Hi there, as the title suggests I'm having tactical issues in game which seem to constantly plague any save I have started on this years version and the previous, invariably leading to a much lower play-time compared to previous iterations of the game. Any suggestions or input as to how I can change my current set-up or my own thinking into just approaching it would be very much appreciated! Thanks
P.S. I will try to keep this as short as I can, but I think maybe giving a detailed background might help me remember what the original plan was as I started the save a while back, and through all the quitting and coming back it's hard to remember what that plan was.
So. I'm managing Portsmouth currently three seasons in. The first season in League One we gained promotion via the play-offs, which ended up being disappointing considering for much of the campaign we were leading the pack, but results against defensive teams (not surprising) led to frustration and a stuttering end. However, we did get promoted which on one hand let the save continue but also probably led me to ignore the issues. My thinking here was that I'm trying to manage expectations, we were expected to get promoted and so I shouldn't be too disheartened by the fact we achieved our goal, but just watching games where I know something isn't right and can see problems but unsure how to approach them gets the better of me a lot of the time, and it has got to the stage where one loss stops me from wanting to play for months.
Second season, the first in the Championship, we were expected to finish in the relegation zones but ending up again sneaking into the last play-off spot making it to the final but losing out, which is fair my team are nowhere near ready for the Premier League anyhow. I can accept that we over-achieved a bit in the season, I would of been happy with a mid-table to top half finish in all honesty. My biggest problem with this season was that the results never felt consistent, we scored a lot of goals from corners or free-kicks and generally our play was either great or scrappy, depending how the other team was set-up. We won 23, drew 9 and lost 14 with a GD of just 10, we scored a fair few but shipped a lot as well because of the set-up which I think I've addressed, I hope at least.
Finally onto my current season, only just started. I switched from playing Control to Standard because I knew we were pressing too much. This was an incorrect decision I feel as the mentality switch affected us going forward I believe I should have just taken off Push Higher Up and Close Down More as my slowish CB's couldn't take the extra load. I have sinced switch this and we've only conceded 1 goal in three games and just in general look a lot better at the back.
The biggest problems I'm having are any matches against more defensive teams because of the link-up and support between midfield and attack, I think.
Okay so the original plan is as follows. I really liked the 4231 Pochettino installed at Spurs with Son, Alli and Eriksen behind Kane and with Dembele and Dier/Wanyama holding behind which freed up the full-backs and I wanted to implement this with Portsmouth as they are the team I support and for the most part the players suited this formation and most of the roles. After reading @Cleon's thread about 4231 and the bit about control vs standard, I decided to give it a go using the 4411 formation, one that I have never been successful with also I think it represents a real life 4231 a lot maybe the CM's (and AM) could drop further down but I didn't think it would be a problem.
I want to play aggressive football like Spurs, without relying on possession as much but I understand that my closing down more I would naturally more likely be in control of the game. I believe that the pairing of DLP(S) and CM(D) is a solid base to this style, so that they can recycle possession back into the more creative front four, and full backs. My concern here though is that because of this I have no deep movement,compared to @Cleon and this is obviously something he mentions a lot when opening up defensive sides. But I thought it would come from the full backs, this is where I'm struggling to understand how I should of approached this part of the formation. This also ties into my role's of AM(A) and DLF(A) at times in games its clear neither are an option to pass too both on the last line of defence, which is obviously coming from their role/duty allocation. I tried switching to an AM(S) but i felt the midfield three just passed it between them not going anywhere because a DLP(S) isn't bursting forward but I'm stubborn to change it because I thought it was a good base as mentioned before.
I'm wary of maybe dragging on and just confusing everyone reading and myself! So this is the crux of the issues, in short against defensive teams we turn into a crossing bonanza as obviously the only player available is the W(S) whose job it is to cross but that isn't varied enough to open up a tight defence.