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3421 - Being cut open (only) through my right side

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A little background, I'm toying with a 3421 with Flamengo because they appointed Paulo Sousa as their manager.
There is some love for Paulo Sousa here on the foruns because I remember some threads trying to emulate his managerial time with Fiorentina, where he played some really good football and directed the spotlight into some not well known players at the time.

I'm playing with Flamengo because it's suggested by the press that he will adopt the same formation and tactical framework as with Fiorentina, tho I am not following closely his brazilian tenure like I followed the italian one (no clues of what he has done with Basel, Bordeaux or Poland national team).

I've started with this:


Nothing out of ordinary, TI's to pass shorter, play out of defense, take short kicks, counter press, hold shape, higher defensive line, press more often and prevent short gk distribution. CM-S told to hold position...

Not trying to fully replicate his style, I am happy with what I got so far and how we are playing but ALL my conceded goals (and any danger created by the opposition) were through my right side.
I've tried so far a regular CD-D and WCB-D on my right side, but nothing seems to help. My CM-S and DW-S are most of the time well positioned - at least they are where I want them to be - but the right sided centreback seems always to blame in every situation. I've tried other players aswell, because David Luiz concentration is awfull but ended up with the same results.

I'm not complaining, I've suffered 8 goals in the state championship and 2 were from corners, that's pretty reasonable, but, on paper, shouldn't I be more exposed down my left side?
I know the flaws of my formation and I'm naturally vulnerable on the sides, and the space between my defenders and my midfielders, but i'm finding a bit of statistical anomaly being so one-dimensional at goals conceded (and my best defensive players are on that side!).

Any obvious explanation that I might be missing? Of any tips on how to spread this vulnerability between right side and the left side?

Edited by davidbarros2
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First, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!

there are two ways of changing things to try other options. Have you tried a CAR on the left side to cover the flank for your more attacking side?

Or, and something I’ve used, is to use a HB, who then turns your back 3 into a back 4 and it naturally forces ur 2 wcb even more slightly wider, thus reducing the threat from the wide channels even more.

so something like 

wms.                            Cms.               Dws.  

          Wcb.       Bpd.      Wcb.  

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Never tried it but surely I'll give it a spin.
So far I'm happy with all my midfielders and attackers, they are taking the positions I want them to, both in offensive and defensive aspects.
For that reason I only tried to fiddle around with my 3 defenders..

I guess I'm just being picky :onmehead:yesterday flamengo won 2-1 over madureira and madureira's goal was just like what I am conceding in my save, so perhaps I'm spot on on my replication :lol:

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Well, by further analysis I guess I've found what was the big issue: fitness.

90% of my goals conceded were in the last minutes of my games and upon further inspecting i realized my defensive winger is by far the player who run the most, averaging between 14km and 15km a match, so around the 70min mark his conditioning would fall sharp.
On top of that, my right sided centreback - David Luiz - his conditioning would drop aswell, probably due to his age (other younger centrebacks didn't decline that much).

By replacing the defensive winger when his fitness levels drop, I no longer experienced headaches through my right hand side, so I guess the problem was not tactical related afterall.


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I'm using Positive mentality, sorry, I've thought I've included it in OP.

Results have been amazing so far. Bear in mind my aim, in every save, is just to watch my team play the way I want them to, not the results itself.
But they've been surprising, more goals conceded than I would like, but pretty acceptable due to the formation I'm using, and right now I'm battering teams, tho my team is vastly superior to the rest of the league (state championship + serie A).
I'm scoring goals the way I intended, overloading the so called "golden zone", feeding my striker with through balls and when I got to crossing positions I can always have at least 3-4 players in the box or attacking the box, which is nice.

I'm also being analtical and keeping a close eye to my statistics, and for the time being I'm over 50% on shots on target , over 20% on conversion rate (these last 2 stats were probably the best I've achieved in FM22)  and over 63% possession.
Players performance is also decent, Gabigol is scoring for fun, and both my AMC's have double digits for goals and assists.

I've fiddled with your suggestion yesterday, but I've found out the better way to defend is just to prevent the ball to gone past by midfield (attack is the best defense :lol:).
Whenever I offset my MC's or give them a defend duty, probably in theory I would have more numbers defending or took up deeper positions but I need them all on support in order to not create any breaches and the midfield 4 can hunt for balls like a pack, getting up and down the pitch together.

If I turn one of them into a defensive duty, I will no longer have a flat line of 4 working together but I would have big pockets of space for my opponents to exploit.
That's why the "higher defensive line", to somehow compress the space between defenders and midfielders, and the use of fairly conservative roles at MC, roles that hold position and not get in the way of my two AMC's.

Edited by davidbarros2
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