I'm a little at a loss, so help me out here. The context of my game is I had been playing solely with narrow formations, variations of the 442 diamond pretty much exclusively with great success at Milan, then due to new signings and with the thought that the addition of more wide options would help me vs all the teams parking the bus against me, along with just boredom of playing the same system.
I then came up to the following system:
The only PIs are 'Stay Wider' on the LB and a split block on the front 4.
The idea was to keep the play in the opponents half as much as possible, with a variety of attacking options and a lot of movement with the 5 players on the offense (from right to left: Winger, Mezzala, F9, IF, LB) patentially waiting for the space to open with 3 options to recycle possession on the IWB, CMDe and DLP. Pin the opposition in their own half, not letting them breath. I envisioned the Winger stretching play opening the channel for the Mezzala to make underlapping runs on the right, the F9 dragging defenders out of position for players making runs from deep and overloading defenders alongside the IF, and allowing the LB to get into good crossing positions but none of that really happens.
Sometimes the movement is there but the ball is never played, instead the players go for the safe route, pass it back and around for a while till it gets really static and they force a cross from a bad position.
Sometimes the movement isn't even there, it's just my static attack vs their static defense and nothing happens till we decide to try a random hail mary cross and reset play as we fight for a second ball, or get a corner, or a goalkick, etc.
This means I have issues creating the space and even exploiting the space when it does get created. The rest of what I envisioned works great, pinning the opposition on their own half works brilliantly and I have barely conceded shots and generally dominated possession, but I'm thinking it might be counterproductive as if they never leave their own half I don't get any space to exploit? That's a theory I have, don't know if it makes sense.
The issue isn't as much the results as it is the final third movement and creativity. We played the first 3 league games and won them 3, generally dominating, but not really creating much and crossing WAY too much. And crossing from bad positions, which is the main issue. Here are the games I played so far:
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If you look solely at the stats you might call me stupid for even complaining about anything, but honestly, those chances created were mostly ugly second balls from crosses or from set pieces. 4 of the 6 goals I scored were from set pieces actually (the other two were one from a cross and one from a counterattack). If you pay attention to the stats from the Genoa game there were 88(!!!) crosses attempted in that game, which is bloody ridiculous. Imagine going to the stadium see your team and watch they throw a cross into the box every single minute. In the other two games there were 45 in each. After 3 games I'm averaging 60 crosses per game. By curiosity I went to see what's the team in real life with the most crosses per game in the top 5 leagues and it's Frankfurt with a measly 26 per game. Even in game, the second team in the league with most crosses is Juventus with 100, or 33 per game, that's still high for real life comparisons but even so I got almost double that.
So, what I'm asking is, what do I do to get more variety in my attacking play, making the team play how I envisioned it?
Things I'm thinking:
1. The low tempo might be an issue? My thought was to patiently wait for the space to open but the lower tempo kinda makes the player not take the risk when the space opens. I feel like going higher tempo would be really defensively risky and force me to change other bits to get the tactic stable though. Thought about messing around with the right combination of passing directness/tempo and ticking/unticking Work Ball Into The Box/Be More Expressive. I admit I don't fully understand tempo and passing directness.
2. Pass Into Space could make sense? This is an instruction I don't use much when I'm the top team as no opposition will give me the space to abuse, but if I'm creating it, does it make sense? Also how much would it contradict with Work Ball Into The Box?
3. Lower the line of engagement? Like I said before I think never letting them leave their own half might reduce the space I have to use. I don't want to change this one though cause it'd be a huge fundamental change to what I wanted
Normally I'd experiment with it and go with it as I play the game, but as I've been on this save for a while now I don't want to risk much, and I'd love to hear what the more experienced people here have to say and get some help with what you guys would change in the setup.