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  1. The strikers line up in accordance to the opponent's defensive line. So a Treq. would be X yard from the line while a PFa or AFa would be against the line, etc. Honestly the Regroup TI is a a must-have for a 4-4-2. I haven't over thought it beyond that -- in the defensive phase strikers typically don't do much more than occupy space and sometimes harass the DM.
  2. Some responses: 1. Yes, two strikers mitigates the risk of one turning into a dead fish 2. It's like reality -- it's easier to play out wide than in the thick of things (particularly where there's a DM) 3. I somewhat disagree that ML/MR offers the same as AML/AMR, it depends on tempo and philosophy. I've gotten plenty of goals from my ML/MR (Jarrod Bowen, take a bow) but it's usually been on the counter, whereas I've had so much more success with a AML/AMR in a possession tactic. 4. Surely 5. I tend to think three-man backlines are nearly impossible to get right with the FM match-engine. 6. Yes IWBs are quite interesting, I'm experimenting with them now 7. Oh absolutely -- this is what prompted me to respond. In terms of visible effectiveness and in typical usage, DLPs>> APs 8. Sure but can get a bit exploit-y, so I try not to favour it too much when I'm using a strong side 9. I disagree, I've had better success with a 4-4-2 with slightly lower pressing and a more compact block. That said, I've only won two domestic cups in six years with Hertha Berlin and missed the League by a few points a few times, maybe it's time to get a bit more aggressive.
  3. Hi OP, great thread. A bit wordy but I appreciate the effort, good job! I don't typically use plug and play tactics but you captured the spirit of what I wanted to accomplish (possession-heavy, dominate opponents tactic) seemingly better than I did. I flipped it so the IWa is on the right hand side but otherwise haven't tinkered yet. One of my targets in my current FM21 save has been to find a way to to imitate peak-Flick Bayern but without the excessive goals against (not playing a bad CB, Alaba, as CB will help) -- to my surprise I found my team with this tactic actually playing in a similar enough way! There are multiple phases to the attack: 1) We play deep and are comfortable doing so because of all the open passing options and once the ball carrier approaches the half-way line he (an IWB usually) thumps it to a forward player making a run on goal against a stretched wide defense. If a goal, good. If not, 2) The ball is spilled back and won back by our team, this time the attack is set up against the opponent's goal. The two IWs are between the opponent's FB and CB and the F9 is occupying the two CBs and DM by himself, one of the Mez or CMa then are the key to breaking this chess game. A clever run or one-two will have an opponent defender overcommit and then it is through on goal. If goal, good. If not, 3) The two IWBs push up to the same strata as the DLPs and offer yet another recycling option. Things get a bit static at this point but it's so pushed-up against the opponent that cracks appear and with good composure and skilled players, once my team get more familiar they will exploit these opportunities more and more. However, It is at this point that the differences from Hansi Flick's Bayern appear. Hansi's Bayern would have the ball-side WB push up even more while the Ws drift wide (or vice-versa, they were dynamic), concurrently the weak-side W would cut across the defense while Mueller would take that position. It was intricate and complicated and impossible to replicate IRL or in FM21 without having a world-class, well-drilled team like Bayern. The issue was that it left a massive gap against: at the most there are three and only rarely four players who can defend the space between the counter-attacking opponent and Bayern's goal. Your tactic doesn't have that intricate and dynamic mobility but it does keep the IWd closer to the defensive line and has a dedicated DLPd (as opposed to IRL where Kimmich would swap with Goretzka and push up). These two innovations do detract from the variability of the movement but they sure as hell give me more comfort against counters. The only change I am considering now is whether to play on Attack mentality or Positive mentality + Wider for that aforementioned 2nd phase.
  4. I'd use Locatelli as a CMs (PI Hold Position) or DLPs and Bentacur as a BWMs or CMs (PI Close Down More, Get Further Forward). But, like always, it depends on your tactics as a whole. The whole issue with the centre-pairing is to overcome a limitation of the Match Engine -- when you tell the CM to be on defend duty, the match engine takes that to mean "this player should have a significant more defensive mindset than his stata position" when you actually want it to mean "I want this player to be the most defensively reliable and least adventurous in his forward movement in case of a counter". With that interpretation, the workaround is to keep the players on the same line in the same strata but tell the more "defensive" one to hold position when the team has the ball. If that doesn't work then you can reduce his pressing intensity too.
  5. I will be honest and say I don't remember FM 19 very well. In FM 20 and FM 21 I've had success with a DLPs paired with a BMWs for instance. Try the Hold Position PI?
  6. When I play a 4411 it is still in the spirit of a 442, so I have the AMC be actually offset to eg. the left like a AM-CL and the striker is correspondingly offset to the right (ST-R). When I play a 4411 that's central, I believe the entire attacking concept is different (it's basically a 4-2-3-1) than a two-man striking partnership. But if you want that flat bank of four effect you likely need to have the Regroup TI and the two CMs to be on support duty no matter their role. If you play a more patient game, you can have the two wide midfielders be on support duty with "get further forward" PI enabled, it is a bit different than if they were on attacking duty.
  7. In a flat 442 the FM engine is not so good at keeping a flat bank of four in the midfield if you have one CM on Defend duty and the other on Support. For your more defensive CM, try CMs but with the hold position PI.
  8. I'm a student of the 4-4-2 and was greatly inspired by your OP to return to the dark arts of 4-4-f'n-2. I've had good-to-great, but not excellent, success with it. Still haven't been able to slay any dragons but we're definitely building something formidable. Your revision to the CMR was expected, making sure the central midfielders are both on Support Duty and not Defend is critical in a flat four midfield. That said I'm hesitate to take off the Regroup TI because I feel like that is the only thing keeping a counter-attacking tactic from turning into a mess, so I'd keep the Regroup TI. (Based on the comment above) I also adapted your Hit Early Crosses but on the whole I feel like most of my goals have come from ground play and passing movements, I will disable Hit Early Crosses and think you should reconsider. I'd keep one striker on Attack Duty, I'm playing with a WMa on the side of a F9s who is besides a AFa who is on the side of the WMs. The AFa moves around a fair bit more than I want BUT he has nabbed critically important goals simply because he was the only player stretching the vertical space and playing off the shoulder of his defender. Maybe PFa accomplishes the same thing but that would sacrifice his mobility (which, like I said, got me some crucial goals) If you ask your WMs to hold position, then you need an attacking C/WB to overlap otherwise you're toothless on that side. Maybe just disable the roam from position PI?
  9. Might be the wrong question but how can I 'enable' or get a u23/second team? Hertha Berlin
  10. Great write-up! I have to say the 'Regroup' TI + Lower LoE TI is a killer combo to have for a high quality counter-attacking team, I swear by it.
  11. Currently at work so can't fire up FM but I've been playing around on RateMyTactic (brilliant starting point for tactic theory) and I feel like I've found something I'd like to try. The problem is I'm in my fourth or fifth year with Hertha Berlin and while I'm spending big and throwing cash we haven't managed to win anything just yet. I want to go heavy metal, so to speak, so if I don't win I might as well score tons of goals and put fear into my opponents. CFa APa Wa - CMd - BWMs - IWa CWBs - BPDst - CDco - FBs Positive More Direct Passing Regroup (see note 1) Counter Shorter GK Distribution (see note 2) Higher Line of Engagement Higher Defensive Line Note 1: I adore the Regroup instruction and for an attacking outlook I feel counter-pressing is overkill, while Regroup encourages that back-and-forth pressing Bayern is known for. Note 2: My goalkeeper is Alex Meret and he's abominable with long distribution. Neuer didn't really need to send long bombs forward under Hansi as the playmakers were Alaba and Kimmich and Mueller. Concepts: I know 'Cautious' and 'Positive' don't translate into "prevent goals" and "score goals" but more about the philosophy with the ball, and use of tempo, space, etc. Nevertheless I think Hansi Flick's Bayern did have a Positive or Attacking outlook. The absolute key distinction is that I don't think his teams played with a mind to keep possession (so no 'Shorter Passing') for its own sake, I saw many times the ball just ricochet from the CBs through the flanks and into the final third within a moment, the central midfielders were mostly there to be one-two options and to mop up any spills. Mueller's non-stop pressing as the #10 was simply critical. Formation: I do not like the 4-2-3-1 in FM21, it doesn't work for me. The wingers don't track back like they ought to, so I stick with a flat four in the midfield strata and have had much better results. Question 1: 'Play Ball out of Defense' -> does this mean the defenders pass around with each other more with this instruction or does it mean defenders are likelier to act as playmakers (ie like Boateng or Bonucci with them killer long balls)? Question 2: 'Work Ball into Box' -> I feel like his team did successfully use this instruction but I have my doubts. Any thoughts? Question 3: I don't have a Thomas Mueller, how do I maximize the possibility of my APa (or whatever role you think works better) doing that Ozil-meets-Gattuso role of playmaker and ball-winner? I feel like this position is absolutely crucial. Question 4: I can change the CMd to DLPd and the APa to AMa... but I feel a playmaker in the CM/DM strata isn't conducive to direct attacking football. What do you think? Open question: What team or player instructions do you think are necessary to make this work better?
  12. How can this be transposed to FM21? Particularly: Counter/No Counter and Regroup/Counterpress
  13. Was lurking to learn about FM21 tactics and get some inspiration now that I'm back to playing the game and I just wanted to say to OP that you're brilliant and this thread is brilliant and so thoughtful. Do you have any process or advice to develop a process or approach for someone trying to make a Wheeling and Dealing sort of team?
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