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I know it may seem like a simple concept, but I still can't decide what to use, how to use, or when to use Inverted Wingers or Wingers, and Wingbacks or Inverted Wingbacks. How do I decide what to use, what should I be looking for in a player to perform these roles, and when should I used them? I do know for Inverted Wingers and Wingers to look what side the strong foot is on, but this goes for signing players as well, what role I should be looking at.
Summary: Players, especially wingers and wing backs, are often brought into crossing positions but won't give them for no apparent reason Description of Issue: (Wide) players won't give any, or very few, crosses into the box. Even when there are 3-4 of our own players in the box, the ball is not coming. Instead, the player passes back or dribbles across the touchline. Only when crossing TI's & PI's are all activated, will we see crosses and chances from them. This mainly goes for wide players such as wingers, IF's, and wing-backs. But also players who roam from their position and find themselves in a crossing opportunity will not or rarely cross. I am aware that roles such as IF are not encouraged to cross, but I didn't change anything in my approach in roles compared to previous editions of the game where crossing wasn't a problem. On top of that, crossing has always been a huge part of my tactics and this is the first year that I encounter this issue. Steps to Reproduce: Watch the saved matches uploaded to OwnCloud. One with extra crossing PI's and TI's on, one without, hence the title of the matches. Files Uploaded to the OwnCloud: Two PKM's (KAS Eupen v KRC Genk no crosses TI & PI.pkm and KAS Eupen v KRC Genk.pkm) and one save game (KRC Genk.fm). EDIT: uploaded the PKM's here as well. In the PKM's: I left out the situations where crosses weren't given when it corresponds even remotely with my tactics. In the match without crosses TI & PI: 00:20: Maehle is played out on the right side. Goes for an unrealistic shot instead of a cross. Blocked. 02:00: Bongonda finds Uronen on the left side in a crossing position. No cross. 02:20: Heynen finds Uronen on the left side in a crossing position. No cross. 02:40: A throw-in eventually makes its way to Nygren who is in a crossing position. No cross. 10:57: Heynen plays to Uronen on the left side in a crossing position. No cross. 26:20: Nygren makes his way down the right flank. Three players joined on the break and made their way to the box, as told by the tactic and their roles. No cross. 28:15: Mæhle is played out on the right side in crossing positions several times. No crosses. 37:20: Mæhle is played out on the right side in a crossing position. Instead, plays a back pass of 40 meters towards the defence. 40:45: Mæhle is liberated on the right side in a crossing position. No cross. 41:14: Mæhle dribbles himself to a crossing position. No cross. 44:30: Nygren plays out Mæhle on the right side in a crossing position. No cross, keeps dwelling on the ball and is fouled. 55:45: Uronen is played out on the left in a crossing position. No cross. 60:00: Hagi gets the ball on the edge of the box after a deflected free kick. The majority of players are in the box. He keeps dribbling and shoots from an impossible angle when he's on the touchline. 73:10: Mæhle in a crossing position on the right. No cross. 90:45: Mæhle in a crossing position on the right. No cross. And these are only the obvious ones. I've played this team in every version for the past five years and my tactical approach has never been different. I know when they should cross and when not so please don't come and blame it on 'Play for set pieces' or 'Work ball into the box'. The other match has all crossing TI's and PI's maxed out, and only then am I seeing more normal crossing behaviour. I will not list up anything from that match since I didn't pay 45 euros to waste my free time in the evening on listing when and if a blue dot crosses or not. KAS Eupen v KRC Genk.pkmKAS Eupen v KRC Genk no crosses TI & PI.pkm
Introducing the 4-4-2 Pragmatic Flankenspiel My second posted tactic. It's a defensively solid tactic using the classic 4-4-2 formation, but with the width primarily provided by the full backs, while the wide midfielders primarily attacking channels and roaming inside the box (however they will also cross when given opportunities). The two central midfielders act as playmaker and engine respectively. It relies on quick and technically proficient wide players, good crossers and a solid pair of midfielders. Assist will come from both crosses and through balls, and goals will mostly come from placed shots inside box. Origins: The tactic was developed through trial and error while taking my Blyth Spartans team up through the divisions. I was looking for a way of playing a 4-4-2 without being too single-minded in attack, by combining the advantages of both wing play and through balls in the same tactic. The aim of the tactic: The aim is to create a solid defensive base, as well as a varied and potent attack. It presses hard and marks tightly, but is not a full-out gegenpress. The aim here is to leave some space to run into once the ball is won, enabling some deadly counter attacks when the opportunity arises. When the team needs to build from the back, there are plenty of passing options going forward. The playmaker acts as the passing hub, while the BBM does the dirtywork. What kind of chances can you expect: The tactic forces a lot of play through the flanks, but since the full backs provide the width, this often stretches their defense, leaving space in the channels for the wingers and strikers to exploit. The tactic is set to cross low, but you will still see both tap-ins and headers as an end product. You will also see some long balls over the opposition defense from the full backs and central defenders, usually into space for the advanced forward to run onto (as you can see, there are 10 assists from deep passes in the last 50 games). Most goals will come either from crosses by the full backs to the strikers or the opposite winger, or from combination play between the strikers and forward surging wingers. Your top scorers will most likely be the strikers, with the wingers also chipping in with a fair share. Results: The Spartans have become the dominant team in England, with a significantly lower wage budget than the former top teams. Also grabbed a few CL-wins and cup trophies. What kind of players do you need? GK: Any standard keeper will do. If he's decent with the ball at his feet, that's great, but it's not crucial to this tactic. Central Def: The two central defenders should have decent pace and aerial presence. It they are also decent passers of the ball, that's a big plus. Full backs: Pacey and good crossers. They need to cover quite a lot of ground. Playmaker: Good passing and vision, preferrably also good physique and tackling skills. BBM: An allrounder. Tackling and mobility. Passing and long shot is a big plus. If you have a great tackler who's not that useful going forward, you can change this role to a BWM(def) or Central Mid(def). You will lose some aspects of the attacking play, though. Wide Midfielders: Pace, dribbling, off the ball, passing, crossing. You might have to retrain a winger from an AM position. It works with both left footed and right footed players on both sides, but they will perform slightly different. A left footed player on the right will cross less and cut inside more, combining with your strikers and midfield. A right footed player on the right will often surge into channels, with the option of either crossing, playing through one of the strikers or passing it to the overlapping full back. I've had most success using players with a preferred foot matching their side. False 9: Needs good technique and passing. If he has enough strength to hold the ball up, that's a plus. An AM with good finishing can be retrained to play here. Should be right footed. Advanced Forward: Your main goal scorer. Need pace, dribbling, off the ball, finishing. Heading is a plus. Download: 4-4-2 Pragmatic Flankenspiel.fmf If you have any feedback, please comment below. I'd especially like to hear if the tactic works well in other leagues.