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Suggestions for improvement for my tactic


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Used this set up on this years game, and been successful with it. Would hugely appreciate any recommendations or suggestions anyone has though, if anything else for the discussion!

Having to use ratemytactic.com to show the tactic as I'm away from my save. I'm playing with Manchester City, and the players I use mostly are:

GK: Ederson, RB:Cancelo/Aarons, RCB:Koulibaly/Dias, LCB:Laporte, LB:Chilwell/Mendy, CDM:Camavinga, RCM: De Bruyne, LCM: Bernardo/Foden, RW:Sterling, LW: Felix/Jesus, ST:Haaland/Aguero  

 

Thankyou!

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I was just asking in another thread if the 4-1-4-1 works well for higher pressing up the pitch. You're liking it? Do you find the Mezzala's on support drift around too much to execute an organized press? With all your Attack duties high up the pitch, you might have a lot of gaps between the lines when you lose possession, which might hurt the press. What if you made one of your IF or W to support, and the opposite side mezzala to attack?

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5 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

Would hugely appreciate any recommendations or suggestions anyone has though, if anything else for the discussion!

What sort of feedback are you looking for? If it is working well for you then do not change it. It is not how I normally set up such a formation, but I do not claim to have the monopoly on being correct for the 4141! 

My initial impressions in terms of negatives would be that you could be pretty vulnerable to counter attacks that exploit the centre of the pitch, as your DLP will be the only player in that region when a counter is initiated and would be very easy to overload. This is due to the two mezzala and the aggressive pressing instructions. 

1 hour ago, PatrickReynolds said:

I was just asking in another thread if the 4-1-4-1 works well for higher pressing up the pitch

I usually find the 4141 is best suited to a split press. Where I use OI and PIs to get the front 3 (or 4, depending on what role you have for midfielders, if one is advanced in attacking he can join the press) to press while the rest of the team can get back into positions. Using an aggressive press with the 4141 can work, but typically you do not have enough bodies forward to do it effectively and sides can pass around you quite easily. Although in FM20 the AI has a habit of passing around at the back for no good reason and not getting the ball forward when it is being defensive, which does not really punish you much for this. Which is one of the reasons why a high press works in the game, the AI is not great at punishing an overly aggressive press the way a human player is. 

My typical strategy with this formation and the press is to use the forward players to press and eventually force the AI to pass the ball long, at which time my defensive players can mop up and regain the ball. So I am not really trying to win it high up the pitch but to give the AI little other choice in their build up play than a punt forward. Not good if you want to have good possession stats (because the AI loves to pass in its own half for ages), but you will possess the ball in more dangerous areas of the pitch than your opposition in general, so it can be very successful. Unless the AI is a good team or have players up front who can outclass your defenders. Hope that gives some ideas of other ways to use a press. 

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4 hours ago, PatrickReynolds said:

I was just asking in another thread if the 4-1-4-1 works well for higher pressing up the pitch. You're liking it? Do you find the Mezzala's on support drift around too much to execute an organized press? With all your Attack duties high up the pitch, you might have a lot of gaps between the lines when you lose possession, which might hurt the press. What if you made one of your IF or W to support, and the opposite side mezzala to attack?

Ive found it works really well. Ive used this formation for four seasons, and this tactic with variations throughout, but high pressing has always been a constant as that's my ideal style. 

I watch a lot of games in full match, and Ive found the front players are very aggressive when out of possession. When playing a team such as Watford who arent great at playing past the press, many times they resort to booting the ball out of play or back to my centre backs or keeper, who then start the attack again. When playing a team great at playing from the back, I do tweak things slightly, I drop the urgency of pressing to avoid creating two many gaps, and even sometimes change to a 4231 and bring in Douglas Luiz to sit alongside Camavinga. 

 

As for the Mezzalas, I really couldnt use any other role. Ive experimented with most of them, and the Mezzala is the closest thing to the 'free 8' Guardiola has used at City for the past 4 years or so. When on attack, the Mezzala leaves a little to much gaps in the midfield for my liking, so have them both on support now. I used to play Bernardo with an attacking duty, but with Felix lack of work rate, the press was easily broken from that side.

As for organised press, I find alot of the team cover each other, especially in lateral areas. I find the Mezzalas dont really drift too wide, when they do get into a more classic wing postion I find the winger on that side drop back as an option, which provides a degree of cover when the oppostion break. The wing backs occupy most of the wide area however, I never really see my Mezzalas drift any wider than the side of the 18 yard box unless they're creating an overload which I encourage. The press is very organised, often two players at a time will press and the rest of the team shifts across, I suspect this is due to the high rate of pressing.

 

I have sometimes played with the RW on support, which I find interferes more with the free flow strangely enough.  The main thing I want from the RW is to penetrate the backline of the oppostion, there he will often pass back to the RB who crosses, or the Mezzala in the half space who switches the play, crosses, or lays it off. Cancelo and De Bruyne are better crossers than Sterling on my save, on a support duty I notice Sterling crossing more and trying to pin back and isolate the LB, which helps De Bruynes game, but I feel lacks more of an attacking threat as Sterling isn't one of the options closer to the goal. It also means Cancelo is further back, and his runs around the final third are a real threat.

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It does work very well and perhaps Im not looking to change, bur rather discuss and see if I can improve it anyway.

I agree with you on the press. We are more vulnerable to counters when the front press is broken as my last tactic, which sounds more similar to the one you're suggesting. However, I think this is most likely due to my players collectively having a high work rate, there is an awful lot of covering. For example, the opposition has the ball, and Haaland and Sterling are dragged from the shape to press. There is gaps behind, but the RB, RCM are straight in there to cover. The team pushes up and even If a long ball comes over, the instruction to press very urgently means that the CDM CB and RB are then containing the opposition wide, and they usually end up giving the ball back to me. 

The interesting thing I have noticed with this set up is the differing formations depending on if the team is in possession or not. This is a feature Id love to see in FM as alot of real life set ups have two different shapes depending if they are in possession or without, and by fortunate accident ive managed to find something that somewhat resembles this. In possession, the formation is a 2-3-2-3 and out of possession it is 3-4-2-1. I think this is because of the duties and roles, as when I tweak these slightly this gets a little messed up. 

I agree completely with your assessment with the opposition not springing the long ball as often as they should, and perhaps this is a big factor of why I'm not being punished. Although I do win back the ball high sometimes, I'd say most turnovers in my favour come from the opposition panicking from the press and kicking the ball long, out of play or back to my centre backs. This is why I have two BPD instead of one and a CD, as I need them to bring the ball back out and trigger the attack again. 

 

EDIT

@sporadicsmiles still new and something messed up with the quote!

Edited by tawes1894
Quote sporadic smiles
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8 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

2020-10-19.png

Out of team instructions i must say your tactic only uses wide areas or right & left half spaces when attacking. PFa gets further forward into penalty area, 2 MEZs go wide to half spaces, IFa goes through penalty area, Wa goes wide, DLPd stays deep to be a pass option on central areas. This tactic will work with top teams but it needs someone on the front to drop deep between 2 MEZs. 

Changing PFa to a more supportive role and duty will provide this. My suggestions are F9, CFs, DLFs.

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25 minutes ago, zabyl said:

Out of team instructions i must say your tactic only uses wide areas or right & left half spaces when attacking. PFa gets further forward into penalty area, 2 MEZs go wide to half spaces, IFa goes through penalty area, Wa goes wide, DLPd stays deep to be a pass option on central areas. This tactic will work with top teams but it needs someone on the front to drop deep between 2 MEZs. 

Changing PFa to a more supportive role and duty will provide this. My suggestions are F9, CFs, DLFs.

Thanks for your suggestion, and I'm open to giving this a try. I will note however that I do sacrifice dominating possession, I normally average about 53%, as my play is more direct and really the main tactic is to overwhelm with constant attacking and pressure, every play is to spring another attack. The reason I have short passing and work ball into the box, which are more possession based instructions, as shoot on sight and direct passing means I lose the ball more and am more vulnerable to the counter, which I admit is the set ups biggest risk factor. Having said that, the striker does appear in the 'hole' at times, especially when I'm getting numbers up in a new attack, and both Mezzala's do operate more centrally when I have created an overload. 

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10 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

Used this set up on this years game, and been successful with it. Would hugely appreciate any recommendations or suggestions

If you have been successful with the tactic, why are you asking for advice? I mean, why would you want to change something that already works well for you and your team?

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33 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

If you have been successful with the tactic, why are you asking for advice? I mean, why would you want to change something that already works well for you and your team?

Because there's no such thing as perfect and if you can improve, why not? 

Feedback and analysis from knowledgeable posters on a tactic I've made from the ground up which involved a lot of experimentation I'm also finding insightful. I do have fm21 in mind, If a change to the match engine tweaks something which makes my tactic less successful, the feedback I get here will be important then. 

As it stands I'm happy with my tactic but other input is always a good thing. Managers in real life have often said advice or reccomandations from their backroom staff have made their set ups better. I think of Pep at city in this one, since Torrent and Arteta have left I think he's lacked someone to challenge his ideas and push them along!

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2 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

Because there's no such thing as perfect and if you can improve, why not? 

But given that - as you yourself said - "there's no such thing as perfect", even if you improve it, it still won't/can't be perfect. Right? 

On top of that, when a tactic works and produces good results, making changes to it (even if only small tweaks) can sometimes do more harm than good. That's why I would strongly advise you to be very careful what you wish for ;) 

Anyway, it's your tactic and your team, so you are free to do whatever you want :thup:

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2 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

Because there's no such thing as perfect and if you can improve, why not? 

You change things to fix problems, ideally without creating other issues, not just for the sake of it.

The worse your doing, the more likely our assumptions on what is wrong are accurate so changes can help.  If your doing well, you really need to be specific to tweak things without introducing other issues.

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18 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

It does work very well and perhaps Im not looking to change, bur rather discuss and see if I can improve it anyway.

What do you find your tactic does not do well, in that case? Where does it let you down? This is the best point for discussion for improvements. 

18 hours ago, tawes1894 said:

There is gaps behind, but the RB, RCM are straight in there to cover. The team pushes up and even If a long ball comes over, the instruction to press very urgently means that the CDM CB and RB are then containing the opposition wide, and they usually end up giving the ball back to me. 

If your players are good enough then you can play more aggressively in general.

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