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Teams around the world used a number of different formations but none of them became as popular as a 4-4-2. The main reason behind this was its realtively balanced distribution of players to areas of the pitch.  It lost its old glory due to the popularity of one striker formations(4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, etc.) which allowed three midfielders to control the most vital area of the pitch, the midfield after Barca's phenomenal performance in Europe and Spain's dominance during 2012 World Cup, a strikerless 4-3-3-0. However, Diego Simeone believed in the power of two strikers while still maintaining the balance of the pitch with likes of Koke and Saul and was pretty strong in the league and international tournaments like Leicester's sensational league win in 2014. Jamie Vardy stormed the arguably best league in the world with 24 goals, which still shows the fact that as long as you have the right players for your system any formation can lead you to success like in my current run with TPS(Turun Palloseura) in the Finnish First Division.

In the beginning, everything was going terrible for the side and they found themselves 8th in the league and their manager was sacked and morale was terrible. The board wanted me to build a success story within two months. It was really a tough task with the players in my side. With a slow defence for a short-time remedy I went for a low block, which immediately determined my playstyle in possession: direct and relatively fast attacks with two strikers but there was just one proper striker(Espinosa):

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He was up to the standard other than his average anticipation and cowardice. So, he became a poacher and I expected him to spearhead attacks, stay central and score a lot of goals-actually he did(33 goals and 6 assists). However, who was going to be the second striker? I searched through the roster and found this gem:

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He was a natural left-footed full-back but had all of the qualities for a deep-lying striker. He is intelligent, strong, hard-working and he can tackle! I immediately retrained him to be a natural striker. So he became a DLFA and I expected him to link up with the left WM, be an advanced passing option for Espinosa and contribute both to assists and goals chart(18 goals and 8 assists).

WML on Support was expected to be a source of width in addition to cutting inside for a bit more unpredictability and create goalscoring chances with through balls and crosses(7 goals(most from direct freekicks and penalties) and 7 assists)-I love this role. Jani Virtanen(32) was the guy and released him before this season due to his physical weaknesses and low workrate.

WMR on Attack was meant to be another question mark for the opponents full-back to create more space for my poacher and expected some goals and assists from him by sometimes cutting inside or going wide for crosses with his risk-loving mentality(8 goals 7 assists). He dominated the right flank with his pace, intelligence and dribbling. This was the guy and he is still in my team as a backup:20210224194538_1.thumb.jpg.87aaa997a2b908bf909651e2d5923f16.jpg 

What about the heart of the midfield? 

DMS- The right-sided midfielder was expected to break up attacks, play risky balls for counterattacks or if it fails, he has to dictate the game from deep and delaying counterattacks through the central channel. So he has to be somewhat fast but intelligent and able to play intelligent passes. He played lots of key passes leading to assists. Dominik Balic was found as a free agent in the transfer market and still is the first choice in the position due to his captaincy despite his declining physicals.

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CMA- The left-sided midfielder was expected to do all of the tasks Balic had to do, join attacks to be a presence in the box for cutbacks and crosses and able to play direct and risky balls to the front two after a successful turnover of possession in midfield. So he had to be able to move and pass intelligently and he did!(5 goals, 5 assists) This was the guy and I released him after the first season due to his rapidly declining physicals:

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A good midfield and attack should be supported by a proper defence and remember mine is a pretty slow one. Let's start with the fullbacks.

The left full-back on Support had to intercept passes down the left channel, break up attacks, link up with DMS and left WMS and sometimes send crosses from deep for the front duo to latch onto. Sometimes I used him as WBS and took risks and it paid off against stubborn defences.(10 assists) I found him as a free agent. He did what I expected from him with his pace and diligence. Stilll he is a back-up for my left full back: 

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I was as to my right full-back department. Both were gifted with good physicals, intelligence and diligence but I used Peraaho more. I don't know, I liked his attitude on the pitch(maybe due to Tatu's low determination):

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The right sided wing-back on Support was expected to join attacks more and move into the space WMA creates in the knowledge that DMS will cover him and be a backward passing option and send crosses for the strikers in the box and they did!(Varmanen: 1 goal,  5 assists; Peraaho:2 goals, 11 assists!

The most important piece of the spine, my central defenders were terribly slow but tall and intelligent, which was in line with my upper low block and I used three players there. Hradecky was converted to a central defender due to his height and found as a free agent in the market. The other two was at the club when I arrived. Pikkarainen was exceptional at being at the right place at the right time despite being slow and Holma was immediatley released after first season due to being as slow as a turtle. All of them were as follows:

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What you need in a low block is a good tall goalkeeper who can command his area and stop inevitable longshots. Koponen is up to the task and still is my first choice:

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So, in short, we used this setup in this season for illustration(ignore newly-brought players):

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Tactical Philosophy

I believe any successful tactic should be good at masking the weaknesses while benefiting from the strengths of a squad.

Let's summarize them first:

-intelligent and somewhat technical but relatively slow midfielders

-a fast and physically strong striker duo

-an all-round right-footed winger

-slow but intelligent and tall central defenders

-good set-piece takers in Virtanen, Wander Luiz and Balic

Having both physical and intelligent players and a two-striker formation leads me to a fast-transition wing-based upper low block:

-two strikers can finish an attack by themselves in case of a counterattack due to their superior speed and strength 

-the formation lends itself to partnerships on the flanks by nature

-I can't defend higher due to my central defenders being slow but I will be as fierce as a lion and as cunning as a fox when the play is in my defensive third because I can't let my opponent gain any extra time or space for an accurate shot or header. After I get the ball I will have the chance to hit them on the counter or capitalize on setpieces thanks to my great setpiece takers. Possession would be an extra item here and usually not needed due to the set-up.

However, getting these ideas across to the tactical creator is another story for us coach managers. So let's get down to it.

First, I chose a forward-thinking mentality which I believe is suitable for the style I aim for. Choosing this mentality gives me this across the team:

Cautious defenders aiming to play safe balls to the midfielders or full-backs or in case of a danger just let them clear it. I can't take any risks in my third.

Positive full-backs will sometimes go for the risjky challenge and get the ball in the sides of my third and adopt a route-one approach to create counterattacking chances or quick crosses for the striker duo.

A positive defensive midfielder will allow me to see more risky passes from deep and challenges just like a deep-lying playmaker during a transition from defence to attack and be compact in our low pressing.

A very attacking winger and a central midfielder will try to dribble through their way, play more forward passes than the rest of the setup and be an advanced passing option from deep during fast transitions.

The striker duo will pin the opponent's defensive line and this should let us perform more interceptions in the midfield due to reducing their passing options during their attacking transitions in our third for more fast transition aiming to get behind them at the first opportunity.

When it comes to the TIs, I wanted my mentality to drive the system so kept it simple:

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Positive mentality already comes with slightly wider attacking width, relatively fast tempo and slightly direct passes, which are hallmarks of a wing-based fast transition style in my opinion. So I just encouraged more early crosses to hit them before they withdraw back into a deep organized defensive shape and I had three reliable runners into the box from both sides:

Crosses from the left flank were targeted for the striker duo and the attacking wide midfielder while the ones from the other side allowed us to test sides for more crosses to the striker duo and cutbacks to our left wide midfielder on support and our CM on attack for long-shot opportunities.

In Finland most teams utilize two striker formations so distributing the ball to full-backs was the safest option I had and I love counters in a proper low block!

Remembering out-of-possession instruction shapes our attacking transitions I set up an aggressive and proactive low block which forces my opponents to play balls quickly in a very small area which leads to turnovers around my defensive third to start my fast transitions.

Did the system work in the way I hoped?

The first season was a success in the league after I arrived-stayed unbeaten but due to lacking suitable players in the national arena we weren't able to get promoted through the play-offs:  

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The second season was exceptionally good, stayed again unbeaten-only two draws and we added a national trophy after snapping some players suitable for the system:

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Now we are in the Finnish Premier Division and the team comparison page tells me to go on with my approach. Let's see where it will take us!

Happy FMs to y'all!

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Edited by frukox
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2 hours ago, JoOSTAR said:

Great results! Are you using any Player instructions?

Of course:

Two strikers are told to close down more

WBS: Stay Wider-someone should stretch opponents on the right flank 

Anyone good at playing creative passes(passing, vision, decisions, balance) are told to play more risky passes. In that season, Virtanen, Wander Luiz, Jakonen and Balic were told to do so to create our magic. 

I also always closed down their fullbacks/wingbacks after they enter our defensive third to win the ball there earlier and start our deadly fast transitions.

2 hours ago, olegmelnikov said:

When I read something about 442, I always want to play 442:lol:

Great job!

Thanks, mate and please feel free to share your own systems if you don't mind and are into it:D

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OUR TRANSITIONS

Throughout the season we played with an upperlow block and we gave up on the flanks-remember my backline is slow but tall and able to deal with most of the crosses coming into the area-  and restricted them to speculative long shot opportunities.20210226133244_1.thumb.jpg.23f4ef39631c5932dfb5c75c2870420a.jpg

The image above shows how deep my defensive line is and ready for any balls over the top so Klinga decides to pass the ball to their advanced striker drifting wide and has no other choice to advance with the ball so he has to pass backwards to keep possession. 20210226133332_1.thumb.jpg.f92298496759c7923f14cc0752e92e15.jpg

Seconds later, their winger sends in a floated cross which Pikkarainen-my best defender- dealt with it easily. Look at the front line. It would be 2 vs 2 situation if we were able to pass direct to our forwards. 

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Jakonen did so and luckily Viitko, their central defender, clears it short and drops back to Jakonen's feet again and he finds Espinosa with a nice through ball but he couldn't bury it home and the keeper tips it wide for a corner and the next attack ends with a nice goal by Wander Luiz. 

https://i.gyazo.com/1801086016f1e2f742afe826d42f8426.gif

These are some of our typical attacks:

https://i.gyazo.com/8a0658e00c4496b8e1518777eef5b45d.gif

A great direct ball to wide and lovely cross headed in by our converted striker. Note how many players position themselves in and around the box. Jakonen picks our DLFA in time and space after he gets in front of his marker to create space for himself with his acceleration and great anticipation.

https://i.gyazo.com/54cbeb4277da690e1a108172ac18db58.gif

In the same match, still VPS is pressing high up the pitch so Pikkarainen knows he can't take any risk so he passes it back to our keeper and he distributes the ball to Lehtinen and he finds Virtanen unmarked thanks to our CMA and he finds Espinosa with a great ball over the top. He slots it home from the edge of the box.

https://i.gyazo.com/57b244beaaea6f91b23acd57dcc7d3d8.gif

Again, Lehtinen gets the ball from the keeper and sends it directly to our DLFA and after a combination passing the ball goes to wide to Virtanen, our left WMS. He passes it back to Lehtinen for an early cross to the far post which Jakonen heads it in easily. 

https://i.gyazo.com/0651069e9234d3d5ace8d3ea95c601cd.gif

Love the simplicity of finding a goal with two or three passes. Here our back-up ex-captain right-back Rahmonen passes it to our young but very powerful striker. He flicks it to our converted striker which he scores the goal with consummate ease.

https://i.gyazo.com/9b0367c48bcb1c4e0fabc03a63d28dea.gif

Here again our right back finds Espinosa, our goalscoring machine with a long ball behind his marker and then he decides to power it in from some distance. 

So the tactic has shown it has all of the elements of a successful one.

Penetration mainly comes from our striker duo and the right wide midfielder. We have two late runners into the box in the form of our left WMS and CMA. 

Width is provided by left WMS and right WBS.

All of the players have passing options to the sides and to the back to move the ball efficiently to the final third.

Creativity comes from our mentality. They are sometimes allowed to do the unexpected to surprise the opponent.

Supply comes to our forwards in the form of crosses or through balls by the wide midfielders and full-backs or early direct balls to our front line either after bypassing the press or a failed transition by opponents as a result of our out-of-possession TIs.

This is the shots analysis of my last match(6-2) against a strong Finnish Premier Division Side. Lots of chances in and around the box. I always look at whether they accurately shoot the ball and yes, they did in this match.

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This is my first tactical writing and I hope you enjoyed it!:cool:

 

Edited by frukox
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Hi mate, great tactic thread. How does your team control games in terms of possession? Or is it very much a counter/direct way in which this plays out?

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1 hour ago, AlDen6 said:

Hi mate, great tactic thread. How does your team control games in terms of possession? Or is it very much a counter/direct way in which this plays out?

It's a very direct style giving immediate support to the striker duo via the cm and right wm. However, some of the teams started to play more cautiously against me and I found my transitions weren't ideal. Most of the time until we reach the final third space becomes limited for my poacher to operate so I switched to this as I have to create space on my own when opposition sits deep. My new system born out of necessity aims to control the left flank and attack on the other side with a quite direct approach and looks promising although defensively we leaked three goals in a goal bonanza(5-3) but I'm happy with the attacking play so I'll keep it for the time being:

                      DLFA     PA

 WMS                           BBM         WMA

                       DMS

WBA               CDD    CDD            FBS

                             GKD

In short, DMS covers for the marauding wingback. FBS provides cover for that flank and a backward passing option. WMS gives support to the wing-back. WMA(by bombing forward) and DLFA(coming deeper to attract a defender from the defensive line to create more space) provides immediate support for the poacher while BBM is linking up play with attacks  and use the depth my poacher creates and waits around the edge of the box and acts a runner from deep. 

 

 

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A simplistic 442 is what I make work time after time in FM. Hard working and physically good team is what I tend to gravitate towards, also players with low determination can look elsewhere for playing time. Midfield is flat, but with a defending role and supporting in the middle unless some last ditch attack mode. Full backs need to run up and down and one of the wingers plays more centrally to avoid getting overrun by opposition midfield. I often have full back and winger combo so that on one side there is one supporting role and one attacking. One of the attackers runs forward all the time and the other is supporting role with defensive responsibilities too. At the back I try to get at least one ball playing centre back and goalie preferably a sweeper keeper. With the 442 I find the narrow defending to work well, depending on the team and situation I can alter the pressing and defensive line. Attacking side I have managed as per team skills, now I have Málaga soaring up the La Liga Smartbank with a load of crosses that the strikers head in and midfielders bang in the second balls if not cleared properly. I don't need to control possession to create scoring chances and with the squad I have I can't really do that well dominating possession.

It's naturally not all about tactics. To me it's always important to get a win or two or some other positive actions to praise players, then the snowball effect seems to start. Then just keep the good times rolling and rotate the squad to keep fresh legs at all times. There's another thing that works for my sides, the fresh legs. I always build a large squad and rotate heavily to keep players fresh. I tend to keep finances ok and avoid bad injury issues, as I'm not depending too much on star players.

The similar concept has worked for last few editions of FM and after now picking up FM21 it doesn't seem to be any different. 

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18 minutes ago, The Bus said:

 I don't need to control possession to create scoring chances and with the squad I have I can't really do that well dominating possession

This is the plan I had in mind when creating the first tactic: "Have a squad of hardworking physical players and then get the ball around the first or the area close to the second third(this was why he was a CMA) and then keep sending balls to the front two against an unorganized defence due to their failed transitions to attacks and support these attacks with two more advanced players(CMA and WMA) to overwhelm a stretched defence further. It greatly worked against most of the teams and I also probably got the other things right, too, such as team talks, press conferences and individual interactions. I think these are also important when overachieving as you said. I always manage them personally no matter how boring they are.

When it comes to the match schedule it only becomes a bit chaotic when the team competes in the Finnish Cup and the league(at most two matches in a week) so I don't need a large squad but every position has a backup just in case and I love playing my most promising youngsters in competitions to increase their match time. They are also in the mix now and then.

 

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Posted (edited)

These are the stats with the new tactic against a deep 4-2-3-1 in a European cup match. I have to say it's impressive and looks promising for the future of the club. 

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11 shots on target out of 20(one of them is a penalty kick) Nearly none of them are from long range despite the fact that we don't have Work Ball into Box active. We limited their chances successfully to a single header- a natural result of a deep block. Sometimes you have to accept it.

 

 

 

Edited by frukox
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1 hour ago, frukox said:

I also probably got the other things right, too, such as team talks, press conferences and individual interactions. I think these are also important when overachieving as you said. I always manage them personally no matter how boring they are.

When it comes to the match schedule it only becomes a bit chaotic when the team competes in the Finnish Cup and the league(at most two matches in a week) so I don't need a large squad but every position has a backup just in case and I love playing my most promising youngsters in competitions to increase their match time. They are also in the mix now and then.

 

Want to comment on those two parts quoted. Though it's a game those matters are well simulated, as players in general appreciate that personal touch, although some need more patting on the back than others to thrive. I have been a player in many sorts of teams, so there's a lot of experiences throughout the years teaching me how honest and open communication is the only way to work well. Only commenting upon failures is just bad management and outdated. With the actual football team I'm heavily involved in way too many roles (player, team manager handling practices and game arrangements in addition to quite a few game day tasks, assistant coach, publicist and club vice president) it's evident how it all works better with the approach of having quick chats occasionally so you clear stuff that's brewing before it's a real issue.

Again the real life and simulation of the game work well regarding rotation, as one is missing match sharpness without playing regularly. Without match sharpness many try to do too much and fail. In FM happy, fresh and match fit players tend to thrive, just like in real life. The amount top players are forced to play make no sense to me, as that takes a toll quickly and results in injuries and fatigue from which one might not get properly rid of until off season. If there is an actual competition for playing time and honestly communicated roles the rotation is easy, in the game there are the roles communicated to the players which present a big deal in contract negotiations. I.e. in our actual football team we have had a goalie issue when the regular number 1 goalie is every few seasons out of action due to various reasons and there hasn't been a proper number 2 or that guy wasn't trusted to play and looked elsewhere for minutes. One can handle this scenario in many ways and some times in the past there have been bad mistakes done, but now we have made a good deal which was discussed in advance and it's very well received. The number 1 goalie we now have is good, but can't naturally be the one to be counted upon for each and every game, so a deal had to be made with another team and promise them a certain amount of playing time. Now our number 1 goalie plays a few games less than we wanted, but is still playing the majority if not getting injured. Also discussed last season our lack of centre backs with a friend from another team and he said I must be happy to play more, but not really when it becomes an issue of forcing yourself to play just about every minute when taking a game off every once in a while would be beneficial for the team. When you overload players they get injuries and are not at all available or not performing at their best level, although that level might be better than some replacements it's still not optimal and professional teams should really have proper depth available for all positions.

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2 hours ago, The Bus said:

Full backs need to run up and down and one of the wingers plays more centrally to avoid getting overrun by opposition midfield. I often have full back and winger combo so that on one side there is one supporting role and one attacking. One of the attackers runs forward all the time and the other is supporting role with defensive responsibilities too.

When you say that one of the wingers plays more centrally, does your formation use the IW(SU)/ FB(A) pairing or something similar?  I have always enjoyed the elegant simplicity of a 442, and find myself gravitating to it time and again.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Bus said:

Want to comment on those two parts quoted. Though it's a game those matters are well simulated, as players in general appreciate that personal touch, although some need more patting on the back than others to thrive. I have been a player in many sorts of teams, so there's a lot of experiences throughout the years teaching me how honest and open communication is the only way to work well. Only commenting upon failures is just bad management and outdated. With the actual football team I'm heavily involved in way too many roles (player, team manager handling practices and game arrangements in addition to quite a few game day tasks, assistant coach, publicist and club vice president) it's evident how it all works better with the approach of having quick chats occasionally so you clear stuff that's brewing before it's a real issue.

Again the real life and simulation of the game work well regarding rotation, as one is missing match sharpness without playing regularly. Without match sharpness many try to do too much and fail. In FM happy, fresh and match fit players tend to thrive, just like in real life. The amount top players are forced to play make no sense to me, as that takes a toll quickly and results in injuries and fatigue from which one might not get properly rid of until off season. If there is an actual competition for playing time and honestly communicated roles the rotation is easy, in the game there are the roles communicated to the players which present a big deal in contract negotiations. I.e. in our actual football team we have had a goalie issue when the regular number 1 goalie is every few seasons out of action due to various reasons and there hasn't been a proper number 2 or that guy wasn't trusted to play and looked elsewhere for minutes. One can handle this scenario in many ways and some times in the past there have been bad mistakes done, but now we have made a good deal which was discussed in advance and it's very well received. The number 1 goalie we now have is good, but can't naturally be the one to be counted upon for each and every game, so a deal had to be made with another team and promise them a certain amount of playing time. Now our number 1 goalie plays a few games less than we wanted, but is still playing the majority if not getting injured. Also discussed last season our lack of centre backs with a friend from another team and he said I must be happy to play more, but not really when it becomes an issue of forcing yourself to play just about every minute when taking a game off every once in a while would be beneficial for the team. When you overload players they get injuries and are not at all available or not performing at their best level, although that level might be better than some replacements it's still not optimal and professional teams should really have proper depth available for all positions.

I couldn't agree more. 

I am in favour of interacting with players proactively and individually.. It lets me keep them happy and mentally sharp. As you know morale is one of the most important factors in FM with regard to player performance.

Everyone capable of playing in the first squad should take their fair share in matches(only six players aren't match-fit). This reduces injury risk dramatically and allows you to play key players in important and tough matches. 23 different players played in the matches and only two players in the first team have picked up serious injuries so far, which is a result of reasonable rotation policy, recruiting less injury-prone players, manageable individual training workloads and moderately intense playing system.

P.S: You are a professional irl? That's awesome!

Edited by frukox
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18 hours ago, Ruskin said:

When you say that one of the wingers plays more centrally, does your formation use the IW(SU)/ FB(A) pairing or something similar?  I have always enjoyed the elegant simplicity of a 442, and find myself gravitating to it time and again.

Yes, often inverted winger is used and even an attacking wing back role. If players fit more control style I might use a wide midfielder sitting narrower.

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16 hours ago, frukox said:

I couldn't agree more. 

I am in favour of interacting with players proactively and individually.. It lets me keep them happy and mentally sharp. As you know morale is one of the most important factors in FM with regard to player performance.

Everyone capable of playing in the first squad should take their fair share in matches(only six players aren't match-fit). This reduces injury risk dramatically and allows you to play key players in important and tough matches. 23 different players played in the matches and only two players in the first team have picked up serious injuries so far, which is a result of reasonable rotation policy, recruiting less injury-prone players, manageable individual training workloads and moderately intense playing system.

P.S: You are a professional irl? That's awesome!

I run my players to the ground in FM, also in training ground, but with rotation it's still me having fresher players on the pitch than the opposition who most often sticks with many tired players.

Finnish Third division is not professional, especially for our team who are all amateurs with not one person in the club getting any compensation. I know our opponents, some of which are actually bigger clubs, pay some compensation to some of their players/coaches. For us it's the guys paying or compensating with acquired sponsors.

Even though we're not professionals it doesn't mean we wouldn't do many things professionally. Players know their roles in the team and what sort of development is needed to get a bigger role. We have built a xG model and do some video analysis, those based on the free data available. That doesn't take away the fact that still after games and practices majority of the team gathers together for a beer or two to talk it over, or something else what has happened in life.

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4 hours ago, The Bus said:

I run my players to the ground in FM, also in training ground, but with rotation it's still me having fresher players on the pitch than the opposition who most often sticks with many tired players.

Finnish Third division is not professional, especially for our team who are all amateurs with not one person in the club getting any compensation. I know our opponents, some of which are actually bigger clubs, pay some compensation to some of their players/coaches. For us it's the guys paying or compensating with acquired sponsors.

Even though we're not professionals it doesn't mean we wouldn't do many things professionally. Players know their roles in the team and what sort of development is needed to get a bigger role. We have built a xG model and do some video analysis, those based on the free data available. That doesn't take away the fact that still after games and practices majority of the team gathers together for a beer or two to talk it over, or something else what has happened in life.

That's great to hear that even amateur clubs try to behave like professional ones to give themselves the upper hand against opposition but eventually I believe money should be the limiting factor when it comes to going beyond your boundaries.

By the way, I'm interested in your 442. Can you share your system and give us some info about how you set them up because 442 is also a relatively flexible shape to get what you want in terms of tactical philosophy?

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2 hours ago, frukox said:

That's great to hear that even amateur clubs try to behave like professional ones to give themselves the upper hand against opposition but eventually I believe money should be the limiting factor when it comes to going beyond your boundaries.

By the way, I'm interested in your 442. Can you share your system and give us some info about how you set them up because 442 is also a relatively flexible shape to get what you want in terms of tactical philosophy?

Well there's always some tinkering related to the most suitable details related to players. Now I created the base tactic as wing play and nearly always I will go with balanced to begin the game, has been the same in previous instances. This is a conservative start and I have a bit more active version of the same being trained too, so I can quickly make such changes mid game to take the lead or chase a comeback.

GK sweeper keeper (defend)
DR wing back (Support)
DCR ball playing defender (defend)
DCL central defender (defend)
DL wing back (attack)
MR winger (attack)
MCR central midfielder (support)
MCL ball winning midfielder (defend)
ML inverted winger (support)
STCR deep lying forward (support)
STCL advanced forward (attack)

Team instructions

In possession:
slightly more direct passing
focus play down right and left flank
higher tempo
wide

In transition:
distribute to flanks
counter

Out of possession:
force opposition outside
higher defensive line
more urgent pressing

The changes I normally make is to push the lines up and most urgent pressing, my teams tend to rack up too much cards if tell them to get stuck in, so that isn't done too early. Also when chasing counter press is introduced and naturally more aggressive mentality. 

This isn't a rocket science level system and has room for editing your specific need, but as said tends to work well especially with low or mid level teams within the league your in and I have the determined physical players. I just make sure the holding midfielder is on the side of the inside cutting winger to have spaces available and alternatively the more attacking winger on the other side surely gets balls from the more advanced midfielder. In my current team with Málaga I lack the skill in my opinion to have more creative midfield roles being utilized, but normally I prefer to have at least a deep lying playmaker in there. I will get reinforcements for my Málaga soon so I can start to play more actively with the ball. Currently I tend to get 40-47% possession in games, but that's fine as I progress through the wings well enough to create scoring opportunities quite quickly without too much passing around. I will also need to introduce again some coordinated pressing or man marking once I just get higher level of knowledge on the opposition players. Don't want to go in hard on certain players just because they had low bravery in previous editions of the game that I happen to remember...

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19 hours ago, The Bus said:

Well there's always some tinkering related to the most suitable details related to players. Now I created the base tactic as wing play and nearly always I will go with balanced to begin the game, has been the same in previous instances. This is a conservative start and I have a bit more active version of the same being trained too, so I can quickly make such changes mid game to take the lead or chase a comeback.

GK sweeper keeper (defend)
DR wing back (Support)
DCR ball playing defender (defend)
DCL central defender (defend)
DL wing back (attack)
MR winger (attack)
MCR central midfielder (support)
MCL ball winning midfielder (defend)
ML inverted winger (support)
STCR deep lying forward (support)
STCL advanced forward (attack)

Team instructions

In possession:
slightly more direct passing
focus play down right and left flank
higher tempo
wide

In transition:
distribute to flanks
counter

Out of possession:
force opposition outside
higher defensive line
more urgent pressing

The changes I normally make is to push the lines up and most urgent pressing, my teams tend to rack up too much cards if tell them to get stuck in, so that isn't done too early. Also when chasing counter press is introduced and naturally more aggressive mentality. 

This isn't a rocket science level system and has room for editing your specific need, but as said tends to work well especially with low or mid level teams within the league your in and I have the determined physical players. I just make sure the holding midfielder is on the side of the inside cutting winger to have spaces available and alternatively the more attacking winger on the other side surely gets balls from the more advanced midfielder. In my current team with Málaga I lack the skill in my opinion to have more creative midfield roles being utilized, but normally I prefer to have at least a deep lying playmaker in there. I will get reinforcements for my Málaga soon so I can start to play more actively with the ball. Currently I tend to get 40-47% possession in games, but that's fine as I progress through the wings well enough to create scoring opportunities quite quickly without too much passing around. I will also need to introduce again some coordinated pressing or man marking once I just get higher level of knowledge on the opposition players. Don't want to go in hard on certain players just because they had low bravery in previous editions of the game that I happen to remember...

Looks pretty logical in terms of TIs and some roles but I have a few questions to understand the system better:

How do you find the interaction between WA,WBS and DLFS on the right flank?

Don't WA and WBS occupy the same space. How does that help you move your opponent?

Doesn't using a defend duty midfielder slow down your fast transitions or do you find you lack passing options on the left flank? 

Edited by frukox
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, kingjericho said:

Apart from the midfield not being a straight line which tinkers my OCD this looks very well thought :thup: 

Thanks mate. I used an asymettrical midfield to use DMS in front of the defence to clog up space there like a normal cmd but I also wanted him to extend his passing range and risk to unlock the sides more quickly or be a deep passing option and play like a dlp to change the point of attacks. You can't properly do these with a defend-duty player. Furthermore, I also instructed DMS to close down more to have a more compact pressing in front of the defensive line. It works perfectly for me as long as I have a player with good Bravery, Passing, Decisions, Positioning, Vision, Work Rate and some Acceleration(to track back quickly in case of a counterattack). However, I made a couple of changes to the system to get the best out of my poacher-the focal point of the attack:

                 DLFA       PA

Here's the same setup. 

WMS                      CMA     WMS

             DMS

All of these are at least hardworking creative passers. Firstly, WMS sometimes cuts inside to half-space or support attacking fullback or whips early crosses or assists with through balls. DMS, I already covered what I expected from him. The reason why I use a CMA is presses a bit higher than the rest of the roles and sometimes intercepts balls played to the centre and start our deadly fast transitions with direct runs or quick through balls to the striker duo to strike them hard before they understand what's happening. The right WMS is now supporting play on the right flank with early crosses or through balls if he can sense there's space behind the defensive line and stays wider to open up more space for the marauding CMA and stretch the opposition a bit better but still he can also cut in if he sees fit to occupy the right half-space, which is fine by me.

FBA CDD CDD FBS

The only changes here are changing duties of the fullbacks. The FBA goes high earlier and whips early crosses to the striker duo while keeping the width thus stretching the opposition or plays direct balls to DLFA or -if there's space- balls over the top to either of the strikers while FBS covers CMA's risky play by staying behind or becoming a backward passing option but still you can see him high up the pitch due to Positive mentality when we can control possession in the final third.

Edited by frukox
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HI.

I too am a fellow lover of the 4-4-2. I am using it in my first attempt at the game and am replicating the 'Invincibles' 2003-2004 with the current Arsenal squad.  Good to see a well thought out approach with squad development included. You name A.Madrid and Leicester as your motivators but neither of these teams used a player in the DM strata. If it is a fear that you would lose solidity then fear not; the strength of the 4-4-2 is the two separate banks of four and by using BWM defend or CM defend you can still enjoy success. If it is because of this:

"Thanks mate. I used an asymettrical midfield to use DMS in front of the defence to clog up space there like a normal cmd but I also wanted him to extend his passing range and risk to unlock the sides more quickly or be a deep passing option and play like a dlp to change the point of attacks. You can't properly do these with a defend-duty player."

I found this to be wholly untrue. I agree that there needs to be swift transitions in a 4-4-2 but you can set up a CM Defend to offer these outlets. The only hardcoded instruction on a CM defend is hold position. Add take more risks or more direct passing and hey presto.

I too love the flexibility of roles in the 4-4-2 especially on the wings Injuries and suspension become non-issues when you know you can play any player in is preferred role and duty.

 

Let me know.

 

 

 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Edited by toshimitzou1
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