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  1. I think that will depend on the types of roles you use. I'd say your team needs to be pretty good to play on the counter. If your team is crap, you may end up just hitting aimless long balls forward in a counter attacking setup or watching endless periods of pressure against your backline. As for "boring and wasteful" you can fit some pretty cool roles into a defensive, possession system. wide playmakers, halfbacks, sweepers, box to box midfielders, deep lying forwards as well as more exotic ones like trequartistas or roaming playmakers. Probably I'd focus a lot on being able to play in your own half, so with a sweeper, back three, or a dm. I'd also avoid putting players in the wide AM strata because you might find that the gap between AML and FBL gives the opponent too much room. Post your tactical setup!
  2. Going against the grain here, but for me Giggs was never an out and out winger. In fact, I think he was a bit of a trailblazer in the way he played on that left flank which became instrumental in the modern wide-player. He was very much a template for the inside forward/ inverted winger of later years. Basically, he cut inside. A lot. In FM20, I think Pepe is pretty similar to giggs. I'd see giggs as a left sided Winger/ Inverted winger but with the traits run with ball down left and cuts inside from the flanks. Looking at some of his highlights from 93/94 he often seems to be on the right hand side (auxillery striker maybe?) when scoring his goals. As an Arsenal fan I'll always remember him for this: It's 1999, But look how central he gets from that left wing.
  3. Defensive football suits possession football. You don't need to play like Pep Guardiola to play possession football. But equally, its a myth that you have to play route one football in a defensive setup (at least in FM.) I agree with most that a bottom heavy formation is a good idea for defensive tho. Roles I'd avoid with defensive mentality are Advanced Forward, Winger, Inverted Winger because they are all very aggressive roles that will just lose the ball without a lot of supporting players around them. Inside fwds generally won't defend that well either. I'd also be suspicious of DLP, AP, Target Man, and Wingbacks. Defensive mentality= slow patient buildup which suits low risk roles.
  4. For me thats a big issue. Aggression, work rate, tackling. I look for players with at least two of these three. A lot of goals come from an opposition getting too casual passing around in my half then suddenly my strikers or midfielders nick the ball and we're in. I'm convinced that's because of those three attributes. It's especially useful late in games when I've got a narrow lead.
  5. Well I was floating around midtable/ bottom half. But since I landed on this I've had 9 wins and a draw (all competitions.) Draw was with Chelsea but we battered them. One game against Newcastle was 5-4 and a crazy one so for sure there's still work to do, but i got a lot of clean sheets and sitting in the top four now. I actually quite liked FBs with Wa. I assume you're playing Stossberger there? Looking at his stats, I'd make Stossberger Left Wide Midfielder on attack duty. Good positioning, teamwork, passing decisions etc. Tackling could be better (and aggression) but otherwise perfect for the role. I'd also partner him on that side with your advanced forward agudelo in the left slot. Stossberger traits play killer ball seems perfect for Agudelo to run onto IMO. Agudelo is technically good enough and young enough to develop his weaker foot- so I'd just tell him to do that. I know exactly what you mean. My natural instinct for a 442 is to retreat into shape absorb pressure and then counter directly, but I just couldn't get that working. Once I increased my mentality to positive and higher defensive line with offside trap I started seeing a lot more of what I was looking for. Maybe because with higher mentality and D line my players are more encouraged to burst forward aggressively (especially fullbacks/wingbacks)? Not entirely sure why it works, but it does. Defensively, I'm almost always in a two banks of four quite deep because I don't have much possession, 40%ish in some games. Jablonsky looks class. In my setup Torreira (v. similar to Jablonsky) has the play simple passes trait- it's less hollywood, but the way he plays with that trait in a DLPd reminds me a bit of Xavi at Barca. Just constantly moving the ball like a metronome. Prefer him to Xhaka for his defensive characteristics. Maybe teach Jablonsky the same way? Anyway, looking forward to the updates
  6. Hey man, I've been following this thread with interest as I'm also trying to put together a 442. The latest incarnation you've posted is very similar to where I'm at with my Arsenal side. At Arsenal there's a choice to be made between getting the best out of Aubameyang or getting the best out of Pepe. I chose Aubameyang which meant using him in his best position as an Advanced Forward on the right. In answer to your very first question on this thread my thoughts are this: Advanced Forward has two hard-coded player instructions, get further forward and move into channels. So I'm just focusing on maximising those two things in the 442 shape. The channels are the space between fullback and centre back which can shift constantly throughout a game (watching Rashidi bust-the-net on channels really helped me.) So to maximise that PI I know that I need players to open up the channels for Auba. Once he's in the channel I want him to be able to cross first time so I put him in the right striker slot (he's right footed.) If I want to open the right sided channel I need to find a way to pull the opposition leftback away from the left centre back. So logically it makes sense to use a player that can hold the width on my right hand side (thus forcing the opp. leftback to close him down and creating space between LCB and LB.) For that I use a wide-midfielder attack (same as you) with a Wingback behind. The reason I chose WM instead of winger is because I want early through balls into Aubameyang which WM seem to do more than a winger- that said, I sometimes throw on a traditional winger if I need to go gung ho at the end of the game. The WBs further adds to the width on that side. I use attack duty on the WM because of the get further forward PI AF has means I need someone getting forward aggressively to back him up. In terms of a strike partner as in your original question I go back to the AF PI's. I don't want both strikers going into the channels. The reason for that is I've had to create a lot of width on the right to facilitate AF move into channel PI. If my left striker wants to move into channels too, then I need to do the same on the left-hand side (which you've done in your tactic with a RWM/ LW.) My issue with this is striking a defensive balance. By making the pitch so so wide i'm asking my CM's to cover an awful lot of ground in the centre of the pitch which is compounded by the fact that they're likely to be outnumbered in the centre anyway (most teams use 3 players in central midfield. So, by making the decision to not have both strikers move into channels I've narrowed down my role options for the strike partner-- F9, Target Man, Pressing Forwards/d etc. I chose a pressing forward on support (Lacazette.) Balancing the width. So with my left striker not moving into channels I can use a more narrow minded left sided player which can help with defensive solidity in the middle. inverted winger or wide playmaker both fit the bill. I like using a wide player that sits narrower because against a 5 man midfield (4231/ 41231) he naturally comes in to help the midfield. I'm sure you could achieve the same effect by using the narrower TI. This narrow wideman closes the channel by cutting inside so its even more important to avoid a moves into channels role striker on the same side (in my opinion.) I can offset the narrowness on that side using an overlapping fullback. Finally, in terms of players your central midfield need to be complete players with good tackling, physical attributes and at least one with excellent positioning. Overall, you need exceptional work rate and hopefully good aggression from your strikers and all four midfielders. Anyway, here is my tactic which combines all the above (for what it's worth.) PFs AFa (Lacazette) (Aubameyang) IWs DLPd BBM WMa (Martinelli) (Torreira) (Guendozi) (Maitland Niles) FBa BPD CB CWBs (Right hand side provides width- Left hand side balances that width by being a bit narrower) I put the players in so you can check the attributes. Maitland Niles is a bit crap lol. TI: higher defensive line, offside trap, more urgent pressing, Distribute to CB + FB, Counter-Press Note: I often toggle these TI's depending on the match- sometimes pressing high or distributing to defenders can be a terrible idea. Also I might try the Carrillelo in here too!
  7. I like the broader ideas here but in this setup I think you're going to get horribly exposed in the wide areas and, ironically, on the counter. In attacking phases you've got too many players getting forward with nobody supplying the bullets and in defence your DMS and CBS are going to get pulled way out of position trying to cover wide areas when wingbacks and mezzalas get caught too far up the pitch. Also, whose getting on the end of the early crosses into the box? It won't be the TM support (who arrives in the box later.) If you don't have two players on the flanks you generally need more than two in the middle so that players can cover the wide areas without leaving the middle exposed. Lots to adjust here. Start with the shape. I reckon either 3 center backs so you have a 3-3-2-1-1 shape, or drop the wingbacks back which makes a 4-1-3-1-1 shape might be a better starting point for the style you're trying to build. Carrillelo and BWM are useful for formations with only one wideman on each flank because they defend the flanks and prevent the opponent creating 2 on 1's. Counter strategies need to be defensively sound first and foremost.
  8. This is interesting. I always set it up the other way round. So that when the supporting inside fwd cuts in he has loads of passing options. i.e to the dropping deep striker, to the onrushing cma, short and back to the DLPs, or a cross field killer ball to the opposite flank. Might give this a go in my next save.
  9. You're onto something here. When you put widemen on attack duty the space between them and your fullback increases. You need to mitigate that attacking and defensively. Attacking: you want your fullback to be close enough and forward thinking enough to attract opposition players and play through balls into your attacking wide man. Defensively: you want the full back to control the distance between him and Aubameyang so the opposition doesn't get a lot of space in that area. Essentially, you want a wingback behind an attacking wideman. I would add this to your formation. Another issue I can see is the CMA and Inverted winger support running into each other i.e if the cma gets forward he cuts out space for the inverted winger to cut into, if the inverted winger cuts inside early with the ball, he cuts out the space for the cma to run into. Doesn't make sense to me. So to start with something like: DLFs IFa IWs CMa DLPs DMs/d WBs CB CB FBa Could even try a CWBs on the left side given the quality of players you got. You might also want to look close at the midfield---there's a lot of predictable movement in there. Maybe BBM for CMa? Perhaps a F9 instead of a DLFs? Roaming playmaker for DLPs? There's a lot of options to try, but I think you were onto a good thing in the first tactic---just needs a few minor tweaks to get it working. Also, DLPs and DLFs isn't the best choice for counter-pressing. imo.
  10. Thanks for all the replies. Some great food for thought here. I think this may be an issue. A lot of my roles are quite standard but I don't have anyone in the team who can play those more unpredictable ones (treq, false 9, roaming playmaker, ramdeuter, CWB etc. I'm interested to know whether you would change the roles and duties in your setup to accomodate the more balanced style of play? OK, so I guess maybe some of those opportunities were coming from the set-pieces. As the season progressed I had trouble against bottom half teams mainly, so I think it is teams sitting deeper that's the problem. Can't help but feel as though my chance conversion seems to drop when dominating the game and rise when teams attack me, might have to start wearing a tin foil hat. yep. Anyways, thanks for all the tips and replies. Got a lot to think about going forward now.
  11. I dunno if this still applies (I'm an underdog btw) but I do have a defensive strategy I could try for a few games.
  12. I have. Our team morale is actually still pretty good overall, we weren't expected to challenge the title. But, it is fustrating to throw away such a good position. Things I've noticed are: - Strikers on droughts (2/3) - Passive tackling - Hitting the bar... a zillion times a game - Poor decisions at crucial times - silly mistakes (intercepted backpasses, own goals etc) I guess sometimes the team can outperform its stats, and other times it can underperform against them?
  13. So I was top of the league, now I'm ten points adrift... I looked through the match stats of the last few games and I'm still creating chances and giving few away, but for some reason I just can't buy a win. The last game I had 4 clear cut opportunities and 6 half chances but lost 1-0 despite the opposition creating no chances. The game before that I was 1-0 up only for a poor set piece goal followed by a poor backpass leading to a 2-1 defeat. It just seems like there's nothing wrong with what's happening on the pitch, which is why I'm not inclined to change things, but I seriously need to get a win on the board or I'm out of the title for good (if not already.) So, what do you do when your team's in poor form? Atm I'm just training attacking set-pieces in the hope of snatching a win...
  14. If you're using 4231 might be worth having a read of this thread. It's old but gold. The general principles of it still apply, (even if the exact set up of roles and duties might not. )
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