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Pairs & Combinations FM2015 - UPDATED

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Thanks alot for your insight, llama, i wanted to ask your opinion on this tactic :

z17p.png

I have enjoyed a good ammount of succes on my Spurs save, but i think i could have done alot better as until the year you see in the print screen i have won the EPL title only 5 times, the UCL 2 times, and the FA and League cup 3 and 4 times respectively ...

Until now i used a 4-2-3-1 tactic which worked well, but since my youth products (my 2 starting strikers + 2 more who are progressing well and will be first team starters in the future) developed very well, i'm now forced to play with 2 strikers ... I think they are both suited to form a great partnership, i'm just asking for your insight of what roles suits them better :

bd2f.png

5kl6.png

And here are my 2 midfielders :

w2ir.png

9ehy.png

Thanks in advance, and i hope to read your opinions on my tactic :)

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Georgik: O'Leary does not possess the technical genius for a trequartista, he is quite mobile and should lead the line well, good all-round play too - Advanced Forward.

James has great physicality, great teamwork, not creative though, maybe a target man support - need proper wingers this way too.

Carrara is probably better as an Advanced Playmaker due to his superb movement. Considering he is a technical player his passing and dribbling are poor, and his tackling should be improved if you want him as a Deep lying Playmaker instead - for a top top player, he is remarkably deficient in his most important attribute for his best role - Passing.

Bonnassiole is a superb Deep Lying Playmaker or Regista - be careful you have enough defensive cover though if you choose a Regista.

Bar33: what precisely is going wrong? Have you thought about making Suarez a support duty, with maybe the AML or AMC as an Attack duty to create better movement. Suarez will only be losing the ball if he is in situations he cannot succeed in - aerial encounters, outnumbered, recieving the ball in bad areas - As for your defensive issues, sitting deeper will prevent balls getting in behind, makes it easier to counter too, which can open up room for Suarez. Suarez always strikes me as a Complete Forward, I would play him as such. Support or Attack, depending on where you want him involved. If you want him to be involved in build up play, then Support. Attack if you want him to lead the line and stretch play.

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llama3, could I ask for your opinion on this tactic?

Tactic:

http://gyazo.com/6e749250bd28928739fe6db755a3af20

Squad:

http://gyazo.com/d708d4c5493e0c07206fe40d8132f8a1

(The 4 players cut off of the picture are Holtby, Defoe, Adebayor and Soldado.

Sorry for having to link the tactic, for some reason it won't let me upload screenshots. Anyway, I created this after reading your excellent advice and came up with this. I plugged it for a Europa qualifier against a weak team and won easily 3-0. Then came Man City away, with the tactic still no where near fluid, which ended 0-0, which was pleasing. Then the second leg of the Europa qualifier, again 3-0. Then Fulham at home, which ended 1-1, although I dominated the game.

Fulham game:

http://gyazo.com/33dfff075e2e10d03f0bd6014100d5ca

Man City game:

http://gyazo.com/fcaeaf60851a0d3c96efa3268b14dd9f

I'm fairly happy with the tactic, and I do bear in mind that it is no where near fluid. I was wondering if you had any glaring improvements that you could suggest? Perhaps a tweak to create more chances, as I've only created 2 CCCs in 2 games. Or should I leave it as it is until it's fluid and then judge it? Any advice/help is welcome. Well done again for the great thread!

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Quick question.

Has anyone had any success using a DLF/A with an AP behind them?

I usually use a traditional number 9 but at the moment i am stuck with Kanoute who is most suited to a DLF and an AM who is an ideal playmaker. I've been experimenting with this with little success, obviously playmaker's don't get forward often and so the Kanoute has to rely on runs from the wings most of the time.

Which brings me round to another question. Llama, you've used Giroud as an advanced forward. Does his lack of pace or dribbling ever course a problem for you in this circumstance? As you use pass into space do you ever find through balls being wasted trying to find Giroud as opposed to someone like Walcott?

Kanoute has brilliant Mentals and good first touch and finishing but his physicals leave a lot to be desired. I'm hoping if i play him as an advanced forward his brilliant off the ball movement will allow him to have some success despite being horribly slow, has this been the case for Giroud?

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Quick question.

Has anyone had any success using a DLF/A with an AP behind them?

I usually use a traditional number 9 but at the moment i am stuck with Kanoute who is most suited to a DLF and an AM who is an ideal playmaker. I've been experimenting with this with little success, obviously playmaker's don't get forward often and so the Kanoute has to rely on runs from the wings most of the time.

Hey Techstep, with regards to the first part of your post, I've found some success with this. I'm actually playing a DLF/A with an AP/S at AML and an IF/A at AMR. It's working quite well for me with Spurs. One thing I have noticed is that my striker isn't my top goalscorer. My AMR, AML and my CM/A all chip in with quite a few goals, as do my full backs. From what I've seen from my season so far (Unbeaten in October), you can indeed have success with what you're asking. However in my opinion, and I'm by no means an expert, you need another source of goals in your team apart from your DLF to provide goals. That's what I've found anyway. Hope this helps a bit.

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Jackappleby: Only major issue of note is that Lamela comes inside off the right flank, but Walker is playing a conservative FB duty. Walker likes getting forward anyway, so make sure he gets forward more. If the DLF does not play as well you can switch to an Advanced Forward who can stay high and drift across the line.

techstep: It can work, no problem. You are spot on about how Giroud plays the role, he is intelligent with good movement.

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Thanks guys.

I would have another source of goals via an inside forward too. Though unlike you Jack my advanced playmaker would be in the AM position, which makes me concerned that they will perhaps try to occupy the same space and get in each others way?

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I have used DLF(A) & AP(S) before, they worked fine, but as long as their are other outlets to goal it shouldn't be a problem.

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Nice to read your thread, Thank you first.

I play Real Madrid C.F. which is my favorite team.

Following your direction, I made a set-up. During building my set-up, I had a trouble because of the your mention 'You cannot afford to have both AMC and ST on attack duty'.

I like Isco who suits for Trequartista very well. However, in my ST position, I have Benzema, Morata, Jese who suit for attack duty. Of course, Benzema can do support duty, but I want him to do DLF attack.

---------------------DLF(A)--------------------

IF(S)----------Trequartista(A)-------------IF(A)

------------DLP(D)------BTB(s)-----------------

WB(A)------CB(D)-------CB(D)------------WB(S)

--------------------GK(D)----------------------

This is my formation.

Control, roam from position, Allow to change sides, more expressive

Counter, the same as control, and push high-up, Offside trap.

p.s. Real has poor aggression(9th in La Liga), but I want to use 'Hassle opponent'. Is it possible to use???

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A Trequartista does not behave like most "attack" duties. The balance of your team is pretty good, so i wouldn't worry as long as it works in practice.

You seem to completely misunderstand what a Counter Strategy is for - you do not push up and play an offside trap with it, the point is to sit deep and organised and spring out rapidly. Change your instructions or strategy - depending on what you actually want to do.

As long as your have a good level of work rate etc you can get away for that aggression. 9th is average for the league, but adapt if you face teams that press more aggressively than you.

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llama3, can you suggest me what roles I should use?

I'm playing with 3-5-2/3-4-3

------------- NS --------- NS -------------

------------------- NS --------------------

WM(s) ---- DLP(s) ----- BWM(d) ---- WM(a)

3 CB's (defend duties), 2 WBs (both on attacks), 2 CMs (BWMd - DLPs), AM (not sure), 2 STs (not sure).

I'm playing with Inter Milan, using control and balance. I want all my players create space to their teammates while we're in possession, so they can stop illogical long shots.

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Nice read. A lot of it is Football Manager catching up with football, but there are some bits and pieces there that were good to know about how it translates into the match engine. Like it being good to partner a ball playing defender with a central defender, so that simple possession is maintained - in one of my teams my quite technical centre backs were under pressure a bit, and I now think this was part of it. They're both up to making a killer pass out of defence, but one at a time might be a bit safer :)

I wanted to ask about playing a midfield three in front of a back three. The team I've got at the moment is actually remarkably similar to the real life Juventus first XI, I basically need either a more well rounded wing back on one side or wide midfielder on the other to do a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2. I've got a ball playing defender at the back, and a deep lying playmaker in the DM position, with a couple of all-action CMs in front. Your advice for a three man midfield is written for a standard back four, but how much also applies to a three? With a four I'd either have the dlp defend with one CM attack and one support in whatever roles suited, or the dlp support with a defending CM, depending where I saw threats and opportunities. Do I still need a player providing dedicated midfield defensive cover, or is the supporting dlp in front of the three enough (he's a little less magic and considerably more solid than Pirlo). And what about the two CMs? Juventus in RL probably have two bbm, would that work alongside a dlp or would you suggest something else? I'm much more used to a 2CM 1AM midfield with back threes, so I'm a little uncertain how to make sure I'm screening my defence while still linking up to my two strikers. No AMs, and I'm happy enough with my squad not to look for one to change to a 3-4-1-2.

Would the answer depend on whether I have wing backs in the D(RL) positions or wide midfielders in the M(RL), for that matter? That is one area I'll be strengthening in the transfer market.

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llama3, can you suggest me what roles I should use?

I'm playing with 3-5-2/3-4-3

------------- NS --------- NS -------------

------------------- NS --------------------

WM(s) ---- DLP(s) ----- BWM(d) ---- WM(a)

3 CB's (defend duties), 2 WBs (both on attacks), 2 CMs (BWMd - DLPs), AM (not sure), 2 STs (not sure).

I'm playing with Inter Milan, using control and balance. I want all my players create space to their teammates while we're in possession, so they can stop illogical long shots.

Well the roles need to suit the players too, but, based on your system alone - in a lone wide man formation, some additional movement is required wide, as the wing back's cannot do everything. So either your AM needs to move wide to link up and find space, or a forward needs to. Does not matter which, as long as they do it.

There is a stable base in midfield there, although not much movement, and with 3 central defenders you could have a slightly more productive role in the central midfield pair if you want to. Admittedly there should be excellent defensive cover for the wide men getting forward with your central defenders and holding mids. Perhaps a game by game change to role in central midfield could provide some more dynamism, maybe swapping the duties over between DLP & BWM.

Anyway, the reason I am prattling on about your MC's is that they affect your AM & ST's, so changes to MC affect in front of it. If perhaps you have a deeper attacking threat, such as a BBM, perhaps the Trequartista might be useful, by pulling wider, giving the BBM space to exploit. If you have the more conservative pair there, then maybe an AP or EN might be more useful to provide the essential link that won't come from movement centrally. There is the final option at AMC of having a SS there, but he won't play much link play, he will attack the box, and there are already 2 forward's, so unless both forwards are going to drop deep or pull wide then that is not a great idea.

So, on the assumption of no SS, then, simply whatever striker roles suit your style. A simple DLF(S) & AF(A) pairing is excellent and versatile, and with a Trequartista drifting out of that central position, the DLF(S) can drop into it and provide that link - that way you always have an outlet, and always have movement. However you may be a fairly direct team, so a TM & Poacher may work better instead.

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Nice read. A lot of it is Football Manager catching up with football, but there are some bits and pieces there that were good to know about how it translates into the match engine. Like it being good to partner a ball playing defender with a central defender, so that simple possession is maintained - in one of my teams my quite technical centre backs were under pressure a bit, and I now think this was part of it. They're both up to making a killer pass out of defence, but one at a time might be a bit safer :)

I wanted to ask about playing a midfield three in front of a back three. The team I've got at the moment is actually remarkably similar to the real life Juventus first XI, I basically need either a more well rounded wing back on one side or wide midfielder on the other to do a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2. I've got a ball playing defender at the back, and a deep lying playmaker in the DM position, with a couple of all-action CMs in front. Your advice for a three man midfield is written for a standard back four, but how much also applies to a three? With a four I'd either have the dlp defend with one CM attack and one support in whatever roles suited, or the dlp support with a defending CM, depending where I saw threats and opportunities. Do I still need a player providing dedicated midfield defensive cover, or is the supporting dlp in front of the three enough (he's a little less magic and considerably more solid than Pirlo). And what about the two CMs? Juventus in RL probably have two bbm, would that work alongside a dlp or would you suggest something else? I'm much more used to a 2CM 1AM midfield with back threes, so I'm a little uncertain how to make sure I'm screening my defence while still linking up to my two strikers. No AMs, and I'm happy enough with my squad not to look for one to change to a 3-4-1-2.

Would the answer depend on whether I have wing backs in the D(RL) positions or wide midfielders in the M(RL), for that matter? That is one area I'll be strengthening in the transfer market.

The main issue i can think of with a 3-man defence & 3-man midfield is the level of cover between your DC's and MC's. If there is a large gap between them, and no play from midfield drops in to cover OR no player from defence steps up into the space, then you offer lots of room for the opposition to play in - in which case I hope you have an excellent offside trap. Perhaps you can cover the space by getting your central DC to play as a Stopper to help cut down the space, still leaving 2 central defenders in a good place, holding an offside line - a "false" DM if you like. The 3-man defence generally covers the flanks well enough if the WB/WM's get forward.

You probably need a player who at the very least is deep/conservatively positioned enough to offer an outlet for your defence. A DLP or Regista could offer that. (If you play a player in DM zone, then do not play a stopper at DC, they will occupy similar space.) You certainly won't find 2 defensive central mids essential. Perhaps your DLP could be the defensive player, offering the nominal cover and out-ball, whilst still allowing another 2 central midfielders to provide the running that the DLP does not. I certainly would not be inclined to play 2 BBM's myself, I would mix and match duties a bit more.

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Having real issues getting the front four to perform. They are:

Adam Lallana: AP(S)

Rickie Lambert: AM(S)

Keisuke Honda: T(A)

Dani Osvaldo: AF(A)

Cork DLP(S) and Wanyama BWM(D) are my sitting two and both have +7 average ratings. Width is provided by Clyne and Shaw, both CWB(A) as they are my only wide men.

I am playing a balanced philosophy with the control strategy. Instructions are: shorter passing; pass into space; play wider; drop deeper; stick to position; lower tempo. Goalkeeper also distributes to defenders.

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Major lack of forward runs in there. The AM(S), AP(S) & T(A) will all sit in the AM strata, no forward runs. Your forward Osvaldo could pull wide and let someone get forward more in support.

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Major lack of forward runs in there. The AM(S), AP(S) & T(A) will all sit in the AM strata, no forward runs. Your forward Osvaldo could pull wide and let someone get forward more in support.

Would it perhaps be more beneficial to switch Osvaldo to a CF(S) and have Lambert AM(A) and Lallana AP(A)

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llama3 I have tried to use tips for setting a simple 442 wing play - counter for a English lower league club, but I'm struggling heavily. You mentioned that MCs in 442 have to provide defensive cover first and all the rest after that, but even when I set CM-D BBM-S, I often get overrun in midfield (even against 442). I also try to keep things simple and just use a few shouts like exploit the flanks, clear ball to flanks, etc with counter strategy, but my wide players never do anything. What roles do you recommend for them in 442? I guess its better to be wide midfielder than winger since WM defends better... Strike force is standard AF-A DLF-S (TM-S sometimes).

Any advice will be much appreciated.

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The main issue i can think of with a 3-man defence & 3-man midfield is the level of cover between your DC's and MC's. If there is a large gap between them, and no play from midfield drops in to cover OR no player from defence steps up into the space, then you offer lots of room for the opposition to play in - in which case I hope you have an excellent offside trap. Perhaps you can cover the space by getting your central DC to play as a Stopper to help cut down the space, still leaving 2 central defenders in a good place, holding an offside line - a "false" DM if you like. The 3-man defence generally covers the flanks well enough if the WB/WM's get forward.

You probably need a player who at the very least is deep/conservatively positioned enough to offer an outlet for your defence. A DLP or Regista could offer that. (If you play a player in DM zone, then do not play a stopper at DC, they will occupy similar space.) You certainly won't find 2 defensive central mids essential. Perhaps your DLP could be the defensive player, offering the nominal cover and out-ball, whilst still allowing another 2 central midfielders to provide the running that the DLP does not. I certainly would not be inclined to play 2 BBM's myself, I would mix and match duties a bit more.

So something like

______AF__TM______

WM__BBM__CMA__WM

_______DLPS________

____CD__CD__CD____

?

Against lower teams I expect to be able to liberate the DLP even more as a regista, but I always planned to have him there because I know from using 3-4-3s that the gap is an issue. I can also field the TM as a DLF, but I'd rather push up a higher line with my CMs/WMs getting forward, and let my two strikers stay up high. That's another thing I can tweak based on opposition, depending on whether I'm getting good crosses in or need a player dropping back to help the middle.

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Would it perhaps be more beneficial to switch Osvaldo to a CF(S) and have Lambert AM(A) and Lallana AP(A)

Potentially, although then you have all 3 AMC's as attack duties, so you run the risk of isolating them from your DM/MC pair. If it works great, if not, that is probably the main issue.

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llama3 I have tried to use tips for setting a simple 442 wing play - counter for a English lower league club, but I'm struggling heavily. You mentioned that MCs in 442 have to provide defensive cover first and all the rest after that, but even when I set CM-D BBM-S, I often get overrun in midfield (even against 442). I also try to keep things simple and just use a few shouts like exploit the flanks, clear ball to flanks, etc with counter strategy, but my wide players never do anything. What roles do you recommend for them in 442? I guess its better to be wide midfielder than winger since WM defends better... Strike force is standard AF-A DLF-S (TM-S sometimes).

Any advice will be much appreciated.

What are your entire instructions. Wide Midfielders will help get into narrower, defensive positions more, but a Winger may be a better counter-attacking option. Anyway, let's see what you are selecting first, and then I'll have some more advice for you.

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So something like

______AF__TM______

WM__BBM__CMA__WM

_______DLPS________

____CD__CD__CD____

?

Against lower teams I expect to be able to liberate the DLP even more as a regista, but I always planned to have him there because I know from using 3-4-3s that the gap is an issue. I can also field the TM as a DLF, but I'd rather push up a higher line with my CMs/WMs getting forward, and let my two strikers stay up high. That's another thing I can tweak based on opposition, depending on whether I'm getting good crosses in or need a player dropping back to help the middle.

Sounds like a solid plan. Hope it works.

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Hi this is a real good read. I have a question though. I'm playing a kind of 5-3-2 of sorts. And what I'm trying to create. Is a forward 3 with 2 strikers and an enganche behind them. My aim is to have one striker drop deep bring a CB with him to allow the space for the other striker to make the run in behind fed by either the other striker or the enganche. Simple enough so far. However, I don't want the same striker to be dropping deep everytime I want them to pick and choose as it were. Is there any roles for the 2 CF's which would allow me to create this sort of movement? If that makes sense?

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I've put this formation together as an experiment after using a half back for a while in a 4141. I wanted to create something with a half back to cover wing backs bombing on. It evolved into this. Untested at the minute as I don't have the required players.

---------------Adv Forward - Attack-------Target Man - Support

---------------------------------Trequartista - Attack

-----------Adv Playmaker - Attack----------Centre Midfielder - Defend

Wingback – Support--------Halfback - Defend--------------Wingback – Attack

---------------------DC – Defend-------------------DC – Defend

------------------------------Sweeper Keeper – Support

Control with Ridgid/Balance.

Idea is that Defenders look to play offside trap no no covering defender. Half back drops into defence to cover wing back running forward. Advanced play-maker on opposite side to WB-attack, use instructions for him to move out wide to offer width to the left. Trequartista also moves along the AM band to offer width. Target man on opposite side to adv play-maker to avoid using same space. Adv forward to be quick, looks to run onto through balls from adv play-maker and treq and flick ons from TM.

In theory anyway.

Thoughts?

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Your system looks pretty sound to me. You are having a nice balance of direct play on the left (WB-S + AP-A + AF-A) and more intricated on the right with a WB-A + CM-D + TM-S.

Actually, depending on the player you have, you could use a DLP-D instead of a CM-D to dictate play from deep, a DLP-S could work as well here. I'd avoid an AP-A or CM-S or B2B-S since the HB-D will drop pretty deep and you want to use your strength in midfield. You coul put more creativity if need here in my opinion.

Your attack seems balanced as well, AF-A going high and wide while TM-S staying central and more deep. Treq-A should do ok since he is ask to work space more than a static Enganche-A. Treq-A will connect with your midfield and form your central diamond. On comment though on the mobility of TM-S, since you are playing a narrow formation, it may be advisable to stretch the play with your 2 forward to make room for the Treq in the centre. A DLF-S + roaming or CF-S would do this.

Well, you could have some variation but the base logic looks good to me :)

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Have really enjoyed reading this series and would appreciate views/advice on extent to which a players best foot should be taken into account when deciding how to set up your midfield trio. I am currently using a Counter/Balanced approach with the following midfield trio:

AP(A) DLP(S)

DM(D)

Ideally you would want two footed players, but as the players at my disposal do not I have to make a choice on which side to play my most suitable DLP who is right footed. I set up as shown with DLP on RHS of the midfield two on the basis that if he closes down to tackle, he is most likely going to be tacking using his right foot. Presumably , for balance, it would be good for AP to have good left foot? Advice/views appreciated.

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Hi this is a real good read. I have a question though. I'm playing a kind of 5-3-2 of sorts. And what I'm trying to create. Is a forward 3 with 2 strikers and an enganche behind them. My aim is to have one striker drop deep bring a CB with him to allow the space for the other striker to make the run in behind fed by either the other striker or the enganche. Simple enough so far. However, I don't want the same striker to be dropping deep everytime I want them to pick and choose as it were. Is there any roles for the 2 CF's which would allow me to create this sort of movement? If that makes sense?

Maybe a mix of Complete Forward's or Deep Lying Forward's can do this?

I've put this formation together as an experiment after using a half back for a while in a 4141. I wanted to create something with a half back to cover wing backs bombing on. It evolved into this. Untested at the minute as I don't have the required players.

---------------Adv Forward - Attack-------Target Man - Support

---------------------------------Trequartista - Attack

-----------Adv Playmaker - Attack----------Centre Midfielder - Defend

Wingback – Support--------Halfback - Defend--------------Wingback – Attack

---------------------DC – Defend-------------------DC – Defend

------------------------------Sweeper Keeper – Support

Control with Ridgid/Balance.

Idea is that Defenders look to play offside trap no no covering defender. Half back drops into defence to cover wing back running forward. Advanced play-maker on opposite side to WB-attack, use instructions for him to move out wide to offer width to the left. Trequartista also moves along the AM band to offer width. Target man on opposite side to adv play-maker to avoid using same space. Adv forward to be quick, looks to run onto through balls from adv play-maker and treq and flick ons from TM.

In theory anyway.

Thoughts?

Looks an eclectic mix, not sure what to make of it really. Seems a mix of different concepts - best advice, try it and see!

Have really enjoyed reading this series and would appreciate views/advice on extent to which a players best foot should be taken into account when deciding how to set up your midfield trio. I am currently using a Counter/Balanced approach with the following midfield trio:

AP(A) DLP(S)

DM(D)

Ideally you would want two footed players, but as the players at my disposal do not I have to make a choice on which side to play my most suitable DLP who is right footed. I set up as shown with DLP on RHS of the midfield two on the basis that if he closes down to tackle, he is most likely going to be tacking using his right foot. Presumably , for balance, it would be good for AP to have good left foot? Advice/views appreciated.

I choose players on whichever side based first of all on where I need the duty in relation to their responsibilities - i.e. if i have a marauding full back on the left, then my left sided central midfielder must be my most defensive, regardless of which foot he likes most. If I have choice still after this - then yes prefer correct foot on correct side (obvious exceptions in IF's and wide AP's)

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Was wondering what would be a balanced approach for my 4-2-3-1. Currently I have

CM (D) AP (S)

Winger (A) AP (A) Winger (A)

AF (A)

I was thinking maybe playing two Advanced Playmakers wouldn't work, and is there too many forward runs being made by the two wingers, the attacking midfielder and the striker because they are all on attack duty?

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I would suggest making the AP/S a DLP/S, in order to have him as a more suitable link between your defence and midfield. It's also advised that you make one of the wingers (the better passer and/or slower player, usually) a Support duty, in order to have them drop deeper and provide different types of crosses (usually from deep compared to Attack which cross from the byline more often).

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JDownie is correct - make sure that the flank with the "support" winger has an "attack" full back and vice versa.

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Well, this is definitely the most helpful page I've found so far. It's even inspired a long time lurker like myself to create an account.

I'm currently playing a 4-1-2-2-1 formation with a Rigid Fluidity and Control as my default mentality. My side is set out as follows:

Complete Forward (A)

Inside Forward (S) Inside Forward (S)

Adv Playmaker (A) DLP - (D)

Regista - (S)

CWB (A) CD (D) BPD (D) CWB (A)

Sweeper Keeper – (D)

Team Instructions: Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Pass Into Space, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defence, Drill Crosses, Much Higher Defensive Line, Roam From Positions, Hassle Opponents, Tighter Marking, Offside Trap, Lower Tempo and finally, Be More Expressive.

As you can probably tell, I'm wanting to implement a high pressure game without the ball, but control the game with the ball. Now I'll freely admit that playing with Wolves isn't the ideal option, simply because players at lower league level will struggle to be as effective as say, Barcelona or Bayern. The problem is that unlike those teams, I am relying exclusively on the goals of my CF (Griffiths, who has 12 in 11 so far) to be able to get anything more than a 0-0 draw out of games at home, and I'm having to play on the Counter away from home in order to keep the defence as tight as possible.

so, my question is this, how can I improve upon the above, keeping in mind my ideal philosophy and the quality of players I have to work with?

I realise this is a little bit of a long winded post, so take your time :) Thanks!

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Llama, could do with a bit of help with my Saints team. Suffering some second season syndrome and can't buy a win despite investing reasonably heavily in the team. I changed from the 4-3-2-1 last season to a 4-2-3-1, and it doesn't seem to be working. Any suggestions?

f6db7aaf47839b688054f4f537e89657.png

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I'm not Llama, but the immediately obvious problem is you have too many people attacking. You have seven attackers, two centre-backs and one defensive-minded midfielder. I would suggest making Wanyama a CM/D and Honda a DLP/S or DLP/D in order to protect your defence more and provide better links between defence and midfield. The way you're currently set-up, Everyone will be getting forward (and in each other's way) and seriously limiting your passing options. I would maybe even consider looking at JWP's role, having him drop deeper to support your two strikers (essentially what you have). AM/S could do the trick, or you could move him to MC as a Box-to-Box Midfielder, allowing him to still attack but providing a link between your defence and attack.

Without seeing your TIs (it would be useful if you could post a screenshot of those too), these are the obvious problems.

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Well, this is definitely the most helpful page I've found so far. It's even inspired a long time lurker like myself to create an account.

I'm currently playing a 4-1-2-2-1 formation with a Rigid Fluidity and Control as my default mentality. My side is set out as follows:

Complete Forward (A)

Inside Forward (S) Inside Forward (S)

Adv Playmaker (A) DLP - (D)

Regista - (S)

CWB (A) CD (D) BPD (D) CWB (A)

Sweeper Keeper – (D)

Team Instructions: Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Pass Into Space, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defence, Drill Crosses, Much Higher Defensive Line, Roam From Positions, Hassle Opponents, Tighter Marking, Offside Trap, Lower Tempo and finally, Be More Expressive.

As you can probably tell, I'm wanting to implement a high pressure game without the ball, but control the game with the ball. Now I'll freely admit that playing with Wolves isn't the ideal option, simply because players at lower league level will struggle to be as effective as say, Barcelona or Bayern. The problem is that unlike those teams, I am relying exclusively on the goals of my CF (Griffiths, who has 12 in 11 so far) to be able to get anything more than a 0-0 draw out of games at home, and I'm having to play on the Counter away from home in order to keep the defence as tight as possible.

so, my question is this, how can I improve upon the above, keeping in mind my ideal philosophy and the quality of players I have to work with?

I realise this is a little bit of a long winded post, so take your time :) Thanks!

  • You have very few forward runs - only griffiths is a goal threat, you have very few runners from central midfield, and your wide players stay in advanced positions with penetrating the lines. Need more forward runs is a must. Either wide AM will do, and or a central mid of yours.
  • Furthermore 3 playmakers in central midfield is overkill - get someone running forward instead. You have 3 players looking for runs and 1 bloke running!
  • If your defence is not tight, that Regista is to blame. He is not a defensive player. Get a proper holding midfielder in, or play a DLP(D), with a central mid doing more running replacing that DLP in MC strata.
  • When you rearrange consider the impact on other positions. I.e. adjusting FB duties if you alter wide AM's, etc etc.

Llama, could do with a bit of help with my Saints team. Suffering some second season syndrome and can't buy a win despite investing reasonably heavily in the team. I changed from the 4-3-2-1 last season to a 4-2-3-1, and it doesn't seem to be working. Any suggestions?

f6db7aaf47839b688054f4f537e89657.png

I'm not Llama, but the immediately obvious problem is you have too many people attacking. You have seven attackers, two centre-backs and one defensive-minded midfielder. I would suggest making Wanyama a CM/D and Honda a DLP/S or DLP/D in order to protect your defence more and provide better links between defence and midfield. The way you're currently set-up, Everyone will be getting forward (and in each other's way) and seriously limiting your passing options. I would maybe even consider looking at JWP's role, having him drop deeper to support your two strikers (essentially what you have). AM/S could do the trick, or you could move him to MC as a Box-to-Box Midfielder, allowing him to still attack but providing a link between your defence and attack.

Without seeing your TIs (it would be useful if you could post a screenshot of those too), these are the obvious problems.

JDownie has got this spot on Kerr - 7 attack duties is overkill, the 4-2-3-1 needs a holding pair in central midfield. You do NOT need forward runs from that position in this system. You have 3 central attacking players, getting another running to join just overcrowds and reduces defensive support. Read my advice on AM triangle in midfield set ups again. This can then adapt afterwards to the other wide AMC's and striker afterwards. Build from the back. Lambert is also not a quick enough player to play as a Shadow Striker.

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Concerned about another 4 things there:

1 - too many starting instructions, just keep your basic framework in, and save some presets for specific situations - too many makes it impossible for your team to adapt

2 - Clyne needs to get forward more and offer more width

3 - Shaw is not being protected in midfield - the defensive duty in central should be on the same side as the attacking full back, to cover the space left

4 - you have 1 specialist role on a balanced philosophy - worth thinking about your philosophy more carefully first

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  • You have very few forward runs - only griffiths is a goal threat, you have very few runners from central midfield, and your wide players stay in advanced positions with penetrating the lines. Need more forward runs is a must. Either wide AM will do, and or a central mid of yours.
  • Furthermore 3 playmakers in central midfield is overkill - get someone running forward instead. You have 3 players looking for runs and 1 bloke running!
  • If your defence is not tight, that Regista is to blame. He is not a defensive player. Get a proper holding midfielder in, or play a DLP(D), with a central mid doing more running replacing that DLP in MC strata.
  • When you rearrange consider the impact on other positions. I.e. adjusting FB duties if you alter wide AM's, etc etc.

Thanks for the reply, Llama. I've taken on board your advice regarding the midfield three, I do quite like this setup, it's reasonably similar to one I used last season, except I had a False 9 leading the line.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb109/paradoxtheory2007/2014-01-14_00001.jpg

The CM has Get Further Forward as a PI, so I'm hoping that he'll try and get forward into good areas to support the front three, and maybe chip in with a goal or two. Incidentally, since I dropped Griffiths ( a bold move given his goals) I've found that my play has been generally improved, with a higher rate of chance creation, maybe this is because Sigurdarson is more naturally suited to both the role and the instructions he's been given.

I'm still unsure how to get my IFs more involved in the game. I've taken Get Further Forward off their PIs because I found that they were effectively marking the opposition full backs and unable to find pockets of space, so instead I've told them to Roam, with the idea that together with the Roaming instructions for my CF (who also moves into channels) this will create a 'fluid' front 3 who will swap positions as much as the ME allows them to. Am I on the right track or being completely ridiculous?

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Much better, although that is an astonishing amount of instructions - less is more in this case, have your basic instructions for your style (i.e. shorter or direct passing, more or less freedom etc), but adapt the other instructions as you need to for each game and situation.

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Yeah, my original thinking was that players of a lesser ability would possibly need more instructions in order to play in the way that I wanted them to. But I'll review what I'm doing and see if I can remove any of the unnecessary ones from my system. Thanks for your help too, this thread has been extremely useful!

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No worries man. Less is more with instructions. Players will be guided by their roles anyway, and you need to be adaptable to changes and opponents.

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llama3,

forgive me if this has been asked before but, how is your Arsenal set up working? I've sort of abandoned the "4-2-3-1 denmark" that we often see, and that you've shown in your opening post.

I felt that the 3 AM's were not really getting involved defensively enough, and that they start too far up the pitch. On top of that, the middle has often been way too crowded, leading to many frustrating games where I didn't get any goals or significant chances.

A lot of that has been solved by moving towards a 4-2-2-1-1 type of formation, or even a 4-4-1-1. What are your thoughts on this? Do you find that the key to the Denmark is to make sure the wide AM's are not interfering with the AMC, and also tracking back (somehow) ?

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To be honest many formations are merely slight variants on another. The 4-2-3-1 is so similar to a 4-4-1-1, or to a 4-4-2 in possession. It is a case of whatever gets the best out of your team. Sometimes I play with 2 DM's instead, sometimes I play a narrow 3, sometimes I drop the wingers back to make the 4-4-1-1, sometimes I invert the triangle to go 4-1-2-2-1 instead. There is often not a great deal of tangible difference between systems, but it can often create room for your team.

Key to the 4-2-3-1 Denmark in my opinion is the same as with any formation - make sure there is enough defensive cover (and if your 2 MC's or DM's are defensive enough then in my opinion you have a significant amount of cover already), enough variety on the flanks, and can create overloads and combinations between the lines. You can get DW roles to track back if you need to as well, or set specific marking.

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To be honest many formations are merely slight variants on another. The 4-2-3-1 is so similar to a 4-4-1-1, or to a 4-4-2 in possession. It is a case of whatever gets the best out of your team. Sometimes I play with 2 DM's instead, sometimes I play a narrow 3, sometimes I drop the wingers back to make the 4-4-1-1, sometimes I invert the triangle to go 4-1-2-2-1 instead. There is often not a great deal of tangible difference between systems, but it can often create room for your team.

Key to the 4-2-3-1 Denmark in my opinion is the same as with any formation - make sure there is enough defensive cover (and if your 2 MC's or DM's are defensive enough then in my opinion you have a significant amount of cover already), enough variety on the flanks, and can create overloads and combinations between the lines. You can get DW roles to track back if you need to as well, or set specific marking.

Right. These formations described are quite similar to one another in various stages of play, no doubt. However I usually take note of the 4-2-3-1 Denmark simply because of its popularity both in game but also on this forum here. I agree 100% about getting the best out of your squad, it is just interesting to see how users weave together that notion with the idea of a long term, overall philosophy.

And then there is this thought of, do the formations in FM actually reflect real life? Some will say no, and that IRL teams use multiple formations (1 in attack, 1 in defense, etc.) or perhaps your thinking would go towards: the defensive shape in FM is what we see on the tactics board, and then our instructions and roles/duties paint the canvas fully into our attacking shape / transitional play.

So when choosing which formation is best for a club, it's almost a trick question, as the formation you pick will be changed significantly in various phases of the match.

Am I off my rocker here or am I getting at something vital?

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I can't believe I have only just noticed this thread, great work btw. llama3 how would you go about setting up player roles in a 4-3-1-2, I can't seem to stick to the player roles I have chosen. I haven't been doing too good on FM lately so I just want to make sure I am set up the best I can and that should hopefully be half the battle on not doing too good. I would like to keep a Playmaker in the hole behind the strikers, this is how I am currently set up :

GK - GK-D

DR - FB-S

DCR - CD-D

DCL - CD-D

DL - WB-A

MCR - BBM-S

MC - CM-D

MCL - DLP-S

AM - AP-A or TQ-A

SCR - AF-A

SCL - CF-S

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Read this thread and feel I am getting to grips with tactics on FM14. Early days in my Sheffield United save but we've recovered from an awful start and I've developed a system that is working better. We're moving up the table (just moved 5th) and I've just beaten the league leaders Brentford away by altering a few bits before and during the game. Before, I'd have cycled around saved tactics trying to find the one that worked. This time, I unpicked the lock and outplayed them. 3-1 at H/T and then, as they pushed on, I just held firm, saw it out and restricted them to nothing much than a few speculative long range efforts. I'm quite proud of myself. Now, to keep it up as I head for the other team at the top and Molineux.

Cheers for the excellent work, llama.

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Right. These formations described are quite similar to one another in various stages of play, no doubt. However I usually take note of the 4-2-3-1 Denmark simply because of its popularity both in game but also on this forum here. I agree 100% about getting the best out of your squad, it is just interesting to see how users weave together that notion with the idea of a long term, overall philosophy.

And then there is this thought of, do the formations in FM actually reflect real life? Some will say no, and that IRL teams use multiple formations (1 in attack, 1 in defense, etc.) or perhaps your thinking would go towards: the defensive shape in FM is what we see on the tactics board, and then our instructions and roles/duties paint the canvas fully into our attacking shape / transitional play.

So when choosing which formation is best for a club, it's almost a trick question, as the formation you pick will be changed significantly in various phases of the match.

Am I off my rocker here or am I getting at something vital?

Spot on, your system is not a simple rigid notation - seeing how it moves and transitions during a game is vital. I imagine the players movement during the game before deciding on the system, roles and duties etc.

I can't believe I have only just noticed this thread, great work btw. llama3 how would you go about setting up player roles in a 4-3-1-2, I can't seem to stick to the player roles I have chosen. I haven't been doing too good on FM lately so I just want to make sure I am set up the best I can and that should hopefully be half the battle on not doing too good. I would like to keep a Playmaker in the hole behind the strikers, this is how I am currently set up :

GK - GK-D

DR - FB-S

DCR - CD-D

DCL - CD-D

DL - WB-A

MCR - BBM-S

MC - CM-D

MCL - DLP-S

AM - AP-A or TQ-A

SCR - AF-A

SCL - CF-S

Ok a 4-3-1-2 system's main points are that it lacks width, which must be provided by wing backs, and that the AMC can be a focal point to funnel attacks through, which means if he is kept quiet then it is often game over. So in short - you need wing backs on both flanks (i would avoid CWB(A)'s as they are still needed for defensive work too, especially with no HB or DM), your AMC can have greater movement with a T(A) role which will pull wide, also aiding width, and it will allow the CF(S) to drop deep, and get forward runs in from the midfield - speaking of which you may be a touch short of runners from central midfield - not certain which will work best, but a CM(A) is the role i think of when i want an offensive midfield runner from deep.

Read this thread and feel I am getting to grips with tactics on FM14. Early days in my Sheffield United save but we've recovered from an awful start and I've developed a system that is working better. We're moving up the table (just moved 5th) and I've just beaten the league leaders Brentford away by altering a few bits before and during the game. Before, I'd have cycled around saved tactics trying to find the one that worked. This time, I unpicked the lock and outplayed them. 3-1 at H/T and then, as they pushed on, I just held firm, saw it out and restricted them to nothing much than a few speculative long range efforts. I'm quite proud of myself. Now, to keep it up as I head for the other team at the top and Molineux.

Cheers for the excellent work, llama.

Thanks mate, glad it is working for you. What have you changed to improve?

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Llama3,

Really need an help!

I m a oldie 35 fan who forgot the first time i play fm...:)

I allways did my táctic but this year....simply i canot achieve what i want.

I m a 442 fan.

Playng high pressure, possession and a lot of op :)

Im also fan of simitrical tactics

After teling what i want, let me discribe you how i see it:)

Retai possession

Play out def

Play ball in box

Drill cross

Hassle op

Close down

More expressive

Roaming from positions

Pass in space

Attacking/very fluid

Gk-def

Fb-automatic CB- def CB-def FB-auto

Mc-def dbp-suport

AMR and AML - wingers-suport

CF- attack F9- suport

Can u please help me mate?

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Llama3,

Really need an help!

I m a oldie 35 fan who forgot the first time i play fm...:)

I allways did my táctic but this year....simply i canot achieve what i want.

I m a 442 fan.

Playng high pressure, possession and a lot of op :)

Im also fan of simitrical tactics

After teling what i want, let me discribe you how i see it:)

Retai possession

Play out def

Play ball in box

Drill cross

Hassle op

Close down

More expressive

Roaming from positions

Pass in space

Attacking/very fluid

Gk-def

Fb-automatic CB- def CB-def FB-auto

Mc-def dbp-suport

AMR and AML - wingers-suport

CF- attack F9- suport

Can u please help me mate?

Your team instructions are very contradictory - you either retain possession OR pump the ball into the box. There is no midfield runners from deep, too many support duties. Furthermore I have no idea what players or team you have, and what suits them. Can you offer some more information please? I would also recommend dropping your Wingers to MR & ML, have a FB(S) & W(A) on 1 flank, and FB(A) & W(S) on the other flank. You need more movement in central midfield, someone has to get forward more (a B2B(S) alongside a more defensive partner is an excellent way of doing this).

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Llama3,

thanks forde fast reply.

Im a old fashionmanager, who thinks that the players have to adapt to my tactic, so team here do not matter.

Im from Portugal, so i like to take my hometown Team and make it like a good acedemy, investing in youngsters and club conditions.

like i said, and a little like Cleon in his ajax thread, i want to implement a 442 symetric and coach my players to fit in.

perahps in my last post i do not explain well my TI...

so...

retain possession

shorter passing

pass into space

work ball into box

pllay out of defence

drill crosses

play narrower

push higher up

roam from positions

hassle opponents

stay on feet

use tighter marking

be more expressive

very fluid/ attacking

G-def

WBR/L-attack

CD-defend

BBM-sup and DLP-def

AMR/L- winger-attack

AF-attack F9-supp

in PI i have mark tighter for all

thamks in advance for your analysis.

I know that you said to have on a wing a diferent combination,but, this is a "have to". Cant have both winger on attack, or on suport?

;)

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