Hi Cleon, thanks for writing these articles, I really appreciate all your hard work over the years and am going to miss reading your content.
I am currently trying to do a youth challenge, so no signings at all, with Parma. Because of the lack of depth in my fullbacks I opted for a 352 formation with a sweeper, retraining my fullbacks to play there, both were tall, athletic limited full backs so perfect for the role. Despite the lack of depth, my team is fairly strong for the division so I wanted to play football that was attacking and exciting to watch.
I read through your original article and decided on this formation with these roles:
I originally started with a TM-s and AF-a up top to make them my outlet, however this proved futile as they struggled to get into attacking positions, they were left stranded often and largely just wasted attacks. My WMs who are set up as IFs are scoring for fun so I tried to created an attacking partnership that supported them and gave them more room, I did this using inspiration from Leicester's front two this season a DF-d and a F9-s, keeping with the philosophy of pressing and pulling them out of shape.
Team instructions wise I pushed the defensive line to higher as I didn't want them dropping back due to the DM, I closed down much more to complement this and I played out of defence as they are already very high and close to the midfield support. I also thought the Prevent Short GK distribution complemented well too so we kept the pressure on but I'm starting to think this is leaving me vulnerable, a possible tweak I might make would be to remove this instruction.
Whilst things are going okay, second in the league, I have noticed some problems:
Some games we struggle to get on the score sheet, lots of long shots are taken so I turn on Works Ball Into Box, I don't like this as it doesn't complement the strategy of incisive passing. I am considering altering the worst culprits of long shots to shoots less often to counteract this.
Being caught on the break is also a problem, often one ball over the top catches us out and then we are on the back foot. I have added Use Offside Trap to try and counteract this but I have also considered just dropping the defensive line back to Slightly High to help.
Late game we conceded a lot, most likely a morale/team talk problem but if you have any ideas then that would be appreciated!
Defenders pass backs cause lots of goals, this is a problem with any tactic I make or use this year, I cannot get rid of it, have you noticed anything similar?
To help get balls to the attackers I considered changing the CM trio to something more attacking, a DM-d to allow him more mobility (may help with defensive problems too; a CM-s still as I want that link between defence and attack with the freedom for him to choose what to do (he is easily the best player in my team); and a AP-a, this would likely give me that little bit more attacking impetus that I need, my only worry is it lends more to a possession style tactic than an attacking one.
So, after reading that do you have any suggestions on how to tweak and change or do you think I am overthinking it and that I should just stick with it how it is? I would really appreciate any advice you could give me!