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Bobby Robson 4-4-2 - How do Target Men work

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So I have always been a newcastle fan, and my memories growing up of Robsons newcastle were a conventional 4-4-2 that always provided a tonne of crosses and goals for Shearer.


I want to re-create this in FM21 (I'll attempt it with Newcastle, but for the time being lets use my second season blackburn save)


Now essentially the approach play was based off the Shearer/Bellamy partnership, if teams sat high Newcastle looked to play flick ons from Shearer for Bellamy to get in behind:

And if they sat off Newcastle would attack down the wings looking to fill the box with crosses for the aerial threat.


So i've created a 4-4-2 that focuses on distributing down both flanks with GK looking to distribute to the TM, the main issue im having is getting the target man involved in the final 3rd/actually going and winning a header, has anyone managed to get a little/large partnership working or tried something similiar?


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What I see as the biggest - though not the only - problem are your defensive instructions, because you use a fairly aggressive manner of defending coupled with poor defensive compactness. And keep in mind that the way you defend can - and does - affect the way you attack. And vice versa, of course. 

There is also a degree of tactical contradiction and overkill in your tactic, but the defensive aspect is something you should look to sort out first.

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Defensively it hasn't been an issue, last season I used this to beat 

Man U 1-0 

Leeds 2-0 

Burnley 3-1 

All in the FA Cup, Armstrong dominated I just couldnt really get any input from my target man and continue to struggle to get them to perform, I guess I could lower line of engagement nd pressing intensity

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Following on from @Experienced Defender on the defensive aspect, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember wor Bobby pressing high. Bellamy would close down more if opposition played out from the back and Shearer didn't close down too much. I'd say standard line of engagement, standard closing down and remove prevent short GK distribution. 

I'd also question the decision to force opponents inside when you've only got 2 in midfield. I think you're likely to get outnumbered. I'd prefer to leave this as standard. 

Obviously just my opinion. Would be great to see a recreation of that side though. Great times!

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It depends what you want. Shearer was more of a TMa in my opinion. 

I'd also leave arma as a AF as I'd want him to really push the defensive line. However it depends what you see during the game. It might be that he's too far away from the target man to produce a good link up. So maybe try something that starts a bit deeper like a poacher. To be honest though a TMa might help this anyway. 

I am by no means an expert so take what I say with a pinch of salt ;)

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