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llama3

Pairs & Combinations FM2015 - UPDATED

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Hmm thats kind of nice to hear that I'm not too far away haha! So maybe changing the AP to a T? Or even change the DLP to an AP on Attack? How about defensively, won't that leave me even more open to counter attacks?

I would never recommend having an AP in the 2-man central midfield - if you read the thread, its an AM triangle you have, and the AP gets nowhere near the defensive pair. Probably a winger to an inside forward might help.

Gents, its about time for my seasonal "what is wrong with my tactic" question. Been very inconsistent, here's the setup.

c000700dc9f858493151afd0a94005a6.png

Usually I play Vorm; Clyne, Lovren, Balanta, Shaw; Ward-Prowse, Nainggolan, Wanyama; Barkley, Honda; Rhodes/Jese.

You have no clear holding midfielder despite having 5 central midfielders - get someone to actually play a proper sit and hold role (DLP(D)/CM(D)) in the central berth in midfield. You are playing with no wingers, get the full backs providing some proper width - maybe same duties (sensible spread), just add wing back roles - which will further emphasise a good holding midfielder's benefits.

Can you guys tell me if this will work?

Team:

ywgAgy9.png

GK:

L8Xbjr7.png

FB's:

mrdrd23.png

CD's:

7haW3d4.png

DM:

a1QNjwL.png

CM:

D3mahXq.png

ML:

AXvR6uk.png

AMR:

4TI7iAG.png

AMC:

i7YN8py.png

ST:

6DSzlod.png

Tips and improvements are welcome

In principle ok - but your AMR is your biggest goal threat by the nature of your system, and you want him to shoot less... - seems like you have too many individual instructions anywa. Less is more!

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Great work on the thread Llama, sure lots of people like me will really appreciate the effort you put in on this!

Not sure if you remember me but you gave a few pointers on my Arsenal tactic in the Mentality Ladder thread. Well I am starting to get somewhere with my possession based control tactic but still struggling with the counter attacking Plan B.

Watching the Chelsea vs Man City game this showed exactly how I would like the team to play. Not sure if you watched the game but if you did I'd be interested to hear how you would go about setting this up on Football Manager?

Thank you very much!

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Great work on the thread Llama, sure lots of people like me will really appreciate the effort you put in on this!

Not sure if you remember me but you gave a few pointers on my Arsenal tactic in the Mentality Ladder thread. Well I am starting to get somewhere with my possession based control tactic but still struggling with the counter attacking Plan B.

Watching the Chelsea vs Man City game this showed exactly how I would like the team to play. Not sure if you watched the game but if you did I'd be interested to hear how you would go about setting this up on Football Manager?

Thank you very much!

Hi mate there is a article on zonal marking about this game. I thought Chelsea's game plan was excellent. I'm on my I pad at the moment and cannot for the life of me create links. I would love to create this setup.

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Ok. As my 3 week old baby is trying to resist his sleep and my mrs is pottering about I'm going to give this a try. I am basing this on zonal markings analysis of the game. Also my middle child is a Chelsea fan so I guess I owe it to him to do this :).

This is my first try at this so please go easy on me. Remember some people aren't as good at this game as you guys :) as always feedback of this / advice and suggestions is what I would like to provoke.

Starting with the formation and philosophy I am going for a kind of 4-2-3-1 but with Ramires playing as a wm on the mr to cut off the supply to silva. I believe mourninho was playing counter, maybe some might even think defensive - thoughts please. Last of all with philosophy. Going by the 12 steps for the roles I have chosen I guess due to 1 or maybe two specialist roles fluid would be the call. For some reason I do think balanced could be an option. Answers on a postcard please.

Last of all positions and roles.

Cech gk d

Ivanovic. Right fb a

Cahill. Cb d

Terry cb d

Azpelicueta left fb s

Luiz. Right Dm d.

Matic left anchor man d

Ramires right mid. Wide midfield s

Willian am a

Hazard left if a

Eto'o complete forward s

Again team instructions up for discussion. You could probably but Ramires as cut inside and play narrower. Maybe have Willian as shadow striker? Not sure about eto'o either.

I'm sorry if I have completely wasted your life reading this but if anyone would like to offer their tuppence it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading

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Great work on the thread Llama, sure lots of people like me will really appreciate the effort you put in on this!

Not sure if you remember me but you gave a few pointers on my Arsenal tactic in the Mentality Ladder thread. Well I am starting to get somewhere with my possession based control tactic but still struggling with the counter attacking Plan B.

Watching the Chelsea vs Man City game this showed exactly how I would like the team to play. Not sure if you watched the game but if you did I'd be interested to hear how you would go about setting this up on Football Manager?

Thank you very much!

In follow up to my lazy post earlier, here is my attempt:

Chelsea_zps2fe5b8bd.png

I actually made 2 changes just after taking this photo:

  1. TI Higher Tempo and Direct Passing
  2. Swapped Matic to DMd and Luiz to DMs.

I read an excellent article on CCC about altering Team and Player instructions on the Attacking mentatality to create a counter attacking system but I have never got the defence right.

What do you think?

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i did not watch the game, was sleeping between shifts (4 hours ahead of the UK here). The article looks like they played a very narrow version of the system, with Hazard, Willian & Ramires all breaking forward quickly with the ball. Suggests that Eto'o must have been linking play more. Like I said, I did not watch the game, so cannot really comment much more.

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Hey Llama,

Quick question about combinations on the wings - would you recommend an a Wing Back Attack or Complete Wing Back playing behind an Inside Forward attack?

I am thinking about signing an attacking right wingback to take advantage of the space Theo Walcott creates when he darts inside or would this be unbalanced?

Thanks!

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As long as you have enough defensive cover then either is fine.

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I have been reading a lot and I hope I finally made a good(or good enough)tactic. Its going ok so far but a lot of things that I want to happen are not happening. I feel like its not creating enough good chances.

Here is the tactic

63yj5dwa9

http://postimg.org/image/63yj5dwa9/

My questions are:

Should I put the defenders on Cover and Stopper? Because I push higher up and one of my defs(Colo)is pretty slow I thought putting him on cover and theother on stopper would be useful.

Because my team isn't creating enough chances and I play narrow, would changing one of my CM's to something more attacking minded help? I was thinking about a AP instead of CM(S).

About my IF's I have one of them on support, because I already have a CM(A) on his side. I want him to support my CM(A) in attacks instead of scoring himself. Also my F9 is left footed so I thought it would help him score a bit more(yes I know its a F9 but he still is a striker). My right IF has the instruction to sit narrower so that he can be reached easier by my CM(S). Is that a good idea?

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I have been reading a lot and I hope I finally made a good(or good enough)tactic. Its going ok so far but a lot of things that I want to happen are not happening. I feel like its not creating enough good chances.

Here is the tactic

63yj5dwa9

http://postimg.org/image/63yj5dwa9/

My questions are:

Should I put the defenders on Cover and Stopper? Because I push higher up and one of my defs(Colo)is pretty slow I thought putting him on cover and theother on stopper would be useful.

Because my team isn't creating enough chances and I play narrow, would changing one of my CM's to something more attacking minded help? I was thinking about a AP instead of CM(S).

About my IF's I have one of them on support, because I already have a CM(A) on his side. I want him to support my CM(A) in attacks instead of scoring himself. Also my F9 is left footed so I thought it would help him score a bit more(yes I know its a F9 but he still is a striker). My right IF has the instruction to sit narrower so that he can be reached easier by my CM(S). Is that a good idea?

  • I would not recommend stopper & cover in this instance - you have a DM sitting in the zone that the CD(X) would push into - i.e. the space is already covered and you could expose yourself. Specifically with Coloccini a fast played is usually the best choice as a cover, although a very intelligent defender can do that - with a stopper usually an aggressive defender, helps if they are mobile too.
  • CM(S) to AP(S) is a logical enough change, although a switch in philosophy may be necessary to this (very fluid to fluid - your choice). You may prefer a deeper creator as an alternative or on a game by game basis because...
  • The idea in principle sounds good - although I would be concerned about congestion in the middle with the CM(A), CM(S), IF(S), IF(A) & F9(S) potentially getting on top of each other a bit.

Are there any more specific issues you are facing, you do seem to have only 1 clear regular goal outlet (AMR), and considering both full backs are attacking, perhaps you could get the AML playing more direct to attack the space vacated by your STC. I don't see Cabaye as a CM(A) - he is a more controlling player - perfect as a playmaker, whereas Sissoko I believe to be a much better attacking player, he is powerful and technically good - think Yaya Toure (obviously not as good). You also have a lot of team instructions - I tend to stick with an essential 4-6 that fundamentally govern my philosophy and then worry about adding or changing the rest in game - a high line is not always a good idea

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Ok thanks for your advice. Things that I plan to try out.

1. Change my CM(S) to AP(S) and give him PI Direct passing. Gonna put Cabaye there too. Hopefully he will pass more to the front instead of back and create more chances. His PPM's do fit what I want him to do.

2. Change my left IF to IF(A).

3. Change to Fluid and remove play narrower. I think that playing narrow would limit the amount of space and my IF's wouldn't have enough space to move inside.

4. Anything else that you suggest?

There are no other specific issues other then the one I already posted, I haven't played a lot of games yet though.

EDIT: Ok i tried this and I lost 3-1 and 4-1 to cardiff... :(. I created 1 clear cut chance in total and Cardiff created 7(!) in total. What the hell... Im getting mad at this game.

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So far after latest patch I've been struggling to get my AMC to play consistently. Ideally I want him to feed the wide forward and strikers in a 4-2-3-1 formation. I have creative players in this position (Kagawa and Rooney) but both rarely make key passes and create chance for my front 3 esp my striker. I've tried AP (s) and AF but my AMC just stay too deep thus unable to create meaningful chances for the forward. Also tried another partnership like the OP such as F9 and SS, CF (s) and AP (a) hoping to drag the defenders in and out because Rooney and RVP should be able to do this but unfortunately it don't work either.

I feel they should remove the new role F9 and SS since it doesn't work at all, what a rubbish role!

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Ok thanks for your advice. Things that I plan to try out.

1. Change my CM(S) to AP(S) and give him PI Direct passing. Gonna put Cabaye there too. Hopefully he will pass more to the front instead of back and create more chances. His PPM's do fit what I want him to do.

2. Change my left IF to IF(A).

3. Change to Fluid and remove play narrower. I think that playing narrow would limit the amount of space and my IF's wouldn't have enough space to move inside.

4. Anything else that you suggest?

There are no other specific issues other then the one I already posted, I haven't played a lot of games yet though.

EDIT: Ok i tried this and I lost 3-1 and 4-1 to cardiff... :(. I created 1 clear cut chance in total and Cardiff created 7(!) in total. What the hell... Im getting mad at this game.

Once again - what SPECIFICALLY is going wrong? Need more information to help.

So far after latest patch I've been struggling to get my AMC to play consistently. Ideally I want him to feed the wide forward and strikers in a 4-2-3-1 formation. I have creative players in this position (Kagawa and Rooney) but both rarely make key passes and create chance for my front 3 esp my striker. I've tried AP (s) and AF but my AMC just stay too deep thus unable to create meaningful chances for the forward. Also tried another partnership like the OP such as F9 and SS, CF (s) and AP (a) hoping to drag the defenders in and out because Rooney and RVP should be able to do this but unfortunately it don't work either.

I feel they should remove the new role F9 and SS since it doesn't work at all, what a rubbish role!

Tried a Trequartista? Too many players coming central and getting in their way? More information please.

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The problem was that I can't create chances and a lot of chances are ruined.

http://postimg.org/image/si91a28l9/

For example here, although Ben Arfa has a good shot, he is also very creative and should be able to see that can also pass the ball to my F9 and my other IF. He ruines a lot of chances for my team. He only scored once from his 27 shot attemps in 14 games. He is my best player on the team so this worries my a lot.

http://postimg.org/image/56kxkyubh/

Same goes for this situation. Knockaert has a excellent long shot(14) but he only got 11% of his shots on target. He also seems to ignore his teammates who are in a better situation.

http://postimg.org/image/4sjllda7x/

Here as you can see there is too much space but nobody moves into it. My right IF(A) Ben arfa just stands there doing nothing and even though Knockaert is a F9 he doesn't try to drop into the space. I have roam from positions TI and my players are creative and good off the ball so I didn't expect to see this. I did win this game but it was thanks to a lot of mistakes from Stoke

Another example with space that is not being used.

http://postimg.org/image/zfa3p76y1/

So my players are just not making advantage of the space and IF's and F9 ruin a lot of chances with long shots.

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@007 - I'm confused as to why you thinnk there is a problem with the first two screenshots - in neither of them (IMO) does the player on the ball have any GOOD passing options - so it's very obvious why he shoots. Ditto for the third screenshot - clearly I'm missing where this 'free space' is to pass into - all your players are marked?

As for the 4th screenshot - since I can't see who has the ball at all, I have no clue what we're supposed to be looking for!

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I thought they were clear enough, but I'll explain more. In the first 2 ss my players don't have good passing options but I know for sure(I watch real football and play too) trying to pass to their teammates would be better. Not only are his teammates faster then the defenders but they are in a better scoring position too. The 3rd ss shows a lot of space where my f9 should drop into. At least that's what I think he should do.

4th ss was a bad one my apologies. Kusk has the ball and once again my f9 is not dropping into the space between him and kusk. There is obviously a lot of space and my f9 is marked but he can move into that space to draw some defenders and create more space for my if's

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Clearly a lack of passing options in the build up play - this will come down probably to PPM's or team/individual instructions - what are your front 5 players ppms? In the first screenshot sissokho is high, but without anyone coming into that space in the hole, the 2nd screenshot its obvious why knockaert shoots, and in the third Cabaye seems tightly marked and knockaert seems your only real passing option. You could always get knockaert pulling wide but staying high - still creates central room for your IF's - could allow 1 to go back on a support duty if you wish, and means sissoko and cabaye will have more central space to play in. Could create this with an AF(A)/CF(A/S) etc.

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PPM's seem to be nothing special. I changed my left IF to S and Knockaert to AF(A) and I lost 6-2 to swansea and 0-1 to Crystal palace. I have no idea what to do. This game is just getting frustating the more I play it.

http://postimg.org/gallery/2dqr8lnm/179ac307/

I changed back and I lost 2-0 to Chelsea. I was able to win 4-1 from Man. United so how did I lose to Chelsea with the same tactic?! My players only got 2 shots on target the whole game...

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Teams come at you differently. One team can expose your weaknesses and another play into your strengths despite how 'big' of a club they are. Teams also change things in-game, so if they changed something and you didn't react then it probably worked for them. Also, PPM's definitely do make a difference.

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Double0Seven - can recommend you open up a new thread about your issues, we can get multiple opinions on your issues.

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Once again - what SPECIFICALLY is going wrong? Need more information to help.

Tried a Trequartista? Too many players coming central and getting in their way? More information please.

It's weird but whenever I tried treq at AMC my whole team seems playing worse, losing possession and invite pressures from the opposition, could it be because the treq doesn't defend? Another weird thing is, the treq isn't suppose to defend but he often stay too deep when we lose possession although he doesn't do any pressing or attempt to win the ball back, so when we win the ball back the treq is too deep to play killer pass for the forward.

The AMC usually have enough space but he rarely try any killer pass forward, often just make side and backpass. I have IF (a), W(s) and AF as my front 3 anyway

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It's weird but whenever I tried treq at AMC my whole team seems playing worse, losing possession and invite pressures from the opposition, could it be because the treq doesn't defend? Another weird thing is, the treq isn't suppose to defend but he often stay too deep when we lose possession although he doesn't do any pressing or attempt to win the ball back, so when we win the ball back the treq is too deep to play killer pass for the forward.

The AMC usually have enough space but he rarely try any killer pass forward, often just make side and backpass. I have IF (a), W(s) and AF as my front 3 anyway

The problem I run into using a Treq is when the AI puts a good man marker on him, usually a DM. He is the focal point of your attack, so you could lose possession more often as your other players look to get the ball to him and he's marked out of the game. He doesn't press, or do much to win the ball unless it's right in front of him, which is correct- he is looking to float around and get open for when you do get the ball back. He will drop back with the flow of play, but that isn't necessarily defensive behavior you are seeing.

As for the lack of killer balls, we'd have to see how your game looks in progress to guess why he isn't doing it. When it happens to me, it's usually because he doesn't see a good option forward. The players ahead are marked too tightly, for example, or the the edges of the penalty area are clogged up. Sometimes the AI is playing the offside trap too.

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Hi llama3!

Tnx for you great post, it helped me a lot during my sessions in fm, but, I'd like to know how can you apply your theories in formations with flat attacking trio like 343 or 433 and the same with diamond (double triangle) formations.

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Hi llama3!

Tnx for you great post, it helped me a lot during my sessions in fm, but, I'd like to know how can you apply your theories in formations with flat attacking trio like 343 or 433 and the same with diamond (double triangle) formations.

The basic essence is you still need creativity, movement in behind, width and defensive shape - so with a flat attacking trio it depends what is behind it, but generally you need a mix of duties (2 support, 1 attack or 1 support, 2 attack - bear in mind a Trequartista plays more like a support role, so don't make it the lone striking option) - and just make your forwards different. So maybe a CF(S) - AF(A) - T(A) or CF(A) - DLF(S) - TM(A) are ideas - but the gist is mix it up so you have different options and ways to play and movement.

A diamond midfield (i really should update the OP), is flexible - make sure your wing backs/attacking full backs offer the width, but movement from your central midfielders is still a useful idea. Basic concept - have at least 1 of each duty, and the last is up to you, it can help you frame the theme of your side. Make sure you have forward runs from midfield - i.e. no point selecting 2 defensive duties, a DLP(S) and an AP(S) as there is no movement. Having a player who moves wide is useful because of the lack of width in the system. So something like DM(D), DLP(S), CM(A), AP(S) or DLP(D), BBM(S), BWM(D), T(A) are ideas - again, it is a very flexible concept.

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The basic essence is you still need creativity, movement in behind, width and defensive shape - so with a flat attacking trio it depends what is behind it, but generally you need a mix of duties (2 support, 1 attack or 1 support, 2 attack - bear in mind a Trequartista plays more like a support role, so don't make it the lone striking option) - and just make your forwards different. So maybe a CF(S) - AF(A) - T(A) or CF(A) - DLF(S) - TM(A) are ideas - but the gist is mix it up so you have different options and ways to play and movement.

A diamond midfield (i really should update the OP), is flexible - make sure your wing backs/attacking full backs offer the width, but movement from your central midfielders is still a useful idea. Basic concept - have at least 1 of each duty, and the last is up to you, it can help you frame the theme of your side. Make sure you have forward runs from midfield - i.e. no point selecting 2 defensive duties, a DLP(S) and an AP(S) as there is no movement. Having a player who moves wide is useful because of the lack of width in the system. So something like DM(D), DLP(S), CM(A), AP(S) or DLP(D), BBM(S), BWM(D), T(A) are ideas - again, it is a very flexible concept.

Yeah, an update it's needed, cause everything you wrote it's absolutely fundamental to approach the game in a proper way!

Again, compliment for your post, I'll try your suggestions soon in a new 343, can't wait for it!!!

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Here is how I set up my diamond midfield which reflects the spirit of this thread:

hbnu.png

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Here is how I set up my diamond midfield which reflects the spirit of this thread:

hbnu.png

...and it's working? I'm asking for it cause I see many specialized roles playing in a fluid way that maybe is contradictory.

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...and it's working? I'm asking for it cause I see many specialized roles playing in a fluid way that maybe is contradictory.

It is working well, and sometimes beautifully. I actually only have one specialist role: the DLP, the IF is one that could go either way as per WWFan's guide (which I take as a general guidleine but which is not a hard and fast 'rule'). I sometimes also use a Targetman in place of the DLF. That still gives me only 1.5- 2 specialist roles, and when I add the Trequartista to the AM position, I get up to 2.5 which is still basically within those guidelines.

It works because I have players along different lines and good movement. The DLP stays deep (I will sometimes use a BBM here), but ahead of the DM, the CM (A) plays higher up and gets forward into the space created when the IF pushes forward, or the DLF drops back. The wingbacks provide passing outlets. I will often now use a AM Trequartista, and the CM (A) will get forward of him and into the box. Anyway, it's one way to set up a diamond midfield formation using the pairs and combinations theories. It's taken me from English level 8 to League two in a relatively short time.

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...and it's working? I'm asking for it cause I see many specialized roles playing in a fluid way that maybe is contradictory.

Think you might have your roles confused - he has 1.5 specialised in that system?

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Think you might have your roles confused - he has 1.5 specialised in that system?

Well, i didn't thought to assign a 0,5 value to the roles that could be defined either specialized or not, this is really interesting. Moreover remember that for me isn't a simple reading cause I've to translate all the llama3 and wwfan's stuff!

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What role would be a good partnership with Klaas Jan Huntelaar?

Huntelaar got some great skills (finishing 19, off the ball 20, anticipation 19 and composure 18). Due his low quickness and work rate, he ain't suitable for a Poacher role. Because he's got a PPM Plays with back to goal, in my opinion his best role is Deep Lying Forward on a Attack role.

I've got some great players for the AMC role (Draxler, Boateng, Meyer) and only got 1 suitable extra striker (Szalai).

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DLP(S/A), CF(S/A) are your best bets

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41212 narrow is a great formation because you can have such a variance of runners and creators through the middle. My preferred set of roles was HB/D, DLP/S, B2B, AP/A, TM/S and CF/A, with two CB/Ds and two CWB/As down the flanks.

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This guide seems to be implying that using an AP in the CM slot is not favorable when using the AM triangle. Can anyone explain why that is, assuming that he'd presumably be paired with a defense-minded holding midfielder?

I'd been having mixed success using a trio of T/A, AP/S, DLP/D and was wondering if there's any reason that would be considered a poor combination.

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41212 narrow is a great formation because you can have such a variance of runners and creators through the middle. My preferred set of roles was HB/D, DLP/S, B2B, AP/A, TM/S and CF/A, with two CB/Ds and two CWB/As down the flanks.

I too love it for that reason. The only downside is when it gets shut down, it seems to really get shut down. I hope we can get more into the four man midfield discussion in this thread, as for what to do when you get stymied. My running battle is with the 4-1-2-2-1 and its counterpart the 4-1-4-1.

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This guide seems to be implying that using an AP in the CM slot is not favorable when using the AM triangle. Can anyone explain why that is, assuming that he'd presumably be paired with a defense-minded holding midfielder?

Because you are going to have a holding midfielder, an advanced playmaker and then your AMC who is naturally attacking because he's so high up the pitch. That means you have 2 CBs and 1 midfielder defending, one of your two FBs (presumably) defending and the rest of your team is getting forward/attacking. An AP in the CM slot is going to leave you very light defensively in midfield. It's close to suicide.

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I too love it for that reason. The only downside is when it gets shut down, it seems to really get shut down. I hope we can get more into the four man midfield discussion in this thread, as for what to do when you get stymied. My running battle is with the 4-1-2-2-1 and its counterpart the 4-1-4-1.

Key battles there:

  • They have a 2 v 1 on the flanks against your wing backs - almost entirely limiting your width
  • Your spare man is a DM - unless it is a Regista/DLP it is not going to offer much offensively - i.e. the players with time on the ball are the players they don't mind having time - a DC and a DM whilst they have the flanks under lock and key

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Key battles there:

  • They have a 2 v 1 on the flanks against your wing backs - almost entirely limiting your width
  • Your spare man is a DM - unless it is a Regista/DLP it is not going to offer much offensively - i.e. the players with time on the ball are the players they don't mind having time - a DC and a DM whilst they have the flanks under lock and key

Actually, that's very helpful to put it that way, thanks! I was aware of the flanks, but I see now that they don't have to care what my DM is up to. Meaning, I need to make him more aggressive offensively or move him up to the CM strata in a holding role. I might try him out as a DLP in that situation and see if he can draw some attention to open up the final third a bit. I finally have a player that I would trust in that role.

As an aside, what do you think of the interaction between a Treq or AP and a DLP. Will I tend towards pingpong balls between them?

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Because you are going to have a holding midfielder, an advanced playmaker and then your AMC who is naturally attacking because he's so high up the pitch. That means you have 2 CBs and 1 midfielder defending, one of your two FBs (presumably) defending and the rest of your team is getting forward/attacking. An AP in the CM slot is going to leave you very light defensively in midfield. It's close to suicide.

Setting the AP to support duty doesn't mitigate that at all? How different is it if I use a CM/S or BBM? I don't really want to have both CMs set to defend duty, do I?

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Setting the AP to support duty doesn't mitigate that at all? How different is it if I use a CM/S or BBM? I don't really want to have both CMs set to defend duty, do I?

CM/S and BBM are suitable because they work defensively as well as offensively. AP/S works almost exclusively in attack, only really getting involved in the defensive side of the game when they absolutely have to.

Although a note on the B2B/CMs, the latter is less likely to romp forward and is, as a result, a better option for a midfield pairing. B2B will get high up the pitch and run anywhere he likes so he's likely to leave your defence exposed and has a lot of running to do to make up for it.

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Actually, that's very helpful to put it that way, thanks! I was aware of the flanks, but I see now that they don't have to care what my DM is up to. Meaning, I need to make him more aggressive offensively or move him up to the CM strata in a holding role. I might try him out as a DLP in that situation and see if he can draw some attention to open up the final third a bit. I finally have a player that I would trust in that role.

As an aside, what do you think of the interaction between a Treq or AP and a DLP. Will I tend towards pingpong balls between them?

Sometimes they can be a bit wasteful, depends really on the individual game. You need players making runs as well as creating stuff. I would make sure you have a balance between, ball-winning, shape, movement and creativity. If you have 2 playmakers in a 4-man midfield then that seems alright. A DLP will control play out of defence (where you have time and space), and your Treq or AP will control play in the final third - consider the movement of them both carefully. You may find you want the defensive work of an AP against their DM, but at the same time, you may prefer the enhanced movement of a Treq instead.

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Sometimes they can be a bit wasteful, depends really on the individual game. You need players making runs as well as creating stuff. I would make sure you have a balance between, ball-winning, shape, movement and creativity. If you have 2 playmakers in a 4-man midfield then that seems alright. A DLP will control play out of defence (where you have time and space), and your Treq or AP will control play in the final third - consider the movement of them both carefully. You may find you want the defensive work of an AP against their DM, but at the same time, you may prefer the enhanced movement of a Treq instead.

Thanks for the reply- I'm working to crack those formations, so any advice is useful. I'll try the DLP/Treq, or DLP/AP in my diamond and see how I get on. :thup:

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Just an update after having a couple of matches against the 4-1-2-2-1. I left my AMC as Treq, but moved my DM to a DLP on support duty, and the results have been encouraging. The DM is moving into the midfield proper and one of the opposition CM's was forced to come out and mark him, restoring my man advantage in the final third :)

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Excellent - this battle is about making use of the extra man in your midfield. Lots of tactical battles are effectively the same type of issues.

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After reading through this thread I have tried using your guidelines to create a slow possession tactic in a 4-1-2-2-1 formation & also attempted to create a quick counter attacking tactic using a 4-1-4-1 formation. I would say im more confident in the possession tactic I have created but would like to get your feedback on both tactic's and see if you can see any faults.

4-1-2-2-1

Control/Fluid

Shorter Passing, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defence, Exploit The Middle, Push Higher Up, Hassle Opponents, Get Stuck In, Use Offside Trap, Lower Tempo.

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

WB(S)----CD(D)------CD(D)----WB(A)

-----------------A(D)----------------

----------BBM(S)------BWM(S)-------

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

-----------------AF(A)---------------

My goalkeeper has been instructed to distribute to defenders & my inside forward on the support duty has been instructed to sit narrower hoping my wing back on attack duty will overlap him and create width. My main worry is my central midfielders the BBM & BWM aren't creative enough or adventurous enough off the ball to support my lone striker.

4-1-4-1

Counter/Fluid

More Direct Passing, Pass Into Space, Hit Early Crosses, Exploit The Flanks, Play Narrower, Drop Deeper, Stand Off Opponents, Stay On Feet, Higher Tempo, Be More Disciplined.

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

FB(S)----CD(D)------CD(D)----FB(A)

----------------A(D)-----------------

W(A)----BBM(S)-----BWM(S)--W(S)

--------------------------------------

----------------AF(A)-----------------

The only player instruction I have for this tactic is for my GK to take quick throws. Like I mentioned before I am not totally confident in the way this tactic is set up to counter attack. The three reasons I feel this tactic may not work is firstly my striker looks isolated and with my team instructions set to drop deeper and more direct passing I feel he may get the ball quickly but have to rely on his own individual skills to create something. Secondly my wide players are set to wingers purely because when I do break I want my counter attacks mainly to go down the wings but feel they may be a too offensive and leave massive gaps. Thirdly like the previous tactic I don't know if my two central midfielders are creative enough to get forward and support. Just to let you know I am managing Norwich 1st season so my main central midfielders best roles are BWM's & BBM's so im looking to exploit that especially Fer.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Hey Llama, another quick question about my flanks.

I have taken your advice on combining an Attack Duty with a support duty. On the left hand side I have a WB(A) combined with a WM(S), to great effect. On the right side I have a WB(S) combined with an IF(A), to not such great effect.

The inside forward moves inside, leaving space which the right wing back doesn't reach. There's a big gap & they don't combine. Could I get away with 2x WB(A) without unbalancing my tactic?

Here's a screenshot so you have the context:

ArsenalStrikerless.png

Thinking about making my DM a Half Back and having both wingbacks attack. One more minor thing - what is the difference between WB(A) and CWB(A)?

Thanks!

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Adding the other wing back as an attack - sure, if it links play better then absolutely - the rules and structure only goes so far, the fine tweaks at the end you have to simply judge on what you see. As for the half back - i don't use it, but am not sure if you would lose part of your central midfield dominance this way.

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