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First of all, I started playing FM13 with the latest patch, so that's where I've got my experience from.

I have had great success in this version. An effective 442 formation is pretty much what I've used when I achieved said success. However, a 4231, which works quite well IRL (a majority of top clubs today use 4231 as their main formation, and 442 is getting less used), is just working terribly. I can't see any reasons why it shouldn't work either, really. I've tried it with wingers and IFs, with small success. IFs seem to be completely useless with this patch, especially in a 4231 formation. Can someone tell me why it works so bad on FM, but good IRL? And if someone here has been having success with either IFs and/or 4231 here, please inform me and tell me what you have done to make it work. If someone could enlighten me why 442 works so well in this version, that'd be great, too.

As always, appreciate feedback. :)

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I've had great success with a 4231 on FM and most of that success came from my IF's, which saw Valencia get 14 assists in two straight seasons and Young score about 12 goals.

You should post up what team you're playing with, what roles that you're using and etc etc. so somebody more knowledgeable can help you out with it.

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I have either played

Keeper

FB support - CB defend - CB defend - FB support

BWM defend - DLP support

IF attack - FP support - IF attack

Poacher

or the same but with two CM, one with a supporting duty and the other with a defensive. Have also tried to switch the FP to AM, or one of the IFs as a winger, but nothing really seems to work. I create chanches, just not goals. Usually play short passes, press more, zonal marking. Have tried with and without counter, offside trap, etc but haven't found anything decent.

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Cleon would want you to read this: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/327822-Asking-For-Help-PLEASE-READ-THIS

Just from the roles their are a couple of dodgy things.

A poacher upfront on his own is abit limited in his repertoire, i.e. just trying to put ball in net, and therefore always standing on the shoulder of the last man, so he will struggle bringing players into the game.

A BWM, is too likely to chase all over the pitch like a headless chicken to be effective as a holding player, as he is likely to be drawn out of position and leave your team open to being counterattacked.

Edit: P.S. But more than just the roles, it's the players you put into the roles, hence for people to help it's always handy for people to know the team and players your using.

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I have either played

Keeper

FB support - CB defend - CB defend - FB support

BWM defend - DLP support

IF attack - FP support - IF attack

Poacher

or the same but with two CM, one with a supporting duty and the other with a defensive. Have also tried to switch the FP to AM, or one of the IFs as a winger, but nothing really seems to work. I create chanches, just not goals. Usually play short passes, press more, zonal marking. Have tried with and without counter, offside trap, etc but haven't found anything decent.

I can see a number of issues, just on the roles.

1) You are playing a poacher role, this typically offers very little apart from goals, so if he isnt getting supply he is barely involved, as he wont drift like an Advanced Forward/CF/DLF Attack would, and wont link play like DLF/CF Support would.

2) You have both your wide players very high up the pitch and attacking into the same space as your poacher, you have funnelled you attack into one channel, which makes it easier to defend.

3)You dont have a full back getting up the pitch and overlapping which will exacerbate 2) more.

iEY2t0h.png

That is how I typically setup, though sometimes the winger gets a support role, and the FC gets an attack role. Sometimes I mix up the midfield, by making the DLP an AP attack and the AMC an AM support.

The screenshot is from my United save, but the concept is the same one I've used for all my various saves since FM11

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If 'offensivt', is 'attacking' then, it might be abit counter intuitive, as along with the issues already mentioned, it might be making the team force the ball forward when there isn't a pass on, and pushing the players all upfield, making them susceptible to being counter attacked.

Do you watch the matches fully?

And what do you consider the problem?

What makes the inside forwards 'useless'? What are they doing/not doing that is the problem?

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Nobody is providing any width in the final third, meaning your front 3 will be running into cul-de-sacs and marked out of the game. The two IFs and the poacher will all be moving into the same area, hence you will end up static and narrow up front. Neither FB is getting up to offer any support, meaning you are almost 100% reliant on the central players to hit inch perfect through balls.

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Yes, offensivt means attacking. No, I don't watch the matches fully; only the highlights. I would say the problem is that they easily counter attack me when my team pushes forward, as you mentioned. But I do also have an attacking problem. I create chanches, but few goals. A mix of counter attacks against and ineffectivity often results in losses. I don't know what's wrong with the inside forwards, it just seems like they are not participating somehow in the games, and they don't really do what their instructions tell them to do.

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Nobody is providing any width in the final third, meaning your front 3 will be running into cul-de-sacs and marked out of the game. The two IFs and the poacher will all be moving into the same area, hence you will end up static and narrow up front. Neither FB is getting up to offer any support, meaning you are almost 100% reliant on the central players to hit inch perfect through balls.

Thanks, I get it. Which roles do you think the striker and the three men behind him would suit them best?

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WWFan, will be pretty spot on about the current attacking problems, therefore you need to think about ways of bringing Rodrigo into the game, and making space for him to play in.

A start would be having Sterling as a winger, so that he could stretch the play, providing some width for the the central players.

they don't really do what their instructions tell them to do.

Do you play 'more expressively'?, 'fluidly' and attackingly?

If so, it means your players are pretty much allowed to do what they like, as they will have high 'creative freedom' meaning they won't follow the instructions to the letter. Plus Sterling is right footed so he's unlikely to cut inside frequently.

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WWFan, will be pretty spot on about the current attacking problems, therefore you need to think about ways of bringing Rodrigo into the game, and making space for him to play in.

A start would be having Sterling as a winger, so that he could stretch the play, providing some width for the the central players.

Do you play 'more expressively'?, 'fluidly' and attackingly?

If so, it means your players are pretty much allowed to do what they like, as they will have high 'creative freedom' meaning they won't follow the instructions to the letter. Plus Sterling is right footed so he's unlikely to cut inside frequently.

Let's say Sterling was injured, which he is now btw, would it be wrong to use two IFs?

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wwfan hit the nail on the head above me. I've had great success with the 4231 but right off the bat the roles are poor and that's an easy fix...

1. No BWM in a 4231, the reasons stated above is correct, it will create a meteor of space behind him and the d line

2. You should have 3 areas of space being attacked.

example: LW - IF-s AMC - AP-a RW - W-a and my ST as a CF-s. I also find the 4231 does best with at least one attacking/overlapping FB/WB. The 4231s defensive solidity comes from the box created by the 2 cms and 2 CBs (another reason why BWM is bad).

A lot of good advice in this thread. Try it out and see for yourself.

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Nobody is providing any width in the final third, meaning your front 3 will be running into cul-de-sacs and marked out of the game. The two IFs and the poacher will all be moving into the same area, hence you will end up static and narrow up front. Neither FB is getting up to offer any support, meaning you are almost 100% reliant on the central players to hit inch perfect through balls.

Totally agreed with this. I had about the same set-up first season with Arsenal. Attacking wingers and only support FBs. The result wasn't ideal. The team was so inconsistent that I finished 6th. Below Sp*rs. I was raged so badly.

Second season, I changed a lot in terms of tactics. I played 41221 (with wingers). I changed my wingers to support for two reasons: First is what I quoted above which is they won't be involved in the play most of the time as they are so high up the pitch that they are marked out. Second is they didn't drop deep enough to help out the full backs. The problem is magnified even more when you don't have AT LEAST one offensive fullback/WB.

I also had midfield problems. I really don't like not having defensive midfielder in DM position. It's not that you can't have success with it but concede far too many on the counter. Also not having DM meant there was a big space between midfielders and CBs. If the opposition team has two forwards then it's really hard to contain them especially if they keep getting long balls. Anyways, below is a screen shot of my team and tactics. I am not tactic-guru or anything but with the time I get for FM these days I am happy to at least build a tactic that wins me trophies.

http://i.imgur.com/I8R4HRR.jpg

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Let's say Sterling was injured, which he is now btw, would it be wrong to use to IFs?

Yes, because your basic shape is channelling play and is thus making your attacks easy to defend.

I'd change one FB to WB/A, the winger in front of him to IF/S. On the other flank I'd have FB/S and W/A. I'd then make a decision as to how well my lone forward can help build up play. If he's a really good ball payer, I'd probably move the MCs to DMCs, the AP to TQ, and then the FC to DLF/S or A. If he's mobile and can at least cross reasonably well, then to AF, but keeping the formation as is. If he stays as a poacher, you will need to have somebody else contributing to high, central play, so might consider playing the AMC as an AM/S or A and playing two DLPs behind him (one S and one D).

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Totally agreed with this. I had about the same set-up first season with Arsenal. Attacking wingers and only support FBs. The result wasn't ideal. The team was so inconsistent that I finished 6th. Below Sp*rs. I was raged so badly.

Second season, I changed a lot in terms of tactics. I played 41221 (with wingers). I changed my wingers to support for two reasons: First is what I quoted above which is they won't be involved in the play most of the time as they are so high up the pitch that they are marked out. Second is they didn't drop deep enough to help out the full backs. The problem is magnified even more when you don't have AT LEAST one offensive fullback/WB.

I also had midfield problems. I really don't like not having defensive midfielder in DM position. It's not that you can't have success with it but concede far too many on the counter. Also not having DM meant there was a big space between midfielders and CBs. If the opposition team has two forwards then it's really hard to contain them especially if they keep getting long balls. Anyways, below is a screen shot of my team and tactics. I am not tactic-guru or anything but with the time I get for FM these days I am happy to at least build a tactic that wins me trophies.

http://i.imgur.com/I8R4HRR.jpg

Having two playmakers in midfield do they get in each others space?. Does your Poacher get isolated upfront becuase he is not linking play with the midfield. I am also playing with Arsenal and have tried Giroud in many roles. He seems to fit a Target - Attack role best but I am a bit worried about the isolatio issue. Can give some tactical advice in this area.

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I have often struggled to find the perfect role for Giroud in attack. His PPM's include "plays with back to goal" and "places shots" - its the former that interests me most. If he plays with his back to goal I always feel he is limited to a support duty. Add in my preferred playmaker Cazorla at AMC is a much better dribbler than his teamwork rating, and works better as an AP/A. Then there is the issue on the flanks. While Giroud is often DLF/S with Cazorla at AP/A behind him. Then getting my wide players into positions to be effective has proven challenging. I like quick combination link ups between Giroud and Walcott, Podolski and Cazorla, with Giroud playing wall passes etc, so tend to go for wide players, with the though that Giroud will move into channels to create space, but can also play the aforementioned balls. It has never quite worked though. Still thinking and still attempting.

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I hope the OP doesn't mind me posting this, since it's essentially the same thing with the two wide players pushed back one slot. This 4-4-1-1 formation worked great for me all the way through lower leagues but since I got Fulham job in the prem I'm struggling real bad. How would you guys go about setting up this front 4:

ST

i2dDMlzl.png

AMC

PZitHspl.png

ML

OtPiBPOl.png

MR

ZQ96eNll.png

My main tactic used to be balanced philosophy, control strategy, shorter passing and a few tweaks to player instructions here and there. Trying to play like that in the prem has so far been a disaster and I was forced to tinker with different formations and team instructions. Pushing the wingers into AML/AMR positions has only resulted in my flanks being exposed so I'm back to 4-4-1-1 again. My striker used to be on AF role but he would often just pick up the ball, run at the defence and shoot miles wide. Now I'm experimenting with the CF role and things are getting better, he's not that isolated anymore but I'm curios to hear other opinions, especially about the AMC. If I give him attacking duty and my striker is on CF-support, they just run into each other. Both my wingers are fast, creative and decent passers. ML is right footed only and has 'cuts inside' PPM. Would putting either of them on support duty be a good idea? Seems kinda counterintuitive?

The main issue seems to be that I'm not scoring enough goals. I shouldn't be winning the league with this team but I should be definitely doing better than 15th position with a negative goal difference after 24 games. I don't concede too much but I'm really struggling creating chances and scoring. Here's a screenshot of the formation but like I said, it's just where I am at the moment and unsure what to try next.

dttVCtCl.png

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I think 4-4-1-1 is something people should use more particularly since it can be just as good attacking wise and is defensively more solid. People need to see how that line up looks more like how they want their team to defend imo rather than how they attack

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I always preferred the inside forwards in the 4-2-3-1, and being arsenal, of my main wide players (podolski, walcott, gervinho & chamberlain) - only chamberlain is accomplished or natural in a midfield wide slot as opposed to attacking midfield, its always limited my options a bit.

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Yes, because your basic shape is channelling play and is thus making your attacks easy to defend.

I'd change one FB to WB/A, the winger in front of him to IF/S. On the other flank I'd have FB/S and W/A. I'd then make a decision as to how well my lone forward can help build up play. If he's a really good ball payer, I'd probably move the MCs to DMCs, the AP to TQ, and then the FC to DLF/S or A. If he's mobile and can at least cross reasonably well, then to AF, but keeping the formation as is. If he stays as a poacher, you will need to have somebody else contributing to high, central play, so might consider playing the AMC as an AM/S or A and playing two DLPs behind him (one S and one D).

WWfan would would you still move the MC to DMC and the AMC to a Treqaurtista when playing a Advance Forward

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The problem also exists, that one formation will not cure all i'lls. I recently played Sunderland and found this out for the one hundreth time. They played very very very wide with two what I would call target men types in Graham and Fletcher. So, logically i pushed up right and hassled their back four to cut off the long supply. Played 4231 got hammered 3-1 I mean hammered because it should have been 8-1 to Sunderland. How could I have won? I would have had to put my two wingbacks on fullback defend, played narrow and overloaded the middle with roles that cause forward runs. I didn't. Why? It was completely alien to what I would consider my usual set up that was logically and well thought out.

My main gripe is you have to be REACTIVE to the opposition. They never have to be to you. Big team away? You always have to worry about them, and they ALWAYS ALWAYS play overload strategy, its not realistic, its a snore, and you cant push them back with short passing and clever play, they always play like they are on steroids totally dominating you winning ridiculous tackles everywhere, but when you go overload to emulate them you concede a lead almost immediately its infuriating.

There needs to be a more intelligent style for big teams in the next iteration. Not just overload. A chess battle, can't the AI play a bit more cunning? We are asked to. I've said it in feedback already but there needs to be a serious penalty going from attack to defence mid game.

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I'm having problems too with this formation, but unlike the OP the player role I use is much better yet I'm still struggling heavily with this formation.

I use one attacking FB and one support, DLP support and CM defend, AP attack , IF attack and winger support, and Adv forward upfront, yet I still can't create many chances and get countered a lot. There seems a lot of space in front of my CBs although I've used Control which have high d-line. The CM role is fine (DLP and CM defend) but I still don't get it why there's a lot of space there. I also struggle to get my AMC to get key passes although the opp doesn't use a DMC no matter what role I give him (treq, AP support or attack, AMC etc).

Typically when I play at home I will have 60% possession but struggle to get shot, the players just keep passing the ball without the urgency to shot, then the ball will get robbed and we get countered which results in CCC for the opp, so although their possession is low they managed to get lots of chances. I'm really sick of this and keep tearing my hairs out because I don't know what I'm doing wrong, so somebody please help before I crushed my laptop!!!

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Use AP (support if you are using advanced forward). Support playmakers dont break beyond the space between the midfield and forwards. Your midfield duo are sitting so they need somebody ahead of them i.e a support role not an attacking one. (unless you play a more direct pass from them, but then you need height and strength in the forward line.). To avoid getting countered too easily OI close down always the keeper and the whole back four and the least composure central midfielder. You dont want any clever balls over the top unless there is pressure on them with this high line. Composure is also a key ingredient with a high line especially the back 4, and bravery/anticipation in the front four. This formation is really bad against wide 442's in my opinion, if your against this put your fullbacks on defend and play through the middle with roles that give forward runs alot or support and play narrower. Against super strong AI forget it they play overload and you have to play caveman tactics. Good luck.

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I'm having problems too with this formation, but unlike the OP the player role I use is much better yet I'm still struggling heavily with this formation.

I use one attacking FB and one support, DLP support and CM defend, AP attack , IF attack and winger support, and Adv forward upfront, yet I still can't create many chances and get countered a lot. There seems a lot of space in front of my CBs although I've used Control which have high d-line. The CM role is fine (DLP and CM defend) but I still don't get it why there's a lot of space there. I also struggle to get my AMC to get key passes although the opp doesn't use a DMC no matter what role I give him (treq, AP support or attack, AMC etc).

Typically when I play at home I will have 60% possession but struggle to get shot, the players just keep passing the ball without the urgency to shot, then the ball will get robbed and we get countered which results in CCC for the opp, so although their possession is low they managed to get lots of chances. I'm really sick of this and keep tearing my hairs out because I don't know what I'm doing wrong, so somebody please help before I crushed my laptop!!!

I can't remember the last time I started match with Control. I always start with Standard at the very most. Occasionally counter. The only ever time I use Control, if ever, is when I know I'll murder the opposition. When you play with Control strategy, the mentality of your team increases. In my opinion, mentality in simple word means how offensive your player would be on scale of lets say 1-to-10. 10 being the highest. So a central midfielder whose team has strategy of Control willn't be on the same scale level as a central midfielder whose team strategy are Standard. Even though they have the same duty, defend. You can see for yourself by changing team strategy and observe the change in mentality for your CM. It's the same case for DLP. That might be one reason why there's large gap between your defenders and the midfielders. The sad news though, from personal observation,the gap will always be there. It's just how much can you decrease. I didn't like the gap between the midfielders and my defence that's why I moved one of them to DM position (Anchorman). I then dropped my AMC to MC and gave him advanced play-maker. Eventually, the formation became 4-1-2-2-1. Having anchorman really helped against counter attacks.

If the sole reason you are using Control is to increase the defence line then just use "Push higher up" shout in every match.

As for your AMC not making key passes, I really don't know. Which player is it? By the way which team are you playing as?

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Can't help noticing you've got the 'target man' box ticket with no target man. Is there a reason for this?

No scientific reason, I never use targetmen at all, and thus I'm not sure how the TC assigns them. So I manually tick "none" as then I'm certain a targetman is never selected.

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No scientific reason, I never use targetmen at all, and thus I'm not sure how the TC assigns them. So I manually tick "none" as then I'm certain a targetman is never selected.

Ah, I see. Well take care when you sign the Plymouth journeyman, Craig NOONE ;)

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Do Defensive wingers work effectively in a 4-2-3-1? I'm just trying to get a formation to work that can pin back the opposing full backs, as with my default formation my full backs get over run.
I if I recall it right rashidi was doing well with defensive wingers

should be somewhere on the first page of this thread

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