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General advise how to set up my team.


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I like to build my own tactics. I'm in season 3 with Sunderland. I'm in the championship 1st season and one of the favourites to go down. In terms of wages I'm ranked 23rd in the league. Spent 500k in the summer compared to Crystal palace 60m. That being said my squad isnt bad and think its better than half the league. The league is strong with 6 teams who start the game in the prem. However I'm near the bottom , just lost 9 on the trot was in danger of the sack but managed back to back wins which has easied the pressure. I'm just leaking goals for fun and taken beatings 4-0,5-1 etc I general play 4231,433 or 442 with short passing and low tempo as I lack really pace.

Gk. I have 3 young keepers , all can be easily improved upon now, however I'm sticking with them as they can develop and generally they get high ratings and are playing well.

Fullbacks I lack quality in attacking sense. Jenkinson is decent defensively for the league but offers little going forward. Left back the same although I have a very good defensive lb but hes also my best CB so plays there.

CB. Have 2 good ones and a good prospect. I'm ok here my 2 starters as good as anything out 6 or 7 teams who are basically prem teams. 

Midfield is probably my strongest area, I have a defensive cdm would could play bottom half of prem. A play maker on loan from wolves who good enough for prem, these 2 would get in most teams in the league. After them I have Joe Allen and Ramirez, they lack physical now and getting on in age but thier attributes are good especially Allen. Also have few more players who are decent for the level.

Wingers are decent for the level but lack really pace. Best is around 14. Most of the important stats like crossing, shooting etc are around 14.

Strikers. Have 2 goods strikers , couple of my wingers can play here too. Main striker is assombolnaga he averages a goal every other game, if I create he scores. Also have a target man on loan from pren whose decent. 

I lack pace but also stamina which is a problem, I cant press high because of the stamina and I lack the pace to play on the counter. I've been trying to play slow patient build up with men behind the ball but I've getting destroyed most game. Even my last game I won 1-0 at home to Hull.  It was very lucky I had 2 shots to thier 23. My strength is my midfield but struggling to find a system to get the best of out them. Most I've play is 4231. I'm not after this tactic will work just some general tips in shape and tactics like tempo, roles of players etc

 

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I am no expert in these fields but i am looking at the fact you play short passing and slow tempo.  If you are a weaker side in the division this could lead to you having lots of possession in midfield but no penetration and when you lose possession you could get overrun as you say you lack pace.  My approach in a higher division first season is usually to have a fairly defensive set up  4411 or 4141 or even a defensive 442.  Dont have the line to deep but use the attacking asset on the counter it is a cliche but route one counter works

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Why don't you simply post a screenshot of your current tactic, so that we could share some thoughts on its potential weaknesses and what you could do in order to improve it.

Because general advice is inherently speculative and hence tends to be misleading. 

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

Why don't you simply post a screenshot of your current tactic, so that we could share some thoughts on its potential weaknesses and what you could do in order to improve it.

Because general advice is inherently speculative and hence tends to be misleading. 

Cheers will do when I get on later. Daft question,  how do I post pictures,  I'm not very good at technology 

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I was on the verge of the sack last season. I built the above from scratch and won 10 out of 12 to get into the playoffs which i won on pens. Problem at cam I had Zarate he came alive in this position and carried me but he decided to retire. I was also had a rwb on loan from Liverpool who was mustard but they kept him this season.

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37 minutes ago, Safe Hands said:

image.png.bc6b44ac3df625a839f8e7eed398f869.png

Hello.

I will start with Out of possession. So going with a Lower LOE and Standard DL is going to give you a low block. this typically used in counter tactics. You mentioned you want a possession based build up. So if you want something with Low block that's possession based your going to be looking at Fluid Counter Attack kind of play. Out of interest what's the Acceleration attribute for you back 4?

Il keep each comment short so can reply. But think looking at that kind of set up which can try advise you to achieve

 

 

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1 minute ago, JarheadFM said:

Hello.

I will start with Out of possession. So going with a Lower LOE and Standard DL is going to give you a low block. this typically used in counter tactics. You mentioned you want a possession based build up. So if you want something with Low block that's possession based your going to be looking at Fluid Counter Attack kind of play. Out of interest what's the Acceleration attribute for you back 4?

Il keep each comment short so can reply. But think looking at that kind of set up which can try advise you to achieve

 

 

1 cb has 12 acceleration, and 14 pace, other is 14 acceleration and 12 pace

Rb. Is 11 and 12

Lb. Is 13 and 14.

 

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1 minute ago, Safe Hands said:

1 cb has 12 acceleration, and 14 pace, other is 14 acceleration and 12 pace

Rb. Is 11 and 12

Lb. Is 13 and 14.

 

Yeah so high line maybe a bit risky, the CB would be fine that RB might be a liability. 

Option 1 Low Block. This Will make you drop back and usually win the ball in own half and build from there.

image.png.adf7ebba77cba6a644401a4097a14593.png

 

Option 2 Mid Block- Def Width on both is optional. This will block the middle of the pitch, usually win the ball as the team try to consolidate in midfield.

image.png.8afb96b58bdde74e051b39c746d61079.png

Option 3 is another mid block but a bit lower

image.png.c4908e5878dfb597ab4104b57e5d5e9f.png

Obvs Higher line has its risks, id say PL teams 13 min for ACC

 

image.png

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1 hour ago, Safe Hands said:

image.png.bc6b44ac3df625a839f8e7eed398f869.png

Much lower LOE - as well as (just) lower - means a defensive style of football. I don't know if that was your intention, but in case it was, then you need to know that defensive football requires defensive solidity, not just in terms of compactness via instructions but also a very balanced setup of roles and duties. The formation also matters, and the 4231 is not an optimal choice for that matter. It does not mean that you cannot play defensive football in a 4231. You can, but it's a lot more difficult to set up properly - due to inherent defensive vulnerability of the system. 

But even if you want to play defensive football, there is no need to go to an extreme such as much lower LOE. Lower (without much) is enough. 

Then you have 2 types of contradiction in your tactic - one between some instructions and some roles/duties, and the other between instructions themselves. Because some of your TIs are very-much possession-oriented, while others contradict such style of play.

So before any further discussion, you need to decide on the style of football you want to play, taking into account your players' strengths and weaknesses as well as your team's reputation within the league.

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1 hour ago, Safe Hands said:

image.png.bc6b44ac3df625a839f8e7eed398f869.png

You could have 3 tactics the same with one defensive set up for each.

 

Next want to address the WB and overlap problem your having. WBs have there place but in your case there going to run with ball, probably lose it and not get back quick enough and leave you wide open, I expect your BWM has to pick up RBs slack all the time.

I would lose the WBs. Go FB s and FB a, sits narrower could be an option as encourages simpler passes into the middle.

As you LB is quick. Id switch over my CMs and IFs.

Go FB a on left FB s on right. Hit early crosses could be option well see later, but for sure add low crosses. This will give you cut backs 

The overlap will increase the frequency of balls going out wide, but also effects the FB (increase) and IF (decrease) mentality's. Is this something you wanted? The FB a naturally overlaps so wont be entirely necessary to add the Instruction

Edited by JarheadFM
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Thanks all . Going to read and have a good look. Being honest I'm open to style of play. I just thought it was the best use of the players I have. I'd ideally like to play an attacking style of football but dont think I have the players. My strength is my cms who are better suited defensively.  January a few days away but attracting much players isnt really an option. 

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Another thing I conceded a ridiculous amount of long range shots.  Last 3 games I've played the top 3 at home lose 2 and drew 1. Villa and watford beat me 2 and 3-0 but ever goal was a 25 yard screamer

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The LOE was really helpful thank you. I've had a good look at my squad and there are so many glaring holes. It my own fault my recruitment was poor. When I got promoted I lost a lot of players and expected to bring in quality but it didnt materialise so I spent deadline day scrambling around and giving contracts to ageing players with names. I cant off laod without upsetting the squad and I have no money in the wage budget.  There a few prem players for loan so going to see if I can get them paying no wages. My aim now is to stay up and overhaul the squad in the summer. 

None of my wingers can cross, the best is 12 so that rules out 442, they also have no stamina best is 11 so they are not going to be running up and down.

My strength is midfield so think I have to play with 3 man midfield. Assistant recommendation is 532. I think this could work but my wing backs are average. Left back is ok with 14 in crossing and stamina. Right back I have a choice of 1 who cant cross but will run all day or 1 who can cross but lacks pace and stamina. 

Think this is the route I'm going to go for especially if I can grab a loan centre back. Play a patient , slow build up using the loan player from Wolves as a advanced playmaker and hope he can make the chances for the two strikers.

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1 minute ago, JarheadFM said:

@Safe HandsGibbs white can play CM right? what not drop back to a 433 DM wide. Use Gibbs white as Mez A maybe?

 

Did you choose a block?

Went with your 1st one, hard to tell if it worked as I played the top 3 in a row who are much stronger. Gibbs can play cm hes very good for level and is 4 stars in all roles except ball winner. Dobson 4 star ball winner or dm, those are my two best players. 

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@Safe Handsnice so got something to work with. 

So you have your out of possession.

Now need to work out In transition, possession and shape. Also Mentality.

In transition. In a low block, regroup or counter press can both be effective.

Re group is what it says basically. Counter press is probably thought of more as high line or maybe a mid block strategy (Jurgen Klopp counter presses in a mid block)

But if look at some times like Fergusons United or Sacchis Milan, both kept vertical compactness but where still quite agreesive when came to wiining the ball back.

If been using it more lately, found regroup and low block can be a bit to come hither and score.

Counter pressing low will help win ball more IMO

Distribute to full backs and counter.

Could be a good option. 

image.png.a77629f78e163848818f80b53a2bf0e9.png

 

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@Safe Handsnice so got something to work with. 

So you have your out of possession.

Now need to work out In transition, possession and shape. Also Mentality.

In transition. In a low block, regroup or counter press can both be effective.

Re group is what it says basically. Counter press is probably thought of more as high line or maybe a mid block strategy (Jurgen Klopp counter presses in a mid block)

But if look at some times like Fergusons United or Sacchis Milan, both kept vertical compactness but where still quite agreesive when came to wiining the ball back.

If been using it more lately, found regroup and low block can be a bit to come hither and score.

Counter pressing low will help win ball more IMO

Distribute to full backs and counter.

Could be a good option. 

image.png.a77629f78e163848818f80b53a2bf0e9.png

 

image.png

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@Safe HandsI would probably set up something like this, Dobson DM Allen DLP and Gibbs white Mez a

With the advice if given so far, should stop so many goals being conceded. what you think?

Could add a BPD or NCB if got a CB who can pass

image.png.8415ef2fdd52a2d498a77acac60b2973.png

Edited by JarheadFM
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When I took over a club we were in a similar situation with a lot of oldies forcing the low tempo short passing style. experimented a lot with defensive and cautious mentalities but conceded pretty regularly from dumb mistakes, set pieces or long shots also struggled to score.

Just to give a bit of counter balance, I'd go for the possession style in your situation (which I did with a 41221.) Higher defensive line, positive mentality for the slightly more pressing, counter press, then normal line of engagement and off-side trap, lower tempo, shorter passing. With the right roles and duties that can be really solid without getting caught out too much on the counter. If you want to go balanced mentality set standard tempo and set the pressing to more urgent. (can post the tactic if you want)

I'm basing this on the fact that your backline aren't slouches. But mainly that setting up a "counter" instruction is forcing a more transitional match (players will try to move the ball quickly and aggressively when they win it back.) That's going to be massively problematic with older players or players lacking the physique to excel in transitions. Whereas a possession system allows them to showcase stronger technical and mental abilties (which they generally have.) As for the pressing, its not overboard in like a gegenpress, but it does allow you to force long balls, a lot of your players will be in the final third when you lose the ball making this soft press less reliant on strong physique or staminha. They can rest when they have the ball.

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20 hours ago, Guerin said:

When I took over a club we were in a similar situation with a lot of oldies forcing the low tempo short passing style. experimented a lot with defensive and cautious mentalities but conceded pretty regularly from dumb mistakes, set pieces or long shots also struggled to score.

Just to give a bit of counter balance, I'd go for the possession style in your situation (which I did with a 41221.) Higher defensive line, positive mentality for the slightly more pressing, counter press, then normal line of engagement and off-side trap, lower tempo, shorter passing. With the right roles and duties that can be really solid without getting caught out too much on the counter. If you want to go balanced mentality set standard tempo and set the pressing to more urgent. (can post the tactic if you want)

I'm basing this on the fact that your backline aren't slouches. But mainly that setting up a "counter" instruction is forcing a more transitional match (players will try to move the ball quickly and aggressively when they win it back.) That's going to be massively problematic with older players or players lacking the physique to excel in transitions. Whereas a possession system allows them to showcase stronger technical and mental abilties (which they generally have.) As for the pressing, its not overboard in like a gegenpress, but it does allow you to force long balls, a lot of your players will be in the final third when you lose the ball making this soft press less reliant on strong physique or staminha. They can rest when they have the ball.

Would be interested to see this tactic! 

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22 hours ago, benhoward12 said:

Would be interested to see this tactic! 

                                 TMa

                IFs                                Wa

                         DLPs        BBM

                                     A

                FBa      CB          CB      WBs

Mentality: Positive

instructions: shorter passing, lower tempo, pass into space, low crosses, counter-press, higher defensive line, offside trap, dribble less

Those are the basics. I occassionally toggle the tempo to normal if teams are pressing and catching me on the ball. If the TM is struggling to get in the game a switch to PFa is useful (often I combine that with switching my winger to inverted winger attack.) Against bigger teams I often use normal mentality and kick the pressing up one notch.

In terms of squad building the Anchor man needs good positioning (i retrained a centre back for the position) and flair is great for the right winger. back four should prioritize speed and positioning.

Edited by Guerin
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On 15/01/2021 at 13:59, Safe Hands said:

Cheers mate , will give it a go tonight. 

No worries, let me know if want to set up the rest

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Abandoned the short , slow build up wasnt getting me anywhere. Kept lower loe with a higher defensive line and put my 2and choice rb in the team for bit extra pace.

I lost heavily to 2 teams around me. Gone for a 442 more direct counter attacking. Got 3 good results away a 1-0, and 2 draws which were real kicks in the teeth last min equalised. Home form different scoring lots but conceding loads need last mins equaliser against bottom 2 and lost 5-0 against 2 from top 6. 6 games to go im 3 clear of 3rd bottom and play them next. It's a must win as last 2 games I've got the top 2 and dont fancy needing to get something.  I'm playing wide and hitting early crosses, my loan strikers been amazing since switching and has 9 in 6 games. The down side I dont have any left footed LM only a backup left back. So whoever plays there wants to cut inside. 

If i survive the sack next season I'm going to build a direct counter attacking 442. Priority a tall striker and left footed winger although I have a 17 year old out on loan who could develop into the role.

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Disaster struck Gibbs White was out for the season Injuryed in training.  There was actually 8 games to go. I had to go back to drawing board. I had a 33 year old Mexican international who hardly used all season. He had no pace or stamina but vusin, passing,flair and long shots all 17 and above. Went back to 4231 with him playing engenche.  Lower low, high line, and tight marketing.  He was brilliant scored 6 goals and we won 5 drew 2 and only lost last game of the season to Villa who need to beat me to win the league and we were safe. 

I'm going to play 5212 this season as I have 1 good centre , 3 excellent prospects who, 2 ready to play (may lose 1 as prem teams are bidding) and signed a 20 year old from spurs on a free who has unreal stats so got 4 top cbs. 

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