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I have had great success with this approach, winning La Liga and the Champions League. Currently I am in my third season, it started really well, here are some results.

results.PNG.032935ef601da345dccfd3fe09db2f33.PNG

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Posted (edited)

I'm a big fan of Simeone defending style. I play with a pressing forward (defend/ support), to see my team defending in a 4-4-1-1

2 hours ago, cocoadavid said:

Central midfielders with a defend duty do not stay in line with their midfield partner, and instead act more like a defensive midfielder, creating a 4-1-3-2 defensive shape, and not a 4-4-2.

Have tried to change his role as a CM with defend duty ?

 

Another thing I don't understand, I thought that the formation on the tactical creator is the defensive shape. So why a CM on defence duty will stay back on the defence shape !

Edited by who_is_it
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Great write up, really cool to see how you use OIs as this is something that I also try to do but I never thought of NOT closing down centre backs - interesting take! 
 

I have a question about the attacking side (I know this is mainly about the defensive shape). Do you have enough runners/threats in behind with two support duty strikers? I always prefer to have one striker on Attack but then I face the same problem you pointed out, there’s a big distance between him and his striker partner and the midfield. 

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1 hour ago, nidhar.ram said:

Good read.

For opponents coming at you, this set-up will surely be potent. How has it played against teams that aren't interested in coming out of their block?

Thanks!

Against teams that park the bus my team can totally dominate the game, tbh it works better against those teams than I expected. Of course sometimes it is harder to break them down or need a set piece to break the ice, but so far more often than not I was able to beat them.

When playing against extra defensive teams, I change the roles to something like this:

  • I change my left back to a Complete Wingback-support, it can add an extra body and extra width on the left side of the pitch in the opposition's half.
  • Now that my wingback provides the width on the left side, I change my left winger in front of the CWS-su to Wide Midfielder-attack.
  • I switch the TM-su and CF-su.


I also tweak with TIs, usually I approach these games I like this:

  • 0-20 minutes: Positive mentality, mid-high block, counter press ON, prevent short GK distribution. I try to score an early goal with urgency.
  • 20-35 minutes: Balanced mentality, mid-low block, counter press OFF. I let them have the ball a bit more in a hope that I might have 1-2 counter attacking opportunity during this period.
  • 35-60 minutes: same as 0-20, I try to put more pressure on them.
  • 60-75 minutes: Balanced mentality, mid-low block, counter press.
  • If we have the lead at this point, I leave the TIs as it is. Otherwise I switch back to the more urgent approach.

     

Here are some results and stats vs parked buses (you can see in the opponents' formations that they really were focusing on defending):

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answer3.PNG.d85f4c06a8b764ca75842995da0fe65c.PNG

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1 hour ago, who_is_it said:

I'm a big fan of Simeone defending style. I play with a pressing forward (defend/ support), to see my team defending in a 4-4-1-1

Have tried to change his role as a CM with defend duty ?

 

Another thing I don't understand, I thought that the formation on the tactical creator is the defensive shape. So why a CM on defence duty will stay back on the defence shape !


4-4-1-1 can be a really good defensive formation, it's great for counter attacks, in the past I have also used a pressing forward on defend duty, I really like that role.

The formation on the tactical creator is not exactly the defensive shape, it is a starting point, your defensive shape depends a lot on the duties. Duties affect not only your in-possession-shape, but also your out-of-possession-shape. For example, if you create a flat 4-5-1 formation in the creator, and you set your central midfielder to defend duty, and you have two mezzalas next to him, the defensive shape is going to be a 4-1-4-1 and not 4-5-1. Another example with the defensive Pressing Forward: if you pair your Pressing Forward on defend duty with an Advanced Forward, your defensive shape is going to be 4-4-1-1, and not 4-4-2.

 

In my experience if you use a CM with defend duty the defensive shape is often going to look like a 4-1-3-2 in the middle block. However, when the ball is already near your penalty area, it can look like a 4-4-2, but it's already too late for my taste. To show you how it looks, for one game I changed my right sided CM to CMd, and this was the result:

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answer5.jpg.476b837397e234b83a8b6f757a75f6da.jpg

This does not look like the compact 4-4-2 that I aim for.

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2 hours ago, Fantasista10 said:

Great write up, really cool to see how you use OIs as this is something that I also try to do but I never thought of NOT closing down centre backs - interesting take! 
 

I have a question about the attacking side (I know this is mainly about the defensive shape). Do you have enough runners/threats in behind with two support duty strikers? I always prefer to have one striker on Attack but then I face the same problem you pointed out, there’s a big distance between him and his striker partner and the midfield. 

Thanks, really good question! 

This is where the limitations of FM comes into play. In my dream FM, I would like a striker role that in possession would act like an attack duty striker and would constantly stretch the opponent's DL, but out of possession would track back like the support duty strikers. Another solution would be to have separate duties for in-possession and out-of-possession.

I experimented a lot with support duty strikers and it turned out that out of all the striker roles with a support duty, the Complete Forward might be the most attacking one, especially if he has at least one of these player traits:

  • likes to beat offside trap
  • gets into opposition area
  • gets forward whenever possible
     

I am lucky to have a striker who likes to beat the offside trap, and he makes runs behind, altough not as often as an attack duty forward would do. Therefore in the Complete Forward role I usually use a player who would be a good Advanced Forward.

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1 minute ago, cocoadavid said:

Thanks, really good question! 

This is where the limitations of FM comes into play. In my dream FM, I would like a striker role that in possession would act like an attack duty striker and would constantly stretch the opponent's DL, but out of possession would track back like the support duty strikers. Another solution would be to have separate duties for in-possession and out-of-possession.

I experimented a lot with support duty strikers and it turned out that out of all the striker roles with a support duty, the Complete Forward might be the most attacking one, especially if he has at least one of these player traits:

  • likes to beat offside trap
  • gets into opposition area
  • gets forward whenever possible
     

I am lucky to have a striker who likes to beat the offside trap, and he makes runs behind, altough not as often as an attack duty forward would do. Therefore in the Complete Forward role I usually use a player who would be a good Advanced Forward.

You can get what you're aiming for if you have hard working CF support, with the top 2 PPMs. It's an absolutely killer combination for systems like this

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15 hours ago, cocoadavid said:

Thanks, really good question! 

This is where the limitations of FM comes into play. In my dream FM, I would like a striker role that in possession would act like an attack duty striker and would constantly stretch the opponent's DL, but out of possession would track back like the support duty strikers. Another solution would be to have separate duties for in-possession and out-of-possession.

I experimented a lot with support duty strikers and it turned out that out of all the striker roles with a support duty, the Complete Forward might be the most attacking one, especially if he has at least one of these player traits:

  • likes to beat offside trap
  • gets into opposition area
  • gets forward whenever possible
     

I am lucky to have a striker who likes to beat the offside trap, and he makes runs behind, altough not as often as an attack duty forward would do. Therefore in the Complete Forward role I usually use a player who would be a good Advanced Forward.

I could be wrong but potentially using a DLF-A could offer you a mixture of what you are looking for, I find that the DLF-A is a very underrated role, I like how it drops deeper and links play but also runs beyond like a AF in many ways, especially if he has the right traits. Could be worth trialling it and seeing if it does the job

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18 hours ago, Louisking1992 said:

I could be wrong but potentially using a DLF-A could offer you a mixture of what you are looking for, I find that the DLF-A is a very underrated role, I like how it drops deeper and links play but also runs beyond like a AF in many ways, especially if he has the right traits. Could be worth trialling it and seeing if it does the job

The problem with DLF-A is that on defense it doesn't do the job of a player in support duty

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Think I am going to have to steal this one, been wanting to do a 442 system! Can I just ask:

  1. What the reason for BWM(S) vs say B2B or even CM(s)?
  2. Do you find the DLP(s) and IW(s) get in each others way at all?
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4 hours ago, craiigman said:

What the reason for BWM(S) vs say B2B or even CM(s)?

BWM adds a lot of pressure to the central areas of the pitch, which can me quite handy in a two-man central midfiel where the other player has a covering role. (usually a player with defend duty). A B2B compared to a CM will take up both higher positions up the pitch when in possession and drop deeper when out of possesson. In other words, his area of action is vertically streteched.

4 hours ago, craiigman said:

Do you find the DLP(s) and IW(s) get in each others way at all?

no, IW will only move inside when he has the ball. Also DLP is instructed to hold position. However due to his playmaker ability he will also look to offer a passing option and will close up to the player whos having the ball.

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Posted (edited)
On 18/05/2021 at 09:26, Bot Makel said:

The problem with DLF-A is that on defense it doesn't do the job of a player in support duty

I think I’ve found a slight work around for this. I play a (fairly) direct 4-4-2 with Dulwich Hamlet and after back to back promotions we’re in League 2 and facing much better opposition. 
 

After some testing in the back end of last season (when we were running away with the title) I found two suppers duty strikers were not dangerous enough for me and the players at my disposal. 
 

I was off to an ok start in the league winning one and losing another with my usual 4-4-2. However it clicked for me after a Carabao Cup 2nd round tie at home to West Ham I rolled out a tweaked version of the OPs setup but only in the 2nd half and we limited them to very few chances (lost 3-0 still). So in the next league game at home to Crawley, who were relegated from League 1, I kept my original AF up top next to my DLF(S) but made two key changes: 

I told both strikers to Mark Tighter and specifically Man Mark the oppositions CMs so that they both dropped back into midfield. It worked a treat, we won 4-0 with all our goals coming on the break. The first goal was textbook - we let the CD bring the ball out from the back before my winger pounced on him and scored. 
 

The obvious benefit of this is that my AF is still on an attack duty and will make those crucial runs in behind a lot more than a support duty striker. I also don’t have good enough players to use the CF role or strong enough for the TM role, so I’m kind of stuck with AF/Poacher types with a DLF/False 9s. 
 

To summarise it may not be as good as having both on support in terms of defensive shape, but it’s close enough whilst still being threatening in behind. 

Edited by Fantasista10
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4 hours ago, craiigman said:

Think I am going to have to steal this one, been wanting to do a 442 system! Can I just ask:

  1. What the reason for BWM(S) vs say B2B or even CM(s)?
  2. Do you find the DLP(s) and IW(s) get in each others way at all?

1. Next to my DLP I wanted someone who is really aggressive when defending in the middle of the pitch and tries to win the ball back actively, generating counter attacking opportunities. My BWM also works well with the counter press TI, I've seen some highlights when we lost the ball high up the pitch on the left side, but my BWM pressed immediately, winning the ball back or forcing the opposition to an aimless long ball.
But I don't always use a BWM(s), sometimes I use a B2B, I guess a CM(s) could also work. As I have mentioned in the post, I am quiet flexible with the roles, there are a lot of factors to consider, the players you have, the opposition, the roles that work well together, or creating mismatches against the opposition's centre backs ( for example using a tall TM against a small centre back, or using a quick forward vs a slow centre back).

2. They don't get in eatch others way, the DLP plays deeper, taking a more central position while the IWs has a higher position in the right hand channel in possession. I use an IW(s) most of the time, but sometimes I use a WM(s), or even a WP(s), but that could also affect other roles.

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13 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

I think I’ve found a slight work around for this. I play a (fairly) direct 4-4-2 with Dulwich Hamlet and after back to back promotions we’re in League 2 and facing much better opposition. 
 

After some testing in the back end of last season (when we were running away with the title) I found two suppers duty strikers were not dangerous enough for me and the players at my disposal. 
 

I was off to an ok start in the league winning one and losing another with my usual 4-4-2. However it clicked for me after a Carabao Cup 2nd round tie at home to West Ham I rolled out a tweaked version of the OPs setup but only in the 2nd half and we limited them to very few chances (lost 3-0 still). So in the next league game at home to Crawley, who were relegated from League 1, I kept my original AF up top next to my DLF(S) but made two key changes: 

I told both strikers to Mark Tighter and specifically Man Mark the oppositions CMs so that they both dropped back into midfield. It worked a treat, we won 4-0 with all our goals coming on the break. The first goal was textbook - we let the CD bring the ball out from the back before my winger pounced on him and scored. 
 

The obvious benefit of this is that my AF is still on an attack duty and will make those crucial runs in behind a lot more than a support duty striker. I also don’t have good enough players to use the CF role or strong enough for the TM role, so I’m kind of stuck with AF/Poacher types with a DLF/False 9s. 
 

To summarise it may not be as good as having both on support in terms of defensive shape, but it’s close enough whilst still being threatening in behind. 

This sounds like a great work around! I have mentioned in an earlier response that I wish to have a forward on attack duty who would defend like a forward on support duty, and your work around is a good idea for this.

In possession two support duty strikers can have it's downsides when you don't have the right players for it, I am lucky to have complete forwards with the appropriate traits.

Btw if anyone has struggles using two support duty strikers, a 4-4-1-1 defensive shape (for example one striker on attack duty and the other one on support/defend) is really great for counter attacking, especially if the opposition plays with a high DL or has slow defenders, I have used that approach before this compact 4-4-2 and it worked really well, too. Defensively it's not as compact as a 4-4-2, but offers the chance for a more direct approach.

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3 minutes ago, cocoadavid said:

Btw if anyone has struggles using two support duty strikers, a 4-4-1-1 defensive shape (for example one striker on attack duty and the other one on support/defend) is really great for counter attacking, especially if the opposition plays with a high DL or has slow defenders, I have used that approach before this compact 4-4-2 and it worked really well, too. Defensively it's not as compact as a 4-4-2, but offers the chance for a more direct approach.

Agreed, this is the approach I’ve used in virtually every game with my current side as it suited the players. But like you I prefer to see my two strikers actually drop back and create that 4-4-2 mid block and not a staggered/asymmetric 4-4-1-1. Definitely good to have two approaches that you can easily switch between! 

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1 hour ago, fraudiola said:

what about 2 shadow strikers?

I was thinking about doing something like this.
 

I actually had great success with a strikerless 4-4-2 in FM20 with Fiorentina but haven’t yet felt the need to play withdrawn strikers as my AF & DLF combo work well. But tempted to give this a go and see how it works. 
 

Have you tried this yet?

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15 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

I was thinking about doing something like this.
 

I actually had great success with a strikerless 4-4-2 in FM20 with Fiorentina but haven’t yet felt the need to play withdrawn strikers as my AF & DLF combo work well. But tempted to give this a go and see how it works. 
 

Have you tried this yet?

nope, i might. switching to DLF+AF next probably

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16 hours ago, fraudiola said:

nope, i might. switching to DLF+AF next probably

I tried the two shadow strikers for one game and it worked well in terms of counter attacking - scored two great goals on the break. However it was a bit too passive for my liking, not enough pressure on the opponent meant we were camped in our own half for most of the game. It would need further testing but I feel like you would be under sustained pressure for long periods 

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11 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

I tried the two shadow strikers for one game and it worked well in terms of counter attacking - scored two great goals on the break. However it was a bit too passive for my liking, not enough pressure on the opponent meant we were camped in our own half for most of the game. It would need further testing but I feel like you would be under sustained pressure for long periods 

whats your mid setup like with DLF+AF?

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15 minutes ago, fraudiola said:

whats your mid setup like with DLF+AF?

It was better than the shadow strikers. However I would be mindful using it against better opponents or adventurous CMs. For example, I had my AF and DLF man marking Wimbledon’s CMs, and the DLF was fine but the AF was getting dragged all over the pitch by his marker who as it turns out was playing in a Mezzala role. 
 

We ended up losing 2-0 against a far superior opponent. I think in those games it’s best to leave your AF up the pitch for a chance to counter 

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19 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

It was better than the shadow strikers. However I would be mindful using it against better opponents or adventurous CMs. For example, I had my AF and DLF man marking Wimbledon’s CMs, and the DLF was fine but the AF was getting dragged all over the pitch by his marker who as it turns out was playing in a Mezzala role. 
 

We ended up losing 2-0 against a far superior opponent. I think in those games it’s best to leave your AF up the pitch for a chance to counter 

What about two strikers (One on attack and One on support) and the attack striker man marks the central midfielder?

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16 minutes ago, obasa_G said:

What about two strikers (One on attack and One on support) and the attack striker man marks the central midfielder?

Yeah this is more or less the same thing I did. Except I also told my Support striker to man mark, which I guess I didn’t need to do. 
 

But the same problem will arise, which is the Attack duty player potentially being drawn into positions where you don’t want him to be. I’d say this should be a situational instruction, not something that will work against every team. 

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4 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

Yeah this is more or less the same thing I did. Except I also told my Support striker to man mark, which I guess I didn’t need to do. 
 

But the same problem will arise, which is the Attack duty player potentially being drawn into positions where you don’t want him to be. I’d say this should be a situational instruction, not something that will work against every team.

I know for a fact that most of the teams you face on FM play with a holding midfielder (single DM or CM with the hold position PI active). If I were playing a 442 with attack anf support strikers, I would tell the attack striker to man mark the holding midfielder, so as not to allow him to get pulled out of position too much, and I would leave the support striker as it is as I believe he will automatically zonal mark the DM position.

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On 23/05/2021 at 08:57, blackmoix said:

Hi @cocoadavid

Can you share a link to your tactic to try?

Thanks!!!

Hi @blackmoix

I can share the tactic that I use with Valencia, you can find the link below. But I would like to remind you that Opposition Instructions are also important, and this tactic was created to suit my Valencia squad, for example I have forwards with suitable traits, I have multiple left footed wingers, that's why I use an IW on the right and a Winger on the left, etc. And I still make small changes from match to match. When starting a new save with a different team, my tactic would not be the same. My intention with the guide was to show you the basic principles for a successful,compact, lifelike 4-4-2 defensive formation, and I encourage you to try creating your own tactics to suit your players.


442 COMPACT v3.fmf
 

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@cocoadavid, do you change distribution against 2 strikers? I'm on FM20 and I find my cbs have a hard time against 2 strikers, so I generally switch to distribute to FB or playmaker (depending on their formation)

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3 hours ago, lfds89 said:

@cocoadavid, do you change distribution against 2 strikers? I'm on FM20 and I find my cbs have a hard time against 2 strikers, so I generally switch to distribute to FB or playmaker (depending on their formation)

When playing against 2 strikers it makes sense to distribute to your full backs, on FM20 or FM19 I remember that I used to instruct my GK to distrubute to the FBs, or to a DLP, because sometimes there was enough space between the 2 srikers to pass to ball immidietaly to the DLP. However on FM21 with the players at my disposal I don't particulary have any issues against 2 strikers, so I rarely change distribution - but in La Liga I very rarely face any formation with 2 strikers.

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This thread is excellently explained and gives a great base to set up a 4-4-2 for any group of players.

As this particular iteration is set up for your Valencia side, is there any further advice you could give us on role selection?  For example if you didn’t have a Target Man type striker or different examples of central midfield combinations that you think could work.

Great work here!

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2 hours ago, FJW said:

This thread is excellently explained and gives a great base to set up a 4-4-2 for any group of players.

As this particular iteration is set up for your Valencia side, is there any further advice you could give us on role selection?  For example if you didn’t have a Target Man type striker or different examples of central midfield combinations that you think could work.

Great work here!

Thanks!

About the central midfielders...
I can imagine many midfield combinations that could work, even a simple CMs + CMs with the right traits or PIs could work I guess. When creating the central midfield combination, I usually follow these principles:

  1. At least one of them should be instructed to hold position - to provide cover in case we lose the ball.
  2. At least one of them should be a relatively creative, good passer who can create chances or switch the ball to the other flank.
  3. At least one of them should be really hard-working.

Of course these are just suggestions.

With Valencia I have used the following combinations, in brackets their function, according to the afromentioned principles:

  • DLP (hold position + creative) + BWM (hard-working)
  • DLP (hold position + creative) + B2B (hard-working)
  • BWM (hold position + hard working) + Roaming Playmaker ( creative + hard-working)
  • BWM (hold position + hard working) + CM (creative)

Just a few examples to give ideas:

  • If you've got a creative, but slow player (eg. Dani Parejo or Xhaka), I would play him as a DLP who holds his position, and pair him with a more athletic player who could be a B2B, BWM, or even a simple CM.
  • If you've got a central midfielder who likes to run with the ball (eg. Barella or Naby Keita), I would play him as the more adventurous midfielder (B2B, Roaming Playmaker, CM, Mezzala) and I would most likely instruct the other midfielder to hold his position.

 

About the strikers...
In my Valencia save, when playing with 2 support duty strikers, one of them was always a Target Man, so I can only just guess here, but I think that a DLFs could also work. In real life I really like the role of a F9, but in FM21 I just could not get the best out of a F9 so far, but it might worth a try. And of all the strikers roles with a support duty, the Complete Forward might be the most attacking minded I think.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just a quick update, if you are interested in who can be your top perfomers, goal scorers, etc. in a system like this, I've just finished my season, so here are some numbers:

Average ratings

According to the ratings, my best berfomers played these roles in my system:

  • Winger-attack
  • IW-support
  • Target Man
  • Complete Forward
  • Fullback/WB-attack

top 5:

  1. Marco Asensio: Winger-attack, sometimes IW-support
  2. Maxi Gomez: Target Man-support
  3. S. Esposito: Complete Forward-support, sometimes Target Man-support
  4. Odriozola: Fullback-attack/WB-attack
  5. Lee Kang-In: IW-support (and M. Rodák -  backup GK)

season_ratings.thumb.PNG.86d6796c9c83f4b0aa3128bff388f548.PNG

 

 

Goal scorers

The top goals scorers played these roles in my system:

  • Target Man - support
  • Complete Forward - support
  • Winger - attack
  • Inverted Winger - support

top 5:

  1. Maxi Gomez: TM-support
  2. S. Esposito: Complete Forward-support/Target Man-support
  3. Asensio: Winger-attack/IW-support
  4. Bryan Gil: Winger-attack
  5. Lee Kang-In: IW-support

season_goals.thumb.PNG.4214e1fe0a5b0384353085300f983f37.PNG

 

 

Assists

The most assists were provided by players who played these roles:

  • FB/WB-attack
  • IW-support
  • W-attack
  • TM-support

top 5:

  1. Odriozola: FB/WB-attack
  2. Lee Kang-In: IW-support
  3. Asensio: Winger-attack/IW-support
  4. José Gayá: FB-support (but some of his assists have come from corners)
  5. May Gómez: TM-support and Bryan Gil: W-attack

season_assist.thumb.PNG.bd349c2be249ab9a1dc27e24db69fa10.PNG

 

 

League table

season_table.thumb.PNG.b110cede7b3eab46042594dd12e887e6.PNG

 

Cheers,

David

Edited by cocoadavid
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Wow, 107 goals scored! Outstanding work considering both strikers are played on Support duties :applause:

I guess like you said, their PPMs are crucial for this.

If you were managing a lower league side, what role would you recommend instead of Complete Forward? This is a highly demanding role which is difficult to find suitable players for at low levels. I've only really used Advanced Forward or PFa for a more direct runner in behind, and I have struggled when changing this to any kind of support role. 

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34 minutes ago, Fantasista10 said:

Wow, 107 goals scored! Outstanding work considering both strikers are played on Support duties :applause:

I guess like you said, their PPMs are crucial for this.

If you were managing a lower league side, what role would you recommend instead of Complete Forward? This is a highly demanding role which is difficult to find suitable players for at low levels. I've only really used Advanced Forward or PFa for a more direct runner in behind, and I have struggled when changing this to any kind of support role. 

Thanks!

Yes, PPMs are crucial, and sometimes I switched the mentality to Attacking, I think that could encourage the srikers to make more forward runs. In some games I still wished my strikers would make more runs behind.

If I did not have strikers with good PPMs, then against sides that do not defend deep I think I would abandon my  2-support-duty-strikers-rule and play one of them on attack duty.

I did not test this on lower league yet, so I can't really say what other role could work in place of the Complete Forward. Without further testing, in lower league maybe I would also abandon my 2-support-duty-striker-rule. I am also thinking about trying and testing a support-duty-forward + shadow striker combo, one in the STCL strata and the other in the AMCR strata. I am also planning to start a new save to try this system with other type of players.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, cocoadavid said:

I am also thinking about trying and testing a support-duty-forward + shadow striker combo, one in the STCL strata and the other in the AMCR strata. 

This setup works pretty well. I used it with Sunderland and beat Chelsea 4-1 Away in the EFL cup. My SS scored 2 of the goals. The SS defends higher up the pitch due to the attack duty so I thought this formation defended closer to a 4-4-2 shape than a normal 4-4-2 with an attack duty in the ST position, which defends more like a 4-4-1-1. 

EDIT - To elaborate more on the attacking movement, I used a TM(S) combined with the shadow striker. I think a role like TM(S) or DLF(S) that holds up the ball would be most effective in giving time for the SS to make their forward runs.

Edited by andrewsgn
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conceding A LOT of longshots due to being outnumbered in the center. so annoying that when joe schmoe scores a screamer when he isn't closed down right away. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey this is an amazing read. I was wondering what do you think about switching the CB roles and changing the CF striker to a PF attack striker? Or a PF at su so they can track back easier. 

 

Edited by Djeon36
Just wanted to add something more to it got an idea
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Also I was wondering how do you defend against a 4231. Since the 4231 is a natural counter to the 442 formation since the 4231 uses the CAM to disrupt the 442 formation, do you change anything to try to beet the formation?

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Great read, thanks.  I've always struggled a bit with the 4-4-2, but my current team has two good strikers who should in theory play well off each other, so I've been trying to find a good 4-4-2 tactic.  I'm going to give this a go.

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On 10/06/2021 at 03:40, Djeon36 said:

Hey this is an amazing read. I was wondering what do you think about switching the CB roles and changing the CF striker to a PF attack striker? Or a PF at su so they can track back easier. 

 

Thanks! The roles of the CBs are really up to you, they could be switched. I had my right CB as a BPD because my right footed GK tended to pass the ball to the right sided centre back, and I wanted that defender to bring the ball out fo defence (or occasionally pass it long to the TM) and a BPD is more likely to do so than a regular CB. If my GK was left footed then probably I would have my left CB as a BPD.

I encourage you to experiment with striker roles, it could work. At the moment I play with a F9 and TM. If you change one of your stirkers duty to attack, then the defensive shape becomes an asymmetric 4-4-1-1 rather than a 4-4-2, but that can also be good, it is especially good for counter attacking. Occasionally against teams that defend high up the pitch I might use one of my stirkers on attack duty, defensively it may be less solid, but that way I may have more counter attacking opportunity.

I started a new save with Újpest, a Hungarian mid-table team, my players are far from being top quality, but the principles in my post still work. The players needed some time to get familiar with the tactic, but now we have equal points with Ferencváros, who are a far superior side in Hungary, they are like FC Bayern Munich in Germany or PSG in France, other teams have barely any chance. For this team I use a slightly different tactic that I used with Valencia because here I have some different types of and less potent players. If you are interested, here it is:

ute.PNG.675e7024219242b1d6f7e7c74a179634.PNG

PIs:

  • left FBsu: sit narrower
  • right BPD: stay wider
  • right FBat: stay wider
  • left WMat: stay wider, cross more
  • right WMat: sit narrower
  • strikers: mark specific position: DM


 

On 10/06/2021 at 15:37, Djeon36 said:

Also I was wondering how do you defend against a 4231. Since the 4231 is a natural counter to the 442 formation since the 4231 uses the CAM to disrupt the 442 formation, do you change anything to try to beet the formation?

I face 4231 the most frequently, I don't change anything at all, this 4-4-2 compact defensive shape works well against the 4-2-3-1, at least for me. The compactness of this 442 compensates for the lack of numbers in midfield. When defending, this is exactly the situation why it is important for both trikers to track back, usually my 2 strikers block the passing lanes to the opponent's central midfielders while my CMs block tha passing lanes to the opponent's CAM. The below simplified image shows that if the strikers defend deep and block passing lanes and the team holds its shape, then it is not exactly easy to pass the ball to the AM from the back. But a quality attacking midfielder with good off the ball movement can still create problems for us, of course.


925956632_vs4231.PNG.78cab81d98518f9aed3a8a84e91749a9.PNG

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19 hours ago, cocoadavid said:

Thanks! The roles of the CBs are really up to you, they could be switched. I had my right CB as a BPD because my right footed GK tended to pass the ball to the right sided centre back, and I wanted that defender to bring the ball out fo defence (or occasionally pass it long to the TM) and a BPD is more likely to do so than a regular CB. If my GK was left footed then probably I would have my left CB as a BPD.

I encourage you to experiment with striker roles, it could work. At the moment I play with a F9 and TM. If you change one of your stirkers duty to attack, then the defensive shape becomes an asymmetric 4-4-1-1 rather than a 4-4-2, but that can also be good, it is especially good for counter attacking. Occasionally against teams that defend high up the pitch I might use one of my stirkers on attack duty, defensively it may be less solid, but that way I may have more counter attacking opportunity.

I started a new save with Újpest, a Hungarian mid-table team, my players are far from being top quality, but the principles in my post still work. The players needed some time to get familiar with the tactic, but now we have equal points with Ferencváros, who are a far superior side in Hungary, they are like FC Bayern Munich in Germany or PSG in France, other teams have barely any chance. For this team I use a slightly different tactic that I used with Valencia because here I have some different types of and less potent players. If you are interested, here it is:

ute.PNG.675e7024219242b1d6f7e7c74a179634.PNG

PIs:

  • left FBsu: sit narrower
  • right BPD: stay wider
  • right FBat: stay wider
  • left WMat: stay wider, cross more
  • right WMat: sit narrower
  • strikers: mark specific position: DM


 

I face 4231 the most frequently, I don't change anything at all, this 4-4-2 compact defensive shape works well against the 4-2-3-1, at least for me. The compactness of this 442 compensates for the lack of numbers in midfield. When defending, this is exactly the situation why it is important for both trikers to track back, usually my 2 strikers block the passing lanes to the opponent's central midfielders while my CMs block tha passing lanes to the opponent's CAM. The below simplified image shows that if the strikers defend deep and block passing lanes and the team holds its shape, then it is not exactly easy to pass the ball to the AM from the back. But a quality attacking midfielder with good off the ball movement can still create problems for us, of course.


925956632_vs4231.PNG.78cab81d98518f9aed3a8a84e91749a9.PNG

So I've tried a PF at support and attack and here are some things i've seen so far. The PF at support does provide a lot more defensive coverage but attacking wise its very lacking. However, the formation really relies on the left winger which I have a Winger on attack to really be the focal point of attack ( in my case its Dwight McNeil and he is doing everything basically.) Its very defensive and I managed to win 1-0 against BVB Dortmund in preseason but it really lacks the attacking potential. I've switched the DLP with a BBM to see if that helps with anything. With having a PF on attack it really does help the counter attacking aspect a lot but I realized u need a fast PF who likes to play off of defender's shoulders ex. ( Jamie Vardy type player). 

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Great read! I am playing Eintracht Braunschweig being just promoted to 2nd division and facing tough opponents. Good teams just run me down. Here I found just what I needed desperately.

thanks much!!

edit: I‘ve tried some striker combos  but the CF is the crucial point. I can’t replace him with my players, they‘re not good enough. I have a strong tall one and a fast one with good OTB.

how is this F9/ TM working?

my strikers are goalless for some games. The goals come mostly from the wingplayers (WMa / IFs).

 

Edited by HanziZoloman
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10 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

edit: I‘ve tried some striker combos  but the CF is the crucial point. I can’t replace him with my players, they‘re not good enough. I have a strong tall one and a fast one with good OTB.

how is this F9/ TM working?

my strikers are goalless for some games. The goals come mostly from the wingplayers (WMa / IFs).

 

Yes, a good CF can be crucial. At Valencia I had quality players for CF and TM positions, my top goalscorers were those 2 strikers, then my left winger who scored the 3rd most goals.

In my Újpest save the amount of goals are roughly evenly distributed between the srikers and the wingplayers. The F9/TM combo score less goals themeselves but can create more chances for the attacking wingplayers. Note that my strikers here have really bad finishing attributes (9 and 11, also bad composure).

The F9 drops deeper and my left WM-att can attack the space behind him, or if the F9 has the ball, he can run with the it and distrupt the opposition's defensive shape. The TM with his back to the goal can flick on/play simple short passes to the:

  1. DLP who then can play a pass to the overlapping fullback on the right, or play a killer ball to the other side of the pitch for my left winger who is attacking space behind my F9 and is usually in a good position to shoot or cross.
  2. right WM-att who then dribbles, shoots or passes.
  3. F9 who can do whatever he seems fit, dribble, pass, shoot or play a through ball.

Besides, unsurprisingly the TM is often the target of crosses.

Both at Valencia and at Újpest I had left wingers who were one of the best finishers in the squad, therefore the tactics that I created were designed in a way that the left winger is going finish many chances, so I was glad that my left wingers scored a relatively good amount of goals.

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Thx for your advice and explanations. They‘re very helpful.
One other question is about the footness of your players, do you have favourites? 
the F9 could easily be right footed despite playing left?

my left WMa is a right footer, my left IWs a left or right footer, depends on who is playing.

@cocoadavid would you post screenshots of your attacking players ?

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

Thx for your advice and explanations. They‘re very helpful.
One other question is about the footness of your players, do you have favourites? 
the F9 could easily be right footed despite playing left?

my left WMa is a right footer, my left IWs a left or right footer, depends on who is playing.

@cocoadavid would you post screenshots of your attacking players ?


I only have one preference, for the left winger I prefer a left footed player, that way he can shoot/cross first time more easily when he receives a through ball, he doesn't have to take any time to move the ball to his preferred foot or cut inside. But a right footed player could also work there, a right footed player would work a little differently, it has its pros/cons.

For all the other roles in the attacking and midfield areas I don't have a specific preference, it really is situational, every footedness has its pros/cons. There are situations when I wish my player was left footed, but then there are situation where I wish he was right footed.

Sure, I can post screenshots of my attacking players at Újpest, you can see them below.

My Target Man:

Spoiler

1889951289_TM(2).png.00b07cbd3d6f4b714e93eb93872fd02d.png

 

My F9:

Spoiler

1201525799_F9(2).png.b3cc1da4d635df7654bd78ce7fe73438.png

 

My left WM:

Spoiler

169663720_leftWM(2).png.21fdaaa45a3b2790027b2b805a53d47f.png

 

my right WM:

Spoiler

1034837546_rightWM(2).png.d2da221725916f1473b4c588cb75783e.png

 

 

This player is my second choice for both right WM and left WM, or sometimes even F9:

Spoiler

1862889246_rightWM2(2).png.7290a0ed6e734923bc6e8588ff03edcb.png

 

Edited by cocoadavid
typo
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This is a fine guide. I took some tidbits and implemented in my own tactic and this form is cos of the tactic...

image.png.c3b743e75866196ede851c1bf0f4bbbc.png

 

The tactic

 

image.png.77822191df16351ae229571c29db8a4e.png

 

OI are a mix of yours and mine.

 

Thanks for the guide!

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