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Quiet leaky, aggressive wasteful. Fine tuning a 4411.


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I should be happy but I'm not. I'm with Chernomorets Odessa in the Ukrainian Premier League. I took them up last season as Champions and we are currently 5th and qualfying for Europe. We are predicted to finish mid table. Overall I should be pleased. But I'm frustrated that we're not higher up.

I play a 4411 - we have great combinations, average out around 20 chances per game but do not create enough clear cut chances which puts us as the most profligate team in the league. The quality of my side is made up with a mix of decent and or good players for Ukrainian Premier League which would obviously suggests our team is good enough.

image.thumb.png.df46cb6315a46398ca714e857d5f18ef.png

We do not get enough goals from the centre forward or shadow striker. The goals are shared between them two and the IW but I want us to create more gilt edged chances. A lot of them are pot shots inside the area, shots blocked or set pieces (we are strong there). This tactic does what I want us to do - control the game, press high, keep the ball and we see some lovely combinations but we're not getting the quality of chances to put away. We would be up there with Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar if we did. I want my CF more involved in the build up and getting the chances in the box to put away. I'm not seeing this. I'm also not getting the movement from the SS even though he has the arrives late trait and get further forward.

At the other end, we are pretty good at the back but whilst we don't give up many chances, the oppo are much deadly than we are. Usually on the counter or through balls into the area. We have a good keeper for the level but whilst few of the goals look like they are his fault, he doesn't save much and therefore has a low average rating.

Basically I'm looking for advice on the front two combo and limiting key chances for the oppo. I wouldn't be too bothered about the latter but once we go 1 up we rarely go on and make our dominance pay so we are obviously vulnerable to the sucker punch.

Any ideas?

Forgot to add - tried all of the following but no real difference made

Work ball into box

CF (s)/SS

F9/SS

TM (a) and AM (s)/enganche

AM (a) and DLF (s)

Edited by bamb00zle
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Just from a quick observation:

I'd say swap your centre mid roles around, so the anchoring CM (CMD) is on the side the attacking Wingback, the supporting CM (CMS) on the side of the IW(A). That may help a little with the chances you're giving away. Wingbacks are pretty aggressive too, so maybe you could change one to a Fullback to be a bit more conversative

SS & PF is a combo that can work, just make sure both are rated well with the required attributes. The PF needs to be big & bullish, able to press heavily, hold the up, be able to play in others & finish chances coming his way. The SS dribbling, balance, agility, decisions, composure, vision, passing & finishing at least 

It's a very aggressive system, high lines, loads of pressure, I'd go with removing Work Ball into Box or maybe lowering the tempo to help bring some better quality chances. WBIB maybe stifling your heavy metal attacks, the ball's getting recycled around the box & someone's just having a punt rather than crosses & through balls going into the penalty area. A lower tempo may help with the quantity over quality efforts at goal 

 

  

 

 

Edited by Johnny Ace
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@bamb00zle I've had pretty good luck with the following combo and have been really impressed with a Treq as a lone striker, especially if they have good anticipation, off the ball, and acceleration:

Striker - Treq with Hold up Ball PI - One big advantage is the very attacking mentality when trying to hit on the counter as well (Timo Werner in this role for me is a beast and Haaland brings similar qualities but is more of a hold up version)

AM-Su - Take more risks, Dribble More, Get Forward, Roam, Move into Channels, Close Down More PIs - Comes deep PPM helps with dropping to create space for the Treq.

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Hi there

 

few things i notice

 

Not sure why youd be focusing your play down the left in this tactic. If anything youd want to focus down the right i would have thought? the WP will come inside and have the central midfielder as an option and wing back overlapping him to make the overload which should leave the quick switch to your IW who gets room to get more goals.

 

Also, highline of engagement but standard defensive line, tighter marking and counter press. Your team is quite strung out with space between your lines. counter pressing is asking players to press with intensity too so i think your defensive shape is vulnerable if the tight marking players are beaten. 

 

I think id probably lower the LOE down to normal and use a striker who will look to get in behind, and then drop the "work ball into box" instruction. be a little more direct and get some more through balls going in behind your opponents rather than slowly working into the box.

 

As a newly promoted team, the opposition probably push up quite a bit against you, i think you can expose them if they do. You already use a counter instruction so you want to get the ball into space quickly when you retrieve it it seems, so working the ball into the box isnt necessary i dont think

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3 hours ago, FMunderachiever said:

Hi there

 

few things i notice

 

Not sure why youd be focusing your play down the left in this tactic. If anything youd want to focus down the right i would have thought? the WP will come inside and have the central midfielder as an option and wing back overlapping him to make the overload which should leave the quick switch to your IW who gets room to get more goals.

 

Also, highline of engagement but standard defensive line, tighter marking and counter press. Your team is quite strung out with space between your lines. counter pressing is asking players to press with intensity too so i think your defensive shape is vulnerable if the tight marking players are beaten. 

 

I think id probably lower the LOE down to normal and use a striker who will look to get in behind, and then drop the "work ball into box" instruction. be a little more direct and get some more through balls going in behind your opponents rather than slowly working into the box.

 

As a newly promoted team, the opposition probably push up quite a bit against you, i think you can expose them if they do. You already use a counter instruction so you want to get the ball into space quickly when you retrieve it it seems, so working the ball into the box isnt necessary i dont think

I did focus on the left as the ball magnets to the right with the WP and CM (s) so once it's there, do an aggressive switch to the left winger, he runs at the opposition and presents chances with my CF attacking the box, the SS rushing on and bang goal.

I moved the defensive line to try and deal with balls over the top, has worked to some extent especially with the CD in cover. I agree there's quite a lot of space between the lines when probably this set up needs us more fluid and compact to get the kind of chances I want.

I've been buying some pacier players as I'm thinking a more direct approach would suit us more, even if it goes against what I'm trying to achieve. Maybe I don't have the quality yet to challenge for the title with the way we play. We are the best footballing side in Ukraine but without the quality that Shakhtar and Dynamo possess.

@Kharza_FM I'll have a look at that combo and report back. My CF is a brute, good in the air, not a natural Treq but the AM I have can fulfil that role
 

3 hours ago, Johnny Ace said:

Just from a quick observation:

I'd say swap your centre mid roles around, so the anchoring CM (CMD) is on the side the attacking Wingback, the supporting CM (CMS) on the side of the IW(A). That may help a little with the chances you're giving away. Wingbacks are pretty aggressive too, so maybe you could change one to a Fullback to be a bit more conversative

SS & PF is a combo that can work, just make sure both are rated well with the required attributes. The PF needs to be big & bullish, able to press heavily, hold the up, be able to play in others & finish chances coming his way. The SS dribbling, balance, agility, decisions, composure, vision, passing & finishing at least 

It's a very aggressive system, high lines, loads of pressure, I'd go with removing Work Ball into Box or maybe lowering the tempo to help bring some better quality chances. WBIB maybe stifling your heavy metal attacks, the ball's getting recycled around the box & someone's just having a punt rather than crosses & through balls going into the penalty area. A lower tempo may help with the quantity over quality efforts at goal 

 

  

 

 

Thanks for the reply. Yeah we used to do slower tempo but it allowed the oppo to get back in their blocks a bit too much and we're not A* quality in the league to cut through packed boxes.

 

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4411 kinda prides itself on it's ability to be compact and keeping two banks of four. You've moved away from this by stretching it way too much imo.

I'm guessing you're going for a possession-ish style type of tactic? Move your DL and LOE closer together, take off counter and as suggested previously move you centre mids around to have better defensive stability. I'd play around with higher tempo and WBIB to see how play looks. Depends also on what yoir players can do with the ball. The roles aren't bad at all. If the striker can play DLFsu then that's a good role to partner a SS with. 

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As others have focused mainly on the attacking aspect(s) of your tactic, I'll (try to) explain the major cause of your leakiness in defense. In short - an aggressive style of defending (more urgent press + tight mark + counter-press + prevent GKD) coupled with poor compactness (i.e. too much distance between DL and LOE, especially for a system without a DM). Defensive cover for the attacking WB on the right also seems to be insufficient. 

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Well we clung on for dear life to finish 5th in the league which gets you to Europa League qualifiers so as we were predicted 11th/16 it's obviously decent. You also have to bear we've had very little to spend, much less than our nearest challengers. I also won Ukrainian Manager of the Year beating the Shakhtar manager who led them to W25, D 5 L0 and stormed the league. This is a good challenge for anyone interested in something else.

We were great before the winter break and bang average thereafter once the AI had sussed how to play against us. (W4 D5 L4).

Most teams put a high block on us and played wider, often doubling up on the flanks.

They marked our WP out the game to make him less of a nuisance.

They weren't playing high lines so we weren't able to get an outball defending in our half.

It could be a combination of that and our players overperforming and now finding how they really are at the top level.

1) I found no discernible difference in the Treq/AM (s) combo.

2) Lower LOE and def line meant we had less possession but we weren't countered quite as much.

3) Switching the CMs around resulted in better quality of chance but a bit less created.

I'm in pre season now and it's a disaster on the transfer front. There is literally no one interested who would better our squad so I'm going to have to box clever with the same squad. We do have a good youth academy some of the youngsters are coming on so this might be a season to blood a few.

I disagree with the club vision of playing defensive football, counter attack, set pieces. But they bent me over and made me agree to it. I don't like our owners much. They do however only expect mid table so i should at least be safe in my job.

Next season

We're probably going to have to defend deeper as I have 3 ageing FBs who I can't get rid. They are okay technically but losing their physicals.

I'll trial a counter attacking version or maybe a narrow 442 and report how we're doing. We have 4 strikers, 2 direct diminutive types and 2 workhorses so something to think about. One of which I sent on loan to Lech Poznan and he got 16 in 28 so I'm keen to give him a go.

If we do a counter, I'd imagine the 4411 might look like this:

AF (to stay on the shoulder for an out ball)

AM (s)

IW (s) DLP (d) CM (s) WM (s)

IWB (s) BPD (d) CD (d) FB (a)

SK (s)

Standard Def line, Standard LOE, more direct, standard tempo. Could go 4141 but I find that a negative setup.

It's not really in my DNA to design a tactic purely for counter, my relative success in FM over the years was designing possession/pressing based systems.

 

Edited by bamb00zle
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I was going to say, you'd probably be better off with a spearhead striker like an AF(A) if teams are willing to push up & attack you, no need to for the DLF/SS combo, so your AF(A) can run onto balls, just make sure he has a decent amount of pace. Same for the wide men if they're going to be running from deep. 

Maybe you could add Pass into Space as a situational instruction to encourage balls through the lines or add it to a couple of midfield players or the fullbacks 

Not sure on the IWB(S) myself when there's a DLP(D) there to anchor but give it a try, might take some of the heat off your DLP   

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On 17/12/2020 at 13:28, bamb00zle said:

Well we clung on for dear life to finish 5th in the league which gets you to Europa League qualifiers so as we were predicted 11th/16 it's obviously decent. You also have to bear we've had very little to spend, much less than our nearest challengers. I also won Ukrainian Manager of the Year beating the Shakhtar manager who led them to W25, D 5 L0 and stormed the league. This is a good challenge for anyone interested in something else.

We were great before the winter break and bang average thereafter once the AI had sussed how to play against us. (W4 D5 L4).

Most teams put a high block on us and played wider, often doubling up on the flanks.

They marked our WP out the game to make him less of a nuisance.

They weren't playing high lines so we weren't able to get an outball defending in our half.

It could be a combination of that and our players overperforming and now finding how they really are at the top level.

1) I found no discernible difference in the Treq/AM (s) combo.

2) Lower LOE and def line meant we had less possession but we weren't countered quite as much.

3) Switching the CMs around resulted in better quality of chance but a bit less created.

I'm in pre season now and it's a disaster on the transfer front. There is literally no one interested who would better our squad so I'm going to have to box clever with the same squad. We do have a good youth academy some of the youngsters are coming on so this might be a season to blood a few.

I disagree with the club vision of playing defensive football, counter attack, set pieces. But they bent me over and made me agree to it. I don't like our owners much. They do however only expect mid table so i should at least be safe in my job.

Next season

We're probably going to have to defend deeper as I have 3 ageing FBs who I can't get rid. They are okay technically but losing their physicals.

I'll trial a counter attacking version or maybe a narrow 442 and report how we're doing. We have 4 strikers, 2 direct diminutive types and 2 workhorses so something to think about. One of which I sent on loan to Lech Poznan and he got 16 in 28 so I'm keen to give him a go.

If we do a counter, I'd imagine the 4411 might look like this:

AF (to stay on the shoulder for an out ball)

AM (s)

IW (s) DLP (d) CM (s) WM (s)

IWB (s) BPD (d) CD (d) FB (a)

SK (s)

Standard Def line, Standard LOE, more direct, standard tempo. Could go 4141 but I find that a negative setup.

It's not really in my DNA to design a tactic purely for counter, my relative success in FM over the years was designing possession/pressing based systems.

 

You may still lack support for your forward. If he has a day off, you may not get the results you want. What about this? If the opposition attacks you with a high block:

              AFA/TMA/PFA/P with MIC

                       TA

IWS      CMD       BBMS     WA

 

FBA     CBD       NCB          FBS/IWBD/ WBD

                      GKD

AFA will test the def line; WA will help him stretch the line supplying him, TA and BBM with crosses. The IWS can feed TA, AFA and WA with crosses or BBM with a cutback. If not, he can find the overlapping full back and he can cross the ball to TA, AF and WA at the far post or NCB will clear the ball TA or AFA will get the ball and start a deadly counter attack while CMD and FBS will try to delay counterattacks with the CB pair as well as IWS and BBM tracking back in case of a turnover. In addition to this attacking plan, TA can find AF and WA with through balls. As you can see it has at least five different kinds of attacking angles and will be very hard to defend against if you have the right kind of players. This kind of system will be a fast and direct one and require at least low to medium or medium block.

 

Edited by frukox
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A few thoughts... ;-)

Defense - I noticed you have a split in your central defensive duties. "Defend" and "Cover" combo that might be a problem. The central defender on defend might hold his position more and the cover,,,covers but I think a stopper / cover combo would work better. One to specifically come out and stop attacks a bit earlier and the other to compensate by covering. Or...you could play a dual Central defensive combo with both on defend duties which would work better with an offside trap and a higher line of defense. I see a BPD is a consideration for you as well. If the stats are there...all good but if not he will give the ball away more than desired.

Of course looking at the attributes of your players will help narrow the choices down.

With limited resources there is only so much you can do...if you were expected to get a mid table place and ended up 5th that is not a bad season at all. Also beware of over achieving. It's great when it happens but your reputation will likely change as will the expectation of the board, your players and opposition tactics (to a degree)  So plan also to manage all that as well. Players morale can change based on where they are expected to finish so if season one is fantastic prepare some fancy tactics to sustain it next season  ;-)

 As for the board insisting on a certain type of play...you could risk playing differently but would likely have to meet their expectations elsewhere to avoid the sack and / or unsettle your team if things go south. Or be a bit more focused on a counter style which is in line with a defensive focus and can work well.

Personally I would try something like this...

 

          SK D

WS CBD CBD WA

          DM(D)

    CMA      CMS

IWS                   IFS

            AF

 

Counter Press

Counter

Higher defensive line

Be more disciplined

For simplification if your players are ageing and budget is tight set width, tempo and passing distance to match overall mentality. You definitely want your players to be free of anything that would stretch the abilities of an ageing team unnecessarily. 

 

AF, IWS AND IF

That is just a starting suggestion as there is a lot of variety that can be applied here. But an AF can really stretch defenses. Again, attribute permitting but a pacey AF can work very well. I suggested the IWS and the IFS so that they are drawn toward the AF not wide left or right of him as he might get isolated. They also make space for the WB. If you are ahead in a game there is nothing stopping you dropping the AF to an F9 to keep your opponent guessing and pull a defender or two out of position to make space for the iF or IW and runs from the CMA

 

MIDS

I would try direct balls from the DM and both CM's if they have the stats for it as that can split defenses in an instant. The CMA can be a real problem for the opposition with runs from deep. you could also try an RPM instead of a CMA but he would create more than surge and run to support. Then you could put the IWS on attack or put a Winger there on attack,

 

The Defenders (was pretty good on Netflix IMO) :D

Again there are a lot of ways to play this but the CD's are in tighter sync with the same duty and will work well with an offside trap. Or...try a stopper / cover combo if you have to split the duties. 

 

Keeper

SK is best but you decide how much risk you want with support or even attack duties. I would suggest going higher on risk based on how high your defensive line is to avoid there being too much space between your goal keeper and defenders.

As with any tactic there is a surprising number of Role / Duty combinations that work well because of the attributes of the players. So look very carefully at that before any sweeping changes as your hands are tied with the budget which brings me to...

 

Money

1. Have a good hard look at loans. you might find a comparable or better player in 2 - 3 positions for a relatively small outlay. Young or older for a season.

2. Not sure what your scouting network is like but get them on a search for replacements as early as you spot the need as they can come up with very cheap players or out of contract even that are of comparable or better quality to your squad at a budget that you might be able to afford and are willing to transfer.

3. Get as many scouts as you can from as many nations as possible (not easy) but it really can pay off even with 3 - 5 scouts with around 16 for Potential and Ability ratings. Again the key is scouts from different nations if you can find them to really widen your network of visible players over time. They can be so helpful with a tight budget.

4.. You will have to take time to go through scout suggestions. it might take a while but your need is quite high.

5.. Do your own player searches but try with very basic stats. remove any age limits and go for basics that are ok for your league level or team. A search for Defenders might be tackling, Jumping and pace as the absolute basics. See what comes up. Or it might be another set of 3 attributes that matter to you and your style of play. 

6. Get staff to suggest signings. if you are seriously hand tied it can help. You can change that in your staff responsibilities and still retain control of finalizing the signing if it is not what you want. DoF and other staff can help.

7.. Check your wages for certain players. Or filter your squad view  by wages. You might find a player (in your club) who can be replaced by someone else on far less wages with very little difference in performance. Consider selling to free up funds and adjust your budget amount. 

It is the combination of these suggestions  (there are surely much more) that have helped me in a sticky situation to get through a season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well thanks all for the help.

I played the following season and it was a real mixed bag.

I moved to a more counter based 442 system that initally worked really well, the two up top a constant threat but defensive lapses galore crept in, a small squad on a limited budget were really stretched having qualified for the Europa League from the 2nd qualifying round which was a huge achievement.

We even won our group (generous draw mind) and got to the 2nd knockout round, losing very bravely on penalties to Valencia in a one off tie at the Mestalla.

Our run brought 6 million into the club though which was muchhhh needed!

Unfortunately our league form spluttered all season (wasn't helped by a bug that made us play Europa League Thursday then Premier league game on a Saturday ffs). We finished 8th/16 which was really disappointing but honestly speaking I made some poor decisions as a manager in certain games that cost us points. I decifded to educate myself so I can get better as a manager and get more out of our team on limited financial resources.

We didn't get into Europe again and I decided to rip everything I had up and only add cannily to our squad as the lack of Europe money, you get nothing in Ukraine at all, would really hurt us.

I based my squad around our 3 best players who are all Brazilian, they are an IF, IW and an AF.

image.thumb.png.806924a44131106d8eaaf01eeb3495d7.pngI worked around a switch to a 433/451 to get the best out of them.

An IF on one side, IW on the other, an AF on the shoulder looking for the counter.

I had a good fit for the Mezzala behind and understood I need a CAR to cover the flanks, a half back to form a back 5 in defence and fairly conservative FBs.

Yes I had the tools already at my disposal.

It doers everything I want, just about edge possession in most games, devastating on the counter and very disciplined at the back.

I watched videos on how adjusting the def line and LOE can affect different results and changed complete from a high press to a low, compact block on a standard line.

My god we are lethal in the new season. We have 25 goals from our first 6 games. One goal condeded.

My new set up is slick up front with excellent xG and no one can get past us (at least at the minute).

5 wins and a 0-0 draw at the mighty Shakhtar (you do not comprehend how hard it is to get results against them).

Put into context, my Chernomorets side on paper would be a mid to lower end Championship side if you compare the attributes. Shakhtar would be a top 4 or top 6 EPL side as they are really a strong team both in IRL and on the game. They have loads of money too.

I'm understanding so much more how to manipulate the D lines to reflect what I'm seeing in the game and how to get what I want.

I then change around the transition/posession instructions on the stage of the game or what I'm seeing from the ME.

This is our template and what we go into most matches with (bar Shakhtar, Dynamo Kiev, Dnipro and Zorya) where I scale back.

Thanks for the tips, learned a lot.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well just returning to this topic, we're now a top 3 side but still comfortably off Dynamo and Shakhtar's level.

I'm relatively happy with how the tactic plays out. We are generally good at the back and do create chances but I'm having problems with my striker.

image.thumb.png.67ab678886207f261d1b15719c462ada.png

Here's my man

image.thumb.png.4465af970993521c3fe1a55094172158.png

He is much less involved in the game than my IW and IF. Now his passing stats aren't great but his technique and movement is very good and he is overall an excellent prospect. I have DLF attack as I want him to drop a little deeper in transition but be ready to attack the box when the ball goes wide. I want him to be the main scorer. Maybe he's having a hard season? He got 8 in 20 last season which isn't too bad as this set up does share the goals around but he's missing loads of chances this and is a shadow of himself. My back up striker is having similar issues.

I sometimes have him on AF against better sides to be on the shoulders of defence and ready to attack direct balls which we sometimes play.

I thought about TM attack but I don't want him to be a ball magnet as I have better creative wide forwards and don't want us to be predictable.

We score goals but he never gets any. We are deadly from corners and free kicks. My CB is the leading scorer and penalty taker or we get moments of genius from the IF or IW.

Any ideas how I can pick up his form with a few subtle changes? He has no relevant traits except cut in from left so I can use him as an IF on occasion.

There are certain players I want more influence on the games such as him and MEZ support but on the latter I'm less inclined to go playmaker as this system is designed for the counter as that's our strengths.

Edited by bamb00zle
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