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I can't seem to find the right way for how I want to play - A deep 4231 struggle


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Hi there,

Another season, another frustration. I've just finished my 4th season with Leverkusen and guess what? My best season so far with an amazing 6th place :D. Last season was 7th and 8th the seasons before (I've used a 4411 in those). I don't even know how am I not fired.

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Why can't we play better than  we do?

 

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 PI's:

FB -  Sit narrower

DM - Close down more, take fewer risks

WM -  Stay wider , tackle harder

AM - Roam from position, move into channels

 

My principle is pretty simple. I don't care about possession, I just want to have a solid defence with quick transitions. My striker and IW are the fastest players in my team and I want to focus play down the left to have the IW free on the right. I thought that Camavinga (it was his 1st season) would makes us play better because he is a fantastic player, but not really, he finished with 6.97 rating with only 4 goals and 4 assists. 

I was  a bit disappointed because I really wanted to use a SV role for the season, and that's why I signed him, because I think he fits perfectly. That's why I chose this deep 4231, but just like the past seasons, this  one was also a failure.

I reckon that the positioning attribute among my defence is not that great, they all have 13. They're not the fastest defenders too, but I feel that if I don't use  a higher line, we just stay too  deep. Do you think that's the most important factor of why we are such a leaky team?

I don't want to be "olibged" to change the formation because is with this one that I want to succeed.

 

So any input is more than welcome.  I can provide  any information, if you find necessary.

Thank you!

Edited by mikcheck
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4 hours ago, mikcheck said:

My principle is pretty simple. I don't care about possession, I just want to have a solid defence with quick transitions.

Do you primarily want to apply pressure to the other team or do you primarily want to invite pressure from the other team?

 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutos atrás, CARRERA disse:

Do you primarily want to apply pressure to the other team or do you primarily want to invite pressure from the other team?

 

I went for a bottom heavy formation because I want my players to pressure in our own half, so we have the space to attack. That's why I use a normal LOE.

But nothing seems to be working.

Edited by mikcheck
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Posted (edited)

With the Focus Play Down the Left, how early (or not) do you see your team switching the play to the right winger when you watch the games? Where and when do you want him on the ball? What do you envision he will do with it once he gets it? 

What is your plan for when teams do not allow you the space for quick transitions?

Edited by Prolix
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From what I understand, you prefer to absorb pressure from deep and then launch counter.

In that case, you should use standard or lower line of defense, 'Pass Into Space' and increase the tempo.

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5 horas atrás, Prolix disse:

With the Focus Play Down the Left, how early (or not) do you see your team switching the play to the right winger when you watch the games? Where and when do you want him on the ball? What do you envision he will do with it once he gets it? 

What is your plan for when teams do not allow you the space for quick transitions?

Thanks.

I see many tries to switch the ball to the other flank, but some fail, I think sometimes they do it too early. Once the IW has the ball, I want him to either run at defence or pass to the AF.

When I don't have space to attack (which is rare, to be honest) I sometimes change the striker to DLF(a), lower tempo and remove counter.

4 horas atrás, jeerinho disse:

From what I understand, you prefer to absorb pressure from deep and then launch counter.

In that case, you should use standard or lower line of defense, 'Pass Into Space' and increase the tempo.

Thanks. 

Yes, but the thing is that even with a high line and normal LOE we are too deep, I'm afraid lowering even more would be even worse.

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The first thing I would notice is that your tactic isn’t a 4-2-3-1, it’s a 4-4-1-1 DM. This means it’s a variant of a 4-4-2, and the 4-4-2 thrives on width and overloading the flanks. If I was trying your tactic (and I might in an upcoming FA cup game as my main striker is injured so I’m low on forwards and flush with midfielders) I would lose the ‘focus play’ and ‘narrow’ instructions, and change the DR to a WB(A) to get an overload on the right flank. I would also consider either making the passing slightly more direct or going to a higher tempo (or both).

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21 hours ago, mikcheck said:

I went for a bottom heavy formation because I want my players to pressure in our own half, so we have the space to attack. That's why I use a normal LOE.

But nothing seems to be working.

Ok, thats great. Your formations is good to sit rather deep and invite preassure. However, your mentality is not. A positive mentality is set up, to apply preasure to the other team both with and without having the ball. I would look for a balanced or Cautious Mentality.

When looking for a deep style, that is looking for quick transitions, you usually want to transition quickly in both directions, when gaining possession and when loosing possession. A lower mentality will help your team to keep the support and defend duty players behind the ball which makes your transition into defense more quickly. On the attacking end, you want your most advanced players to immediately create depth (attack duty) to penetrate space quickly and beat the other team on the break. This style tho primarily relies on either outnumbering the other team or beating them on 1v1 situations. This Style is primarily played by underdog teams and will struggle against opponents who try to keep more palyers behind the ball themselves.

Usually the better team is trying to APPLY preassure, which might be problematic with that specific formation, as it lacks players in central midfield and is offering space in front of your wide midfielders. That will allow the other team to build up their attack more safely.

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I doubt it’s a function of your players attributes. When you are counter attacking you mostly only have one outlet. Perhaps a winger on support instead of a WM(S).  With the focus play I would even play a WP(S) and have the Fullback on attack so he overlaps naturally. At least then you might have a few more options who trigger the counter

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I would remove focus play & narrowness.  Don't see any need for the roam instruction either on the AM.

Use a different role on the left mid as recommended above.  For me, a winger.

The left back needs to be inverted.

Personally I would add counter-press and pressing urgency.

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Posted (edited)
Em 01/07/2021 em 22:24, CARRERA disse:

Ok, thats great. Your formations is good to sit rather deep and invite preassure. However, your mentality is not. A positive mentality is set up, to apply preasure to the other team both with and without having the ball. I would look for a balanced or Cautious Mentality.

When looking for a deep style, that is looking for quick transitions, you usually want to transition quickly in both directions, when gaining possession and when loosing possession. A lower mentality will help your team to keep the support and defend duty players behind the ball which makes your transition into defense more quickly. On the attacking end, you want your most advanced players to immediately create depth (attack duty) to penetrate space quickly and beat the other team on the break. This style tho primarily relies on either outnumbering the other team or beating them on 1v1 situations. This Style is primarily played by underdog teams and will struggle against opponents who try to keep more palyers behind the ball themselves.

Usually the better team is trying to APPLY preassure, which might be problematic with that specific formation, as it lacks players in central midfield and is offering space in front of your wide midfielders. That will allow the other team to build up their attack more safely.

Thanks.

I understand that, but I want to keep positive mentality because that's how I envision to play this style of counter attacking, I want my players to take risks.  The formation is already a deep one and I also feel that with a balanced mentality we'd just give too much (even more)  to the other team. Yes, it's a counter attacking style but I don't want to be too deep, that's why I also have a higher line, more of a mid-low block.

Em 02/07/2021 em 10:37, Rashidi disse:

I doubt it’s a function of your players attributes. When you are counter attacking you mostly only have one outlet. Perhaps a winger on support instead of a WM(S).  With the focus play I would even play a WP(S) and have the Fullback on attack so he overlaps naturally. At least then you might have a few more options who trigger the counter

Thanks.

What about the IW(a) isn't he also an outlet?  

I have a WM(s) with stay wider PI, so he acts kinda like a winger. I didn't choose a winger because he has dribble more and I already have too many players with that trait and that is also one of the reasons for some turnovers we have. So I try to keep as few dribbling roles as possible.

But don't you think a WP would be in Volante's way?

What do you think about these changes? I change the Volante duty to support (so he can also see more of the ball now) and fullback is now a WB(s) with sit narrower PI.  The other fullback is now on attack and I would even make in a IWB, but he's not that good for that.

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Also what would you change (and using the same formation) if you were camping against a weaker team? I know too many questions, sorry. Thanks for your time

Em 03/07/2021 em 07:25, Robson 07 disse:

I would remove focus play & narrowness.  Don't see any need for the roam instruction either on the AM.

Use a different role on the left mid as recommended above.  For me, a winger.

The left back needs to be inverted.

Personally I would add counter-press and pressing urgency.

Thanks.

The reason I want to use focus play on the left it's not only to get the best out of Camaving but also because I don't want the IW(a) to touch many times on the ball  and he's not a great passer too. Most of the players on the left have switch ball to the other flank trait.

About the left back, you mean a IWB? Because the IWB just acts like a normal FB/WB when there's two DM's in front.

I don't think that counter-press and pressing urgency would suit this style in a bottom heavy formation.

Edited by mikcheck
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On 04/07/2021 at 19:33, mikcheck said:

About the left back, you mean a IWB? Because the IWB just acts like a normal FB/WB when there's two DM's in front.

Yes you're right, I realised I made a slight error there soon after the post.  I was merely thinking about the cover required for a SV-A.  Come back and let us know how you are getting on.

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