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Terrible start with Argentina: help needed

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4 games, 2W, 2L.

Every performance has been average at best. The first game was a 3-4 win, JUST about and we were dominated for 60 of the 90

Colombia. 3-0 loss. Battered and it could've been more

Brazil, a more understandable 0-1 loss but it was average at best

Bolivia, a 0-1 win, but 1 goal, 1 goal against bottom of the WC qualifiers group Bolivia and we played below average.

My tactic is below, any help's appreciated :)



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A few of things that would stick out for me:


1) Naturally with a narrow diamond formation, you'll lack width and as such I feel your fullbacks roles are therefore far too conservative. Wingbacks are more aggressive with both their positioning in attack and they will provide you with width earlier than a fullback. These are probably the two most important roles for you in this system and they will need to be good players both offensively (for reasons above) and defensively (as they will likely get pinned 2v1 against an opponent's winger and fullback). I'd play with two wingbacks on either support or attack as a minimum. 

2) Three defensive roles in the midfield? You essentially have 5 players who have no attacking contribution. One defensive role would be adequate in midfield, the rest should be contributing to the attack, whether it be in either a support or attack role. Particularly if you're playing as a strong team like Argentina.

3) Lack of penetration looks an issue. Unless you're using some additional PIs for Dybala, only Martinez is attacking the box with regularity. If the opposition play deep and have two defensive midfielders - you'll be completely nullified and relying on flashes of individual brilliance.  

Edited by Luizinho
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Righto, first off your midfield is just bad but there are other issues. I have written about a diamond previously so will use that as a basis of my advice:


  1. in A diamond I believe there are a few options here but the choice will have an overall effect on the tactic:

    - A playmaker (regista, DLP, RPM) which means players in the MC spots need to play a bit more defensive to cover the playmaker and allow him space to operate

    - A stopper (HB, A, DM) to cover the defence and allow the MC's to be a bit more attacking.

    I find it a bit easier to setup a diamond with option two but it really depends on what you want. Also remember with a half back you have other hard-coded movement from not just him but the full backs that you may not want. With a Diamond I tend to steer clear of a half back as when he drops I find I tend to lose midfield penetration as I need to get a CM to drop to accept his pass (or a CB pass). In fact, for any tactic you need to think how the ball is going to move from back to forward.

  2. I don't mind your full back setup but why have you set the RB to be a FB-Su rather than something more attacking? I see no reason in front of him for this to be the case and you haven't raised his mentality through instructions either. The two support roles are fine but there needs to be a reason why. I use an IWB as a full back but I have a reason to do so. I see no reason here to limit yourself.

  3. With Messi as a F9 I'd rather have my attacking midfielder as an attacker. A F9 drops very deep so you lose another goal-scoring opportunity. Maybe consider a DLF-Su instread?

  4. I'd steer clear of a higher defensive line. You have players on every line already so I'd be trying to use this to my advantage by stretching the field rather than compressing it.

  5. Same goes with the shorter passing. There are some excellent players here - use their passing ability to open up attacks.

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3 hours ago, LHurlz said:

Sorry to hijack the thread minorly, but could you elaborate on what you mean with point 4 please? @nick1408

Yep, not an issue, I'll give it a crack. My thinking (i.e. I'm no tactical genius) is that when I have a player in every vertical line on the field I want to give them the space to operate in. Remembering that the tactical creator is the defensive positioning; I find that by compressing the field takes away from some of the defensive pressure by compressing the field and allowing an attacker to essentially bypass a line.

Below is the setup of the opening post and what I currently use (plus a standard line):




The higher defensive line leaves space behind the defence for no reason. When you push up the defensive line you push the DM into the CM area of midfield but for what reason? the defence is compacting when by the nature of a diamond it is a stretched formation. My thinking is I want the DM and CB's further away from each other so when the ball is transitioning between those lines I want the next pass from the DM area covered by the CB's. I find if I'm compressing those areas then the attacking line (usually strikers) can find more space behind the CB's when with a standard line I expect the DM to engage either an AMC or striker before the CB's need to. 


There are times I would use a higher line. Here is another tactic I'm using:


Still a standard defensive line but here I am willing to push up as the DM's are now required to press the midfield area. I don't expect much support from the front four so the DM's do need to do a lot of work. 


And here is the pushed up line. While it does now leave the space behind the defensive line like the diamond I am now covering for the lack of CM's. With a diamond I don't need to cover as there are players there already.




With a regular 4-2-3-1 I could push up to cover for the lack of a DM or lower the line of engagement for the same reason. a 4-3-3 I'd use a similar thinking to my diamond but wit a bit more flexibility:


This is probably the bit that you are after - when using a higher or lower line with a wide tactic you are compressing the field but when doing it with a diamond you really aren't. There is just too much space over the back of the full backs as the CM's don't really cover wide and if they do it means there will be space either on the other wing or out wide. The full backs are probably the most important position in a diamond as they need to work the hardest - they can get caught high up the field when attacking with little to no cover behind them then they need to track back quickly to cover a defensive line. If they are only tracking back to a 'Higher Defensive Line' position (making it easier for them) the play may have already bypassed them. If I am telling them to get back to 'Standard Defensive Line' I hope they move with more urgency knowing they need to get deeper.

In a diamond the wide areas are the vulnerability. I'm willing to give that up to make the centre harder to get through. 




The first video shows the standard defensive line, the second higher. Norrington-Davies shows what I mean by tracking back with intent. In the standard line he charges back while in the second he is much slower (although with less time to do so).


Does that wall of text make sense?

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3 hours ago, LHurlz said:

That's a superb post mate, learned a lot from it and and it all made perfect sense! @nick1408

Thanks. I wouldn't take the above as gospel but it is my thinking in how it all works.

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