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I normally favor a 4-1-2-1-2 with a narrow midfield diamond, trying to dominate possession and break down the opposition through short passing. I prefer this formation to wider ones as I find it's easier to build and rotate a squad with several narrow players who are more flexible/interchangeable than trying to stockpile a certain amount of left vs right sided players, for example. It's always nice to have a few guys who can comfortably rotate between DM/CM and CM/AM, etc. Ideally my bottom three include a DLP, BWM, and BTB, or perhaps even an anchor man if available. My question is just a general poll of the community to see if there are any other players experienced with this formation and get a feel for what player roles they've utilize to positive or negative results. What player roles do you use for the AM position? Do you get better results with a DLP in the DM or CM position? What roles do you give the fullbacks to compensate for the lack of width in midfield? Best striker role partnership? And so on and so forth.
I'm Darlington in the National League North in my second season. I have a decent squad and am doing ok but am looking to push on. Please see my line up below & attached. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B10_wP-qqlPqNkF0ZnQxM3hKZE0 My squad strengths: - Numerous strong (4 star plus) central midfielders, - Good big man/little man striker combination - Division leading passing and first touch attributes, although comparatively poor-ish vision - Top 5 in the division for aggression, determination, team work, work rate My weaknesses: - Only one decent winger - Struggling for pace throughout the squad, especially in defence - GK and CBs not individually outstanding (all 2-3 star) As such I have set us up as a highly structured narrow diamond, playing 'defensive' to negate the lack of pace in defence and narrowing the pitch to allow my aggressive, hardworking midfield to dominate central areas/possession. Offensively I have used the decent winger (who is technically good rather than a speed merchant) as an AM, with instructions to move into channels and roam from position to try and create lateral movement. Goals tend to come through interplay through the middle or full backs getting to the byline It's broadly working – we are certainly competitive but with one team going up directly and one through playoffs Fylde are running away with the league so we are fighting for playoffs at best. Part of the problem is personnel I think – my CBs and GK need upgrading, which will have to wait until the end of the season. We do tend to get done quite often with quick balls out of defence catching us short at the back – I think part of the problem is that the full backs have to push to give us any width, leaving us open to teams clearing balls to flanks and leaving us isolated at the back. We also struggle to break down teams at home, especially who are. It's obvious why, they are also compact and narrow and we cancel each other out. I try to play wider and change one of the full backs to attack, but far too often I find the central midfielders and strikers end up on each other's toes and especially against teams playing a DM (C) they get choked out. These are the games when I need my AM(C) to drift more but I struggle to get him to move into space on the flanks. I don’t think I'm getting the best out of some of my personnel either. I have a good AP, although for the time being I have deployed him as a central midfielder with instruction to play more direct riskier passes. It's not really working though – he has a lower pass completion ratio than the other CMs (which I would accept) but is not making a correspondingly higher proportion of key passes. The BWM(S) has made more goals than him. Similarly I have a classic target man (jumping 18 heading 12 strength 14) but playing him as a target man tends to lead to the team breaking with a patient approach and hitting it towards him, which is usually counterproductive. I have changed him to a DF(S) as a result. So my questions are: 1. What else cann I do to create width and prevent things getting clogged in the centre? 2. How can I guard against being caught out on the counter? 3. How can I get the best out of two specialist players (the advanced playmaker and target man)? Any help appreciated. Thanks