Jump to content

4-2-3-1 Help - Labouring to the win


Recommended Posts

Morning all,

I'm hoping for a bit of help with my 4-2-3-1 tactic at Manchester United. Teams are naturally setting up very defensively against me (I hate teams playing with 3 centre-backs!) and although I'm winning games I don't look like I'm firing. I'm completely dominating the opposition but only managing to win 1-0, 2-0. I can see that there is something wrong with my tactic watching it in the game (players dribbling the ball into congested areas rather than playing a through ball to space or switching play) but despite tweaking my plan I can't seem to fix it.

What I am trying to do with this tactic is create movement in the final third. My striker is off centre to try and leave space for my SS and RMD. I have Harry Kane as well (currently injured) who I brought to work as a DLF in this tactic to drop a bit deeper, again to open space for my SS.

I used this tactic last season as well and instead of a SS I used an Enganche to act as a pivot and provide a release if the penalty area got congested but that wasn't working for me this season as, being a static role, he kept getting marked out of the game.

I've attached my tactic, any help would be appreciated! My next game is the League Cup Q/F against Lincoln City which seems like the perfect game to experiment in.

Tactic.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

The roles look very odd to me! :D Lets start with those

The whole left hand side, flying forward, the bottom right hand side staying back then the top right hand side all flying forward. I can't see any connection between the team apart from telling a few players to stay back while the rest go forward. There's only two Support duty's on the pitch 

Wingbacks in a 4-2-3-1 are risky but you've gone one better & use a CWB on attack on the same side as a Mezzala 

A Wingback & Ball Winning Midfielder on Defend that's supposed to help support a Raumdeauter 

No cover at all for your most offensive fullback

CM , there's no proper holding Role which is vital 

The front 4 just looks crazy for me

You've not just put the best players on the pitch & picked their best suited roles have you?

 

 

 

Edited by Johnny Ace
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Johnny, I can understand that.

When I play Luke Shaw at LB he's a FBs but I use Telles as a more attacking option to try and provide overlapping runs on the left to try and create an overload. I can see how that's making the left hand side chaotic though. I went with a WBd on the right to try and create width as I'm not playing with a winger.

Last season Pogba was an APa but he wasn't tracking back and with no DM I wanted to provide some more midfield cover so have experimented with a Mezzala (although he isn't playing as well this season).

Would switching to 2 full-backs (S on left and D on right), changing Pogba to APs or DLPs and Fernandez to a pivot role (maybe back to Enganche?) Provide some more balance? I see that giving me 2 CMs who sit a bit deeper to allow me to recycle possession with an AM who can act as my creative spark to play through balls to me AF, RMD and IW

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, A Loyal Shot said:

Thanks Johnny, I can understand that.

When I play Luke Shaw at LB he's a FBs but I use Telles as a more attacking option to try and provide overlapping runs on the left to try and create an overload. I can see how that's making the left hand side chaotic though. I went with a WBd on the right to try and create width as I'm not playing with a winger.

Last season Pogba was an APa but he wasn't tracking back and with no DM I wanted to provide some more midfield cover so have experimented with a Mezzala (although he isn't playing as well this season).

Would switching to 2 full-backs (S on left and D on right), changing Pogba to APs or DLPs and Fernandez to a pivot role (maybe back to Enganche?) Provide some more balance? I see that giving me 2 CMs who sit a bit deeper to allow me to recycle possession with an AM who can act as my creative spark to play through balls to me AF, RMD and IW

 

 

You need safe boring roles in CM, Mezzalas, BBM, RPM, Advanced Playmaker are all out for me, they'd make me very nervous. Not only in defense but it's advancing players in attack too 

I'm no FM expert, but a CM(D) & CM(S) combo does the job for me but even then you have watch for PPMs. Like I'm sure Pogba has something that gets him forward so he won't sit in the CM position 

Have the more defensive CM protecting the side of the pitch with the more offensive fullback. A Defend duty at fullback is just something I don't ever use in a 4-2-3-1, I want him linking with or overlapping his flank partner

The SS can work for Man U but I wouldn't have an AF & SS combo in most cases & the RMD just doesn't make any sense to me with a AF & SS & doesn't make the most of Greenwood 

In It's most simple form, I'd try something like:

                                      DLF(A)

           IW(S)                  SS(A)                 IF(S)

                           BWM(D)       CM(S)

         WB(S)       BPD(D)          CD(D)        FB(S)

                                SK(D)

Then see how it plays out, how it looks on the ball & without out 

With you being Man U, I guess teams will sit back, the more bodies you throw forward the more they will send back which causes congestion in their third 

The movement with the DLF & SS should help bring defences out & disrupt the CBs, the side men will help support. The IF will still have an eye for goal but will help out in supporting the team more

Your TI's don't look too bad, I'd just remove the Prevent short GK distribution as it doesn't fit with how you're playing 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the way the tactic works is that you have the IWS cutting inside, creating an overload with the supporting mezzala, with the CWBA exploiting the space left behind, and with overlap left you've got the rest of the team focussing on finding him. 


This means your primary creative outlets are a wingback, who's primary job will be hitting the byline and crossing, and Rashford, who if I remember correctly isn't the most creative player. What's the thinking behind the Mezzala, just out of interest? He's going to hover in a similar position to Rashford, which is a good combination but maybe not the best use of Pogba.

Now most teams are going to play pretty defensively against you, which means they'll be sitting as deep and as narrow as possible, so your two strikers will be getting mixed up in that, and your raudemeter will be hovering outside it, waiting for space to appear in the box, which won't happen very often. And the way you'll be feeding them is a not very creative inverted winger and a fullback hitting crosses. The former doesn't have the creativity to unlock narrow defences while the latter works but is quite one dimensional and easy to defend against.  

You've then got two forward players doing very similar things, which is get forward fast as possible. Both the SS and the advanced forward in your tactic are going to be most effective on the break, when you've just won the ball back and start streaming forward, but you've also telling the team to primarily search out that attacking wingback in this situation due to the look for overlap instruction. 

You've got a high tempo, positive mentality and short passing, which I'm going to assume is because you want to break quickly but want to stop your team being too direct (which combines with the goalie's instructions) which is the right idea because the best way to play against defensive teams is to hit them before they have the chance to sit back and organise.

Overall I think that it's partly that the tactic is not the best fit for the situation you find yourself in, and partly that some player's roles aren't the best fit for either themselves or the situation you're in against defensive teams. It's a bit counterintuitive but in this situation you probably want to keep things a bit more simple, and rely on your player's ability to make the difference. But the main point is that it clearly works, you're still winning and the way you've set it up makes sense.

Firstly, if you're going to play the inverted winger role, don't play Rashford there. Or if you're going to play Rashford there, play him as an Inside forward on attack, as this role is better suited to players that aren't as creative but good at running at defence and shooting at them. 

This means your WB shouldn't be on attack, but honestly I don't think I'd notice much difference. I think you've got him on attack and overlap left selected to try and create overlaps, but they'll be happening naturally with a wingback/inside forward or inverted winger combo. What look for overlap does is tell your team to focus on reaching that player, a bit they do with a playmaker, so sometimes what you're trying to do is give your play an extra dimension but you end up making it more one dimensional.

The Raudemeter is fine but he's going to need the rest of the team to create the space for him, and the only people round him are either going to be bombing forward or holding their position, so either try something else or think about how the AMC/ST/MRC are going to create space (although even then he'll go missing a lot in my experience). If you want to play with the advanced forward and SS, maybe put a high creativity/flair/passing player as a playmaker (or even a CMS with take more risks and direct passing if you don't want a playmaker) a bit deeper to get the ball and use his creative skills to try and find them when you break, or alternatively have the striker as a pressing forward/deep lying forward to try and sit in front of the defence and drag them forward a bit. But if not, try and think about the best way to use Pogba, rather than the way to fit him into your tactic. Even something simple like having a CMD for McTominay and Pogba as a BWMS with take more risks and dribble more would work (as an aside, don't think of a ball winning midfielder as a holding player in the way you're trying to play, think of them as the guy that wins the ball back as quickly as possible and then launches the attack either by running at the defence or by passing.)

But these are minor tweaks, and I'd suggest that when it comes to three men defence, having a backup two striker formation will help unlock them, and generally having a plan B tactic that changes your formation that you switch to mid match can help when you're struggling to break down defensive teams. My go to is a 4-2-2-2 with an AMR/AML; it's not the best defensively but as a situational tactic it can work wonders against a team that's expecting you to play 4-2-3-1. 
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, A Loyal Shot said:

but only managing to win 1-0, 2-0

Even though I see a number of (big) issues in your tactic - mainly regarding the setup of roles and duties - the most important thing is that you are managing to win anyway. What's more, I see in the screenshot that you are topping the table atm, which I guess is considered an overachievement (relative to media  prediction/board expectations).

So my first suggestion is - try to be more realistic for starters ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your advice so far guys!

I think I'll keep things broadly the same (as @Experienced Defendersays, I am top and winning!) but try to refine it based on the feedback @Johnny Ace and @Ugeine have given. I'll give the below a try (removing the overlap left TI because, as @Ugeine points out that might be making me one dimensional)

                  DLFa

IWs            SSa             IFs

       BWMd       APs

WBs   BPDd   DCd      FBs

                 SK

Dan James has been having a decent season for me as a right winger so if he plays instead of Greenwood that'll let me change Rashford to a IFs and give me a different outlet on the right hand side. I'll switch Pogba back to an AP so I have a playmaker in the team but switch him to the right side of centre so he doesn't compete for space with the BPD, WB and IW.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks a lot better @A Loyal Shot

Middle two may cause a bit of disconnect, but just see, I'm not familiar with an AP in a 4-2-3-1. If it does could always change the BWM to CM(S) & WB to FB. No "sitting" midfielder but a more conservative back-line, it's against the rules with a 4-2-3-1 but really not the end of the World when you have McTominay in the role.  A winger on the right might be worth trying too if things clog up, will give Pogba a bit more space with Bruno going forward & no inverted role on that right hand side    

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...