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KorbenRyan

4-2-3-1 issue. How to get the AM line interacting with the striker?

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Hi

I'm playing as Newcastle, I'm doing quite well currently sitting 3rd after 10 games. I play a 4231 system with inside forwards. I've signed Christian Eriksen so my preferred starting system is

Keeper

Back 4

Tiote and Cabaye in CM positions, CM Defend and DLP Support respectively

Jonas in the AML as an inside forward support

Ben Arfa in the AMR as inside forward attack

Eriksen in AMC advanced playmaker attack

Demba Ba as a lone striker and tried in several roles.

I feel the teams playing well as the results show but Ba has been awful only scoring 1 in 14 including pre season with a solitary assist. I've tried him as an advanced forward and a poacher, both times he spurned a few chances here and there but hardly seemed in the game. On the plus side with his pace he seemed to push the opposition D-Line back allowing a lot more space for the AM line to work in and most of my goals have come from the inside forwards.

I've also tried Ba as a complete forward support for two games, I lost both without scoring and he rated 5.x in both. It seemed that his low composure and poor technical stats made him a poor choice for this role.

I'm thinking he may work better in a target man role but am unsure how to work that. I'm presuming target man attack would leave him too isolated especially without wide wingers.

If I had him playing as a target man support would he be likely to draw the defensive line further out allowing more space for my AM players to use their pace in behind?

He just doesn't seem to be working at all but I don't want to majorly overhaul the system as the rest are working together a lot better than I was expecting.

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I had the same dilemma playing a similar system...eventually struck gold with my striker playing as an Adv Fwd...but his attributes probably suited that role. When I was playing someone else in his place I would change the run with ball setting to suit his replacement better.

I use the Adv Playmaker on Support behind him, and one winger (att) and one inside fwd (sup)

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Thanks for the reply.

The most successful I've managed was as an advanced forward, it still didn't get him scoring but him playing off the last defender created more space for the other 3 to exploit. Thinking about it with my setup I can't see target man support working great either because the defence would be able to push up and with both wingers cutting in and the am there too its either going to close the space for them or force my creative players further back with no one running in behind. I think I'll stick with the up top roles and if he doesn't work then I'll look to bring in a better finisher in January.

As a side note whats the difference between support and attack for the Advanced Playmaker?

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The way the FM match engine works, in a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation, you are likely to see more goals from your inside forwards/wingers, than the lone striker. The exception is if you have someone exceptionally good up there, able to play as a complete forward or trequartista. Think Messi, RVP, Aguero, Torres. Players that can just as well drop deeper and create chances for others. I played with RVP in a 4-5-1 (with Arsenal), as a complete forward, and he banged in 20+ goals a season, but had an incredible amount of assists as well. But it was a frustrating job trying to find someone to replace him once his playing career was over.

My conclusion is, that if you want to play with a lone striker, and want goals from him, you need someone there that is exceptionally good in relation to the level/league/opposition you are playing.

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I'd suggest possibly switching one of you're wide players away from IF. Having both in those roles (albeit in different settings) just congests the area around the opponents 18 yard box leaving no one with any space to work in. Theoretically you want them to pull central defenders out to leave space for the striker and AMC to work with, but generally I find the defenders stay put and your players end up settling for shots from outside the box.

I'd try switching Ben Arfa to AP. That'll leave one less forward (and one less defender as the full back will have to stay wide) in that general area opening up more space for a lone striker. I'm not sure if his attributes are suited well for this, but they'll be better than Jonas'. Set Ba as a poacher so that he'll generally stay in an advanced position looking only to score. This set up should allow Ba and Eriksen to find a bit of space in and around the box, whilst Arfa produces through balls into them and Jonas causes havoc on the other side running at players.

I wouldn't play a MC as DLP in this formation, too many passes will get wasted trying to player killer balls from deep to a striker still being picked up by 2 central defenders. Having both as regular central midfielders should mean they will generally look for the more advanced midfielders who are in better positions to create and put defenders on the back foot.

The lone striker position caused me many a headache in the last few versions, but I've found a lot of success on FM12 with my narrow 4-2-3-1. My ideas are based on how that tactic works.

I get I was Man Unt, but on my current save Hernandez averaged a goal a game in all competitions and won the golden boot with 36 league goals in 36 starts, he wasn't my penalty taker either. This was 2011/12.

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@ Thomit: Yeah I think my problem is I'm expecting him to create space, link up and score. In reality I'd settle for the space and a few more goals as I've a few that can create so I'll have to leave him more advanced.

@ndebergerac: That makes sense. Ben Arfa has filled in as the AMC a few times and did well so can't see that being a problem. Would Jonas on the left as inside forward support, Ben Arfa on the right AP support, Eriksen central as AM attack or AP attack and then Ba as a poacher make sense in theory?

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@ Thomit: Yeah I think my problem is I'm expecting him to create space, link up and score. In reality I'd settle for the space and a few more goals as I've a few that can create so I'll have to leave him more advanced.

@ndebergerac: That makes sense. Ben Arfa has filled in as the AMC a few times and did well so can't see that being a problem. Would Jonas on the left as inside forward support, Ben Arfa on the right AP support, Eriksen central as AM attack or AP attack and then Ba as a poacher make sense in theory?

Based on what I've found, that set up could be quite efficient. You could experiment with Arfa between support and attack. On attack he won't congest the 18 yard area like he would as an IF. He would then add another option in the box and give the 2nd central defender something to think about as he moves in between him and the full back when Jonas is in possession, leaving Ba 1 on 1 with the other defender. Arfa should still stay in that slightly wider area rather than move into Eriksen's or Ba's space.

I also put long shots on rarely for all 4 of my attacking players, not that that stops Nani:D

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My Adv Fwd was pretty exceptional for the division, he ended the season with 30 goals in 32 matches (artem kravets, second season in German 2nd Div) including a couple of beats-4-men-at-a-time-after-running-from-halfway wonder goals so it was probably a combination of player plus role.

As indicated above I think two IFs plus an attacking playmaker will clutter the area behind him. The tactics creator should explain the difference (when you change the role it changes it's description) plus the actual instructions will change so you can do a comparison. I found after a lot of trial and error that ADV Playmaker support in front of a DLP support and CM defend works very well together.

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Thanks guys

I switched it to

Keeper

Back 4

CM Defend

CM Support

AML Inside Forward Support

AMR Advanced Playmaker Attack

AMC Advanced Playmaker Support

ST Poacher

Next 4 fixtures were Villa(a), Norwich(h), Everton(a), Man City(h). I won all 4 games scoring 16 in the process including 6 in 4 for Ba himself. In the City game my front 4 actually produced more than Ganso, Aguero, Silva and co.

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Yeah I play something similar in the AMC line of 3 and I think keeping the roles and duties of the wide players mixed and varied works better, makes your team less predictable and gives different options and opportunities on each side. I also like to change my wingbacks duties to compliment the wide player roles...more specifically if my AMR is an IF who Cuts Inside I will have my WBR on Attack duty. As I have my CMr on Def duty it all compliments well.

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Edinton: Yeah its definitely helped on the scoring front, I have changed the cm's over to DLP support and BWM Defend though. Seems to give me a better base to work from than standard CMs. Finished 4th in 1st season so happy enough.

Scath: I play Balanced Standard. Switch it up to attacking if I need a goal. For away games where I'm a big underdog I've a 2nd tactic which is basically the AM pulled back into the CM line although with his usual role and with a Rigid Defensive style. I leave most of the other settings at default though, apart from the defensive one where I have less closing down. I was intending on playing around with the other settings but was happy with the initial results so didn't want to rock the boat.

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I found more difficult to get the best of a fast advanced forward as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 than a technique gifted in a suppor role. I think the best way is to play at least one Winger in AMR or AML positions to stretch the play and therefore, open up space between oposition centrebacks and fullbacks to exploit the channels by the advanced forward/poacher. The AMC on advanced playmaker makes sense as he would drop deeper and draw one of the centrebacks out of position or exploit the space between the lines if the oposition drop deep to avoid being outpaced by a fast striker.

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