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Achieving the best style of play for my team in a 4-2-3-1


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So, quick introduction to my Deportivo save (I've posted on the La Liga players thread before, but not here).

I'm on the fifth season, as La Liga champion. I've been playing a 4-4-2 (2 DM's) base but with additions (I'll put my best XI plus 3/4 players in spoiler) I've made in this summer, I believe my team is now best suited to a 4-2-3-1 mantaining some principles of play of the last few seasons. High press, verticality, and some possession (although I don't mind giving up possession).

The 4-4-2 I used is this one.

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Very narrow team and focus thorugh the middle to keep a compact team and easier to press when the ball is lost, an inverted winger on the right becoming a de facto striker when my right DLF drops deep, the left IW being an creator with the full back overlapping, and the DM on the left not going forward and mantaining stability to the defense.

But, and as I said before, since I've made some additions to my team, I'm looking to shift to a 4-2-3-1 and use my wingers and my ultra creative AMC's. I try to have some of the core ideas: verticality, narrow team in order to be easier to press when the ball is lost. This is how the tactic is rn.

imagem.png.4fec1160ae75d59c69be5e8213a76ec6.png

I feel that at the moment my team doesn't play how I want. The forward doesn't make runs in behind, but if I change to an attack duto or change to AF or PF in attack he doesn't get involved. My AMC's aren't performing. The wingers have been underwhelming. The defense "works" but my left back just waits and waits and waits when he has time to put a cross and since he waits so much he just gets blocked and the chances are lost.

In short, I feel that with the creativity and pace of my players from the midfield to the attack, we should terrorize defences both with an organized attack and on the counter.

In spoiler I'll put my players and I would love to see suggestions to optimize them :)

Central defenders:

Spoiler

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Full backs:

Spoiler

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Centre mids

Spoiler

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The CAM's

Spoiler

imagem.thumb.png.c1a9c3cfc522ecba2744546009d58eff.png

 

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The wingers and strikers

Spoiler

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imagem.thumb.png.d4695a204a9e0c43274edc42735f28f1.pngimagem.thumb.png.062d390cc4082242421ad633b9b4c13c.png

 

If you've made it this far, thank you!
How would you set up my team?

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@josel15Just try:

- having your Attacking full back on the flank where the CM-D will sit, either flip the duties on the FB's or CD's

- Remove Very Narrow to just Narrow or Standard, very narrow is just going to compress things in the box

- CF(S) to CF(A). I'd only use a CF(S) if my AMC was trying to get into the box looking to score (AM(A) SS(A) etc), yours is driving into the box to create 

- AP(A) to AP(S) have him sit deeper to pick out your striker & IW's. On Attack he's getting forward & bringing even more players into the box with him 

So basically, something like:

                          CF(A)

IW(S)                AP(S)                 IW(S)

             DLP(S)             CM(D)

FB(S)       CD(D)       BPD(D)      FB(A) 

Let us know how you get on :thup:

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Johnny Ace said:

@josel15Just try:

- having your Attacking full back on the flank where the CM-D will sit, either flip the duties on the FB's or CD's

- Remove Very Narrow to just Narrow or Standard, very narrow is just going to compress things in the box

- CF(S) to CF(A). I'd only use a CF(S) if my AMC was trying to get into the box looking to score (AM(A) SS(A) etc), yours is driving into the box to create 

- AP(A) to AP(S) have him sit deeper to pick out your striker & IW's. On Attack he's getting forward & bringing even more players into the box with him 

So basically, something like:

                          CF(A)

IW(S)                AP(S)                 IW(S)

             DLP(S)             CM(D)

FB(S)       CD(D)       BPD(D)      FB(A) 

Let us know how you get on :thup:

I will give it a try!

I was thinking about other thing that I think it could be interesting. Making both full backs FB (s) and say to the the wingers, or at least one of them, to hold width an create 1v1 situations. But the narrwoness situation will definetly be addressed.

Edited by josel15
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3 hours ago, Johnny Ace said:

@josel15Just try:

- having your Attacking full back on the flank where the CM-D will sit, either flip the duties on the FB's or CD's

- Remove Very Narrow to just Narrow or Standard, very narrow is just going to compress things in the box

- CF(S) to CF(A). I'd only use a CF(S) if my AMC was trying to get into the box looking to score (AM(A) SS(A) etc), yours is driving into the box to create 

- AP(A) to AP(S) have him sit deeper to pick out your striker & IW's. On Attack he's getting forward & bringing even more players into the box with him 

So basically, something like:

                          CF(A)

IW(S)                AP(S)                 IW(S)

             DLP(S)             CM(D)

FB(S)       CD(D)       BPD(D)      FB(A) 

Let us know how you get on :thup:

Honestly? Not that well :D

It felt like the sectors of the team were all spaced out between them and there was no coesion between them, Also I suffered two goals in quick succession and my team couldn't create absolutely nothing.

If I'm using the AP on support, I think I'll have to use a PF/CF on attack or an AF to provide runs in behind and one of the wingers stretching the fiels, change the DLP(S) to DLP on defend and have a runner in the midfield as well. As for the full backs still don't know how can I use them

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1 minute ago, josel15 said:

Honestly? Not that well :D

It felt like the sectors of the team were all spaced out between them and there was no coesion between them, Also I suffered two goals in quick succession and my team couldn't create absolutely nothing.

If I'm using the AP on support, I think I'll have to use a PF/CF on attack or an AF to provide runs in behind and one of the wingers stretching the fiels, change the DLP(S) to DLP on defend and have a runner in the midfield as well. As for the full backs still don't know how can I use them

Oh :lol:

I did say AP(S) & CF(A), I prefer a PF(A) or AF(A) as they're more focused on pushing forward but I don't know your player 

Try removing the Higher LOE to try & bring them closer & change to a more mobile CM. Both DLP & CM(D) are static so probably won't offer much going forward. I'm boring & like a CM(D) & CM(S) combination, anything else I find too risk in CM in 4-2-3-1 

My basic template is 

                     AF(A)

IF(S)            AP(S)/ T(A)         IF(S)

             CM(D)             CM(S) 

FB(A)      CD(D)        BPD(D)      FB(S)

 

                 AF(S)

IF(S)          AP(A)/ T(A)/AM(A)   W(S)

               CM(D)        CM(S)

FB(A)       CD(D)            BPD(D)     FB(S)

 

Very simple & dull but they do the job 

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1 minute ago, Johnny Ace said:

Oh :lol:

I did say AP(S) & CF(A), I prefer a PF(A) or AF(A) as they're more focused on pushing forward but I don't know your player 

Try removing the Higher LOE to try & bring them closer & change to a more mobile CM. Both DLP & CM(D) are static so probably won't offer much going forward. I'm boring & like a CM(D) & CM(S) combination, anything else I find too risk in CM in 4-2-3-1 

My basic template is 

                     AF(A)

IF(S)            AP(S)/ T(A)         IF(S)

             CM(D)             CM(S) 

FB(A)      CD(D)        BPD(D)      FB(S)

 

                 AF(S)

IF(S)          AP(A)/ T(A)/AM(A)   W(S)

               CM(D)        CM(S)

FB(A)       CD(D)            BPD(D)     FB(S)

 

Very simple & dull but they do the job 

I've put my players in spoilers  :D

I think that the 4-2-3-1 favour my players, but a few, small, changes are needed. I think that CM(D)/CM(S) pairing works, but I'm also tempted in doing a DLP(S)/SV(S) pairing to mimic my 4-4-2 midfield combo since it works really well.

I'll also drop the defensive lines because last season I had a really fast centre back, but this season I don't and it is been killing me.

In short, I'm going back to the basics, and try not to overcomplicate.

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3 minutes ago, josel15 said:

I've put my players in spoilers  :D

I think that the 4-2-3-1 favour my players, but a few, small, changes are needed. I think that CM(D)/CM(S) pairing works, but I'm also tempted in doing a DLP(S)/SV(S) pairing to mimic my 4-4-2 midfield combo since it works really well.

I'll also drop the defensive lines because last season I had a really fast centre back, but this season I don't and it is been killing me.

In short, I'm going back to the basics, and try not to overcomplicate.

Boga is a beast at IF(S) & your strikers look like great AFs

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4 minutes ago, Johnny Ace said:

Boga is a beast at IF(S) & your strikers look like great AFs

Thank you!
Will use Boga as an IF (his finishing and off the ball are good) since he reminds me a bit of Mané.

Thanks and will report how the next few games went.

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16 hours ago, Johnny Ace said:

 

                 AF(S)

IF(S)          AP(A)/ T(A)/AM(A)   W(S)

               CM(D)        CM(S)

FB(A)       CD(D)            BPD(D)     FB(S)

What is the striker supposed to be here? :kriss:

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You don't have that many good passers in your team. The wingers aren't that great in it and neither the CMs. The 2 AMs you have are excellent chance creators so I would try to make them the focal point of creativity. AP should do the trick or a T. Maybe try wide formation so that AM have the space needed to operate.

I also noticed that your FBs have pretty good crossing at 13. You could try put one in attack and try to crowd the box and put a cross in. Maybe a overlap instruction on one side.

Just some ideas. I never get the AM to work properly, but saw some video explaining that in 4231 it needs to be wide so they can operate better.

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this is my take for 4-2-3-1, using 2 CWB and 2 Mezzala it is easier for me to maintain the depth in small squad

Using AMC  with shadow striker(attack) role. And for me the important thing to consider when I buy players is their physical  (acceleration and Pace) then stamina and natural fitness, especially stamina

4-2-3-1 QA.fmf

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4 hours ago, Hipster Kangaroo said:

You don't have that many good passers in your team. The wingers aren't that great in it and neither the CMs. The 2 AMs you have are excellent chance creators so I would try to make them the focal point of creativity. AP should do the trick or a T. Maybe try wide formation so that AM have the space needed to operate.

I also noticed that your FBs have pretty good crossing at 13. You could try put one in attack and try to crowd the box and put a cross in. Maybe a overlap instruction on one side.

Just some ideas. I never get the AM to work properly, but saw some video explaining that in 4231 it needs to be wide so they can operate better.

I will try that, they are good ideas.

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A Treq will enjoy having a lot of space. So Wide or regular width benefits him. The player will try and find optimal space to receive passes and make plays.

Currently I am running a 

           AF 

IF(su) AP(su) IF(su)

Frontline and the AP will sit right at the edge of the box looking for the 3 attacking players. I am not sure how AP works with wingers. Maybe a IWs and IWa combo could also work.

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My current 4231 is

      CFa
IFa   APa    Ws
    BBM CMd
WBs BPDc CDs IWBa
      SKd

The number of through balls that go straight through a defence is amazing to watch. The IWBa gives an extra man in the middle of the field when attacking that the defence just doesn't know what to do with and he's chipped in with 5+ goals so far. The CFa holds the ball up by default but is also attacking enough that he stretches the opposition - you do need someone there who is good in the air though to win a lot of knockdowns though. The IFa is always looking to get beyond the defence for the through balls and is regularly on the end of the winger's crosses (the IFa is my top scorer so far this season).

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14 hours ago, Britrock said:

My current 4231 is

      CFa
IFa   APa    Ws
    BBM CMd
WBs BPDc CDs IWBa
      SKd

The number of through balls that go straight through a defence is amazing to watch. The IWBa gives an extra man in the middle of the field when attacking that the defence just doesn't know what to do with and he's chipped in with 5+ goals so far. The CFa holds the ball up by default but is also attacking enough that he stretches the opposition - you do need someone there who is good in the air though to win a lot of knockdowns though. The IFa is always looking to get beyond the defence for the through balls and is regularly on the end of the winger's crosses (the IFa is my top scorer so far this season).

Mine is a flipped version (Sometimes focus play left, with underlap right to get the Wa and IWBd to come closer together), that is slightly less direct than yours:

      PFs
IWs   SS    Wa
    DLPs MEZs
FBa CDd CDd IWBd
      SKs

I've been toying with putting the 'holding' CM on the same side as the IWB but am worried they are going to sit in the same spaces when attacking. 

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On 01/09/2021 at 08:08, Riziger said:

Mine is a flipped version (Sometimes focus play left, with underlap right to get the Wa and IWBd to come closer together), that is slightly less direct than yours:

      PFs
IWs   SS    Wa
    DLPs MEZs
FBa CDd CDd IWBd
      SKs

I've been toying with putting the 'holding' CM on the same side as the IWB but am worried they are going to sit in the same spaces when attacking. 

I really like the setup you have here. How did you pair that up with instructions?

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12 hours ago, Christopher S said:

I really like the setup you have here. How did you pair that up with instructions?

I've actually abandoned it since then. It might be my squad but the setup seemed very leaky. I have a feeling trying to balance out a tactic with IWB in 4-2-3-1 will be difficult. But if you want to give it a go, my team instructions for the above system were:

Fairly Narrow - POOD - Underlap Right - Whipped crosses

Counter - Counter Press - Short Kicks

Higher LOE - Higher DL - More Urgent - Prevent GK Distribution - Offside Trap

 

I've gone back to a more traditional box 4 in defence and release the wingbacks, swapped the DLP over to the winger side - roam on the PFs and IWs:

      PFs
IWs   SS    Wa
    CMd DLPs
FBa BPDd CDd WBs
      SKs

Similar team instructions - Fairly Narrow - POOD - Higher Tempo - Whipped Crosses (or low/wbib if my team start taking pot shots - I also sometimes add 'Wide, Direct, Slower' if the opposition is just sitting back)

Counter - Counter Press - Short Kicks

Higher LOE - Higher DL - More Urgent - Prevent GK Distribution - Offside Trap

 

If you have the players (and time) might be worth switching the CMd to a Mez and see how that goes. Maybe the FBa drops to a WBs or FBs/WBd. I think the MEZs IWs WBs combination on the left will create a lot of problems and overloads if you add focus play on the left as well. 

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7 hours ago, Riziger said:

I've actually abandoned it since then. It might be my squad but the setup seemed very leaky. I have a feeling trying to balance out a tactic with IWB in 4-2-3-1 will be difficult. But if you want to give it a go, my team instructions for the above system were:

Fairly Narrow - POOD - Underlap Right - Whipped crosses

Counter - Counter Press - Short Kicks

Higher LOE - Higher DL - More Urgent - Prevent GK Distribution - Offside Trap

 

I've gone back to a more traditional box 4 in defence and release the wingbacks, swapped the DLP over to the winger side - roam on the PFs and IWs:

      PFs
IWs   SS    Wa
    CMd DLPs
FBa BPDd CDd WBs
      SKs

Similar team instructions - Fairly Narrow - POOD - Higher Tempo - Whipped Crosses (or low/wbib if my team start taking pot shots - I also sometimes add 'Wide, Direct, Slower' if the opposition is just sitting back)

Counter - Counter Press - Short Kicks

Higher LOE - Higher DL - More Urgent - Prevent GK Distribution - Offside Trap

 

If you have the players (and time) might be worth switching the CMd to a Mez and see how that goes. Maybe the FBa drops to a WBs or FBs/WBd. I think the MEZs IWs WBs combination on the left will create a lot of problems and overloads if you add focus play on the left as well. 

Damn, that looks solid. Will try it out. I've not had any success with an SS on any of the editions since it came out, so it's sort of on my bucket list! :)

Alszo, the WBs, MEZs, IWs combo definitely seems like it could create issues for the opposing team. The only thing I'd be worried about is who they are going to unload the ball to. A PFs is fairly static, and the SS would have to drift wide to be available from that kind of an overload, no? I worry that the only real outlet would be 40-50 yard lateral/diagonal passes, and those tend to get intercepted a lot. Have you tried this out? Am I wrong? 

EDIT: I didnt see that you have your PFs with Roam. I suppose this would actually directly adress my concern, and instead leave the SS room to go through the middle while the PFs will make him self available as an outlet for the overload?

Edited by Christopher S
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2 hours ago, Christopher S said:

Damn, that looks solid. Will try it out. I've not had any success with an SS on any of the editions since it came out, so it's sort of on my bucket list! :)

Alszo, the WBs, MEZs, IWs combo definitely seems like it could create issues for the opposing team. The only thing I'd be worried about is who they are going to unload the ball to. A PFs is fairly static, and the SS would have to drift wide to be available from that kind of an overload, no? I worry that the only real outlet would be 40-50 yard lateral/diagonal passes, and those tend to get intercepted a lot. Have you tried this out? Am I wrong? 

EDIT: I didnt see that you have your PFs with Roam. I suppose this would actually directly adress my concern, and instead leave the SS room to go through the middle while the PFs will make him self available as an outlet for the overload?

You're right. In this system the idea is to

1) release the Winger - who when on attack duty actually functions somewhat like a wide striker. (David Neres scored 21, assisted 9, with 7 POM in 40 apps in season 2).

2) Make space for the SS to use the PFs (or DLFs even) for 'wall passes'. 1-2 and in.

3) Pull 1 or 2 center backs to that side so the PFs/SS/W combo get a 3 on 2 situation.

4) Release the wingback/FB on the same side for a cutback.

I've seen this system work with the AF up top as well so might be worth a go if the PFs is too passive?

I also think it was Bustthenet/Rashidi who recommended adding roam on the SS if you are playing against a 433 with a very good DM.

Edited by Riziger
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1 hour ago, Riziger said:

You're right. In this system the idea is to

1) release the Winger - who when on attack duty actually functions somewhat like a wide striker. (David Neres scored 21, assisted 9, with 7 POM in 40 apps in season 2).

2) Make space for the SS to use the PFs (or DLFs even) for 'wall passes'. 1-2 and in.

3) Pull 1 or 2 center backs to that side so the PFs/SS/W combo get a 3 on 2 situation.

4) Release the wingback/FB on the same side for a cutback.

I've seen this system work with the AF up top as well so might be worth a go if the PFs is too passive?

I also think it was Bustthenet/Rashidi who recommended adding roam on the SS if you are playing against a 433 with a very good DM.

Solid reasoning. Been trying it for a few games in pre-season, seems promising so far. I'm somewhat worried what'll happen if the Winger doesn't actually score loads of goals, the FM21 match engine is just as bad as the previous iterations in regards to player decision making from wide positions. I'm already noticing what always happens; wingers (aka the Winger role) refuase to take 100% free crosses and rather wait for someone to catch up - or they'll cut insided and try and shoot from a completely dead angle despite having 2-3 teammates completely free around the 6-yard box. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong! :D

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22 hours ago, Christopher S said:

Solid reasoning. Been trying it for a few games in pre-season, seems promising so far. I'm somewhat worried what'll happen if the Winger doesn't actually score loads of goals, the FM21 match engine is just as bad as the previous iterations in regards to player decision making from wide positions. I'm already noticing what always happens; wingers (aka the Winger role) refuase to take 100% free crosses and rather wait for someone to catch up - or they'll cut insided and try and shoot from a completely dead angle despite having 2-3 teammates completely free around the 6-yard box. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong! :D

See how you go. I definitely am finding that is the case when the opposition doesn't want to play and sits back. The Winger will have A LOT of shots.

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