Hey, I'm currently using Napoli first season. I read Cleon's thread on counter attacking football using a 4-1-4-1 and decided to try my hand at something similar. However 6 games in I'm currently 1 win 2 draws and 3 losses placed 16th. The idea was to be a defensive team that allowed the opposition possession but also limited them to mainly longshots.
This is the formation I went for, the idea when choosing the forward roles was to have a striker who would occupy the CBs whilst his partner dropped deep looking for the ball, to make sure he wasn't isolated I chose a B2B and the CM(S) to try and ensure that even when the F9 drops deep that there are players making runs ahead of him. I initially had a trio of CMs same roles as the currently have and then a CM(A), but I felt the gap between the defenders and the midfield was being exposed. I tried to counter that with a BPD(X) to no avail so I switched to the DM(S). My idea was that whilst he'd support the attack by stepping into the midfield strata whilst the other 2 push forward and then in defence he slots back into the DM position.
When watching the match I saw that here's how the formation looks like when going into the attacking third.
Mainly what I see is the ball being switched from flank to flank, the CMs and DM crowding around each other. I feel as if the ball being pinged from side to side is because of a lack op actual options in the center of the field due to the CMs and DM being on top of each other.
The formation becomes a sort of 5-1-2-2 when the opposition attack.
One thing I've noted here is the CMs and DM seem to get dragged out to the wing chasing the ball, so maybe I should have close down less on them so the keep their shape a bit better. Crosses seem to get us, although that might be down to the midfielders following the ball out wide and leaving free runners into the box. Attacking wise, we are getting shots in and around the box but they're not easy chances and some are more hit and hope than I'd like. So goals are a problem for us.
Here is the team analysis from my last match vs Braga, it ended nil all and we didn't really have any chance of note during the game.
Braga's shots, mostly just outside the box, quite a few blocked which is good.
Our average position and shots for the game.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer, it's probably down to poor role choices on my part. I thought I'd give defensive football a try as I'm really bored just going with my tried and tested 4-2-3-1 control. Also apologies for the formatting.