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Organisation in Defensive Shape (Strikers tracking back and midfield positioning)


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I absolutely agree with @Jack722.

As I have explained in my thread it is possible to create a 4-4-2 defensive shape, but it greatly limits your offensive shape and attacking options.

There are 2 main problems:

1. Central midfielders on defend duty
A central midfielder on defend duty acts like a defensive midfielder, creating a 4-1-3-2 defensive shape, like in this example:

cmd3_LI.jpg.898fc9cd2379214a77847b0aa843670c.jpg

Here the CM on defend duty leaves his midfield partner, leaving a big open space on front of him (white circle), and this gives an opportunity for Ruben Vezo to pass the ball into a good position. If he stayed higher up the pitch, in line with his midfield parner, he could mark or immidietaly press the opposition's central midfielder.
 

2. Strikers on attack duty
Strikers on attack duty stay high up the pitch. In real life it is absolutely possible to ask a striker to track back into his defensive shape when out of possession, and then in possession ask him to make runs in behind the defenders and try to strech the defensive line. But in FM such role does not exist.


Possible solutions

  1. As Jack has suggested one solution could be that out of possession the players should remain roughly in their position that is shown on the formation screen,. And then there still could be some striker roles that stay high up the pitch, like a poacher or advanced forward, creating a 4-4-1-1 defensive shape. But for example a pressing forward on attack duty would track back to create a 4-4-2 defensive shape.
  2. Another solution would be to alter how some roles in ST and CM strata behave defensively.  An example that I have mentioned before is that for example a pressing forward on attack duty would track back.
  3. A third suggestion would be to create in possession and out of possession duties for roles. For example a central midfielder in possession could have a defensive duty, recyling possession, while out of possession he could be on support duty, staying in line with his midfield partner.
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On 23/08/2021 at 16:05, cocoadavid said:

Possible solutions

  1. As Jack has suggested one solution could be that out of possession the players should remain roughly in their position that is shown on the formation screen,. And then there still could be some striker roles that stay high up the pitch, like a poacher or advanced forward, creating a 4-4-1-1 defensive shape. But for example a pressing forward on attack duty would track back to create a 4-4-2 defensive shape.
  2. Another solution would be to alter how some roles in ST and CM strata behave defensively.  An example that I have mentioned before is that for example a pressing forward on attack duty would track back.
  3. A third suggestion would be to create in possession and out of possession duties for roles. For example a central midfielder in possession could have a defensive duty, recyling possession, while out of possession he could be on support duty, staying in line with his midfield partner.

All good solutions, thanks for contributing.

Absolutely agree with (1.)  Lots of teams irl still leave players up top during defence, whether to conserve energy for better attacking players, or to be a threat on the counter. Although, I still think that better positions for attacking players could be taken up, such as slightly deeper, to avoid a little poacher being dominated by two CB's when recieving a long pass as he's so far away from the rest of the team. Having the pressing forward (A) still tracking back and taking up defensive positions as well makes a lot of sense, since my understanding is that the ideal pressing forward would be slightly limited on the ball, but is able to put a shift in for the team and just be a nuisance to the opposition. It would also make the role more different to the current Advanced Forward, since I feel they can be quite similar if you just increase the pressing and tackling of the AF.

Not 100% sure what you mean on (2.) but I think it's pretty similar to (1.)

I think that (3.) could be a little too complicated. I'd be all for different out of / in possession instructions or tactics, but I'm aware that it might have to be a big overhaul, and there's already lots to think about in the game especially for more casual players. I also think that this specific issue could be solved in a more simple way.

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The other two things I have to add is that 

  1. Perhaps the line of engagement could be linked to inital striker positions? I feel like that, for a tactic with much lower line of engagement , for example, could see completely different positioning of forwards, where they work harder to block off passing lanes into the midfield, whereas higher line of engagements would see them step up and press centrebacks. Currently all the line of engagement does as far as I'm aware, is decide when players step out of position to press, which doesn't directly affect compactness.

I've realised that strikers generally take up poor positions, such as below:

718514469_442striker.PNG.a15d086b52fbbf87502cfa4c1280560a.PNG

Here no.8 can easily pass the ball into midfield to no.44 without much challenge at all, basically leaving me playing with 9 men.

 

1964629247_442strikerless.PNG.8cfba46a2d3832772b7ee7c46acb0773.PNG

Whereas using shadow strikers, such as above, they take up much more compact and intelligent positions to block off the pass into midfield. Now No.8 has to go wide or back to the keeper. So I'm thinking that all strikers, on whatever duty, should take up positions such as the current shadow strikers do, if you are using a much lower line of engagement. This way it would actually be possible to play a mid/low block without conceding far too many shots or completely sacrificing your attack.

 

       2. All players in the same strata should take up positions on the same horizontal line. The only time we see that 4132 shape as mentioned above should be when you select a DM. Obvioulsy       attacking players may take longer to track back, and a defensive player may hold their position for longer before decided to step out and press, but the general settled positioning should be along the same horizontal line.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 26/08/2021 at 09:56, Jack722 said:

The other two things I have to add is that 

  1. Perhaps the line of engagement could be linked to inital striker positions? I feel like that, for a tactic with much lower line of engagement , for example, could see completely different positioning of forwards, where they work harder to block off passing lanes into the midfield, whereas higher line of engagements would see them step up and press centrebacks. Currently all the line of engagement does as far as I'm aware, is decide when players step out of position to press, which doesn't directly affect compactness.

I've realised that strikers generally take up poor positions, such as below:

718514469_442striker.PNG.a15d086b52fbbf87502cfa4c1280560a.PNG

Here no.8 can easily pass the ball into midfield to no.44 without much challenge at all, basically leaving me playing with 9 men.

 

1964629247_442strikerless.PNG.8cfba46a2d3832772b7ee7c46acb0773.PNG

Whereas using shadow strikers, such as above, they take up much more compact and intelligent positions to block off the pass into midfield. Now No.8 has to go wide or back to the keeper. So I'm thinking that all strikers, on whatever duty, should take up positions such as the current shadow strikers do, if you are using a much lower line of engagement. This way it would actually be possible to play a mid/low block without conceding far too many shots or completely sacrificing your attack.

 

       2. All players in the same strata should take up positions on the same horizontal line. The only time we see that 4132 shape as mentioned above should be when you select a DM. Obvioulsy       attacking players may take longer to track back, and a defensive player may hold their position for longer before decided to step out and press, but the general settled positioning should be along the same horizontal line.

I completely agree that strikers positioning should resemble the shadow striker picture. To be honest,  even on a more aggressive,  higher line of engagement 442,  there should be far more of that kind of positioning.  They should be more willing to step out to press the centre backs when appropriate (while also covering the holding midfielders as the ball side winger comes up to press the centre back while covering the the pass to the full back)).  The risk should be,  that the opponent is good enough to find the full back or that there is clever movement from the holding midfielders ahead that outfoxes the strikers covering job).  and hence they can initiate a quick attack or progress the ball upfield.  However,  in that case,  in the second or thrd phase of opposing pressure,  you should still see the strikers doing some defensive work,  probably blocking an easy circulation back to the centre backs. 

 

(I think this provides a fairly good description: https://spielverlagerung.com/2014/07/15/red-bull-salzburg-under-roger-schmidt-2014/)

Edited by Erratic Aspie
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