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Help needed with slow tempo 4-3-3

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Hi everyone,

I am enjoying the FM series for almost 10 years now and still wouldn´t consider myself as being a tactial genius. I always play a slow tempo, possession based 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 as this suits my general likes in football. So far over the years this tactic was quite successfull, but this FM I am really struggling to get anything done. I would appreciate if you could have a look at my tactics and comment on it.

I am showing you my home and away tactic (Home games are okay, away games are..... very bad):

Home Tactic


Away Tactic



I have tried some variations in CM (MEZ on Attach duty) and the STriker (put him on DLF), but nothing works.

For me it seems I am not managing to get enough chances while the opponent constantly can generate good chances via through balls (I also changed one of the CD to cover duty).

Thanks again for looking at his and lookinf forward to seeing your feedback!

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I would question if you have the players suitable for a lower tempo possession tactic, first of all. To me Embolo and Thuram in particularly would absolutely thrive in more of an up-tempo counter attacking based system. In a lower tempo side you are going to find it harder to find space without good movement and mental attributes, and you will need to have some creative types (who are these?).

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@Obaaai have to admit, although it might be a little obvious, didn´t consider it "enough" maybe. I was more under the assumption if players meet a little bit of needed attributes for possession based game it is okay, but it might not:-) i tried a few games and put in plea as a striker who is much more intelligent and also linton maina, a winter transfer, and it already went better. thanks for your advide. apart from that, do you think the tactic itself is okay?

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If you decide to play a slower tempo with shorter passing, I suggest you have at least one stable supporting player at each line (Four line: DC-DM-MC-AM, ST line is not necessary stable), as you are going to organize your offence tier by tier.

The meaning of "stable supporting player" include following conditions:

1. No default "getting further forward" PI

2. No default "roaming from position" PI

3. Playmakers are all stable supporting player, though  some of them have above two PI. 

Now let's see your CM and AM line player, none of them are stable supporting player.

1. MEZ and BBM likes to roam from central field and stretch wide or get forward, Having two roaming midfielder will making them hard to connect with DM in short passing framework.

2. IFS and WA tends to getting forward as much they can, less likely to drop back and connect with midfielder. (This make sense in a direct passing system, but not quite suitable for short passing system unless you have DLF-S dropping back to AM line) . Be careful of IFS especially, it has very high mentality and getting forward PI, not like common stable supporting players.


My advice is change one midfielder to CM-s/BWM-s/AP-s/Car-s, one winger to IWS/WS/APS/WTMS. Following is an option for overloading right flank:


Other tips:

1. CF is also a roaming player helping midfield and winger, which reduce its threat in the box, so having a constant threat to the box would be better (RMD / IFA). 

2. WB-A moves up quickly and mostly suitable for a fast-direct system (Think about AI Liverpool), I would suggest WB-S/ CWB-S in a slow system.

3. Be careful of "Use tight marking" TI. If you are familiar with preset tactic, this TI is used in low block defence system like Catenaccio or Park the bus. They have enough player backward to undertake man-marking task while having free defender as backup. If your use it in high block system like control or gegenpressing, you defence shape is gonna ripped up and full of loopholes, and nobody will back up your defender if they lose position. 

Edited by yuchd
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