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4-4-1-1: The Setup


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This thread is going to look into my favourite formation in FM13; the 4-4-1-1. I hope it helps anyone setting up a 4-4-1-1 or any other tactic for that matter but constructive critcism is also welcome as it is far from perfect...

First things first, I'd like to thank wez007 for his inspiring 'Going against the grain...' thread, wwfan for 'The Twelve Step Guide' and Cleon for 'Understanding your Tactic' and the numerous other threads, so thanks all basically.

Seconds things second, I would like to upload screenshots to show visually how this tactic is setup but it appears I cannot as this little red exclaimaton mark appears each time I try to upload, probably an error on my part but any help would be appreciated.

Context

Now, like many others I have found adjusting to the new ME in FM13 rather difficult, although to be honest I was never really that successful on any other previous FM anyway. However, after purchasing the game at midnight November 2 I decided that easing myself into this new game with a Championship team or something simple is not an option and started unemployed. I quickly accepted the job at Brechin and off I went...

Season 1 (12/13) - 4th in SD2, promoted through playoffs

Season 2 (13/14) - 3rd in SD1, not bad but I really wanted to get out Scotland now

Season 3 (14/15) - I join PORT VALE, we finish 13th in League Two

Season 4 (15/16) - 8th in League Two, signs of progression

I then decided that now would be a good time to figure out what was going on tactically in FM13, my knowledge of tactics has been based of bits of advice here and there from the forums but I never had a coherent understanding of what each shout, player instructions which attributes where needed where. Bascially, I needed a more detailed understanding of the game and its ME. So, I delved into the forums and found some fantastic guides, full of tips and advice to give me a sound foundation to start on when creating my tactic. After hours, on the team comparison page and evalutaing the attributes of my players I settled on a counter-attacking style as we had a relatively uncreative midfield, pace out wide and strikers who could finish in a 4-4-1-1 which I had been using intermittently as a second choice tactic to my usual 4-4-2 that I have been using for the past four seasons at Brechin and Vale.

Port Vale 2016/2017 - The season when I try understand what those dots in front of my eyes are actually doing and why

I will get on to the 4-4-1-1 setup soon, but after reading the 'Forum Rules' I feel a little elaboration on my team might be necessary. I was expected to finish 9th by the media, the board told me 'Top-half' and looking at the stats we in fact had the smallest budget in the entire league. However, budget aside the club's youth system is churning out a few belters as two more lads are making the set up to first-team regulars this season. Our season was characterised by our incredible amount of... DRAWS! Twenty-three in total meaning we drew on average every other game we played and giving us the unofficial title of the most boring team in the league. However, this was not an entirely unexpected when you consider our setup and also the fact we won 22 out of 23 of the other games (losing once all season, obviously) managed to secure a grand total of 89 points and 1st in League Two. Happy days!

The Tactic

Now we get into the nitty-gritty, the setup of my 4-4-1-1 in practice on FM13 (this is where screenshots would be really useful, apologies).

Philosphy - Balanced - I decided to keep this plain and simple, I don't understand too much the effect of the philosophy. But as we embark on our journey into League One I'm feeling a Rigid philosophy may be in order as we have a few specialist roles and I perosnally see my players sticking to their roles and duties as more fixed and important than our style/strategy.

Strategy - Counter. The obvious choice as suggested above with the players at my disposal and also a personal favourite of mine from previous FM's. We struggled to break teams down when they come and parked the bus but still the right choice, I think.

The Formation

GK: Goalkeeper - defend.

DR: Full back - support.

DL: Full back - attack.

DCR: Central defender - defend.

DCL: Central defender - defend. (was LD(d) for due to personnel)

MR: Winger - attack.

ML: Winger - support/attack.

MCR: Ball-winner - support.

MCL: Deep-lying PM - defend.

AMC: Advanced PM - support.

STC: Deep-lying Forward - attack.

Goalkeeper - Never even entertained the thought of a Sweeper Keeper as it seemed unncessary with a relatively deep D-line. GK role is the one I've always used and I see no reason to change now.

Full-backs - Following 'Point 4' in wwfan's guide I decided to put my DL on an attack duty. I simply based this on personnel and it also worked due to having my ML cut inside so my DL can overlap. DR became a support duty by default effectively.

Centre-backs - Central defender was chosen entirely due to their distribution. Having a Limited Defender for a while meant that he hoofed any time anyone came within a mile of him which started to get irritating. I like the idea of a Ball-playing defender as his ability to launch counters with long through balls would suit my style. However, unsurpisingly there arent many of those available in League Two. Defend duty was used as I prefer my centre-backs to keep the shape and stay in their D-line making it difficult to break through without being offside.

Wingers - I decided to keep it relatively simple here and used the pace I have out wide to good effect on the counter. My ML is set to 'Cut Inside' due to him being right footed and his Cross Ball is moved down to 'Sometimes'. My MR simply 'Hugs the Touchline' and gets crosses in. This works setup with my wingers works surprsingly well despite my lack of numbers in the middle, as my usual ST (Luca Scapuzzi) has good anticipation and off the ball to gain an advantage over defenders and good enough heading and finshing to get the goal.

Central midfielders - This is certainly the favourite part of my setup and the one which I feel enables my counter attacking style. Firstly, the job of the Ball-winning Midfielder. He closes down the whole pitch putting a lot of pressure on the Opp's central-mids, def-mids and sometimes centre-backs, meaning he can win the ball back high up the pitch and support counters. Being high up the pitch I also look for him to adept attacking-wise. Secondly, the job of the Deep-lying playmaker. He offers a balance to the midfield as he is a 'holder' in the truest sense of the word, which allows the BWM to press high. His passing ability and creativity and decsions means he is comfortbale playing a simple passing game, trying through balls and more importantly launching long balls to counter from deep. Finally, he also has good enough defensive abilties to break up opposition attacks. Together, they have everything covered.

Attacking mid/Striker - The idea with the Advanced Playmaker was to have someone in between the lines who is able to give that extra 'half-man' in midfield when up against a midfield two. I wanted him to be the creative hub of the team who is able to assist by finding the supporting passes into those ahead of him and score from the odd long shot. I have achieved partial success in this area but it still needs some fine-tuning. The same goes for my striker, I originally started him out as an Advanced Forward but looking at the positional heatmaps on the 'Analysis' tab he looked too disconncected and isolated from the rest of my team. My thinking behind him being a Deep-lying Forward is that he will drop deep, confusing opp defenders and that be able to turn at pace and attack them. I decided on the attack duty as I still needed someone to remian in the box when crosses arrive and also his wide play is 'Move into Channels' which suits long the balls played by my DLPd. Once again, adjustments and possibly different options for different roles may be needed. Probably my weakest area. (Scored exact same as when we finished 8th and 27 goals less than 2nd this season).

The Playing Style

Passing Style - More Direct. Suits my countering style to simply get the ball forward as quickly as possible. Not much to say here.

Creative Freedom - Default. Not yet cohesive or confident enough to allow these lads to do what they want. If I really needed to change something it could be done via player instructions, not had to yet though.

Closing Down - Press More. One half of the idea of 'false pressing' which aims to force the opposition into mistake, suits of my team of hard-workers and high stamina.

Tackling - More Cautious. The second half of 'false pressing'. Simply because (accoring to team comparison) we can't tackle. Whatsoever.

Marking - Default. This is a bit of a 'black hole' in my knowledge. Not really sure what certain attributes point to what type of marking, so I simply left it at default.

Crossing - Deafult. If needed to change would use player instructions.

Roaming - Default. Same reason as crossing.

Specific instructions are left alone to the default ones for the 'Counter' strategy.

DLP set as Playmaker, sometimes changed to AP. The Target Man section is not used.

Conclusion

So, that is the story of the 4-4-1-1 and my use of it with Port Vale. In summary, it doesn't produce exactly enthralling football but I managed to win the league with it and if it keeps getting me success then I have no desire to play aesthetically pleasing football. So if you are struggling with the FM13, then here's what you do keep reading on TT&D, ask for help if you need it and above all, do not give up on FM13.

(If anyone would like screenshots please tell me how to do it :lol:)

Finally, this post is over and I can go back to playing FM13. :D

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Good read chap! Good explanation of why you made the choices you did. Sometimes posts don't explain the thinking processes behind the decisions made about a tactic or philosophy (which is stupid if you include the word philosophy anywhere in your post). It's obvious that some of the concerns you've addressed with building your framework specifically relate to the personnel at your disposal and that as your squad evolves so too will your tactical framework.

I like the way that your ML cuts inside like an IF whilst the other chap hugs the line to give you width and variation. Just out of interest though, if you like to counter attack why don't you place them higher in the AMR/AML slot? Don't get me wrong, I've always had far more success with the 4411 than the 4231 I'm just curious as to your thoughts on using MR/ML.

Also, how often do you change the relationship between AM and ST? For me, this is the crucial dynamic of the formation and one that I often tweak based on the game situation. Sometimes I want the ST to be poacher-like and run hard and play high whilst the AM becomes more of a midfielder, sometimes the opposite and sometimes other combinations.

Also, what's the wide play settings for your AM and ST? In combination with their general roles I've found getting their wide play right can really alter the attacking dynamic of the formation.

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Cheers furiousuk! Thanks for your input. :)

I've considered the idea of my MR/ML to the AMR/AML strata but I remember the 4-2-3-1 with two MC's was very prone to attacks through the middle as the MC's and DC's left a 30 yard gap between each other which was very exploitable - which I often did exploit against my opponents, it just put me off it a bit. Your reasoning makes sense though, so they are higher up in a position to counter effectively (something which I remember reading in your 451/433 thread)

Once again, I remember reading a reply of yours in a 4-4-1-1 thread like mine where you talked about the relationship between the AM/ST, the point you made was correct but on what do you base your changes to the AM/ST? This is probably the part of the team I've struggled with the most, I'd quite like my striker to remain high in some cases so my AM has more space to operate between the lines, but how exactly would i get my striker to hold up and the AM run beyond? Would I use a ST on a support and a AM on attack? I'm currently bringing in different types of personnel so I can vary my attack for the new season.

My wide play settings for is ST 'Move into Channels' and AP 'Move into Channels'. I've thought about swapping it so my striker stays central in the box, ready for pass, cross etc. and my AM moves into dangerous positions out wide and in the channels a la Mesut Ozil.

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Great post. I use a classic 4-4-1-1 after finding a 4-4-2 difficult to get right and also a 4-2-3-1 is difficult to get the AMR and AML to track back. I play as West Ham and in earlier patches I used Carroll as a TM which was producing 15-20 goals a season for him. In the current patch it is more difficult to get it right with the striker probably due the long shots, through balls issue because I see him itching at times to make a run and the through ball doesn't come. I get decent performances out of Nolan as an AM though although I agree it is very difficult to get the AM running on to the strikers flick on's etc. I tried various settings for both but I find best are both on a normal wide play but with the AM roaming. I have both on the first notch of high CF and that seems to help.

I have a mixed marking system as well because I find that zonal or man throughout the team doesn't work well. Defensively I have done ok with only 19 league goals conceded in 27 matches but only 35 scored so I am hoping the new patch has an increase on through balls and a decrease on long shots. I play a 4-3-2-1 counter with three defensive midfielders for tougher matches so they compliment each other well.

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Cheers man!

The AM/ST relationship and you make a good point about the long shots and through balls problems. Your ideas on adapting the roaming and CF seem logical, I think I might steal that one from you to test it out in my friendlies at the moment, getting wide play seetings correct really is crucial but they don't seem to get in each other way with my setup. Like you say I'm happy with default marking as we conceded only 30 goals all season (lowest in the league) of which 2 were corner and 10 from crosses and I'm not going to change until I really understand the merits of both man and zonal systems. I certainly have a lot more trouble putting the ball in the back of the net which requires my attention... hopefully a new patch will be an improvement and good luck with West Ham.

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I've considered the idea of my MR/ML to the AMR/AML strata but I remember the 4-2-3-1 with two MC's was very prone to attacks through the middle as the MC's and DC's left a 30 yard gap between each other which was very exploitable - which I often did exploit against my opponents, it just put me off it a bit. Your reasoning makes sense though, so they are higher up in a position to counter effectively (something which I remember reading in your 451/433 thread)

Yeah, so, for counter attacking having them high is advantageous but you've got 2 players quite high anyway and, as you say, it may compromise you more defensively. I've never been able to get a consistently successful tactic with 'high' wingers in the lower leagues, mainly because FBs (and defence in general) aren't good enough - and by 'not good enough' I mean not rounded enough as players even if they are decent, normally this is because mentals aren't quite there (and if they are then physicals aren't enough to cope with the workload at FB).

It's more of an on-the-spot thing, like, we're doing okay defensively and the opposition is leaving loads of space on the flanks for a counter, I'll up my wingers for 20 minutes and see what happens. This is probably a tool you're already using but it can be pretty effective, so long as you make sure it doesn't make you too leaky for those 20 mins.

Once again, I remember reading a reply of yours in a 4-4-1-1 thread like mine where you talked about the relationship between the AM/ST, the point you made was correct but on what do you base your changes to the AM/ST? This is probably the part of the team I've struggled with the most, I'd quite like my striker to remain high in some cases so my AM has more space to operate between the lines, but how exactly would i get my striker to hold up and the AM run beyond? Would I use a ST on a support and a AM on attack? I'm currently bringing in different types of personnel so I can vary my attack for the new season.

My wide play settings for is ST 'Move into Channels' and AP 'Move into Channels'. I've thought about swapping it so my striker stays central in the box, ready for pass, cross etc. and my AM moves into dangerous positions out wide and in the channels a la Mesut Ozil.

So I try and vary the wide play instructions for the 2 players (like your Ozil suggestion). My preference is usually to have the AM more as part of the midfield, so some creative support role (although Treq is possible, hard to quantify a Treq, depends more on the player as well) and I usually keep him central to spray balls to the ST and wingers/IF/FBs (I usually keep the MC's back but it could be an on-rushing MC). Then the ST plays high and moves into channels.

If the AM is more of a 2nd striker (attack duty, IF maybe) then I like him central and keep the ST moving into channels, even if he has a support duty so drops deep. The ST won't drop deep and move wide (not normally anyway) but the idea is that it creates space either by pulling a defender deep with him or pulling a defender wide with him.

My last preference is what you suggest with the AM moving into channels but with the right players in the right situation I'll happily use it because it also works. Ozil for Germany a few years ago with Klose as more of a deep targetman type is a good example - works well because Ozil is not only direct but creative too, suited the nature of the team perfectly.

All these varients are interchangeable for me and I try to keep it led by situation rather than by who I can play but there is some to and fro. Ideally you'd have a Rooney/RvP type pairing where either player is capable of any of the roles in either position but it's extremely rare to get such a combo of in-form players.

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I've not really used AMR/AML too much as on-the-spot thing, but I think I may try it out a few more times when I really need a win, may be a bit risky as a newly-promoted side.

There are some really interesting variants on the AM/ST and I'll certainly look at puuting some of your ideas into action. Your preference is probably my preference aswell as it seems to incorporate a lot of things that I would like to achieve. e.g lot of creation from AM and a presence in the box from the ST, seems to suit my personnel more aswell but I'll try the other two aswell - like you say, depends on situation. Of course, Rooney/RvP type combo very difficult to achieve - especially at Port Vale.

Cheers for the advice, will help a lot.

P.S What are your roles that your generally use in your first preference? I'm thinking of switching back to AFa with my usual APs and using the wide play you suggested.

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AFa - APs (or even Treq if I have someone capable) or DLFs - IFa.

Haven't really got the IFa working that well so often use AMa role.

Targetman attack would work well I imagine if you wanted someone more static (I've always favoured a lot of movement though, particularly with a creative chap in behind).

I've used poacher attack on occasions but prefer the guy up top to be 'allowed' to be a bit freer and play a bit more. Can't remember if I had to manually change settings like roaming or wide play though.

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I like the 4411 its currently my favorite formation because of the sheer variety of options. I would suggest not ignoring ppms. Mine has an AP on attack and a DLF on support, and I sometimes change depending on my mood. My midfield duo have get forward as a ppm, 1-2s and one of the them has dicate tempo while the other has killer balls and switch flank.

When I first started with my team and they didnt have ppms it was a formation that struggled to break down teams, it was solid enough, but once those ppms kicked in..it was sweet football.

The 4411 is a poor mans 4231 for a reason...you can make it attack like a 4231 and defend like a 451.

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I like the 4411 its currently my favorite formation because of the sheer variety of options. I would suggest not ignoring ppms. Mine has an AP on attack and a DLF on support, and I sometimes change depending on my mood. My midfield duo have get forward as a ppm, 1-2s and one of the them has dicate tempo while the other has killer balls and switch flank.

When I first started with my team and they didnt have ppms it was a formation that struggled to break down teams, it was solid enough, but once those ppms kicked in..it was sweet football.

The 4411 is a poor mans 4231 for a reason...you can make it attack like a 4231 and defend like a 451.

You have experimented with having the AMC in the 4411 as the defensive player? It's great fun and you can win the ball back a lot higher up the pitch.

I read this piece about the false enganche and tried to implement it into the game;

http://www.barcablaugranes.com/2012/2/7/2781755/sergio-busquets-as-a-false-enganche

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AFa - APs (or even Treq if I have someone capable) or DLFs - IFa.

Haven't really got the IFa working that well so often use AMa role.

Targetman attack would work well I imagine if you wanted someone more static (I've always favoured a lot of movement though, particularly with a creative chap in behind).

I've used poacher attack on occasions but prefer the guy up top to be 'allowed' to be a bit freer and play a bit more. Can't remember if I had to manually change settings like roaming or wide play though.

I never really understood how the IF works in the AMC position as I thought the main point of the IF was to cut inside onto the stronger foot but he's already in the centre of the pitch? I think if FM introduced a 'Central Winger' role that would be pretty sweet. Anyway, I think I've got the right personnel for those two setups but, like you, I'd probably use an AMa in behind DLFs. Poacher and TM aren't really for me, Poacher not enough creative freedom and TM not enough movement - could work with lots of crosses into the box though.

I love playing a 4-4-1-1, shame I don't have the players to play it at the moment. I think you should add more screenshots/pictures to make the thread even better. I love the detail you've gone in to though. Take a bow son.

Bow taken! ;) It's my first time posting a thread so I'm glad at least a few people like it. I'll try and get some screenshots on, if I figure out how!

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I like the 4411 its currently my favorite formation because of the sheer variety of options. I would suggest not ignoring ppms. Mine has an AP on attack and a DLF on support, and I sometimes change depending on my mood. My midfield duo have get forward as a ppm, 1-2s and one of the them has dicate tempo while the other has killer balls and switch flank.

When I first started with my team and they didnt have ppms it was a formation that struggled to break down teams, it was solid enough, but once those ppms kicked in..it was sweet football.

The 4411 is a poor mans 4231 for a reason...you can make it attack like a 4231 and defend like a 451.

You have experimented with having the AMC in the 4411 as the defensive player? It's great fun and you can win the ball back a lot higher up the pitch.

I read this piece about the false enganche and tried to implement it into the game;

http://www.barcablaugranes.com/2012/2/7/2781755/sergio-busquets-as-a-false-enganche

I agree rashidi, it was Cleon's thread that highlighted the need of PPM's, as you said, the variety of options in the 4-4-1-1 makes me surprised it isn't one of the more used formations as it doesn't seem to come up to much in the forums - people seem to insist on playing on 4-2-3-1 for some reason.

I've also always wondered about the use of an 'Advanced Ball-winner' or 'False enganche' as that article calls it, never tried to implemented into FM though! Good luck with it.

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You have experimented with having the AMC in the 4411 as the defensive player? It's great fun and you can win the ball back a lot higher up the pitch.

I read this piece about the false enganche and tried to implement it into the game;

http://www.barcablaugranes.com/2012/2/7/2781755/sergio-busquets-as-a-false-enganche

My AMC has anticipation of 15, tackling of 15..:-)

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The only thing thats a bit annoying for me is that I have a really bad striker whos only good for one thing, dropping deep to get ball, playing with back to goal. He's just there to create trouble and play others in...My midfielders are in double digits and hes still only scored 11 goals this season in 19 appearances and had 6 assists

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I've also had difficulty with my strikers but furious's posts should help. Last season my top scorer was 14 and my other striker got 8, didn't even double digits in midfield either, we had lot of problems scoring goals ended up with lots of draws and 1-0 wins. We'll need to improve in a higher division...

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The only thing thats a bit annoying for me is that I have a really bad striker whos only good for one thing, dropping deep to get ball, playing with back to goal. He's just there to create trouble and play others in...My midfielders are in double digits and hes still only scored 11 goals this season in 19 appearances and had 6 assists

11 goals and 6 assists in 19 apps? That kind of return is pretty much world class. :confused:

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I'm not sure why people insist on 4-2-3-1 over this either. This plays like a 4-2-3-1 going forward, or can do, but it's so much more solid defensively as your wide midfielders track back.

Anyone had any luck in getting the AM to attack from deep late into the area though with crosses? I have Nolan who is good in the air but it's tough to get him to arrive on time.

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Tried but the coaches say he is too old to learn new tricks so to speak.... Same with Carroll being offside a lot but the coach says he doesn't see him learning that and the player won't do it anyway. Very frustrating.

Ignore the coach and still try. In this thread Planning Ahead - The Deep Lying Playmaker the coaches told me he wouldn't be able to do 3 of the PPM's I taught him.

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RFD often tells him to run to attacking positions often, if player has poor mentals he will still do this and stand on defensive line which is why sometimes you get 4 players standing in a straight line when attacking; get forward ppm is slightly different as a player makes these runs on a situational basis. Its a very subtle difference. These players are more likely to make lateral and vertical runs.

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Which is why ppms are so uber in FM14, and honestly if SI are to head in the direction of no more Custom tac editor, then enhancing ppms makes more sense, cos that gives sides individuality..and this can change over time, provided, teams work to train this. And from what I can tell they do

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I've also always wondered about the use of an 'Advanced Ball-winner' or 'False enganche' as that article calls it, never tried to implemented into FM though! Good luck with it.

http://footballmanageranalysis.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/mechanising-the-play-the-defensive-enganche/

A good article on the defensive engache. It's something I really want to give a go

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I must say PPM's really do need an overhaul. Been looking at what I can do to improve my chances with crossing considering I play with one forward, hence my need to try and get my AM into the box, yet if I look at PPM's for my wingers there is nothing to get them working on crosses generally. Tried all sorts of settings in the instructions and the best I can come up with is mixed crossing. Crossing was great in earlier patches but 9 times out of 10 they now don't even hit their target and when they do Andy Carroll is blazing over from 5 yards! Think SI toned it down because too many crosses were going to an unmarked winger at the back post but it has affected even the best headers of the ball being involved.

I'm on classic so don't have the "float" or "drill" options but any ideas on where aim is best? Don't really want to use Carroll as a ticked Target Man because he isn't good enough to base play around him. Pity we don't have crossing options like we do for set pieces. If you could aim for "best header" or "6 yard box" in open play it would really help.

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I must say PPM's really do need an overhaul. Been looking at what I can do to improve my chances with crossing considering I play with one forward, hence my need to try and get my AM into the box, yet if I look at PPM's for my wingers there is nothing to get them working on crosses generally. Tried all sorts of settings in the instructions and the best I can come up with is mixed crossing. Crossing was great in earlier patches but 9 times out of 10 they now don't even hit their target and when they do Andy Carroll is blazing over from 5 yards! Think SI toned it down because too many crosses were going to an unmarked winger at the back post but it has affected even the best headers of the ball being involved.

I'm on classic so don't have the "float" or "drill" options but any ideas on where aim is best? Don't really want to use Carroll as a ticked Target Man because he isn't good enough to base play around him. Pity we don't have crossing options like we do for set pieces. If you could aim for "best header" or "6 yard box" in open play it would really help.

Does classic mean you can't use player instructions? I've never used it before so I don't know

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Does classic mean you can't use player instructions? I've never used it before so I don't know

You can user player instructions. I just move sliders rather than using the TC. Just don't have some of the options in the TC like drill or float crosses. I'm a dinosaur!!!

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You can user player instructions. I just move sliders rather than using the TC. Just don't have some of the options in the TC like drill or float crosses. I'm a dinosaur!!!

Haha! I've been playing since CM01/02 but I embraced the TC when it was introduced, bit more user friendly in my opinion. Anyway, could you not use 'Cross Aim' settings on the player instructions of your wingers? Despite you not wanting to play Carroll as a TM, if you did make him one you could set the aim to Target Man, just a thought. There's also Near Post, Far Post and Centre options but I don't how useful this will be, especially if Carroll tends to drift.

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11 goals and 6 assists in 19 apps? That kind of return is pretty much world class. :confused:
i just brought in a new striker on a free, hes already scored 5 goals in 4 games, scoring in every game. The 4411 if set up with the right players and ppms makes such simple attempts that they should be easy goals. A lot of my goals are 1v1 with the keeper or an empty net.

Furthermore i look at league leaders, the top four clubs consistently produce 40 goal players. The 4411 can provide multiple scoring chances for people

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Haha! I've been playing since CM01/02 but I embraced the TC when it was introduced, bit more user friendly in my opinion. Anyway, could you not use 'Cross Aim' settings on the player instructions of your wingers? Despite you not wanting to play Carroll as a TM, if you did make him one you could set the aim to Target Man, just a thought. There's also Near Post, Far Post and Centre options but I don't how useful this will be, especially if Carroll tends to drift.

The problem is my approach play is good so by using Carroll as a TM that would change the way I play. However I'm not sure if someone could answer this but what effect, if any, would having Carroll's name in TM box on settings and crosses aimed at TM but "NOT" having the TM box ticked? Any affect at all?

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The problem is my approach play is good so by using Carroll as a TM that would change the way I play. However I'm not sure if someone could answer this but what effect, if any, would having Carroll's name in TM box on settings and crosses aimed at TM but "NOT" having the TM box ticked? Any affect at all?

Hmm if he has the ppm play with back to goal, he will hold up ball and lay it off for others. Furthermore, its not vital to have the TM box set for a targetman, cos their settings encourage them to holdup ball around the box. I have never used the tick box for playmakers since cm 01/02 and i still have me playmaking going on.

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The problem is my approach play is good so by using Carroll as a TM that would change the way I play. However I'm not sure if someone could answer this but what effect, if any, would having Carroll's name in TM box on settings and crosses aimed at TM but "NOT" having the TM box ticked? Any affect at all?

I just played my first game of the new season with Vale (we drew 4-4!) and after looking at the crosses on the 'Analysis' tab, I really see what you mean about crosses. My MR is a decent winger for this level (bit of pace, acc, dribbling, tech and of course crossing) on all 3 of his crosses (all intercepted) he hit it first time when my ST wasn't set and AM wasn't in the box, they just went straight into the hands of the keeper! I'm thinking possibly asking him to 'Hold Up Ball' so he waits for options to appear in the middle. Any thoughts anyone?

Sorry that doesn't really answer your question. I think I could do with a few pointers like you.

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It's a real difficult one with crosses. I have tried cross often but I'm starting to think that all that means is more crosses intercepted. I am trying now mixed but from byline for my wide men, the idea being they may take another option if they are a bit deeper..

Rashidi. Quick question if I may? My away tactic is a 4-3-2-1 counter with 3 deep lying DM's. It works great defensively and going forward I am making about 15 chances per game but few are scored. I get about half of those on target. Home and away against Lazion I battered them with chances but only scored two goals in both matches. What are your thoughts on runs from deep and through balls in a counter attack tactic? My classic set up means most are on mixed RFD and Through Balls. I don't want my striker on RFD often because he holds the ball up and I don't want him running away. I'm actually playing a lower range mixed passing/mixed tempo game which is getting me a lot of possession as well and a highish time wasting. All slightly contradicting to some peoples view on counter attack but it's producing a very solid away base and I am winning a lot of games 1-0 so it does it's job however I just need to turn chances into goals. I'm wary of increasing Forward Runs so not to disrupt the approach and wary of increasing through balls in case I lose possession more. In an old tactic I used to have all players on RFD rarely in counter attack because counter attack would push them forward anyway. Any ideas on how to increase those chances into goals?

Mind you it's probably worth waiting for the next patch as I'm sure long shots, through balls and crosses may have been adjusted.

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You can user player instructions. I just move sliders rather than using the TC. Just don't have some of the options in the TC like drill or float crosses. I'm a dinosaur!!!

All the team cross aim setting does is change it on the players to either far post (float) or near post (drill). It doesn't do anything you can't replicate manually with classic tactics.

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Mind you it's probably worth waiting for the next patch as I'm sure long shots, through balls and crosses may have been adjusted.

That seems to be a long wait though. :/

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Well 2-0 down to Napoli after the first leg of a European Semi Final. Went back to a basic classic 4-4-1-1 with pretty much everything on mixed, team instructions down the middle and just adjusted creative freedom for AM and Striker. Won 6-0 with Carroll getting a hat trick. Simplicity at best!!!

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Well 2-0 down to Napoli after the first leg of a European Semi Final. Went back to a basic classic 4-4-1-1 with pretty much everything on mixed, team instructions down the middle and just adjusted creative freedom for AM and Striker. Won 6-0 with Carroll getting a hat trick. Simplicity at best!!!

A better advert of the 4-4-1-1 than anything I could say! Well done sir. :thup:

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Well third in the League with the Hammers, Euro Cup Final and all with 3 classic mode tactics. 4-4-1-1, 4-3-2-1 and flat 4-5-1. All team instructions straight down the middle and just adjust defensive line, and width depending on how things are going. No need to over complicate the game!!!

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Well third in the League with the Hammers, Euro Cup Final and all with 3 classic mode tactics. 4-4-1-1, 4-3-2-1 and flat 4-5-1. All team instructions straight down the middle and just adjust defensive line, and width depending on how things are going. No need to over complicate the game!!!

How do you adjust defensive line and width, and in what situations?

Also, do you use opposition instructions and/or specific marking on opponent's wide players (like set your fullbacks to mark their wingers)?

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How do you adjust defensive line and width, and in what situations?

Also, do you use opposition instructions and/or specific marking on opponent's wide players (like set your fullbacks to mark their wingers)?

I just pop to the Team Instructions screen and change accordingly. Just actually experimented with all players on same mentality and closing down which is similar to "very fluid" in the TC settings.

For instance against Man City away I played a 4-3-2-1. Early on they were having too much possession in and around the area so I gambled and pushed the defensive line up, played counter attack and ticked offside and won the game 1-0. But next game against Arsenal it was tougher because they have Walcott so his pace threatens a high line, but at the same time Giroud is good in the air so they have a double threat. It's very tough to play them.

Opposition instructions I leave to the Assistant. I have man marking on centre backs, one CM and my AM, the rest I leave on zonal. Worth trying different set ups for different players. Tried man marking wingers but good ones always get away from man marking.

Width is a confusing one and probably worth asking wwfan, cleon or rashidi. I think wwfan (I mat be wrong) said that width only affects the attacking phase and not the defensive phase. Your back 4 defend the same width I think it's just that if you play wide then it obviously takes longer for players to tighten up. As I say though I may be wrong.

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Well third in the League with the Hammers, Euro Cup Final and all with 3 classic mode tactics. 4-4-1-1, 4-3-2-1 and flat 4-5-1. All team instructions straight down the middle and just adjust defensive line, and width depending on how things are going. No need to over complicate the game!!!

All team instrcutions default? Try and get simpler than that! Embracing the TC is certainly the way to go for FM13, only done one or two tweaks on player instructions with this tactic. Seriously though well done, thats quite an achievement with West Ham. I think you should have wrote the thread instead of me...

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All team instrcutions default? Try and get simpler than that! Embracing the TC is certainly the way to go for FM13, only done one or two tweaks on player instructions with this tactic. Seriously though well done, thats quite an achievement with West Ham. I think you should have wrote the thread instead of me...

Oh no, your thread is a top quality one, sorry to have hijacked it really. I start with my Team Instructions at the middle and just see how the game goes. The AI is crafty. If you look at the opposition formation screen before the match sometimes they don't line up that way after kick off. For example I played Liverpool recently and before the game their Formation was down as a 4-4-2. Five minutes in and it was 4-2-3-1 so that's why I start at default and then adjust once I have seen how they are playing.

I may go down the TC route one day but for some reason I just don't get on with it. Always been a fan of global settings and just tweak individual sliders. I guess going into the team instructions and reducing or increasing the defensive line slider is just the long way round of making shouts like "push up" or "play deeper" but with me manually tweaking I know what I have tweaked whereas I tend to randomly make shouts in the TC to no effect and if something does work I have no idea what it is whereas I do know which sliders I have moved. Arse about face way of doing it I know but I'm just more comfortable with it. Whatever way you feel happiest is always the right way for you.

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GaryMegsonJr quick question. I am having relative success with your formation playing as Athletic Bilbao. I've tweaked it somewhat as I have Muniain playing in the hole as a Trequartista. Do you use shouts? If so what have you had most success with? Im finding I am having quite inconsistent results with the formation, for example 5-1 away win against Valencia, then 3-0 Home defeat against Rayo!!!!! All the same I am enjoying my game very much and currently scrapping it out for 4th place with 15 games to go...

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Oh no, your thread is a top quality one, sorry to have hijacked it really. I start with my Team Instructions at the middle and just see how the game goes. The AI is crafty. If you look at the opposition formation screen before the match sometimes they don't line up that way after kick off. For example I played Liverpool recently and before the game their Formation was down as a 4-4-2. Five minutes in and it was 4-2-3-1 so that's why I start at default and then adjust once I have seen how they are playing.

I may go down the TC route one day but for some reason I just don't get on with it. Always been a fan of global settings and just tweak individual sliders. I guess going into the team instructions and reducing or increasing the defensive line slider is just the long way round of making shouts like "push up" or "play deeper" but with me manually tweaking I know what I have tweaked whereas I tend to randomly make shouts in the TC to no effect and if something does work I have no idea what it is whereas I do know which sliders I have moved. Arse about face way of doing it I know but I'm just more comfortable with it. Whatever way you feel happiest is always the right way for you.

Spot on, its personal preference really, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Regarding the AI, I always have the Opp. Formation open on Match Day Info just to keep an eye on their shape and whether I need to adjust anything - ususally happens when they are chasing the game, for obvious reasons.

GaryMegsonJr quick question. I am having relative success with your formation playing as Athletic Bilbao. I've tweaked it somewhat as I have Muniain playing in the hole as a Trequartista. Do you use shouts? If so what have you had most success with? Im finding I am having quite inconsistent results with the formation, for example 5-1 away win against Valencia, then 3-0 Home defeat against Rayo!!!!! All the same I am enjoying my game very much and currently scrapping it out for 4th place with 15 games to go...

I use shouts quite often, but it is questionable how effective some of them are. There are three that are quite effective and I use quite often:

'Retain Possession; Pass to feet; Drop deeper' - I use this when I'm holding on for a win usually.

'Exploit the Middle; Play Wider; Pass into space' - This one works against 4-4-2's and other tactics with two central mids and no def mids

'Work Ball into Box; Play out of defence; Pass into space' - I use this to break down opponents who are holding on/sitting deep.

I also use Hassle Opponents or Push Higher Up individually when I feel we need to win the ball back quickly.

I hope that helps but there are better threads around for shouts, as its not really a part of the game I have fully sussed out yet but those three seem to work quite well, depending on the situation. Keep up the good work with Bilbao aswell, sounds like your doing a decent job. :thup:

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I LOVE the 4411! Haven’t used for a couple of versions and this thread may be the inspiration to get it going again – I need a plan B/alternative approach in my long-term save and thinking about my squad (and upcoming challenges, i.e. promotion) this will be a good fit.

In fact, in FM07/08 (approx) my 4411 dominated possession like no other formation I’ve ever created. Almost too much at times!

I think my players will suit it looking at the ppm discussion above, I’ve started investing heavily in ppm’s based on the other rashidi1/Cleon threads and seeing the benefit.

Touching on your back four @GaryMegsonJr, I’m also a fan of one attacking fullback in a 4-4-x formation and I think an attacking LB tends to be the natural choice. Probably to do with the plethora of central defenders who can play RB (D RCs) and that you also tend to get plenty of attacking/overlapping LBs as well.

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Not been on the forums for a few days so I haven't posted a reply but I'm glad this thread is an inspiration to someone, at least its done some good! That is the thing I love about the 4-4-1-1 it is very flexible in however you want your team to play (counter, attacking, direct, short etc.)

I just thought I'd mention that thanks to the ideas of furious my AM/ST relationship is now better than ever. An AFa and APs and a DLFs and AMa is what I'm working with at the moment, and its working pretty well. I rotate the combos on a basis of situation and often personnel but I could do with some more suitable personnel for the AM/DLF combo. Anyway, not sure what the point of this post was but I guess its just a general 4411 appreciation post.

I really feel the AM/ST relationship is coming along, as it was the weakest part of my team. Any thoughts welcome.

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