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  1. Basically you're right. My observation is that with a support duty the striker will drop deep giving the wing back a passing option which he then uses, continues his run and then the striker will play him in behind the defense allowing him to cross for any of the forward box players (e.g. the other striker or AMC) or cut it back for the onrushing support striker for a one-two. This doesn't happen very often with an attack duty striker as he is too far forward for it to happen and usually under too much pressure to return the ball to the wing back behind the defense. Watching the game in 2d mode really allows you to see combinations like this and so if you're curious then watch a match in this mode and you should see it (depending on the opposition strategy of course)
  2. I have to agree with summat, it sounds like some teams are starting to see you as more of a threat and are playing accordingly. Perhaps you need a plan B for breaking down more defensive teams. For example, I have found that attacking wing backs link up really well with support strikers on their side when teams are defending deep against me so swapping your strikers round when you are having long shot issues may help when running into teams parking the bus. You may also need to change your midfield around slightly to compensate for this but it would be a possible plan B. However, I wouldn't try changing anything as a starting point only as a plan B when things aren't going your way as you seem to generally be doing well.
  3. Retrain him as the support forward and play him alongside Sanchez?
  4. I have played a really similar formation and strategy and I found that if you have the AM on attack then you over crowd the penalty area with players and don't have enough creators further back. I found that if I gave my AM a support role with the get further forward PI and combined him with a CF-s in the striker position then it worked much better. I also added play more risky passes to my AM-s as well as roaming. Something similar might work for you, though a word of warning if your AM has 'comes deep to get ball' player trait then this might not work.
  5. It is five posts above yours mate
  6. I wouldn't get too hung up on the names of the roles. I agree that in reality Erikson would be considered a playmaker but in FM the roles are just a selection of player instructions to make a player behave in a particular way (with a few exceptions). That's why I focused on getting the individual players to behave on the pitch in a similar way to how they behave in reality rather than on the names of the roles. With my setup I feel that most of the players behave in the same way as they do in reality, whilst maintaining a balance to the overall tactic. The most difficult role to get right is certainly Erikson's as none of them really describe what he does IRL, ideally there would be a more customisable role in the AMR slot like wide midfielder in the MR slot but sadly that is not an option. It is by no means a perfect emulation but it isn't far off. The main point was to try and set up an effective system for breaking down defensive sides while staying as true as possible to the real behaviour of the spurs players, obviously this is open to interpretation and my only knowledge is from match of the day but I had a go. Though you do make a good point about Erikson roaming so in my system I have added cross from deep and roam from position to his instructions cause that is closer to what he actually does IRL.
  7. I'm no expert but when I saw you were struggling with Spurs against defensive sides I got curious to see why so I started up a game as spurs and tried to play a 4-2-3-1 wide formation to see if I could find a system that would solve the problem. Now I've always been pretty bad at the 4-2-3-1 formation as I don't really like such a top heavy system and I have to admit I did cheat slightly as I dropped the 2 MCs to the DM line but I think I have found a viable solution to your problem using only Tottenham's starting players as a base and trying to keep a similar tactical style as your original strategy. It does rely quite heavily on PI's to create the style of play I was looking for (mainly pressing) and to emulate the behaviour of some of the spurs players (as I see them from only match of the day highlights). The first thing I noted was the Kane's shoots from distance trait really causes problems and makes things worse. Nonetheless the two main goal threats are supposed to be Kane and Ali with the two wide players contributing a few. However, this is not meant to be an attempt to replicate the current spurs tactics in real life. So on to the tactic It is standard/fluid though it works effectively on counter and control when needed situationally and with team instructions of Pass Into Space, Play Out Of Defence, Work Ball Into Box, Dribble Less, Play Much Wider. GK standard Left complete wing back attack both centre backs on defend - both on close down less Right Full back attack Left DMC Anchor man - close down more (this PI was a left over from a previous attempt but its working so I left it on) Right DMC Roaming playmaker AMR - Winger support - More risky passes and close down much more - Christian Erikson - to my mind Erikson both plays through balls and crosses when he plays right side and this options was the only way I could make this happen AMC - Attacking Midfielder Attack - Shoot Less Often, Roam from Position and More Risky Passes allows Ali to be a decent goal threat and creative force without the restrictions of being a playmaker AML - Inside forward support - Get Further Forward and Close Down Much More - Son or Lamela will contribute both goals and assists from this position ST - DLF attack - Close Down Much More and Shoot Less this role will drop deep sometimes and offer a threat of breaking the offside trap depending on the situation much like Kane does IRL, I tried both CF-a and CF-s as well but this seemed to work the best I accept that in reality Walker is probably the more attacking of the two full backs but for this tactic it had to be the other way round. I will also sometimes drop to shorter passing without the play out of defence and/or lower the tempo and if my wide players are getting isolated out wide too often I will also drop the width setting but generally it works fairly well. I haven't tested it extensively and it has been tweaked several times since I started but Feel free to give it a try and see if it works for you. I'm happy to answer any questions as to why I made the choices I have and I'm always open to suggestions to improve it further.
  8. Sorry I thought you were still using the strategy from the post above with the AM, LB, RW and STR on attack.
  9. Have you tried changing Kane's role to CF-s? I find that attack duty strikers tend to do poorly against highly defensive deep sitting sides as they have no space to attack and don't drop deep to get involved in play, thus creating space for others to attack.
  10. Your formation is quite conservative already so do you really need a defend role for your DLP? With a support role he will still have the hold position PI on so he won't get ahead of the ball but he will provide a much greater threat going forward. Equally, I would switch your attacking wing back to be on the same side as your support striker, They can link up very effectively if you do this by the striker dropping deep and then playing the wing back into the space he just vacated for a cross. You might need to experiment with roaming or moving into channels instructions for said support striker to facilitate this but try it first to see if it works without it. Other than that nothing else jumps out as obvious for the roles so the only other changes you could make would be to the team instructions to change the style of play, perhaps adding a bit of width or a more patient approach but it depends how you want your team to play.
  11. You can tell an inside forward to stay wider with a PI, that can help keep the width but still gives him the instruction to cut inside with the ball which you can't give a winger. If I remember correctly this is what Pep Guardiola used at Barca with Henry when he was playing wide left. He told him to stay wide until the attack was in the final phase and then he could do what he wants. This pretty much replicates that.
  12. Also players don't respond well to a manager they don't think is qualified to tell them what to do.
  13. Just as a side note I think you may have slightly miss-interpreted what Cleon said in his possession thread. At the start of the thread he lists 9 instructions that can be used to create a possession based system but he also states that to use all of them would be overkill. Unless I've missed it he doesn't say you have to use "retain possession" just that it is one of the ones you can use. In his example he does select it along with 4 or 5 of the other 8. However, he does not include work ball and shorter passing in his system as it would lead to possession for possessions sake such as your wingers and/or fullbacks retaining possession instead of crossing. Likely due to the fact that at the moment you use all the instructions listed except highly structured team shape. My system uses a very different formation to yours and does not include wingers only attacking wingbacks in a 3 at the back system. However, I also based my system on Cleon's possession thread and I lead the league in crosses completed and I'm 3rd in cross completion percentage. I am also top of the league for possession by over 3.5% and in pass completion also by about 3% so what you are after is likely possible you just need to tone down the 'overkill'. In case you were wondering the possession instructions from Cleon's thread I use are roam from positions, dribble less, shorter passing and work ball. However, I play standard/structured so on control you would obviously need to add lower tempo I would expect.
  14. If you do remove retain possession you will probably need to replace it with shorter passing or your possession numbers will very likely go down go down. Shorter passing, like retain possession also shortens passing length but it does not reduce risky passes so it can offer more penetration in exchange for a little less possession (but not usually too much less). This might be what you need.
  15. I haven't played 4-1-2-2-1 in this version of FM at all so I can't be sure but there are several things that leap out at me. Lukaku has no support at all and is on an attack duty so he going to get massively isolated so its not wonder he is doing poorly Your inside forward and AP-a are going to be moving into much the same space and have a good chance of getting in each others way You are playing a very high line, are your defenders fast enough to cope? Your telling your players to retain possession and run at defence, two fairly contradictory instructions (Read Cleon's Art of Possession thread) You are playing on control which is a mentality that has a fairly high line, width and tempo already, yet you are increasing them yet further, are your players good enough to cope? Add to that higher tempo and retain possession are fairly contradictory. Like I said before I haven't used your formation in ages so I am not 100% sure how I'd fix the identified issues but a few things you can try are: If you want to play a possession game read Cleon's Art of Possession thread for the team instructions to use. If on the other hand you want to pay a high tempo attacking game read Cleon's Art of Attacking football thread for the team instructions to use in that Give Lukaku a support role ideally CF-s or DF-s to get him closer to his team mates Give your IF an attack duty so Lukaku has some support and the wing back behind him a support duty so you don't get butchered defensively That might get the IF further forward out of the AP-a's way but if it doesn't swap the central midfielders sides I hope this helps but if not I'm sure someone with more knowledge of the formation you are using will be able to provide better info. Edit: I just noticed all the pictures in Cleon's Art of Possession and Attacking are now broken (though you can still get the instructions in the possession thread), hopefully there is still enough there for you to get the gist on the attacking one.