I'm currently playing as Australia and about to head into the 2018 World Cup. The problem I have is that I have not really settled a formation for the team. I originally had a 4-5-1 but now have decided a 3-4-2-1 would be better. The reason I thought this would be better is that I will have more players defending against the stronger teams. While this has proven correct I have a big disconnect between defence and attack.
Above is the general shape I have been trying to use. The only difference in roles is that I put the DLP on the right and the left becomes a BWM with 'Get Further Forward' to try and bring him into the attacking area more.
I went with a Very Fluid shape and altered mentality a fair bit. I felt with very fluid it would allow the team to stay extremely compact while also allowing all players to contribute to attack. I knew early that attacking would be the biggest issue with the formation so tried everything to get more players forward with the instruction. In all my tactic consisted of the following instructions:
Pass into space (later dropped due to lack of possession against weak oppositions)
Work ball into box
Push Higher Up (or Much Higher)
I finished the match on Attack after starting on counter just to try and get more players attacking. In the end I have cleared all of this and am trying to start again from scratch.
Above you can see I am deep in attack but only have one bloke in the box. Iraq (and most sides I play in Asia) are playing extremely deep to try and blunt my attacks. In this shape it looks like I am using a 4 defender system but really I have the #3 in a WB position as a WBd. I can see a major issue here being that he needs to be further forward so he is now a WBs. Still, I would expect the SS (#11) to be in the box and the other AM (a AMs in this case - #10) to be around the edge of the area.
Here in the buildup I have managed to get the ball to the AM very quickly. From here the next pass is wide to the #9.
The buildup ends with a cross from the left into the centre. Same issues - not enough players in the box to support. The deep playmaker (#7) I feel is in the wrong space. Even the BWM (#8) is too deep I feel. The CWB seems like he doesn't want to get into the box but I don't see that as too much of an issue at this stage. What I would rather see is the two DMs on the edge of the area.
I don't understand why a DLPs and a AMs in a AM slot would be standing on top of eachother doing really nothing here. I would rather see the #10 far further forward. I think this is the point I switched the #10 to an attack duty.
This I consider pretty good. Some good options and some wide options with forwards in the channels ready to break into the box.
I have read a lot of the other 3 at the back threads (Tottenham, Chelsea) but the one I feel is the closest to the mark would be @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Wales thread. It is one of the only threads going around that is about a national team rather than a club. The thing that @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! had that I don't is some really good midfielders in Ramsey and Bale. The thread even says the system is based around using Bale to stretch the opposition by making them mark Bale and allowing space for other players to prosper. I have also watched pretty much every episode of @Rashidi 'The Gloucester City Diaries' which has similar standard of players playing n the Premier League.
Unfortunately I don't have a world class player on the field. My key players are Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Matt Ryan. I also have Brandon Wilson who is developing into a really good player. This leads me to think that the formation is the right one. I can use the three midfield players as playmakers/attackers. So far, Wilson is the DLPs, Mooy as a APa and Rogic as a SS. I have a CWBa as I want to use some like Matthew Leckie and his pace to charge up and down the wing. Admittedly, his defensive abilities are minimal but I feel I can cover for that with the DM and central defenders. Brad Smith is on the left. He is a bit more defensive-mined than Leckie but still very aggressive. I set him to WBs to try and get him to defend a bit more. WBd was too defensive and offered too little options on the left. I still need him to cover for the DLP when he (hopefully) gets forward. All my defenders are slow (quickest is Bailey Wright). I'm not really sure if I can afford to have them too high due to this and I don't think they are smart enough to go too deep. With this formation it just doesn't seem right to leave it at normal.
As I said earlier, I feel the defensive side is more or less right but I need to get the defense 100% correct to allow the attack to function correctly. I think my only way to sneak wins is to hit sides on the counter then park the bus. I just need to get the attack to function. Any help on getting it all to link together is much appreciated.