourages faster attacking transitions (i.e. less touches)
  • Run At Defence: encourages more dribbling
  • Distribute Quickly: encourages goalkeeper to distribute ball quickly

Hope you can see why those would make sense in counter-attacking systems. You want to exploit space left behind by the opposition before they have a chance to regroup, hence why the instructions that aim to speed up play.

More on counter-attacking:

1 hour ago, Mr. Bargo said:

If anyone has any good resources they recommend on building an overall philosophy for a team, that would be very useful as well because I do find myself struggling to identify what attributes support what philosophy or what my players are capable of playing at times.

There's quite a few threads on this forum where people go into detail about their approach. A few of them are linked here:

Some may be older, but still very much relevant. I suggest you check a few and see which one has what you're after.

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