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cul de sacs, choked midfields vs 4-2-3-1 Narrow

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Hello everyone,

Was out of this forum for a while and I'm just getting back into FM 2012. I've started playing with United, and had a pretty succesful first 3 years in-charge (3 league titles, 2 cl wins, 1 cl final). I'm in my 4th season and the troubles have started.

A brief overview of my tactic, It's a 4-2-3-1 which looks like this:

--------------- De Gea (Sweeper Keeper) -------------------------

-- Rafael -- Vidic --- Evans / Smalling / Regen ---- Evra --------

-------------- Jones (BWM - D) --- Carrick / Fletcher (CM-S)-----

---- Nani / Valencia (W - A) -- Rooney - (AP-S) --- Munain (AP-A)--

------------------ Welbeck / Hernandez (P / AF) -------------------

I've been drilling my team to dominate possession (Pre-match preparation, set to attacking movement training). I start with an attacking tactic against most teams (unless it's a top 4 away game) with shouts: Retain posession, Play out of defence, Play through defence, Push Higher Up, Hassle Opponents.

So, this season, every single team I play against seems to have "learnt" how to deal with this. I encounter 3-5-2s and 4-3-1-2 with absolutely no width at all and clogging the midfield with players. As a result, while I'm still on the top of the table, it's more a result of other teams playing like crap as well. My record right now is 16 Played - 9 won - 4 drawn - 3 losses.

I've been buying / developing players to fit this system of play (Plays one-twos, dictates possession PPMs) etc. And I don't want to throw all this away and get a battering ram of a striker and shift to playing down the flanks and putting crosses in. On top of this, when the tactic works, it's just amazing to watch, so I'd like to keep it the same if possible.

Any advice is much appreciated!



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They have not "learnt" they are plain scared of you and that is because you have done so well in the previous seasons.

If you are intent on keeping this tactic and I don't see why you would want to change it, you will need to try some things that won't effect the match preparation bars.

If you use counter attack, un-tick it, if you don't use it, tick it. When the opposition instructions screen is up before kick off, check their back line, see if the left back and the left central defender pairing is weaker than the opposite defensive pairing and focus passing down the weaker of the two, if the central defenders are weak then focus through the middle. Tell a winger to cut inside if their CD is very poor or tired or of hug the line if the full back is poor or tired, focus passing towards a side where they have yellow cards, reduce or increase through balls or crosses, use a fast player to run with ball often when his opposite marker is on a card. Change the defensive line to the opposite of what you have for 10 minutes to see if that opens anything up.

Look for other ways to play almost the same, but with a slight difference. What you need to do is to add a small element of surprise to what the other manager thinks you would normally do, you can make these adjustments on match day and not save them, just write down what you did and what happened. I have been exactly where you are now and so have probably all the members that post on this section, you just need to get that first goal and then the other team will have to stop playing their negative approach, then you can go back to your main saved tactic. Just look for exploits in their team, one player must be slow, nervous, unfit, very young and try to bend your game to making their day a horror show...

Good luck.

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