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First and foremost we need to face the truth, it doesn't matter how much you are a gunner this isn't gonna happen any time soon, we all need to face it and let it sink in, second thing which some people will mention here is squad which I have on mine disposal. Ever since FM 08 among few of mine friends who played with me over the years I had the greatest quality in managing transfer window and pulling some good transfers in and out of mine club, I have to admit it I had some seriously good fortune on this save and I got almost perfect players for mine experiment almost from start of season 1, so let's start with what this is actually about. TL/DR first paragraph isn't related to tactical stuff Here the story starts, with new roles additions to this years FM one can make some really weird and cool combos which can make players overlap and act chaotic to untrained eye, the thorn in AI side is that some of worst opponents I came against in FM series over the years (yes Mumu and Klopp thats you 2 I'm talking about) have a preference of marking specific player with another player, so I decided to try and bypass those pesky defensive and counter attacking destroyers by creating as much chaos as one can in one single tactic. Left Side of the pitch: So lets start from left side, on left side in this tactic we have W(S) who will mainly stay wide and drag opposition FB(WB) out of his natural position and create space for midfielder to come in, in some games in which teams played flat 5 in the back I switched this role to W(A) just to get some more width and penetration down that side. All that space for whom? Mezzala will use it, from what I have seen and witnessed Mezzala is considered by most as an midfielder who will mainly rush inside the channel and wait to get picked up and try to score, I couldn't disagree more. Mezzala isn't simple B2B-IF hybrid to me, for me he looks more like a RPM-IF-hybrid, he will move into channel, he will get in goalscoring chances, but he will also play others in and act as a creative outlet, mine first impression was the same as 90% of community(the posts I've seen so far) I though finally I don't need CM(A) and I can use a fancy role instead, but to mine surprise we got something even better. Mezzala will try to get to that half space on his side and if he has the ball and tries to go there he will act as AP(A) who takes on a player and waits for them to go for him and then just puff a pass somewhere and whole defensive positioning gets shifted out, if he is already in position I saw him switching places and moving outside towards out line and swapping his place with winger which leaves defense stunned whom to follow and where, but mainly his position would be somewhere on the edge of 16m box where he can pick a pass and distribute to CF or to someone else, I can't describe how good this role is... So we have 2 offensive players on same side who are trying to make overload in that halfspace by themslves, and since winger is already wide we don't need another wide player in the mix, but we can use more numbers in middle to control the possession game and to provide back pass options, that's where IWB comes in. IWB(S) is fairly demanding role, so far I have tried him in multiple roles since I started mine experiment, if he is on IWB(D) he wil sometimes collide with HB, if he is on IWB(S) and with hold position PI he will get left out of game from time to time since he will be too far behind, I haven't even tried attack duty since I want him to act as mine recycling/trough pass machine and not as a Dani Alves "I'm gonna run for 25 meters and then hoof it to 5th row cos that babe is fine" I don't want those heroics I wanted him to take Mezzalas spot and to release him so that he can do his thing, and boy he did. I would say that IWB role might be most demanding one in terms of finding the right player, he is more like a Regista type of player then that of a wingback, he doesn't need that much crossing since if winger stays wide he won't reset to normal WB and he will act as a regista of sorts, I don't yet have a player whom I would be confident enough to use with "Dictates tempo" shout but that could change the whole concept of IWB as we see him now. So this trio of bad boys covers for each other and just by staying in their roles they create spaces which are there to be exploited and used. The right side of the pitch: In 451 I generally like to use one side to overload the play and keep possession and use the other side to "release" the players, but since we heard that the mezzala role is actually similiar to that of a AP I was tempted to change it but in the end I stood by mine favorite role on right side. On right wing we have a AP(S) he is told to sit narrower so that his position is closer to that of a AMCR then to and AMR and thats where I want him so that he can drag defenders towards him and unlock defense in best manner possible (trough ball) some times he will cross tho rarely, his main duty is to try and combine with others around him and keep the ball untill he sees the run and tries to pick his teammate. I'm confident that a player with "comes deep to get the ball" PI and high workrate/teamwork(Not you Ozil) can be played on AP(A) since he won't be selfish and he would actually go back to help his RB partner. Since AP(S) is positioned towards middle of the pitch and he cuts inside we have a whole lot of space to exploit down that flank, and no one can do it better then a 20 pace 20 accel machine, yeah thats Bellerin in his FB(A) role, now a choice of his role was decided by hard experiment, if mine striker was lets say Lewandowski, Kane, Benzema, Mandzukic(read meat grinder) type of forward I would defo pick WB(A), main difference is WB will bomb forward much more, and since mine forward is lil' Dybala I can't excpect that many crosses to connect with him, so I picked FB(A) who will time his runs and be more patient about it and still involve himself in possession game by providing that option out wide, stretching defense and making half channels for AP(S) to exploit. So once again 2 offensive roles need some cover, and what a great time to implement new Carilero "shuttler" role, this role is mine dream come trough since FM 12, so many times I had to use CM(S) and tweak it like mad, and now finally he is here, the half space cover, Carilero will cover those halfspaces left by FB and AP if there is a threat down that side after FB leaves his position, if there is no threat, he will act similiar to CM(S) and provide passes from his side of the pitch making that double layered midfield which always has options and always has numbers upfront. Striker: I've been using mine Dybala, and mine Lacazzete in season 1 as CF(A) for whole first season, then at some point after selling Lacazzete I wanted to give Dybala some more touches with the ball so I started using DLF(A) role on him, DLF(A) will start deeper and try to dribble, pass, shoot or find some space for himself, while CF(A) will do the same but he also has roam from position and he will do much more(description of the role says it all) imo for a player like Dybala with small frame good balance and agility, good passing game and good mentals DLF(A) is way to go, he will get involved in game more since he will drop deeper, he will drag defenders out of place, he will assists, he will carry on transitions and hold up ball until there is a free player on the wings, he will do it all. If I had a different type of striker, previously mentioned meat grinder types I would use them as CF(A) since they got some physical presence, they can jump for the ball, get on the end of most crosses, they can impose themselves physicaly and bring others in via flick ons etc. Even DLF(S) roaming target man PI setup sounds nice. Defence: 2 good old central backs and a Halfback, best defence one can wish for, especially with how HB acts, god I love that role, basically he will always be there and try to recycle possession for your team and he will provide a screen for CB's when in defence and close down pesky AMC's or those drop deep forwards. While HB is amazing on his own, the mechanic of "split" with him in field is even more amusing, HB will split CB's so that they will get wider then their usual position, if they are wider that means they cover a lot more of the pitch wide and they are ready to counter long ball threats, and by doing so they release our carilero of some of his defensive responsibility, and also cover IWB's slot so that he has the time to come back to his LB position in time before opositions transitions comes to him. Combined attack: So I mentioned that I liked using one side for overload and other side for exploiting, it can be done here, easily by doing 2-3 roles adjustments, but this is actually a fun setup to run with, you are actually creating overloads on both sides, each side has 3 designated players to overload it and they will more then often draw more opposing players to close them down and to try to neutralize them, and that means your other side of the pitch is free of the pressure, and in all that madness of constantly providing chaos and creating overloads left and right the spot opens in middle just where Dybala is waiting for his chance, that's the most likely outcome for me, others do score, but he is the striker, he is the main threat which often gets forgotten, simply because Mezzala and AP draw too much "AGGRO" on them just by being where they are. Your attack looks something like this: (I gave Dybala the SS role on purpose just to emphasize that he will be in that between CF and AM position while you are on attack) The HB will form back three near middle with CB's; Carilero will protect his right side(he will be a bit more to the right tbh) and IWB will fit in on left side Mezzala occupies left half channel, while AP(S) will take his right one and Winger and FB(A) provide the width and give defensive players the decision nightmare whom to follow. That is mainly how this system operates in attack. In defence they are asked to prevent short GK distributiion and to close down more, 451 isn't that much of a top heavy formation but it has a really good spread of players from their initial positions which makes it easy to close down oposition and prevent them from building play up from the back and forcing them to hoof the ball. The defensive line and offside trap are shouts which I tend to remove and change during the course of game, if a team is trying to force their way on me I will go Slightly higher D-Line and ofc Offside trap to cover that wast area behind them, if the team is a stubborn defensive side I will drop slightly deeper in an attempt to draw them out. In case I'm playing defensive maestros (MuMu), I don't know how much have you fellas analyzed the way Mumu sets his team up in FM, but the SI team did an amazing job at copying real life Mumu, he once told, years ago, that he always likes to have 4 players behind, and thats what he does, he has his LB/RB on defensive duty, you can see it if you watch the game against him, and if you have a player in AML/AMR he will provide pressure on him and make him unable to join attacks. In this case scenarion (mine favourite) I would drop deeper and go with fluid, fluid makes team more unified and thus makes it easier to defend from his wingers since they have no support and if you are fluid you will get the upper hand since he will always get doubled and disposed easily, also since you are deeper and fluid your team will be more compact but still enar their starting positions, and by doing so you will draw his DL/DR's on D duty and make some space for yourself to exploit trough good transitions. For example vs 4231's I would go for higher D-line, Offside trap and structured shape, if it is Man City quality 4231 which has good players I would drop mentality to counter. By pushing the D-line up you effectively disable the opposing AMC since he has nowhere to run to because you have a DM waiting for him, and by closing that space you make it harder for them to track you back since his winger gets either dragged out of position by tracking back your players or he gets behind and he can't be a counter threat for yourself, either way he looses, structured shape will make more spaces between your players and by doing so and with suprluss midfield numbers you will win the battle in middle since his midfield will lack support from the wingers which provides you with extra numbers. For other 451's Higher D line and fluid works for me since mine midfield is always gonna win and draw oposition, I mean, face it, I have 5 players constantly in there with occasional additions.... For stubborn oppositions which camp hard I usually go deeper and structured tho, sometimes I like to rape them with constant pressure and I go high D line and structured, depends on mine mood Most important thing for this defensive setup to bring fruition is to neutralize the "firestarter" the firestarter is the player who makes the web around your defense, in 451 DM wide that would be DM whom I neutralize and tight mark from get go, without that option of back pass opposition is on nails since each missed pass can result in a deadly turnover, in 4231 I would tight mark and hard tackle both MC's in 4231 DM Wide both of DM's in 442 both CM's, you get the picture So there it is, tactical experiment of using different roles and combinations to achieve the total confusion among the opposition A big thank you to Cleon and Rashidi and his channel BustTheNet who explain a lot of this stuff and how to use which role and what to expect from changes in in your setup.
I'm trying to build a replica of Pep's Man City 4-1-4-1 with inverted wingbacks but I'm just not having much success. I feel like the shape should look like more of a 2-3-2-3 in possesssion but it's not quite right. The CMs don't push far enough forward and the wingbacks are either on top of the DLP or too far forward. When out of possession the CMs aren't working hard enough to press or support the defence but if I change them both to support roles then they play too deep. My current tactic is below: - Very Fluid - Control - Higher - Wider - Work Ball into Box - Exploit Both Flanks * Wingers and CMs instructed to push further forward to make room for the wingbacks to move into midfield. SK ( s ) IWB ( s ) CD ( d ) CD ( d ) IWB ( d ) DLP (d) W ( a ) MEZ ( s ) MEZ ( a ) W ( a ) AF ( a ) Any ideas?