Jump to content

A Buffoons attempt at a 442

Recommended Posts

I love the game and have played it for years, however I'm rubbish at it. 

I'm also a massive fan of a good old fashioned 442. I'm going to attempt to create one. I will be using Manchester United so the team may not be suited to it straight away and I'm aware I will have to purchase players to fit the system. Here goes.

The vision for the 442 will be down the crosses in to the box. Simple, but how do I achieve this? 

My initial set up as follows and the idea behind the chosen system.

GK- nothing special. Plain old simple GK on defend.

CBx2- I've gone for basic CBs here. Using 1 on defend and 1 on cover. Reason being, far too many times I've been victim of balls over the top or the opposition passing through me like a hot knife through butter. Hopefully a cover role can help with this.

WBL- Set to attack. To over lap and add width to the team. With his forward runs I'm hoping he will be a passing option and supply crosses to the forwards.

FBR- Also set to attack but a different role so he doesn't stray too far forward and is still capable of doing his defensive duties whilst still supplying some forward passes.

DLP- Set to a defend duty. I'm hoping he stays relatively central. With his defend duty he should also be a bit deeper so can be the main focus of the short passes from the defenders. I have opted to tick the Be More Expressive box. I still want him to make those killer passes should the opportunity arises. 

BBM-  Chosen this role as the work horse next to the playmaker. His job is to run up and down supporting both attack and defense. A special player is needed here!!

WML- On an attack duty as I want him to be attack minded with his focus on those killer crosses to the forwards. He has the role of running down the wing but also I'm hoping he can hit early crosses when he sees fit. He is also set to sit narrower allowing the wing back to run ahead at every opportunity. 

WR- His role is a simple one. Run down the wing and cross the ball. I have elected to use the Shoots Less option to hopefully encourage the cross.

P- The poacher, the main goal scorer(Hopefully) 

DLF- On a support duty, I'm hoping that with him dropping deep that will open up space for the poacher to run in to. 


I have no idea if these are the right options or if they will work but its a start. All roles are up for change if needs be. Whether they don't work or if someone has a better suggestion/idea.


Team instructions are something I don't really understand but the ones I've gone for are

Focus play down both wings- I think this one is quite obvious. If I want crosses into the box then this is the correct way to do it, is it not?

Play out from the back- Not necessarily a slow build up but more of strategic one. A ass to the defenders who in turn passes to the DLP who can then decide what to do. This may change as I have experienced poor decision making by the defenders in previous games. I may change to distribute to the wings depending on how this goes.

Distribute to the defenders- Simply to keep the ball and encourage the passes to the midfield.

Lower line of engagement- Hoping this will open up space for the poacher to run into. If we allow the opposition to come forward then surely space opens up behind them????

Lower defensive line- To stop the ball over the top. Hopefully help with those mythical clean sheets whilst keeping the team close together for passing options

This is all theoretical as my football knowledge is very limited. I shall try to analyse the games but again I'm not the greatest at this game in general let alone tactically. I'm hoping that this help me understand more about the game and all that is involved. 

442 again!.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

I played a few friendlies against really poor teams to increase moral then I played Blackburn away. A decent team but one I should win. Which I did!! 

Looking at screen shots. It looks pretty good (I think) The idea was to sit deep and gain possession in my own half then surge forward to capitalise on all that vacant space. 

v blackburn analysis.png

v blackburn analysis heat map.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of the goals Greenwood scored. It got me quite excited to be honest.

As you can see AWB has the ball at righback. The right winger is preparing to run down the wing. Both strikers are occupying the central defenders ready to turn and attack the space.. The left sided winger has tucked in ?(as per instructions) allowing the left back to run forward (again as instructed) 

As you can see AWB has a few safe passing options in the more defensive and central players but he plays a lofted through ball for Greenwood to run on to. 

A great goal and its something that I had hoped for when setting up the tactic. A good start. I do know i conceded two goals via the hot knife and butter routine but I'm not going to look a that just yet or ever.

blackburn greenwood goal.png

balckburn greenwood goal 2.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, the SLC said:

I played a few friendlies against really poor teams to increase moral then I played Blackburn away. A decent team but one I should win. Which I did!! 

Looking at screen shots. It looks pretty good (I think) The idea was to sit deep and gain possession in my own half then surge forward to capitalise on all that vacant space.

Hey if it works - it works, congrats!

However, if you are interested in hearing another perspective, I can provide some thoughts as I've been playing with different versions of 442 for years.

  1. I would avoid setting both DL and LOE to lower as it might invite too much pressure and against better teams might be just making their job easier by allowing them to play closer to your goal. I would tick DL up once to provide defensive compactness, but would definitely observe the team out of possession on extended highlights next match.
  2. Setting up with attack duties on both wingers and fullbacks is something I would personally never do without having an all star defensive mid or playing with a deeper pivot (in the DM strata). Those players will get forward and they will leave acres of space on the wings. If the opposing team is playing with advanced attacking wingers they might shred you on the counter.
  3. Above point also brings the question of overlaps: there is no natural overlap set up by player roles and duties, so I'm not sure how it works in this year's match engin, but I could definitely imagine wide players getting into each others way instead of creating efficient overlaps. They will all try to get to the byline to cross, this might in fact overload the fullbacks, but also be a problem for your wide men to find the space they should naturally occupy since there is already a player there.

Match engine isn't perfect though, so some stuff just works. I personally would definitely not set up a soaking-up-pressure-442 like you did,



Also, keep in mind you are playing Man United and seen as favourites in like 90% of the games you play. This will have the opposition set up to defend (especially a team like Blackburn) and allow you time on the ball. From my experience with such a huge difference in quality of players, you can win with almost any tactic against AI.

I would watch a game on extended highlights with this setup against someone better than Blackburn, even a team like Leeds or Everton would be better test for your tactic.

Edited by Wrap God
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for the reply @Wrap God You make good points and ones I will not ignore. I shall play some more challenging friendlies and see how I fare. 

The reason i went for attacking WBL and FBR was to stagger the movement to allow for passing options. Not sure if thats right but it sounded good in my head. I have also changed the WML to a support role as after reading the description it was more along the lines I was looking for. I also changed the DLF to an attack duty as I felt he was dropping too deep and those runs from deep would possibly benefit from the early crosses as and when they come. Two people benefiting from them instead of one. If the poacher is being marked then we have another option. Again all in my head, time will tell if it works 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I took your advice and played a better team. I opted for Spurs at home. I won 2-0. A through ball from the Wide midfielder for the poacher to run on to and Pogba scored a penalty. I paused the game after only a few seconds as I saw this. As you can see that almost immediately my WM tucked in and my WB bombed down the line. Its only a small thing but its exciting as this is exactly what i want to see.

tottenham wingback posistion.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

so far I've played 5 games. Winning 4 and drawing 1. Conceded 5 but have scored 16. It does appear to be playing how I want with some lovely movement and the kind of goals I desired, crosses from byline and from deep areas. @Wrap God had mentioned that I could be inviting too much pressure with how deep I'm playing so I'm going to push the LOD up a notch to see if it makes any difference as I believe he's right from what I've witnessed so far. 


Edited by the SLC
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a few good results albeit against weaker opposition. Next up, Liverpool away. 

I have made a few changes for this game. I've lowered the mentality for the two wingbacks to hopefully restrict the marauding Inside Forwards that Liverpool posses. I'm not too hopeful for this game at all as i have noticed in the games already played that my closing down is non existent. This is something I will have to pay attention shortly. I can no longer rely on my squad as opposition is getting harder. 

please ignore the players. I shall pick them properly on match day

Liverpool away.png

Edited by the SLC
Link to post
Share on other sites

As you can see I got absolutely spanked.

This is their first goal. A screamer into the top right corner. Henderson has played a simple pass to Keita who takes a touch and then curls in a worldy.  Their two players in the box are clearly marked which is probably why he took the long shot but is my team unorganised or doing their job as it should be? You can see Bruno is quite deep (number 18) is he too deep. Should he be a bit further up putting pressure on somone else? Also AWB is stuck in no mans land. He's deep which is what I had hoped for when switching his role but how do I make him close down more? I don't really want to change the LOE as when we attack I think it plays out how I wanted. The defensive side of things is something I need to put more effort in to, immediately!

Their 2nd goal again scored by Keita. As you can see Keita is in the box surrounded by three players. The DC the RB and the DLP. AS the move continues. I end up with 7 players in the box compared to their 5. So they are outnumbered. In fact only 2 of those players seem to be in a threatening position, swamped by 3 of my own players. Yet the ball is threaded through by Jota for Keita to tap in. 

How do I apply pressure and press aggressively like all the other teams seem to do? Is it to do with my system and the roles or the team instructions? 

I like that we are deep but maybe we are too deep. Is a DLP on defend required when we are already playing a Low defensive line? 


liverpool 2.png

liverpool 3.png

liverpool 4.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

After the beating by Liverpool I played Ajax away. The game ended 1-1. So that's it. The bubble has burst. Next game home v Spurs. I made a couple of changes.


I made the BBM a BWM on support. To add some bite in the middle. To help with the closing down issue I had started to notice. 

Since i had lowered the mentality of the LB by changing to a FBa. I changed the WM back to an attacking duty to hopefully increase the crossing numbers. 

I removed Play out of defence as it was crap. I didn't like it so its gone.

Went back to Mixed crosses to hopefully not restrict options from the players.

I beat Spurs 3-0. Was a good game to watch. I could see that my changes made some difference but I'm sure there is more to it than that. 

Since I played that game I have started to think that maybe the forward roles need swapping? If i put the poacher on the right hand side would he become a better target for the wingers crosses also if the DLF is now on the left. When he drops deep would he connect better with the WM and DLP who is now on a support duty? Also with those runs from deep could we see an increase in the early crosses that the WM can or should play?


tactic changes.png

changes 2.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since changing the forwards around. The poacher has scored 8 goals in 3 games. I still lost a game and I'm conceding more than I should. I'm at a loss as how to tighten up at the back. I shall try some opposition instructions then hopefully my players will stick to the opp

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the game against Watford I had my wide players man mark their wide players via the PI option and also via the opp instructions within the tactic screen. I will only show the one example as through out the game I saw this consistently throughout the match 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...