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4-3-3 Explaining my tactical decisions - help needed!


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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

Reverted back to the classic 4-3-3 but just having some trouble getting some consistent form together to mount a title charge.
I'm working on two tactics; first one is my go to tactic that I play 75% of the time as im Napoli (one of the better teams in the division) and my second tactic is for when I'm playing a Juventus or something - (just beat Milan 1-0 away from home).

I'll post them and walk through my thinking with roles & instructions and if I have misunderstood hopefully someone smarter could add some input.

 

MAIN TACTIC

I always struggled to keep the ball;

  • Shorter passing | Work ball into box | Fairly Narrow | Play out of defence
  • I use 'Be more expressive' along side WBIB as a nice situational pairing against the bad teams.

Without the ball

A lot the goals I concede feel like I'm playing prime Barcelona - I just had Verona score a goal where they passed it around the midfield 30 times before eventually playing a defence splitting pass behind Koulibally to lose 2-1 at home. Therefore;

  • Counter press - to win the ball further up the pitch; as I already have a lot of bodies up there I feel like it is a good idea - I also use a split block on my players instructed to close down more rather than the team instruction.
  • Higher defensive line - I have CBs with good pace, anticipation etc and use it to camp teams in their box. I occasionally concede chances to the ball over the top (but who doesn't).

A few roles that may stand-out

  • Manolas on CD(c) - Koulibally has this annoying tendency to be out of position and/or charge out of position - his concentration is 8. So I figured having a fast aggressive CB on cover to sweep up his mistakes and also cover for the FB on attack was a good idea?
  • Fabian DLP(d) - I have always been more old fashioned and had either a DM, HB or Anchorman on defend in my saves, however I noticed I gave away the ball a lot in situations like; I cross the ball, opposition defence clears it, it would fall to my DM and they would either lose it or use the ball poorly, so I moved my best playmaker into that position to help recycle the ball with more effect.
  • I am unsure about the Mezzala, Winger and WB combo - Is this an overloadThey all have instructions to either stay wider, run wider with the ball etc. I have usually used two 'inside running roles' such as IF, IW however I like the idea of W stretching the pitch although I am yet to find the perfect player for that role (currently playing a left footer there) 
  • I switch from a BWM to a BBM if I feel like I need a little more going forward from that position

 

 

1265203514_NapHOME.png.04cffba9d352e287aaf542dde50ee2f6.png

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

AWAY TACTIC (TOUGH TEAMS)

 

Mentality - Attacking  - I've always played my best 'counter attacking' football on higher mentalities.

With the ball

  • Hit early crosses - I like to whip the ball in behind the defence to my AF (who is super fast)
  • Run at defence - I want my players to travel with the ball as my AP, IW and W are all great dribblers however I don't know if I am handicapping myself as; am I sacrificing fast transitional passes?
  • Playing wider - Want my players spread out to encourage a more direct passing style without the team instruction

Without the ball

  • Distribute to flanks - That's where I have found the most space for my attackers when playing against tougher opposition as they usually push their fullbacks up.
  • Distribute quickly - Counter attacking mentality although I flick this on and off in game if I feel like my GK starts kicking the ball away needlessly.
  • Counter instruction - obvious reasons
  • Regroup - I want to suck the opposition in and then transition into my attack so I opted against the counter press - I still use the same split block with my attackers although writing this I wonder if that is counter intuitive? 
  • The LOE is something I tweak depending on the highlights I am seeing, although I never put it past standard especially on such a high mentality - but the idea again is to suck the opposition in and hit them with a quick transition

 

 

 

11425035_NapAWAY.png.8221014dccdb18d0bc62f29eb31109bf.png

 

I know this is long, so thank you for any help you can offer - I hope I explained it all!

Edited by dw2193
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  • dw2193 changed the title to 4-3-3 Explaining my tactical decisions - help needed!
2 hours ago, dw2193 said:

A lot the goals I concede feel like I'm playing prime Barcelona - I just had Verona score a goal where they passed it around the midfield 30 times before eventually playing a defence splitting pass behind Koulibally to lose 2-1 at home. Therefore;

  • Counter press - to win the ball further up the pitch; as I already have a lot of bodies up there I feel like it is a good idea - I also use a split block on my players instructed to close down more rather than the team instruction.

As I understand it, counter-pressing temporarily ups pressing height and intensity during defensive transitions. If you're struggling to disrupt the possession of opponents in their own third outside of the transition phase, you might want to consider increasing the default Line of Engagement. If you're struggling to win the ball in midfield, you might consider increasing the pressing urgency. Further, you might consider experimenting with removing the Tighter Marking instruction (there's been some back and forth about whether it's contradictory with a pressing system).

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2 minutes ago, Prolix said:

As I understand it, counter-pressing temporarily ups pressing height and intensity during defensive transitions. If you're struggling to disrupt the possession of opponents in their own third outside of the transition phase, you might want to consider increasing the default Line of Engagement. If you're struggling to win the ball in midfield, you might consider increasing the pressing urgency. Further, you might consider experimenting with removing the Tighter Marking instruction (there's been some back and forth about whether it's contradictory with a pressing system).

Thanks for the reply. I'll give it some tweaks - to be honest I don't truly understand the pros and cons of the tight marking instruction I have just always had it on. The LOE is something I change, but usually its in relevance to my defensive line as I try and keep it some what compact.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, dw2193 said:

to be honest I don't truly understand the pros and cons of the tight marking instruction

By default your players will mark the opposition relatively loose to find a balance between intercepting passes / tackling and covering the space behind them vs fast players or strong dribblers. Tight marking is just a more aggrissive form of marking where your defenders will stay closer to the attacker to increase their chances of intercepting passes or getting into the tackle at the risk of missing that and being beaten in a 1v1 situation. Both loose and tight marking are zonal marking styles. Man marking is something completely different.

And yes, counterpess does only affect the transitional phase. Once your team has fallen back into your defensive shape, your out of possession instructions will take over. 

Edited by CARRERA
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1 minute ago, CARRERA said:

By default your players will mark the opposition relatively loose to find a balance between intercepting passes / tackling and covering the space behind them vs fast players or strong dribblers. Tight marking is just a more aggrissive form of marking where your defenders will stay closer to the attacker to increase their chances of intercepting passes or getting into the tackle at the risk of missing that and being beaten in a 1v1 situation.

And yes, counterpess does only affect the transitional phase. Once your team has fallen back into your defensive shape, your out of possession instructions will take over. 

I see, that makes sense as it got so bad at one point I had to put 'close down less' on both my CB's as they would get sucked into marking the striker leaving space for an IF to hit or something.

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4 minutes ago, dw2193 said:

I had to put 'close down less' on both my CB's as they would get sucked into marking the striker leaving space for an IF to hit or something.

Yeah, its quite a common style method to drop deep as a striker to open up space behind the defensive line for an aggressive wide player. However, marking only applys to players that are not preassureing the ball. Its pressing that forces your players to close down more against the attacker with the ball.

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I always find with the advanced wingers they don't come back and defend enough to help my fullbacks. This has recently led to me using the balanced and cautious mentality a lot along with wide defending (really nice with the defensive midfielder) and has led to great result but most notably a solid defence. I still use max line of engagement / defensive line and pressing along with counter press. But my team seem to make much better decisions and I see much less of the "hopeless" defensive situations where a CB just tries to run up front or goes horribly out of position for no reason.

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Personally I'd go something like this.

image.png.393a85815ef8ac5fc574eccae8f42608.png

 

You have Politano, a natural inverted winger playing as a winger on support. He's great on the ball good dribbling, passing and shooting I would change to inverted winger and pair with the mezzala attack, try him on "sit wider/narrower" and see what works best as you don't want them to be too much in the same space. this should create some overloads for you.

I think Lozano suits a similar role - personally I find the IF far to aggressive in general and find the role doesn't seem to work well within the team and will often only cut inside and shoot. IW again as he is right footed and helps towards your possession mentality. Would possibly add roam from position on these players too.

Full backs over wingbacks offer a lot more defensive cover while still supporting going forward. Can be tweaked to your liking if you want them to get forward and act more like a wingback add, runs wide with ball and get further forward.

I think CD defend is better as is is more compact, and keeps you CD's in line for the offside trap.

As the guys mentioned above LOE is just inviting pressure onto your team. I would almost always recommend higher def line. more urgent over extreme to keep some shape and compactness. Quick defenders to minimise balls over the top.

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