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Rob4590

West Ham - I'm going round in circles tactically!

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Hi All - looking for some advice with my West Ham tactic.

Background: Started with 4-2-3-1 (2 MCs), playing direct and wide with 2 wingers crossing a lot to my target man (bought Crouch to cover for Carroll while he was out for the normal 6+ months).

Good start to the season - top after 5 games, then started to tinker with the tactic as the football being played was awful to watch - very disjointed etc - a bit like us in real life!)

Tried various bits and pieces after reading different threads on here - a 4-2-4-0 which played better football and was quite good against lesser teams but useless v the better ones!

The a very direct 4-4-2 after reading another thread on here, then went to a 4-2DM-3-1 which got me a few good results - but usually by set piece or counter attacks while letting the opposition have 30+ shots from long range.

I then (perhaps unrealistically given our players) decided to try and get them playing 'better / prettier' football and have now changed to a 4-1-2-2-1 formation which does indeed produce some nice interplay......but it is really lacking end product.

Ended up tinkering so much that I actually played Crouch and Carroll as TQ's in one game - that's when you know you have got yourself into a bit of a mess tactically.

So looking for some advice re roles / duties for the team please?

Current set up:

GK - Henderson - GK(D)

DR - Reveillere - usually FB(S) with Cross from deep added

DL - Rat - usually FB(A), again with Cross from deep

DC - Reid / Collins / Tomkins - both DC(D) with tight marking

DMC - Annan - usually DM(D)

MCR - Diame - B2B(S)

MCL - Noble - AP(A) or CM(A)

AMR - Jarvis - W(A)

AML - can't decide who I like playing here - sometimes Downing, somtimes Cole - Downing would be W(S), Cole IF(S)

FC - Crouch / Carroll - usually as TM(S)

Trying to play Attacking (home), Counter (Away or hard homes), Fluid

Hassle More, Play out of Defence, Hard Tackling, Higher D-Line (and a couple of others that I can't remember as I'm not on FM at the moment)

Issues:

Wide players - they get very isolated and don't seem to have too many passing options - need to get the MCs to give them better options

Striker - can't get him a) involved in play and b) to score. Tried them as both (S) and (A), tried as F9, AF etc - but nothing seems to quite work

MC's - I can't get Diame playing well - not sure if B2B is the right role? Noble - I had him playing superbly the first 6 games of the year in the 4-2-3-1 as a DLP(S) - but can't figure out how to get him doing that again as the (A) part of the midfield. Looking to then maybe move him to being a DLP(S) again - but what do I then put Diame as?

Also - do I have the MCs on the correct sides (is that why the wide men haven't got teh correct passing options)

Team instructions - what would be best?

Individual instructions - any suggestions?

All help gratefully received - and if anyone needs more info, let me know

Thanks

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What kind of football are you trying to achieve though? It's all a bit of a hit and hope approach it seems to me. Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve?

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Background: Started with 4-2-3-1 (2 MCs), playing direct and wide with 2 wingers crossing a lot to my target man (bought Crouch to cover for Carroll while he was out for the normal 6+ months).

Good start to the season - top after 5 games, then started to tinker with the tactic as the football being played was awful to watch - very disjointed etc - a bit like us in real life!)

I can understand you tinkering to see prettier football but did you actually have the kind of players to pull off a different style?

Tried various bits and pieces after reading different threads on here - a 4-2-4-0 which played better football and was quite good against lesser teams but useless v the better ones!

The a very direct 4-4-2 after reading another thread on here, then went to a 4-2DM-3-1 which got me a few good results - but usually by set piece or counter attacks while letting the opposition have 30+ shots from long range.

I then (perhaps unrealistically given our players) decided to try and get them playing 'better / prettier' football and have now changed to a 4-1-2-2-1 formation which does indeed produce some nice interplay......but it is really lacking end product.

Ended up tinkering so much that I actually played Crouch and Carroll as TQ's in one game - that's when you know you have got yourself into a bit of a mess tactically.

I don't understand why you didn't go back to what you used at the start of the season that saw you go top of the league? You should have stayed with this and developed it over time to be more pleasing on the eye after you achieved a stable position and had the money to strengthen the key areas.

I think the best bit of advice I can you is;

1. Pick a system you'd like to use long term and then have a look at the squad and see if you have the players to play this way now.

2. If you don't have the players to play how you want now look to see if you are able to play the shape you'd like.

3. Once you have the above 2 answers you can start building towards that. What I mean by this is you can start giving players PPM's you'll need, signing the kind of players you will need to play with what you have in mind long term. So basically squad building with the end product in mind.

You need some kind of plan, currently you seem a bit lost. Strip it all back if needs be and do something simple until you feel settled again. Winning is more important than the type of football you play to begin with, that can be something you build towards.

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What kind of football are you trying to achieve though? It's all a bit of a hit and hope approach it seems to me. Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve?

What I would like to do (long term) is to play short passing out from the back to the MC playmaker who then either plays a through ball to the striker or spreads it out wide to the wingers / inside forwards who can create something from there. I guess Barcelona football is perhaps unrealistic as West Ham though!

I can understand you tinkering to see prettier football but did you actually have the kind of players to pull off a different style?

I don't understand why you didn't go back to what you used at the start of the season that saw you go top of the league? You should have stayed with this and developed it over time to be more pleasing on the eye after you achieved a stable position and had the money to strengthen the key areas.

I think the best bit of advice I can you is;

1. Pick a system you'd like to use long term and then have a look at the squad and see if you have the players to play this way now.

2. If you don't have the players to play how you want now look to see if you are able to play the shape you'd like.

3. Once you have the above 2 answers you can start building towards that. What I mean by this is you can start giving players PPM's you'll need, signing the kind of players you will need to play with what you have in mind long term. So basically squad building with the end product in mind.

You need some kind of plan, currently you seem a bit lost. Strip it all back if needs be and do something simple until you feel settled again. Winning is more important than the type of football you play to begin with, that can be something you build towards.

No I guess I don't have the players to play the style I want to! Deep down I knew that initially and the formation / style I played early on was exactly based on that fact. Looking back, I think I started to overestimate my team's ability BECAUSE I had the good initial results.

I do want to play either 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-2-1 long term.

Player wise - I know for the way I want them to play that I definitely need different type of strikers (van Persie type rather than Carroll!). I also need someone better for at least one of the wings (Jarvis is playing pretty decently for me) but Downing / Cole are awful. Central midfield - Noble is good, Annan does the DM job well, I've got Manuel Fernandez coming in as another playmker type at the end of the season.

As I said - Diame is a mystery to me at the moment - so really would appreciate some idea how to play him (as the game tells me he is my best player!)

Defensively - need new full backs long term as well as a better keeper (although all three are decent for now). Could also do with a quick DC to play alongside Tomkins (who is imo my best current DC)

I guess perhaps what I am more confused is what mentality and team instructions to play.

So perhaps my questions should have been more specific on that -

1) Looking to play (initially) a fairly 'British' game - direct, down the wings, crossing in to the target man to head in - what settings would work well for that? I think I had originally gone for more direct passing, higher tempo, pass into space, exploit the wings, hassle more, hard tackling, higher d-line along with playing fluid/counter mostly or fluid/attacking for easy games. Or am I totally off track?

2) Looking to the future - shorter passing, pass to feet, play wider, deeper d-line, slower tempo, playing fluid/control (home) or fluid/standard (Away)

3) How to set up Diame?

Finally re PPMs - did you ever produce a guide to 'useful PPM's' for each position?

Thanks for the help

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