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  1. Introduction Hey! I'm looking for some advice with regards to my 4-1-2-3 formation that I'm currently running on my Arsenal save. I always do my first save with a 'big team' to adjust to the ME, its safe to say this year hasn't gone to plan haha! I achieved a 6th place finish in my first season and managed to win the europa league. Its worth noting that this was a mix of around 6/7 formations and I settled on the 4-1-2-3 towards the end of the season as it generated the best results. Style of Play Before I go into the formation and other details, I thought it would be best to describe what it is I'm actually trying to achieve. I want my team to employ what I like to call 'meaningful possession'. I've never really had issues dominating possession in any FM game, what I tend to struggle with is turning that possession into clear-cut chances and goals. As a 'big team' with a good reputation, I assume this style will be achievable due to most opponents sitting back and playing cautious. Some key thoughts/ideas that I'm looking for: Positive football. Dominate possession and control the game. Defensive Midfielder holding his position, covering the back 4 and playing creative passes. Pressing but not sacraficing our shape too much. If the opportunity arises (e.g when cautious teams play more adventurous in search of an equaliser) I want to hit teams on the counter with fast, explosive and direct wide players. Tactic This is how I feel as though I could implement my 'Style of Play' in the best possible way: Positive mentality has been employed to maintain the idea of 'positive, meaningful possession'. Shorter Passing, Lower Tempo and Work Ball Into Box have all been used to dominate possession and control the game. Overlap Left and Overlap Right have been used to encourage my IWB's to overlap in certain situations (as its not normally part of their duty with that role). Distribute To Centre-Backs, Distribute To Full-Backs and Play Out Of Defence have all been used to encourage playing out from the back due to my style of play. Counter has been used to utilize counter attacking opportunities when they arise, although I have considered removing this and using it situationally when I see a team go more adventurous? Higher Defensive Line and Higher Line of Engagement have been used to press the opposition. Pressing is kept on standard to ensure the team shape is not sacraficed too much. Roles and PI's SK Support (No Instructions) Sweep up balls that are played over the top, play counter attacking passes. IWB's Support (No Instructions) Love this role in FM20, really like how they come inside and provide an additional option when playing possession football. Also like the variety they provide when combined with the Overlap TI's. CD and BPD Defend (No Instructions) BPD as I want my centre-halves to be comfortable on the ball, however I do like to have one of the two to be a standard CD. DLP Defend (No Instructions) Fits the style of play and achieves everything I want to see from my defensive midfielder. Screen's the back 4, holds position, offers a creative threat aswell. BBM Support (No Instructions) Wasn't 100% sure on this role. Wanted to have the balance between a player that will get forward and make runs into the box, but not have 0 defensive responsibility. Seemed most suitable. AP Attack (Close Down More) The main playmaker in the team, happy for this role to have almost 0 defensive responsibility. Close Down More added for a split-block pressing style. W Support (Close Down More) I usually have 2 natural wingers or 2 inside-forwards, however I have opted for 1 of each to provide some variety in attack. I also have an inverted version of the tactic to switch to in game (confuse opposition defence). Close Down More added for a split-block pressing style. IF Attack (Close Down More) Same justification as W Support. PF Attack (No Instructions) I wanted this player to not only be a goalscoring threat by making runs in behind, but also lead the team's split-block pressing. I want to defend from the front and have this player putting pressure on the opposition defence/goalkeeper (also why I added Prevent Short GK Distribution TI). Final Thoughts I hope that provides you with a detailed understanding of what it is I'm trying to achieve. I would say this tactic has been moderately successful, I just feel as though sometimes it lacks a cutting edge. With a few more tweaks I think this tactic would get there, I'm looking forward to hearing what tips you guys might have! Thanks!
  2. I suppose it does make sense, I guess its just a building process right? You've got to play a certain way against the big boys until you have a team/reputation capable enough of playing a certain way. Thanks for giving me a better understanding! Heres a screenshot of Bakkali, seems like a good player to me but just cant get him to perform.
  3. Apologies for the lack of updates, I thought it would be best to take a few days away and trial with some new ideas based on your feedback. This is what I've observed: Positives We are now winning the games I feel like we should be winning. Against the bottom sides in the league the tactic works exactly how I want it to and we tend to dominate possession/shots. Still having success on the counter after removing 'pass into space' and 'distribute quickly'. Conceding less from stupid mistakes after adding 'distribute to full backs' and changing both CB's to standard Central Defenders. Negatives Against top half teams (Everton, Wolves, Watford etc) and top sides (City, Liverpool etc) the tactic seems to struggle. Am I fighting a losing battle trying to dominate possession and play in this style against those types of sides? I've noticed that they are bombing so many players forward as they obviously think they can take that risk against me. Should I be looking to exploit the space they are leaving on the counter rather than play slow-build up possession football? If this is the case, at what point as a team can you ever make that transition from sitting back and playing on the counter, and actually playing a good style of attacking football? Is it a question of player quality? My left Inside-Forward doesn't perform at all despite having really good stats for the role. Players with worse stats are performing better, I cant seem to work out what the problem is. Zakaria Bakkali is the player. Still struggling to get the RW to perform. Inside-Forward coupled with a Wing-Back seems to be slightly better, also had some success with Raumdeter but dont think I have the correct personnel for it. Let me know what you guys think!
  4. Thanks for the replies guys! Yeah, I actually conceded a few goals where my BPD's had tried to play risky passes that completely failed. I'll definitely take one away, maybe even both. I also noticed sometimes my GK would just launch the ball up the pitch when the 2 CB's were being pressured by opposition forwards. I'll definitely add distribute to FB's to provide more options. This makes so much more sense now, thank you! I was worried that adding pass into space and quick distribution would contradict my possession based ideas. Good to know that I can utilise counter attacks just through the Counter TI itself. Yeah haha I just meant centre-forward... my bad, should have referred to it as striker. I'll play around with some instructions/player role's and let you guys know how I get on. Thanks again for the advice!
  5. Introduction Hey! I recently made a post on here asking to critique my 4-2-3-1. I got some really useful advice and managed to have a successful season with a top tier championship side. I've now started a new save with Huddersfield in the prem, a different kind of challenge that I'm using to try and further my FM tactical knowledge. Concept After managing to avoid relegation in my first season, I now want to take the team up a level and push for a much higher finish. I plan to do this by bringing in some better personnel to allow me to play a good brand of football. Here are some key concepts that I want to see from my team this season: Positive football. Dominate possession and control the game. DM holding his position and providing constant protection for the back 4. If the opportunity arises, I want to hit teams on the counter with fast, explosive, direct wingers. Fantastic hold-up play from my CF, bringing my wingers and midfielders into play. Pressing, but not high up the pitch. Tactic This is how I feel I could implement the above in the best possible way: Positive mentality has been used to maintain 'Positive football'. Initially went with Balanced but dont want to have 'boring' possession that doesnt cause teams any trouble. Play Out Of Defence, Work Ball Into Box and Shorter Passing have all been used to dominate possession and control the game. Whipped Crosses just a personal preference. I think this would add to the effect I want my wide players to have. Counter, Pass Into Space, Distribute Quickly have all been added to try and utilise the counter-attack whenever possible. Initially went with Counter-Press but I have removed it as I dont want to risk my midfield losing its defensive shape. I dont feel as though we are a good enough team for this instruction yet. Instead I will use PI's to implement some mild pressing in a medium-block. Standard Defensive Line and Standard Line of Engagement as I think a higher defensive line would be too risky. Teams will still come to us on the front foot as our reputation is low, I dont want to allow them so much space in behind. Roles and PI's Goalkeeper Defend (No Instructions) Decided against playing a higher defensive line which has eliminated the need for a Sweeper Keeper. Full-Back's Support (No Instructions) Didn't want to take too many risks with this role. We are still a low rep team, overlapping wing-backs is just going to leave us exposed at the back. With a support duty, they will still look to provide width and support the team in possession. Ball Playing Defender's Defend (No Instructions) I dont want my CB's launching balls aimlessly up the field. Using this role they will Play Out Of Defence and allow us to keep control of possession. Anchor Man Defend (No Instructions) Had a really hard time choosing this role but decided to go with the Anchor Man as it seems as though this will be the most defensively stable. Thought about going with Half-Back and Defensive Midfielder but they seemed slightly more aggressive. PI of Close Down Less to ensure the defensive shape is maintained and he is constantly protecting the back 4. Deep-Lying Playmaker Support (No Instructions) Initially went with the Central Midfielder (Support) but dont think it will be as creative as I would have liked. My aim for this role is to initiate our counter attack's when the opportunity arises, and generally spray passes about to our more creative players. Also want the player to be competent in defence and provide assistance when on the back foot. Mezzala Attack (Take More Risks, Dribble More, Close Down More) The main play-maker of the team, I want to see this guy chipping in with goals and assists. The aim is to have this player swap positions with the Left Inside-Forward when he vacates the wide space and comes inside. Gone with Take More Risks as I want him to make defence splitting passes on every opportunity. Not too concerned by this players defensive responsibility. Close Down More for pressing purposes. Inside Forward Support (Close Down More) I expect this player to drive inside and be direct, looking for a killer pass/shot when on the counter (I think this could be achieved better on an Attack duty, but the player doesnt track back enough for my liking). In possession, as previously mentioned I want to see good link-up play with the Mezzala. Close Down More for pressing purposes. Winger Attack (Close Down More) Still not 100% on this role, and if pre-season games are anything to go by it doesnt seem to be working. I expect this player to be in yards of space as we look to overload the left-flank with the Mezzala and Inside Forward. I want to see this player being direct and attack the opposition defence. Initially went with an Inside Forward but am worried this will make the tactic one-dimensional. Close Down More for pressing purposes. Deep Lying Forward Support (Close Down More) I have chosen this role to ensure my striker looks to hold-up the ball and create space for other attacking players. I think this is the best role to get my striker involved in the build-up play by dropping deep. I also want to see my striker getting in the box after laying the ball off to other players. Close Down More for pressing purposess. Final Thoughts Hopefully that can provide you with a brief idea of what I'm trying to achieve with my Huddersfield team. Not sure if the instructions/roles I have chosen are correct, but would be great to get some feedback from those that know better! Look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. Thanks!
  6. Started a career with Hudds, just starting my 2nd season and have found myself with a 90m budget. Slight problem is that most players wont sign for me as we have a really low reputation. Where do you think I can improve? Thanks!
  7. Yo guys, just a quick update on how the 4-2-3-1 is coming on... So I decided to use @Experienced Defender's formation/instructions as a base and see how I got on. I understood each role and the instructions seemed to make sense to me so I thought i'd give it a shot. I temporarily ditched the QPR save as I realised asking a poor squad to try and play like the Man City of the championship wasn't the greatest of ideas. I went ahead and started a new save with Newcastle, a club I feel has great potential and some good technical players (almiron, rondon etc) that suit the formation well. I'm around 6 games into the season and I feel like we are doing quite well. We always dominate possession (even against the bigger sides) and shots/shots on target ratio has massively increased. I can definitely say the tactic is an improvement and plays the way I want it to play - its definitely progress. Thanks again @Experienced Defender! One thing I would say is that we aren't ruthless enough in certain games. Even with a higher tempo and with more unpredictability upfront, we seem to take our time way too much in certain situations and don't punish the opposition enough. An example would be our game against Huddersfield @ home - a game on paper that I would expect us to win. We finished with 61% possession, 17 shots (11 on target) but only won 1-0 in what turned out to be a cagey affair. We now have a situation where we have lots of shots on target, but many of these are not converted. Is this a case of my players not being good enough? How can I make this tactic more ruthless in situations where I feel like we are the bigger side? Is it a case of just pushing the other full-back into a more attacking role or will this exploit me defensively? Is it the instructions that make us too conservative? Should I be upping the mentality in certain games? Would be great to get some more feedback guys!
  8. Thanks for all the feedback guys (especially @Experienced Defender for the 4-2-3-1 based on my ideas), very interesting! I guess I didnt realise how much I was exposing myself with the fullbacks - they got caught in possession high up the pitch and my CB's then got dragged out of position almost every game. I would have liked to have played with 2 Inside Forwards, but I can see how adding some variety with the winger can mix things up and make it harder for the opposition. I thought that going with lower tempo and much shorter passing would help me to keep hold of the ball and dominate. I think it allowed me to keep hold of the ball, but it wasnt useful possession and you guys are right in that it made it much easier for the other team to regroup. I've actually found this really interesting: You are definitely right in that we dont have the squad to play tiki-taka, but I thought I could potentially develop us into a team that can. I think this has been my biggest issue when playing FM, even when using plug + play. I expect way too much of the squad that I have, I think I need to start considering that with some teams you can only play a certain way. In hindsight, trying to play a high-line and playing out from the back with Leistner wasnt the greatest of ideas. I started mavropanos ahead of him for a few games and already saw improvements. @johnnyyakuza78 Would be really interested if you could give me some more tips on the 4-4-1-1 setup, I'm pretty new to creating tactics so would be cool to see your ideas and how you were trying to get them to play.
  9. Usually a plug + play type of guy, but decided to go ahead and try and create my first tactic. My Goal: Possession/Domination. Slow, controlled build-up. Tiki-taka. Formation: 4-2-3-1. Issues: Loads of shots, but 80% are off target. Full backs caught out high up the pitch, resulting in a counter attack and goal. Dominating possession every game but losing. Tactic: What advice can you guys give?
  10. Yo guys, really enjoyed this thread and tried to take a lot of it into account when creating my tactic! I create a lot of chances and always dominate possession but most shots are off target and I concede way too much. Can you guys take a look at what could be improved? Heres my tactic:
  11. Hi guys, I recently started a save with QPR and things have been going really well. I got promoted in my first season and smashed the championship points record, it all seemed a bit too easy. I barely ever conceded but when I did it was ALWAYS from crosses. I let it go as I am playing a very narrow 4-3-3 so I just assumed it was down to my lack of cover out wide and that some teams would eventually exploit that. However, now I am in the premier league it has become a bit of a larger issue. Although I am sitting nicely around mid table, the goals I am conceding are all coming from crosses - whether its my centre half that messes up and ends up in an own goal or its the oppositions centre forward, all the goals I am conceding are coming from crosses. I am getting away with it against the weaker teams as I generally either outscore them or their wingers arent good enough to get past the lone full back, but when the bigger teams have more quality players and start to double up on the overlap it causes me massive problems and usually ends in a 2 or 3 goal defeat. I have tried putting my full backs on support so they dont bomb ahead as much and also changing my advanced playmaker to support in an attempt to get him to track back more and support the fullbacks but none of these seem to work. I am starting to think that maybe playing with 2 ball winning midfielders is too aggressive against these larger reputation teams? Anyway, these are my thoughts and I would appreciate any feedback on how I can improve this tactic. As I said, I am sitting nicely in mid table and meeting my expectations but I can tell that if this issue was gone I could really push for maybe a top 4 finish. Thanks!
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