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4 hours ago, Lordluap said:

Ahh, that makes more sense.  

That said, I think that's decent positioning.  He's covering their 10,  and 12 and is well placed to help with constructing play from left to right flank.  But I do get what you're saying... Sadly the limitations of the Match Engine mechanisms mean we can't get it 100% - like lots of things it's a case of compromising what we want and what we can have.

I did think the same when uploading those screenshots...:lol: 

Exactly, the ME has some frustrating limitations to be fair. I'd love to be able to alternate which CM/ DM drops depending on where the ball is or be able to choose specifically for them to drop centrally or wide of the CBs in build up. So many teams do it IRL now it's hopefully something they can do in the future 

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5 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Here's another example of the 3-1-6 shape working nicely (coming from a 4-2-2-2), this time in Paris.


image.thumb.png.60ed2761b3939971d7f9eb3175f4f8e0.png

Nicw.  I've tweaked mine from a 442 to a 451.  I'll post a shot when I can.

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5 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Here's another example of the 3-1-6 shape working nicely (coming from a 4-2-2-2), this time in Paris.


image.thumb.png.60ed2761b3939971d7f9eb3175f4f8e0.png

 

Looks great. The same 4-2-2-2 you posted early in the thread?

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Dropped my left sided striker to LCM as a CM/a.  Circled yellow is the RCM/d.

Just trying to give that 3-1-6 line of 6 a bit more depth rather than being one line.  It's not a bad alternative.

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pass.PNG

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52 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

Dropped my left sided striker to LCM as a CM/a.  Circled yellow is the RCM/d.

Just trying to give that 3-1-6 line of 6 a bit more depth rather than being one line.  It's not a bad alternative.

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:applause:

Outstanding work sir! Its  a perfectly logical system and goes to show that what some people think of a "defensive" formation can actually be very attacking. I like the AF(A) rather than a CF or a DLF, as he will work to keep the defensive line pushed back rather than dropping deep and bringing the defenders with him as he is alone. This means that by the time you compress the space in the middle you have so many options out wide to go with. Are you still playing this formation on an attacking mentality? I am itching to start an Ajax save, stuff like this is really wheting my appitite!

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Thanks.  It's working very nicely.  So on page 1 i showed my 442.  That took me to an unbeaten season with only 3 draws all season in all competitions.  I'm on a 78 game unbeaten run since taking over Chelsea.  This season we've gone to the 451...

 

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Edited by Lordluap
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1 hour ago, Lordluap said:

Thanks.  It's working very nicely.  So on page 1 i showed my 442.  That took me to an unbeaten season with only 3 draws all season in all competitions.  I'm on a 78 game unbeaten run since taking over Chelsea.  This season we've gone to the 451...

 

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tac.PNG

Thanks for sharing i will try this tactic do you have any PI for your players and i was thinking of using the 442 formation but this one is more appealing to me, what's your thought on this currently ? I'm on FM 21 so i don't know if there is a lot of difference for the ME but it's worth giving it a try 

 

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3 minutes ago, Giovanna said:

Thanks for sharing i will try this tactic do you have any PI for your players and i was thinking of using the 442 formation but this one is more appealing to me, what's your thought on this currently ? I'm on FM 21 so i don't know if there is a lot of difference for the ME but it's worth giving it a try 

 

Inverted Wingers - Sit Narrower

Full/Wing Backs - Stay Wider / Run Wide With Ball

Right Central Midfielder - Stay Wider / Run Wide With Ball

Left Ball Playing Defender - Stay Wider

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10 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

Inverted Wingers - Sit Narrower

Full/Wing Backs - Stay Wider / Run Wide With Ball

Right Central Midfielder - Stay Wider / Run Wide With Ball

Left Ball Playing Defender - Stay Wider

Thank you i'm managing Chelsea as well 2026 currently

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This is nice...

I'm coming to the end of my second season at Arsenal and I have been trying to create something very similar but with a 2-3-2-2-1 (if that makes sense) and failing miserably.

I've got a great midfield so should work nicely

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16 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Here's another example of the 3-1-6 shape working nicely (coming from a 4-2-2-2), this time in Paris.


image.thumb.png.60ed2761b3939971d7f9eb3175f4f8e0.png

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!@Lordluap

I admit I haven't been trying myself to make this in FM yet like you guys have, and excellent thread here, but I wanted to jump in to help keep it on track by pointing something important out that is being overlooked:

One of the main points of the 3-1-6 as it has been used (I shouldn't say you can't take it in your own direction) is that the "1", acts as a wall-passer pivot to facilitate the "3" passing directly through the lines to the "6".

By this I mean that the "1", the CM or DM or whatever pivot man, is rarely turning upfield with the ball himself. Sure, its nice if he has the space to, but if you are playing against a defense who gives a lone pivot man the space to receive a pass to feet from one of the 3 CB's and turn to then look for passes ahead, then, there isn't really a need for this 3-1-6 system as we're discussing in the first place. You could call this unpressured lone pivot a regista type and presumably play him in any arrangement (4-1-2-3 etc...). Basically, if it is easy to get him the ball at feet facing ahead unpressured, then the tactical question becomes about how do you want to set up your team to best receive the next pass from him...

Point being, I think folks who are showing the man I am calling the "1" with the ball at his feet have sort of lost the purpose of the 3-1-6 as it has come about.

The excellent article mentioned earlier, https://totalfootballanalysis.com/article/lilles-flexible-3-1-6-system-tactical-analysis-tactics, explains how this tactic is all about using the "1" to break the press and arrange "wall passes" from a CB, to the "1", back to a CB, and then immediately through to one of the "6". Bypassing the opponent's midfield, because their midfielder has rushed up to press the "1" from behind. If he does not, the "1" may turn, but the expectation and point of the tactic is that they will press him from behind.

 

Below, taken from the TFA article... here is the "ideal" way that this 3-1-6 concept helps the ball travel from a CB to an upfield player (one of the "6") via a "wall pass" where the "1" attracts pressure (the white Valencia player in this photo with the blue dotted line) from behind in order to lay the ball backwards for his teammate to play a forward pass through that space the Valencia player has vacated. In this case, it looks like Valencia are defending in a 4-4-2 and by using this 3-1-6 arrangement and a "wall pass" via the "1" Lille have easily played the ball behind Valencia's midfield 4.

Lille's flexible 3-1-6 system tactical analysis tactics

 

Not that it isn't valid to ask what this 3-1-6 can do when the idea is to get the ball to the "1", and of course FM ME has its limits... but I wanted to keep us honest here as we try to investigate this 3-1-6 idea. When I see a pass map like this one earlier from @Lordluap I do not see any of these passes from CB through to the next line, I just see passes from CB to the "1" who then turns and distributes. Somewhat amazingly, your player #10 has not passed to anyone but the "1".

2.PNG

 

The "wall pass" idea is a tricky one to encourage in FM but I wonder if we can look in the forums for examples of that and build it in.

This 3-1-6 thread is exploring a great idea and if we could focus on figuring out how to create that "wall pass" then we might make this shape come alive and also have a great little nugget to use in other shapes.

:)

 

Edited by acmilano112000
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Quality thread guys, taken some inspiration from this and in it's debut managed to comfortably beat bayern 4-2 with CHO bagging a hat-trick after losing to them 3-0 prior to that

image.png.5cb1b396c3b0499112a9f11db9baf3a0.png

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13 hours ago, acmilano112000 said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!@Lordluap

I admit I haven't been trying myself to make this in FM yet like you guys have, and excellent thread here, but I wanted to jump in to help keep it on track by pointing something important out that is being overlooked:

One of the main points of the 3-1-6 as it has been used (I shouldn't say you can't take it in your own direction) is that the "1", acts as a wall-passer pivot to facilitate the "3" passing directly through the lines to the "6".

By this I mean that the "1", the CM or DM or whatever pivot man, is rarely turning upfield with the ball himself. Sure, its nice if he has the space to, but if you are playing against a defense who gives a lone pivot man the space to receive a pass to feet from one of the 3 CB's and turn to then look for passes ahead, then, there isn't really a need for this 3-1-6 system as we're discussing in the first place. You could call this unpressured lone pivot a regista type and presumably play him in any arrangement (4-1-2-3 etc...). Basically, if it is easy to get him the ball at feet facing ahead unpressured, then the tactical question becomes about how do you want to set up your team to best receive the next pass from him...

Point being, I think folks who are showing the man I am calling the "1" with the ball at his feet have sort of lost the purpose of the 3-1-6 as it has come about.

The excellent article mentioned earlier, https://totalfootballanalysis.com/article/lilles-flexible-3-1-6-system-tactical-analysis-tactics, explains how this tactic is all about using the "1" to break the press and arrange "wall passes" from a CB, to the "1", back to a CB, and then immediately through to one of the "6". Bypassing the opponent's midfield, because their midfielder has rushed up to press the "1" from behind. If he does not, the "1" may turn, but the expectation and point of the tactic is that they will press him from behind.

 

Below, taken from the TFA article... here is the "ideal" way that this 3-1-6 concept helps the ball travel from a CB to an upfield player (one of the "6") via a "wall pass" where the "1" attracts pressure (the white Valencia player in this photo with the blue dotted line) from behind in order to lay the ball backwards for his teammate to play a forward pass through that space the Valencia player has vacated. In this case, it looks like Valencia are defending in a 4-4-2 and by using this 3-1-6 arrangement and a "wall pass" via the "1" Lille have easily played the ball behind Valencia's midfield 4.

Lille's flexible 3-1-6 system tactical analysis tactics

 

Not that it isn't valid to ask what this 3-1-6 can do when the idea is to get the ball to the "1", and of course FM ME has its limits... but I wanted to keep us honest here as we try to investigate this 3-1-6 idea. When I see a pass map like this one earlier from @Lordluap I do not see any of these passes from CB through to the next line, I just see passes from CB to the "1" who then turns and distributes. Somewhat amazingly, your player #10 has not passed to anyone but the "1".

2.PNG

 

The "wall pass" idea is a tricky one to encourage in FM but I wonder if we can look in the forums for examples of that and build it in.

This 3-1-6 thread is exploring a great idea and if we could focus on figuring out how to create that "wall pass" then we might make this shape come alive and also have a great little nugget to use in other shapes.

:)

 

Interesting points and well explained, thank you. 

I am just trying to finish my second season with Arsenal and then I can have a proper pre-season and run at this system.

A midfield 5 of // Sancho - Oyarzabal - Rice - Partey - Saka // feels like it should enjoy itself

Just out of interest @Lordluap how do you go for possession? High I assume...

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3 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

I imagine that using a DLP as the '1' is probably partly why you'd see the ball going through it more than the CBs moving it on to the next line.

Yes, I was thinking the same. The CM(defend - or (support) idea for the "1" makes more sense to me. Even considered an anchor man for a moment because he just holds his spot, but he would maybe be too deep.

I did try to run a version of this for a single game on my save last night but it hardly counts as a real experiment. No tac familiarity and despite watching the match on full and tweaking here and there based on suggestions offered here, I was able to get the 3-1-6 shape and idea only a few times during the entire match.

I got the 3-1-6 shape a but more often, especially with the slightly semicircular "6", but the CB's constantly wanted to pass the ball to the wing backs and it almost seemed like the wing backs would gravitate backwards to them to help this on. This could have been down to the opposition formation I happened to be playing (5-1-2-2 3CB 2WB DM 2CM 2ST) -- but I thought that a 5 at the back formation was a perfect thing to use this on, as my "6" would stretch them like Pep does against 5 atb.

I should say that for most of the match I took the advice here to create the 3-1 and used the following, with CM(d) and sometimes CM(s). as the "1". Never any playmaker role. I also gave them 25 minutes or so with DM strata and DM(d) / HB.

CM(d) (sit wider) CM(d)-sometimes (s)

CB(d)                    (cb) (sit wider)

One issue I also kept having which I suspect may be a challenge for all of us, is that while I could find moments of lovely 3-1-6 shape, My players at the back tried very hard to pass to my Wing Backs rather than my "4" upfront central players. Then the ball would be at the wing back position with relatively little local support, and they would hoof some pass or dribble forward. I don't see giving the ball to the wing back as the ideal point of this whole maneuver. I'd rather have them be able to play it directly in to one of my attacking central "4" who can combine quickly because they have the ball facing the defense and the enemy midfield has been bypassed.

I figured my goal kicks would be places where the formation for build up play would shine, but before the nice 3-1 diamond could be formed, someone would invariably pass it to a wing back, them being the more open man. I tried remedies like shorter passing (that just seemed to bring the wing back's closer backwards and further discourage passes to the high "4")... and of course play out of the back was ticked, as was GK to distribute to CB. I was on balanced mentality for those curious.

Anyhow....  TL:DR a jumble of loose observations from a first go. And agreement that a playmaker seems illogical for the "1".

 

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Sorry for double post, but I should mention on its own this excellent article about Man City 2020 that mostly covers how Pep arranges against a back 5... spoiler alert he puts 6 to stretch the 5. ...and then a 1 and a 3 behind his 6. :)

https://spielverlagerung.com/2020/09/18/analysing-manchester-citys-attack-structural-considerations-and-variations/

Good graphics as well:

City-3-1-6-with-Jesus-1024x925.png

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1 hour ago, acmilano112000 said:

One issue I also kept having which I suspect may be a challenge for all of us, is that while I could find moments of lovely 3-1-6 shape, My players at the back tried very hard to pass to my Wing Backs rather than my "4" upfront central players. Then the ball would be at the wing back position with relatively little local support, and they would hoof some pass or dribble forward. I don't see giving the ball to the wing back as the ideal point of this whole maneuver. I'd rather have them be able to play it directly in to one of my attacking central "4" who can combine quickly because they have the ball facing the defense and the enemy midfield has been bypassed.

Anyhow....  TL:DR a jumble of loose observations from a first go. And agreement that a playmaker seems illogical for the "1".

 

To hit those 1/2 spaces do you have any AM players with drop deep for a trait? That may help. As you point out 'generic' midfield roles help too, as then the defenders may bypass them to hit the AMs, whereas a DLP/RPM is getting the ball. Also as you point out, depending on the opposition it simply might never be on. So they go wider.

My 523 (while not setting out to get a '3-1-6') does make use of the 'wall' pass - sometimes going BPD-CM-BPD-AM, sometimes straight BPD-AM - and it is very oppo specific.  If the opposition has a press on my central BPD and some wide guys hovering around the WB/FB then the wide BPDs will make that longer 1/2 space pass. But if the opposition is more compressed in the middle, the play out wide makes sense, so they should use it.

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1 hour ago, acmilano112000 said:

Sorry for double post, but I should mention on its own this excellent article about Man City 2020 that mostly covers how Pep arranges against a back 5... spoiler alert he puts 6 to stretch the 5. ...and then a 1 and a 3 behind his 6. :)

https://spielverlagerung.com/2020/09/18/analysing-manchester-citys-attack-structural-considerations-and-variations/

Good graphics as well:

City-3-1-6-with-Jesus-1024x925.png

Nice post, worth noting that Pep's approach shown here is not like most in this thread - using two attacking full backs and narrow wingers in a 4-2-3-1/4-2-4, with one DM dropping into defence.

Instead it uses one full back tucking into form a back three (i.e. an IWBd in FM terms), with the other pushing forwards as a conventional wing back. Then you just need the winger to come inside on the flank of the attacking full back, and the the winger on the side of the defensive full back to stay wide and stretch the play. The striker, 'free 8s', DM and CBs do their jobs as normal.

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2 minutes ago, Mike_Cardinal said:

Nice post, worth noting that Pep's approach shown here is not like most in this thread - using two attacking full backs and narrow wingers in a 4-2-3-1/4-2-4, with one DM dropping into defence.

Instead it uses one full back tucking into form a back three (i.e. an IWBd in FM terms), with the other pushing forwards as a conventional wing back. Then you just need the winger to come inside on the flank of the attacking full back, and the the winger on the side of the defensive full back to stay wide and stretch the play. The striker, 'free 8s', DM and CBs do their jobs as normal.

Agreed, good to point this out. This Pep 3-1-6 is a different method of achieving roughly the same overall shape.

In some ways, depending on how our teams set up, I think this might be an easier way of creating the 3-1-6... just a few roles change.

What I like about this is that it feels like it jives with the ME rather than trying to cut against the grain of how the ME wants to operate. In the sense that the various attempts to have a CM or DM drop back and become the third member of the back three feel to me like tricking the ME and that player just doesn't truly want to be there. Having either a real back 3 with 3 CB's, or 2 CB's and a FB or IWB who joins them feels more natural to me and fitting of how the ME interprets the roles.

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On 25/01/2021 at 18:24, acmilano112000 said:

Agreed, good to point this out. This Pep 3-1-6 is a different method of achieving roughly the same overall shape.

In some ways, depending on how our teams set up, I think this might be an easier way of creating the 3-1-6... just a few roles change.

What I like about this is that it feels like it jives with the ME rather than trying to cut against the grain of how the ME wants to operate. In the sense that the various attempts to have a CM or DM drop back and become the third member of the back three feel to me like tricking the ME and that player just doesn't truly want to be there. Having either a real back 3 with 3 CB's, or 2 CB's and a FB or IWB who joins them feels more natural to me and fitting of how the ME interprets the roles.

Yeah, I think it probably would be easier to achieve, without having tried it! Asking the CB on the other side to the inverted full back to 'Stay Wider' should give you a more natural back three shape than with a DM dropping backwards, as well, which always looks slightly awkward.

It's worth asking not only can we recreate a trendy tactical shape like the 3-1-6 in FM, but also ask the question of why real-life managers are doing it, and in what circumstances we might want to replicate it.

I'm sure plenty of the knowledgeable posters on this thread will be very familiar with positional play and the 2-3-5 shape, which was achieved differently by Pep's City (full backs tuck into midfield, wingers stay wide, 8s push forwards) and Klopp's Liverpool (full backs push high up, wingers come inside, 8s hold a deeper midfield position).

An interesting variation on that is that Pep likes to play a 3-2-5 against teams who leave two strikers forwards in attack. Basically, he wants one more defender than they have strikers when in possession, to make it easier to play out of defence and cover against counter-attacks.

The thinking behind the 2-3-5/3-2-5 was that it exploits the natural gaps in a back four to break down defences, whilst guarding against counter-attacks. The 3-1-6 is clearly a more attacking development, but also a potential solution to the fact that after Conte's Chelsea saw great success with an unusual system (at the time), attacking in a 3-2-5 with both wing backs pushing forwards, PL teams turned to a back five themselves to try and nullify them.

That has me thinking about a setup where you tailor your positional play approach in possession to the opposition's defensive formation - you aim for one more defender than they have strikers (i.e. a back three in possesion against a front two, or two CBs against a lone striker) and one more attacker than they have defenders (i.e. a front five against back fours, and six attackers against a back five), with the rest of your team sitting in midfield.

For example, you would aim for a a 3-1-6 against a 5-3-2/3-5-2, a 2-3-5 against 4-5-1 shapes like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, a 3-2-5 against a 4-4-2 (whether it's flat, a diamond or box-midfield), and maybe a 2-2-6 would be effective against teams who play with a 5-4-1/3-4-3. Food for thought...

Edited by Mike_Cardinal
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2 hours ago, Mike_Cardinal said:

That has me thinking about a setup where you tailor your positional play approach in possession to the opposition's defensive formation - you aim for one more defender than they have strikers (i.e. a back three in possesion against a front two, or two CBs against a lone striker) and one more attacker than they have defenders (i.e. a front five against back fours, and six attackers against a back five), with the rest of your team sitting in midfield.

For example, you would aim for a a 3-6-1 against a 5-3-2/3-5-2, a 2-3-5 against 4-5-1 shapes like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, a 3-2-5 against a 4-4-2 (whether it's flat, a diamond or box-midfield), and maybe a 2-2-6 would be effective against teams who play with a 5-4-1/3-4-3. Food for thought...

Basically my thoughts exactly, and what draws me to this thread. I've been a Pep follower for a while very keen on his tactics and their evolution and adjustment. I'm personally interested in this group's effort to explore the 3-1-6 because it is something I've seen Pep using exactly as you say, when he faces a 5atb team or a team who is sitting so deep they've effectively become 5atb.

What you conclude above is exactly why I pointed out the recent article (again, https://spielverlagerung.com/2020/09/18/analysing-manchester-citys-attack-structural-considerations-and-variations/) because it discusses just this - how Pep adjusts his players when facing a 4atb and a 5atb. 

What I like about this exploration is that we aren't looking at the 3-1-6 in a vacuum as just a system to use in general, but instead we are figuring out:

A) the 3-1-6 as a system to use when it makes sense to
B) what system are we using the rest of the time?
C) how easy is it to switch between them?

I'm halfway through the first season of a Montpellier save, largely because I was looking for a lower mid table team who had the personnel to operate like a poor man's Man City. The Montpellier midfielders have some of these qualities. Point is, I'm trying to make a tactical vision that does what you say. One overall vision, that is interpreted in some (hopefully small) tactical differences depending on the opposition shape. I think this is a lot of what Pep does in setting out his team each week. My basic formation is a 4-5-1 (2-3-5 attacking shape)... and maybe just maybe I can spin that into a 3-1-6 attacking shape when against a back 5. (Back 5 is rare in Ligue 1 in FM sadly, but I want it in my toolbox.) -- Side Note @Mike_Cardinal, if you are indeed interested in Pep's tactics which it seems you are, and thinking of "tailoring your positional play approach" as you just wrote... maybe we should lead a revival of the Recreate Pep's City thread that has been quite slow since FM19. The gist of it seems to be that people made his primary shape and said "ok, done"... whereas perhaps this season IRL more than ever he is using a variety of shapes and it would be quite interesting to try to recreate his entire tactical toolbox into a single tactical vision for FM.

BUT. Not to deviate the great thread here though... I think the most helpful point here is to help us all explore multiple ways of forming what we all agree is an interesting 3-1-6 shape... so that whatever our other related systems may be, we can morph in and out of 3-1-6 easily.

It is probably true that all the wonderful threads here about a single tactical shape mostly ignore how that shape fits among others and when it is most useful. We all get so hung up on recreating the shape that we get a bit of tunnel vision that we will use it 100% of the time. Maybe that's fine, but maybe it is helpful to remember why and when these tactical ideas make sense to use. Seems that is more what happens IRL.

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My understanding of the 3-1-6 from that Lille article posted in this thread is that it's mainly used to escape a press. So the "1" making wall passes only makes sense if he's pressed by a player. If they leave him alone, why would the team make those kind of passes? 

I found an article on Tuchel at PSG where a 3-1-6 can be seen used in the transition phase: https://breakingthelines.com/tactical-analysis/analyzing-thomas-tuchels/

I think for those vertical passes into midfield you need quite  a high mentality. My team mostly made those passes on an attacking mentality, so they might be seen by the ME as risky passes. 

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9 hours ago, breze77 said:

My understanding of the 3-1-6 from that Lille article posted in this thread is that it's mainly used to escape a press. So the "1" making wall passes only makes sense if he's pressed by a player. If they leave him alone, why would the team make those kind of passes? 

Absolutely. Good point, but I guess what I'm saying is if they leave the "1" alone then of course you're right he shouldn't become a wall pass, he should turn... but if they aren't pressing him then is there a press you need to escape with a 3-1-6? Should you be in the 3-1-6 at all then, or is there a better shape if they aren't pressing?

Great Tuchel PSG article, I've just read it. Posting for all a helpful image from it that might be an inspiring personnel example for those here using the CM(D) as a third rear player:

https://breakingthelines.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/possesion-strucutre.png

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22 minutes ago, acmilano112000 said:

Absolutely. Good point, but I guess what I'm saying is if they leave the "1" alone then of course you're right he shouldn't become a wall pass, he should turn... but if they aren't pressing him then is there a press you need to escape with a 3-1-6? Should you be in the 3-1-6 at all then, or is there a better shape if they aren't pressing?

Great Tuchel PSG article, I've just read it. Posting for all a helpful image from it that might be an inspiring personnel example for those here using the CM(D) as a third rear player:

https://breakingthelines.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/possesion-strucutre.png

That's exactly my thinking. It's a very useful tool to have in your arsenal for those games where they press you, but the shape doesn't have to be used during the whole attacking phase.

I think the 3-1-6 shape is a good shape when your team transitions from defence to attack, especially if the other team press you high or man for man, but it's not something that you necessarily need to be looking for when you're camped in front of your opponents box. Or in other words, you shouldn't be worried if your CMd, that's part of the 3, pushes forward after your team is already attacking the opposition box.

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Really enjoyed catching up with this thread and the ideas contained within it. 

Just a (hopefully) quick and quite basic question but...any thoughts on this in terms of team width and tempo?

My assumption is quite narrow for the team to help keep possession but telling the widest players (whether they are wingers or full backs) to stay wide and a 'slightly lower' tempo so we are keeping the ball and  not being minded to play forward too quickly?

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On 25/01/2021 at 10:16, Mike_Cardinal said:

Nice post, worth noting that Pep's approach shown here is not like most in this thread - using two attacking full backs and narrow wingers in a 4-2-3-1/4-2-4, with one DM dropping into defence.

Instead it uses one full back tucking into form a back three (i.e. an IWBd in FM terms), with the other pushing forwards as a conventional wing back. Then you just need the winger to come inside on the flank of the attacking full back, and the the winger on the side of the defensive full back to stay wide and stretch the play. The striker, 'free 8s', DM and CBs do their jobs as normal.

I actually disagree with this slightly. 

An IWBd would still move into the defensive midfield area & this probably represents Cancelo's role at the moment. Although, I would argue that he's an IWBs considering he's popping up everywhere. The opposite FB would possibly be a FBd to give you your 3 & the player in front is probably a DMd to give you the 3-1 shape.

The 6 in front are probably a little harder to create & it will depend largely on the formation you use as a starting point.

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4 hours ago, retrodude09 said:

I actually disagree with this slightly. 

An IWBd would still move into the defensive midfield area & this probably represents Cancelo's role at the moment. Although, I would argue that he's an IWBs considering he's popping up everywhere. The opposite FB would possibly be a FBd to give you your 3 & the player in front is probably a DMd to give you the 3-1 shape.

The 6 in front are probably a little harder to create & it will depend largely on the formation you use as a starting point.

Yeah I take your point - I guess the main thing is that it's a FB forming the back three, not a DM.

I would say Cancelo is playing at least as an IWBs, probably even as an IWBa last night - I find the IWBd tucking inside makes them more suited than an FBd to this role, but it would be a case of trial and error with the match engine.

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I think the key here is how you wish to defend, attack and which personnel you're using to create the 3-1.  Also, if you're recreating a specific tactic or just utilising an idea.

I personally want to defend in a 442 most of the time, not a 433  etc.  I also don't really want a large gap on my flanks created by using IWBs and the team being "offset" as the FM Match Engine can't quite adjust to Peps Man City style positioning.

 

If you're recreating Lille - for example - they set up in a 442 and use the double midfield to create the 3-1 with the fullbacks pushing up to create the width.  They do this by asking midfielder  to drop to the side of the CBs.

Tuchel at PSG Also sets up largely in a 442.  To achieve the 3-1 one of Verratti, Paredes or Gueye drop both between or to the side the CBs (like a Half Back should in game).

Pirlo at Juventus generally wants Danilo (a full back) to stay back and tuck in, as Pep did with Laporte - for example - against WBA in the 2nd half last night.

In the OP we were looking to achieve the 3-1-6 positioning of Ajax and that would mean asking one of the CM's to drop to the side of the defence.

 

What's nice about achieving the 3-1-6 is that there are a number of ways we can try it.  Unfortunately in the match engine none are quite perfect.

Edited by Lordluap
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14 hours ago, breze77 said:

That's exactly my thinking. It's a very useful tool to have in your arsenal for those games where they press you, but the shape doesn't have to be used during the whole attacking phase.

I think the 3-1-6 shape is a good shape when your team transitions from defence to attack, especially if the other team press you high or man for man, but it's not something that you necessarily need to be looking for when you're camped in front of your opponents box. Or in other words, you shouldn't be worried if your CMd, that's part of the 3, pushes forward after your team is already attacking the opposition box.

Exactly.  After the initial build up i'd want the CM (or DM) that has dropped into the back line to progress up the field to support in case the ball is turned over or if my front 6 are pressed heavily, allowing an outlet for ball recycling.  What's good is that using using a HB dropping centrally or a CM/d dropping back to the side, once play progresses this action  does happen.  It does also happen when using a FB/d - but a) I see it less, and b) from a wide position, which doesn't really help if the ball is turned over centrally and only aids possession if the attack is focussed on that side or if a switch is on.

Edited by Lordluap
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I should add as well, in FM, the wide midfielders/wingers only really stay wide during the initial build up - they then largely deviate inside.  It seems that best way to maintain width and stretch the opposition in FM at present is to set your Fullbacks wide and high.  I just can't seem to get that attacking width using these versions of Peps attack, using the 235 / 325 as the wingers are always narrowing once they pass the halfway line.  So, to get the 3-1-6 (wide 6) i'd want to have the Fullbacks push up (as you see in the Tuchel / PSG screenshot above whilst a narrower player drops.

The use of the IWB and sitting fullback that Pep uses are generally there to aid defensive transition in case of a turnover while the wingers hold the width.  It's a great way of playing and quite and elegant solution to the problem, but I just can't  see it work as it should in FM while the attacking wingers don't keep the full width all they way up the pitch.

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33 minutes ago, BrickCommo23 said:

Is there a way of making a DM or even an MC drop down to the side of 2 central defenders? I've only managed to make it sort of work by using the HB role (which drops in the middle).

See page 1 and above.  Yes I use FM20, but a CM(d) in the LCM or RCM slot (in a 2 or a 3 man midfield) with "Stay Wider" instruction will do this - albeit within the mechanical restrictions of the match engine.

Edited by Lordluap
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Ah nice, thank you

4 minutes ago, Lordluap said:

See page 1.  Yes I use FM20, but a CM(d) in the LCM or RCM slot (in a 2 or a 3 man midfield) with "Stay Wider" instruction will do this - albeit within the mechanical restrictions of the match engine.

 

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7 hours ago, Lordluap said:

I should add as well, in FM, the wide midfielders/wingers only really stay wide during the initial build up - they then largely deviate inside.  It seems that best way to maintain width and stretch the opposition in FM at present is to set your Fullbacks wide and high.  I just can't seem to get that attacking width using these versions of Peps attack, using the 235 / 325 as the wingers are always narrowing once they pass the halfway line.  So, to get the 3-1-6 (wide 6) i'd want to have the Fullbacks push up (as you see in the Tuchel / PSG screenshot above whilst a narrower player drops.

The use of the IWB and sitting fullback that Pep uses are generally there to aid defensive transition in case of a turnover while the wingers hold the width.  It's a great way of playing and quite and elegant solution to the problem, but I just can't  see it work as it should in FM while the attacking wingers don't keep the full width all they way up the pitch.

I think they stay wider if you play a 4-1-4-1 / 4-4-1-1 with the wide players in the ML/MR strata rather than AML/AMR 

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Watching the Everton v Leicester game tonight Youri Tielemans is occasionally pulling the same movement as the RCM (CM(d)) in my 442 and 451 tactics. They're not quite forming the 3-1-6 that we see in the articles etc, but it’s nice to see the FM movement in a real life game. 

Edited by Lordluap
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On 27/01/2021 at 06:25, Mike_Cardinal said:

Yeah I take your point - I guess the main thing is that it's a FB forming the back three, not a DM.

I would say Cancelo is playing at least as an IWBs, probably even as an IWBa last night - I find the IWBd tucking inside makes them more suited than an FBd to this role, but it would be a case of trial and error with the match engine.

My general principle that I follow with the IWB role is this: on defend duty, they'll slot into the DM band, on support they'll go to CM band and on attack they'll venture forward to the AM band.

This is generally what I've observed when using the IWB on those duties.

The FB on defend will usually sit in the defensive line, occasionally advancing when the situation presents itself. Obviously, it won't tuck in as much, even with sit narrower, but it does keep that chain of three in the back line for build up.

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I'm managing to get decent results using stay wider on either a HB or a DLP(D) in the DM strata paired with a RPM. 3 AMs all on attack duty and a CF(S). I know it sounds a bit 'wrong' to have all 3AMs on attack but so far so good. Will get some screenshots done when I get chance. Here's a quick one: 

image.png.64f3ca5d0dd00261ea1da8b9058d1c01.png

I'm still messing with TI's but the idea of narrow and focus through middle is to funnel the ball through the DMs and allow the WB's to get higher without the CBs looking for them every time as some others have said on this thread. 

I've sometimes gone to maximum closing down intensity to cut off the oppo supply so my AP and IW don't have to track back and make the most of their attack duty. The idea came from reading Pep Confidential. He makes the point that to get the most out of Ribery and Robben they need the defensive line as high as possible and to press high and hard to make sure Robbery don't have to come back into the midfield all the time. I am a bit scared of 'much higher' d-line with Pique and Umtiti being a little average pace wise but may try it going forwards. 

The wingbacks here tend to support build up but both of them have the trait of 'gets forward whenever possible' so they seem to still get involved when the ball in on their side 

The idea of having 'stay wider' on the HB/DLP(D) is that they get involved in wide build up play on their side. I feel like with a normal HB they sit centrally in-front of the CBs which leaves a big gap on their flank and build up is more difficult. I've also seen him filling in for the RB on occasion which is cool 

Edited by timbom
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I just found a very interesting video on not necessarily the 3-1-6, but the use of a CM dropping to the right side to form a back 3 and exploiting space. In this video this kind of movement is used to drag the opposition LM out and create space behind him. In turn dortmund formed a 3-1 shape during build up. I think It's a very interesting concept and perhaps another good explanation for the use of the 3-1 shape at the back.

 

 

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3 hours ago, breze77 said:

I just found a very interesting video on not necessarily the 3-1-6, but the use of a CM dropping to the right side to form a back 3 and exploiting space. In this video this kind of movement is used to drag the opposition LM out and create space behind him. In turn dortmund formed a 3-1 shape during build up. I think It's a very interesting concept and perhaps another good explanation for the use of the 3-1 shape at the back.

 

 

This is great. I think the main problem I've found with the ME is that the other CM/DM tends to stay further to their 'side' and not centrally, which funnels the play the same direction when you play out. I with their was a 'sit central' instruction...

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From today's Man City vs Sheffield: Walker on the right, Dias in the middle, Laporte on the left; Fernandinho behind the first line; Bernardo, Gundo and Zinchenko behind the second line; Torres, Jesus and Foden pushing the last line. PPMs should be taken into account: mainly for LCB (Laporte already has Brings Ball Out of Defence, i guess); eventually RCB with plays short simple passes (although Ruben Dias plays the occasional long ball).

My opinion regarding this City:

GK SK-S/A ; RB FB-D with PIs Sit Narrow and Run Wide ; RCB CD-C ; LCB BPD-D or just CD-D ; LB FB-S with Sit Narrow ; CDM BWM-D ; RCM AP-A ; LCM CM-S with Hold Position or AP-S also with HP ; RW W-A ; LW W-A ; ST PF-A. I can't find any good role for the wingers: they are very wide so IW , RMD, IF are not suited, AP and T play between the lines, WTM has dribble less, W has cross more often... The most appropriate description would be the AF role (scores, creates, chases down passes) but I don't think you can achieve the width with 3 STs.

TIs: Wide, Lower Tempo, Be More Disciplined, Play Out of Defence, Much Higher DL, Higher/Much Higher LE, Defend Narrower, Extremely Urgent, Stay on Feet 

01 vs Sheffield 2021-01-30.png

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You can use a WM in the midfield strata, you can give them the stay wider, get further forward and cut inside when has the ball PIs. That way you can get some of the movement of the city wide men.

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1 hour ago, Garrlor said:

You can use a WM in the midfield strata, you can give them the stay wider, get further forward and cut inside when has the ball PIs. That way you can get some of the movement of the city wide men.

They'll be too far from the opposition defensive line, I think.

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20 minutes ago, lfds89 said:

They'll be too far from the opposition defensive line, I think.

They get forward very well, especially on attack. Remember that where they are on the tactics screen shows your defensive shape, there is plenty of time for them to get up the pitch.

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On 1/24/2021 at 17:42, acmilano112000 said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!@Lordluap

I admit I haven't been trying myself to make this in FM yet like you guys have, and excellent thread here, but I wanted to jump in to help keep it on track by pointing something important out that is being overlooked:

One of the main points of the 3-1-6 as it has been used (I shouldn't say you can't take it in your own direction) is that the "1", acts as a wall-passer pivot to facilitate the "3" passing directly through the lines to the "6".

By this I mean that the "1", the CM or DM or whatever pivot man, is rarely turning upfield with the ball himself. Sure, its nice if he has the space to, but if you are playing against a defense who gives a lone pivot man the space to receive a pass to feet from one of the 3 CB's and turn to then look for passes ahead, then, there isn't really a need for this 3-1-6 system as we're discussing in the first place. You could call this unpressured lone pivot a regista type and presumably play him in any arrangement (4-1-2-3 etc...). Basically, if it is easy to get him the ball at feet facing ahead unpressured, then the tactical question becomes about how do you want to set up your team to best receive the next pass from him...

Point being, I think folks who are showing the man I am calling the "1" with the ball at his feet have sort of lost the purpose of the 3-1-6 as it has come about.

The excellent article mentioned earlier, https://totalfootballanalysis.com/article/lilles-flexible-3-1-6-system-tactical-analysis-tactics, explains how this tactic is all about using the "1" to break the press and arrange "wall passes" from a CB, to the "1", back to a CB, and then immediately through to one of the "6". Bypassing the opponent's midfield, because their midfielder has rushed up to press the "1" from behind. If he does not, the "1" may turn, but the expectation and point of the tactic is that they will press him from behind.

 

Below, taken from the TFA article... here is the "ideal" way that this 3-1-6 concept helps the ball travel from a CB to an upfield player (one of the "6") via a "wall pass" where the "1" attracts pressure (the white Valencia player in this photo with the blue dotted line) from behind in order to lay the ball backwards for his teammate to play a forward pass through that space the Valencia player has vacated. In this case, it looks like Valencia are defending in a 4-4-2 and by using this 3-1-6 arrangement and a "wall pass" via the "1" Lille have easily played the ball behind Valencia's midfield 4.

Lille's flexible 3-1-6 system tactical analysis tactics

 

Not that it isn't valid to ask what this 3-1-6 can do when the idea is to get the ball to the "1", and of course FM ME has its limits... but I wanted to keep us honest here as we try to investigate this 3-1-6 idea. When I see a pass map like this one earlier from @Lordluap I do not see any of these passes from CB through to the next line, I just see passes from CB to the "1" who then turns and distributes. Somewhat amazingly, your player #10 has not passed to anyone but the "1".

2.PNG

 

The "wall pass" idea is a tricky one to encourage in FM but I wonder if we can look in the forums for examples of that and build it in.

This 3-1-6 thread is exploring a great idea and if we could focus on figuring out how to create that "wall pass" then we might make this shape come alive and also have a great little nugget to use in other shapes.

:)

 

Seems like a DMd with PPM for short simple passes would help with this. Could you even train him to play with back to goal? Probably wouldn't help even if you could, as I would hope it only really kicks in closer to goal.

And then use PIs as necessary to shorten up and reduce risk of passes.

This should somewhat fit the idea that the 1 will sometimes turn and make a killer pass... you reduce his preference for it so he really only does it when it is a good bet

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On 25/01/2021 at 22:05, Mike_Cardinal said:

Yeah, I think it probably would be easier to achieve, without having tried it! Asking the CB on the other side to the inverted full back to 'Stay Wider' should give you a more natural back three shape than with a DM dropping backwards, as well, which always looks slightly awkward.

It's worth asking not only can we recreate a trendy tactical shape like the 3-1-6 in FM, but also ask the question of why real-life managers are doing it, and in what circumstances we might want to replicate it.

I'm sure plenty of the knowledgeable posters on this thread will be very familiar with positional play and the 2-3-5 shape, which was achieved differently by Pep's City (full backs tuck into midfield, wingers stay wide, 8s push forwards) and Klopp's Liverpool (full backs push high up, wingers come inside, 8s hold a deeper midfield position).

An interesting variation on that is that Pep likes to play a 3-2-5 against teams who leave two strikers forwards in attack. Basically, he wants one more defender than they have strikers when in possession, to make it easier to play out of defence and cover against counter-attacks.

The thinking behind the 2-3-5/3-2-5 was that it exploits the natural gaps in a back four to break down defences, whilst guarding against counter-attacks. The 3-1-6 is clearly a more attacking development, but also a potential solution to the fact that after Conte's Chelsea saw great success with an unusual system (at the time), attacking in a 3-2-5 with both wing backs pushing forwards, PL teams turned to a back five themselves to try and nullify them.

That has me thinking about a setup where you tailor your positional play approach in possession to the opposition's defensive formation - you aim for one more defender than they have strikers (i.e. a back three in possesion against a front two, or two CBs against a lone striker) and one more attacker than they have defenders (i.e. a front five against back fours, and six attackers against a back five), with the rest of your team sitting in midfield.

For example, you would aim for a a 3-6-1 against a 5-3-2/3-5-2, a 2-3-5 against 4-5-1 shapes like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, a 3-2-5 against a 4-4-2 (whether it's flat, a diamond or box-midfield), and maybe a 2-2-6 would be effective against teams who play with a 5-4-1/3-4-3. Food for thought...


This is a really interesting question.

To me, the advantage of this shape is:

  1. It is extremely difficult to press.
  2. It is extremely good at pressing

Expanding on those points a bit, in build-up when pressed.

  • the deep '3-1' shape gives you a diamond shape which can circulate the ball in the early build up.
    • Against a 4-3-3 (or any front 3) we always have an additional man advantage over the opposition press.
    • Against a 4-2-3-1 it's '3-1' vs '3-1' so you rely more on the quality of your players, your goalkeeper as a safety net and that most opposition sides do not press particularly effectively (in FM2018, at least).
  • Of the attacking '6', I typically want at least 5 - and regularly all 6 - to drop off and create passing options.
    • With PSG we are mostly pretty close to the shape these articles describe as 3-1-5-1.
      • The two Inside Forwards (Support) sit narrow and roam, whilst the wingbacks provide width.
        • These often create a 2v1 against the opposition fullbacks
      • Up front either Cavani is a Target Man (Support) or Neymar is a False 9 (Support), with both roaming.
      • Mbappe plays as an Advanced Forward (Attack) - or later, a Complete Forward (Attack) - getting in behind the defence, creating the '5-1' shape.
    • At Benfica all 6 drop off and create passing options in an out-and-out 3-1-6.
      • Inside Forwards / Wingbacks play the same.
      • We use a False 9 (Support) and a Shadow Striker (Attack) who is both available deep and is the spearhead of the attack.
  • Having either 5 or 6 players drop off totally overwhelms the opposition midfield, even those horrible deep double pivots are massively outnumbered.
  • The opposition defenders are pinned back and cannot follow as they would leave space for the remaining attacking players.

When we don't have the ball and need to press, it's much simpler but we press as a 4-4-2 which I have always found to be such an effective pressing shape.

We play against 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 variants the vast majority of the time. Occasionally 3/5-man defences in Europe become a little more congested but I haven't seen enough to really comment. 

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On 31/01/2021 at 02:54, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


This is a really interesting question.

To me, the advantage of this shape is:

  1. It is extremely difficult to press.
  2. It is extremely good at pressing

Expanding on those points a bit, in build-up when pressed.

  • the deep '3-1' shape gives you a diamond shape which can circulate the ball in the early build up.
    • Against a 4-3-3 (or any front 3) we always have an additional man advantage over the opposition press.
    • Against a 4-2-3-1 it's '3-1' vs '3-1' so you rely more on the quality of your players, your goalkeeper as a safety net and that most opposition sides do not press particularly effectively (in FM2018, at least).
  • Of the attacking '6', I typically want at least 5 - and regularly all 6 - to drop off and create passing options.
    • With PSG we are mostly pretty close to the shape these articles describe as 3-1-5-1.
      • The two Inside Forwards (Support) sit narrow and roam, whilst the wingbacks provide width.
        • These often create a 2v1 against the opposition fullbacks
      • Up front either Cavani is a Target Man (Support) or Neymar is a False 9 (Support), with both roaming.
      • Mbappe plays as an Advanced Forward (Attack) - or later, a Complete Forward (Attack) - getting in behind the defence, creating the '5-1' shape.
    • At Benfica all 6 drop off and create passing options in an out-and-out 3-1-6.
      • Inside Forwards / Wingbacks play the same.
      • We use a False 9 (Support) and a Shadow Striker (Attack) who is both available deep and is the spearhead of the attack.
  • Having either 5 or 6 players drop off totally overwhelms the opposition midfield, even those horrible deep double pivots are massively outnumbered.
  • The opposition defenders are pinned back and cannot follow as they would leave space for the remaining attacking players.

When we don't have the ball and need to press, it's much simpler but we press as a 4-4-2 which I have always found to be such an effective pressing shape.

We play against 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 variants the vast majority of the time. Occasionally 3/5-man defences in Europe become a little more congested but I haven't seen enough to really comment. 

Great analysis! Have been trying something very similar with 4-2-4 shape. But just wondering what makes your attacking players drop off like that? The roaming instructions? Or do you use another instruction for that? Because I noticed that even when on Positive team mentality, most if them tend to stay high up and not drop back much when in possession. I'm playing on FM21 though.

Edited by crusadertsar
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