I have been thinking about tactics and my mind drifted back to the heady days of FM12 and 13. During those times I actually had the guts to create the formation/tactic that I really enjoy watching which is a flat 3-4-3.
I want to create one again but since the match engine has changed so much as well as the roles and other things I have been playing it safe with such things as 4-1-2-3 Wide DM and 4-4-2. I was wondering how I could go about setting up an effective 3-4-3 as I have Facundo Colidio coming at the end of the season so I will have a strong set of midfielders and strikers (I am 1860 München). So I felt that it was the perfect time to start spitballing.
I apologise in advance for the lack of screenshots but I am on my phone. I will edit some in later.
Anyways, I love the flat 3-4-3 as a basis and this is what I will be looking to build on. My problems basically start from here! If it helps, Ideally I would prefer it to be attacking in the "You score 4, I'll score 5" way, notwithstanding that naturally I would prefer that the defence isn't that bad! 😜
In my opinion the pros and cons are these:
- Can overload the defence from various angles. Deep crosses from the WMs, one of the strikers dropping deep, another holding up the ball.
- Can defend from the front. I want my defence to be predicated on preventing the opposition being able to play out of defence.
- More flexible than you think. With player roles it can look to be a 3-4-1-2, 3-4-3, 3-2-5 in attack if the WMs get forward, 5-2-3/5-3-2 when defending. It's got a lot going for it (fanboy).
- Rather vulnerable on the flanks. While the outer strikers can put pressure on opposing fullbacks, any opposition wingers will require the WMs to track back. I have seen the 3 CB setups work better these days so there is "some" cover there but it is still an issue.
- Can get crowded up top. This can lead to attacks breaking down as there can sometimes be too many getting in each others way.
- Two CMs. Similar to 4-4-2, if it isn't set up right then the midfield can be swamped. As you will hopefully agree, I believe these can be mitigated through the roles and instructions.
Attacking/Fluid - I am also considering standard. But I feel that Attacking will encourage the team to get the ball forward. The big issue for me is that I love short passing at a higher tempo. It seems contradictory but I enjoy the kind of football you can get.
TIs: Close down more, tackle harder, pass out of defence, higher tempo, prevent short GK distribution, dribble less, shorter passing, higher line, offside trap, play narrower.
In terms of the team instructions, I want the ball in the box fast. I don't want the team to be just blindly hoofing it forwards but to move forward in a purposeful manner. I do think that the ball is safest at the pointy end of the pitch. Defensively I want a strong press as soon as the ball is lost in attack or when the GK attempts to distribute. I think playing a high line and offside will also compress space and lead to hopeful long balls that we can deal with or a striker being offside.
I am concerned about attacking with short passing and a higher tempo, but I think with tweaks it can work.
Here is the idea I have for the player roles.
SK - S: This guy is for if the offside trap gets sprung. He will probably have a hard life but hopefully he can cut out any shenanigans from misjudged long passes that my central defenders make a meal of. (Short passing/short kicks)
LCB/RCB: CD(D) for both of the outer CBs. Nothing fancy, but I may fiddle with the closing down. I don't want them getting dragged out too much allowing for defensive breakdowns.
CB: BPD(Cover). I love sweepers. Just love 'em and I want this guy to be my distributor. Cover is to fill any gaps left by the CBs and there can be scope for his passing to get the ball moving.
LM/RM: WM(S). These guys are the handymen. Plugging gaps on the flanks and being an outlet pass as well as the main crossers in the team. (Try more risky passes, cross more often, cross from deep, sit narrower, run wide with ball). Basically they will tuck in a bit defending which will force wingers wide and if we lose the ball they will be part of a solid midfield block.
CM(S): I almost wanted a CM(A) here but I think that with one of the strikers dropping deep either as an F9 or DLF I need the space. Will be a bit like the left and right mid. Nothing fancy but plays an important role in midfield. (Still considering PIs. I would like him to not get too far out of position but it could be useful for him to get forward and add another layer to the attack. More direct passing and less risky passes are also under consideration). I want him to be solid and dependable, but to have the ability to fire out a longer pass if it is on.
DLP(D): The playmaker in midfield. Will set to more direct passing, try more risky passes ideally. As I said before he will be the main creative force. I will need a more defensively minded player in the centre of the park.
NB: Other alternatives are a DLP(S) and a BBM or BWM(D). Or a defensive player and AP(S). But I think having the two CMs like the two suggested gives me a solid base in central midfield.
The big issue here are the strikers. I think an F9's movement would be perfect for the striker who drops deep. But the other two make really uncertain. I have been tempted by a defensive forward to harry the opposition but I don't know how much attacking ability would be given up by the role.
A poacher is tempting but perhaps an AF(A) would be better? I am concerned that a poacher will not properly press the defenders and may throw out the whole system.
As for the other striker I am all at sea. Am considering a TM. Will hold his position, be the option for deep crosses and should be a nuisance when any rushed clearances come out from our backline. It may also create more layering in attack as well.
Mini Summary (tl:dr)
CD(D) - BPD(Cover) - CD(D)
WM(S) - CM(S) - DLP(D) - WM(S)
TM(S) - Poacher - F9
Any thoughts or assistance that can be provided will be greatly appreciated. I really want to make this work.
PS: I realise that the formation is defence and no, I would prefer not to place the WMs into the wingback strata.
Anyways, sorry for the wall of text and I hope you all can assist me in making (purely) my own decent tactic for the first time in a while.
PPS: Tried making a visual aid. But the website I used took out the punctuation. It's just to give an idea of the formation wanted.