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Sneaky Pete

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31 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

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  1. The problem with OPs setup, defensively speaking, is primarily in the middle. Think about the BWM role - what exactly does it do? It attempts to win the ball; aggressively so. Two players on BWM in a 2-man midfield is a recipe for your midfielders chasing the ball carrier like a gaggle of headless chickens. It has zero positional integrity. OP needs a holding role that will give stability to their defensive setup.
  2. I don't personally play with Arsenal, but the 4-1-2-3 is my preferred system.
  3. Özil is probably too slow to play a dynamic role like CMa against most teams. I would try Aouar and not worry too much about finishing; your CMa should mostly be tapping in fairly easy chances.
  4. Ad 1: It's not just that they're on a line with each other, it's that your team lacks players whose first priority is scoring goals. Basically, you currently have Aubameyang (who is going to run the channels a lot and thus not be in the box because he's an AF) and Pepe (who is going to take it wide some of the time rather than cutting in). That's it. You need more than that to consistently have players in threatening positions. Against teams where you are roughly equally matched, CMa, AF, and IWa is probably a solid trio. Against teams where you are the heavy favourite and do not need the defensive solidity of Torreira at DM, you can think about dropping Xhaka to the DM strata and playing a BBM alongside the CMa to give you another threat in the box. Ad 3: It's not that it can't work, it's that I don't think you have the players to do it. It requires a combination of technical skills, good composure, great decisions, etc - your Arsenal team does not have that based on the players you've showed me. P.S: LoE stands for Line of Engagement.
  5. I see a couple of pretty clear issues here. 1. You lack a goal-oriented runner from midfield, so if Aubameyang runs the channel you have ONE player looking to attack the box. I would swap the DLP to a CM(A) and swap between DLP and AP at RCM depending on game and opposition formation. This way you also have fewer meaningless passes exchanged between the AP and DLP. 2. You have a WB behind your W on the left, but why? I would probably swap to an IWB(S)/IWB(A) or FB(S)/FB(A) depending on the game and other roles you choose. 3. Your TIs don't make a lot of sense. You want to work the ball patiently into the box, but you've also selected a higher tempo - your players are probably not good enough to execute this well as players like Xhaka have poor composure and decisions. Similarly, you want to play on the counter, but you're pressing your opponent way up the pitch. You have excellent players for a counter-focused strategy, but that requires you draw your opponents out rather than pinning them into their own box. I would probably drop both LoE to "standard", if not all the way down to "lower", and I would probably drop tempo to standard.
  6. I disagree. Central play was pretty good, but long shots in FM18 were so embarassingly, hopelessly, awfully bad that it made the ME physically painful to watch. Players with 20 Long Shots would regularly take a shot on goal in acres of space and put it nearer to the corner flag than the goal. It blatantly had nothing to do with real football, as opposed to 17 which had its own issues but was generally recognisable as football in all relevant respects.
  7. No problem. I really do think it has the makings of a pretty solid supersystem as soon as you find a stable, consistent base from which to work. One tweak to the system I would definitely experiment with against teams that park it against you is dropping your CMs to the DM strata and playing a DMD (or a DM(S) with Hold Position) alongside a Regista. Your current system can be hit on the break in the space between the CMs and the CBs, and may end up congesting the play too much against deep blocks, but dropping your CMs to the DM strata while maintaining fairly similar roles may help.
  8. I like the general look of the roles and duties, and I think more fluid mentalities are definitely one way of combating the issue of space between the defense and the midfield proper that systems without a DM often face. My only real issue is with the number of TIs you have, but that may be as much a question of taste as anything else. I think RP and WBiB are almost always overkill when used together, and liable to lead to the exact opposite of the intended effect. I also think Exploit the Right Flank is unnecessary when the interplay of your roles will naturally create that exact pattern, in much the same way that I think "Look for Overlap" is largely pointless if you already have attacking-duty backs behind support-duty wide men. I would play around with those instructions in particular if you feel like the system isn't working as intended. The only change I would consider is making your AM an AM(A) - Icardi will run the channels a lot, and with an AM(S) you risk Rashford crossing it to nobody. Other than that I think it looks like a well-thought-out and solid system.
  9. This really can't be understated. You have a DLP(D) (a role I still don't think is the best fit for Matic) on the very aggressive left flank, and you don't have Pogba playing a BBM with a Get Further Forward PI. You also have an AM in front of the two as opposed to an out-and-out striker, which makes it even less likely that Pogba will spend half the game in the opposition box. While Dybala is no Griezmann in terms of his defensive work from that position, he'll certainly do more of it from the AM position than the CF position - particularly so given that striker in the FM ME basically do not ever drop behind the ball in the defensive phase. The reason we're lambasting OP's tactic is because the left side of his tactic is an incoherent mess. It has players getting in each other's way and absolutely inadequate defensive cover. Your tactic, while still exploitable through the middle by the truly elite teams, is far more balanced.
  10. There are a couple of glaring issues to me: 1. Why do you have a WB(A) and a W(S) on the same side of the pitch? It seems redundant and defensively suspect to me, particularly when the midfielder on that side of the pitch is Pogba AND is told to get further forward. 2. Related to 1.: You're making an absolutely ridiculous ask of Matic, who is lumbering at his swiftest. 3- and 4-man midfields are going to run riot, particularly in the transitional phase where your entire left side including Pogba is miles up the pitch. I would honestly expect your tactic to get completely destroyed through the middle against any half-decent team. There's so much space there that NASA is building a telescope to study it as we speak. You have taken the biggest weakness of a 4-4-2 by far and made it a million times worse with this setup. Kanté couldn't fix it. 3. Pogba is the most creative of your midfielders, and yet you have Matic in a playmaking role. I definitely think you should consider DLP(S)/AP(S) with Matic as a CM(D) instead. Pogba is your star and the guy you want on the ball. I also think you need to seriously consider your transfer strategy. Alex Sandro makes sense, but the two other prospective purchases don't make sense to me. What exactly is Icardi going to do for you when the opposition has 11 men behind the ball because you're Manchester United, and basically all of your players are packed in the final third because you're pushing higher up on an Attacking mentality?
  11. Herne brings up some good points, and it's likely that you'll be able to cut out some of the sloppy-looking goals, but there are some fundamental issues with the ME this year in terms of how midfielders and particularly fullbacks act in the defensive phase of the game, so I'd expect some absolutely Sunday League stuff at times regardless of how well-put-together your tactic is. Much like the issue with the quality of long shots this year, you can ameliorate it to some degree, but you'll have to resign yourself and turn a blind eye to the rest.
  12. I have to strongly second the call for either a generic wide AM role, or the removal of restrictions on current roles like the Winger, WB, and IF roles. It's entirely too onerous to create the sort of gameplay you want right now because certain roles are hard-coded into specific behaviours that often run entirely contrary to the overall tactical setup. Among other things, certain roles being locked into dribbling more often is absolutely infuriating, as is wingers and certain breeds of full-back being locked into crossing all the time. There are a multitude of tactical systems that employ these exact roles to stretch the defense laterally without bombarding the box with crosses. Some systems require movement from players that's best emulated with roles like WB(A), but want no part of said players hoofing it into the box at the first given opportunity or turning into Adama Traoré the second they have the ball at their feet. It should not require the jumping through of multiple hoops to create these systems - instead, it ought to be as simple as simply telling them not to do so.
  13. Your tactic has an egregious lack of balance. It has no real way of recycling possession, as all 3 of your midfield roles are mobile, forward-thinking roles. Your RWB is going to lack support since the PA role does not move into channels and your B2B midfielder roams vertically, not laterally. I'm also not entirely sure why you want CWBs instead of simple WBs, unless you have world-class players with great decision-making. This tactic may work in open games, but will likely be absolutely woeful against teams that park the bus. I would personally make the following changes: 1. RPM to DLP(D)/DLP(S) depending on strength of opposition. This gives you a way to recycle possession while still having a player that dictates play from deep. 2. 2.1 P(A) to AF(A). This gives you lateral movement that links up with your RWB. Probably best against opponents that play with a high line. 2.2 BBM to Carrilero. This gives you lateral movement that links up with your RWB. Probably better than 2.1 against opponents that sit deeper. 3. If you choose 2.1, CM(A) to Mez(A)/Mez(S). This gives you lateral movement so your LWB isn't isolated. If you choose 2.2, give your DLF(S) the "Moves into Channels" PPM or perhaps consider making him an F9. This gives you lateral movement that links up with your LWB while retaining a midfield role that gets in and around the box in the central area of the pitch.
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