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Pairs & Combinations FM2015 - UPDATED


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llama3,

I ipologise for that,

but as you imagine, i play fm sinc i was 16, and now, at 35 , with a master in coach, i dont get any pleasure plyng my favorite game.

But you right, it s not here that i have to blame.

;)

If you have time, plese help me in my post,

thanks

Of course, I'll have a look now.

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llama, cheers for the input you gave me a little while back. This is what I settled with.

------------------DLF(S)-------------

-------------------AP(A)------------

WM(A) DLP(S) DLP(D) WM(A)

WB(S)-----CB-------CB------WB(S)

I found that the 2 DLPs works for me; my players do what I want them to. The wide players, attacking mid, and lone striker all work well together. Of course if things aren't going well in match I make the appropriate changes.

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Hey Llama,

Another quick question - what are your thoughts on the Wilshere / Ramsey midfield combination?

The goal is to play attacking, wide, high tempo football. I am thinking about playing them together in an Attacking 4-4-1-1:

GK - Sweeper Keeper(S): Szczesny

DR - Wingback (S): Sagna

DC - Central Defender ©: Mertesaker

DC - Central Defender (X): Varane

DL - Complete Wingback (A): Ayew

MR: Winger (A): Cazorla / Walcott

MC: Central Midfielder (S): Ramsey

MC: Deeplying Playmaker (D): Wilshere

ML: Wide Midfielder (S): Rosicky / Cazorla

AMC: Advanced Playmaker (S): Ozil

FC: Advanced Forward (A): Diego Costa

Is this tactically sound?

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Tactically very solid - just get your team instructions working well, and don't be afraid to make subtle, game-by-game changes to your roles. Ramsey and Wilshere could both play either role. Ramsey has the better distribution, and probably better defensively - but Wilshere has a lot of aggression and determination which are great for a defensive player.

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Tactically very solid - just get your team instructions working well, and don't be afraid to make subtle, game-by-game changes to your roles. Ramsey and Wilshere could both play either role. Ramsey has the better distribution, and probably better defensively - but Wilshere has a lot of aggression and determination which are great for a defensive player.

My concern is whether it is strong enough defensively, particularly vs the big sides. My alternative is to push Wilshere wide into the WM(S) position and sign a strong MC(D) but an all round player. Pogba, Yacob & Nkoulou are targets.

EDIT: my style of defence is a heavy press (hassle, tackle hard, push up, offside trap) works well and think it plays to a lighter, fitter midfield. Plan B is switch to Defensive and play on the counter. That's probably more the concern.

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Is the engine samrt enough to cope with 2 Registas in the formation, so when ones carries the other sits deeper?

I was thinking of having a back 3, but with 4 in front, 2 complete wing backs and 2 Registas? i suppose i sould even go 2 and 5 and have a HB in the middle of the 2?

Nevermind got it working.. 2 rga seperated by a HB. 2 CB, and 2 CWB, in the WB position. 2512 formation.

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My concern is whether it is strong enough defensively, particularly vs the big sides. My alternative is to push Wilshere wide into the WM(S) position and sign a strong MC(D) but an all round player. Pogba, Yacob & Nkoulou are targets.

EDIT: my style of defence is a heavy press (hassle, tackle hard, push up, offside trap) works well and think it plays to a lighter, fitter midfield. Plan B is switch to Defensive and play on the counter. That's probably more the concern.

It can work, definitely.

Nevermind got it working.. 2 rga seperated by a HB. 2 CB, and 2 CWB, in the WB position. 2512 formation.

I would be interested to see how that works. Please post if you are inclined to do so. Love little tactical quirks like that.

llama3: I read what you put in another thread:The central midfield pair in a 4-2-3-1 should be defensive and solid: Does that mean you'd have them both on a defensive duty?

Not for me, some like it, but I don't. I choose a Defensive Duty with a Support Duty (the right kind though - so in this case - DLP(S), CM(S), BBM(S) are best options.) The support duty player can offer an alternative/late offensive option without compromising his defensive responsibilities.

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Hi again Llama !!!

For this weekend im triyng this.....

ttcp.png

PI:

GK: pass shorter distribute to defenders

WB: shot less

MC: shot less

AP: roam

IF:sit narrower, shot less

I want my team to press high, try to win the ball as soon as they lost it, regarding attack, as Falcao have aPPM shot from far i think, i want that the ball arrives to him just before the net...

my IF, i bought Griezmann and try to training him to if right, as he s left footed.

please Llama,

any improvements or big issues you see here?

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Hi again Llama !!!

For this weekend im triyng this.....

ttcp.png

PI:

GK: pass shorter distribute to defenders

WB: shot less

MC: shot less

AP: roam

IF:sit narrower, shot less

I want my team to press high, try to win the ball as soon as they lost it, regarding attack, as Falcao have aPPM shot from far i think, i want that the ball arrives to him just before the net...

my IF, i bought Griezmann and try to training him to if right, as he s left footed.

please Llama,

any improvements or big issues you see here?

Hassle Opponents is an extreme shout, it severely disrupts your shape, so you may find you concede easily if breached. You have a lot of team instructions regardless, which makes it hard to adapt your opponents and make changes. I recommend 4 core shouts, and add the rest depending on situation. Only 1 player providing through-balls (Rodriguez) with 3 getting congested high and centrally (your 2 x IF(A)s and P(A)). As for Falcao - he is a brilliant striker - let him play. Being a poacher is a waste of his ability to link play, use his height, movement or pace.

Hi Llama

You don't mention defend duty of wide men in the series. Do you have any thought about it?

Only to close out games. They offer too little movement to be an effective player in my opinion during most situations.

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Hi llama3,

I'm not so confident with strike partnership cause maybe It's less clear (for me) to understand how to apply your suggestions that use a single striker.

I've setted up a very good 4-4-2 following yours guide, but I'm facing lots of problems in the construction of one of my favorite shapes: the 4-2-3-1.

My idea of play It's an offensive formation, with high defensive line, 2 players in the middle and 2 inside forwards on the flanks supported by a lonely striker and a man at the AMC line.

Shape it's strange, cause It's flat till the midfield but become a multi-strata formation from the middle up to the striker. Is this a chance to use a mixed passing system, more direct in defense and shorter upfield, trying to use a central penetration with more trough-balls? Does a rigid system suits better than a fluid system in a shape like this?

In this complex system, where's the partnership? It's an offensive triangle with an attacking trio (as I suppose) o I've to think at a dual wide system supported by a creator-scorer system (AMC/ST). How can I jell a dual wide system that is also a part of an attacking trio?

Hope to hear soon your opinions!

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Hi, No Prob, its early doors yet, but so far so good, passing maps and some formations/analysis below. I'm the Celtic of my division so results are positive is the breakdown of the formation im looking at the min

Formation - 2gum8ab.jpg

Average Postion Map - 2db15dc.jpg

I did post maps of the passing under attacking but as ive been slowing down the play to Control with a high tempo i got this.. the two 100+ are the registas

v76o3p.jpg

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Yeah, looking at the average position of the HB, im kinda tempted to try a throw away game with 3 HB's and no Centre Backs and play offside :)

GK

RWB - HB - HB -HB - LWB

BWM - BWM

SS

CF/S CF/S

and see how i get on.

In FM 12 i got away with playing WB / DMC / DMC / WB as my back four for awhile

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Llama could you advice me on closing down settings. At the moment I am closing down for striker my AMR/L and my AMC. I want my front 4 players to cto close down the opposition back line. I then set my two central midfielders to close down less. My full backs and central defenders are alsos

set to close down less. I do not use hassle opponents because it destroys my shape. Should i use push higher up to get my front four to close down more quickly or would having them in the AM Strata allow them to be in a good position to be closing down.

My other question is closing down for midfielders I tend to give my two central midfielders close down more if the opposition are playing with two DMC. If I am playing with two DMC and the opposition is playing with two central midfielders I will give close down more instructikns to my two central midfielders.The reason for this is because I want to stop them from dictating play from deep. Could you advice if I am doing this correctly or is there a other way to stop DMC from playing out from deep and the

Also if there are playing a flat 442 i instruct my full backs to close down more so they are closer to the opposition wingers. Need your advice to if i should be doing this.

I am playing as Arsenal with Balance and Control. I only use shorter passing, play out of defence and more expressive shouts. I am reaaly unsre about the push higher up shout because I do not know when to use and what opponents to use it against. The same thing applies to tbe drop deeper shout and also selecting when to use Counter Attack Strategy.

Please help me mate. I do not know what I am doing anymore

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Guys,

I always wanted to make a tactic a la Pep . After watching Bayern lastly, i decided to still try to make a tactic like Bayern . I am an absolute fan of Pep and the way he let play Bayern is just like how Barcelona played back in 2011. Tiki taka but "in another jacket" . Every time i google for analysis of Bayern i repeatly see that Bayern is playing a 4141 system... But are they really playing that system?

what i think:

Balanced/Counter

Keeper: GK (D) pass to defender, pass shorter. not the sweeper role but with the PI i think i make some kind of SW keeper in a more cautious GK Role

Fullbacks: the DL (Alaba) Always bomb the left front BUT he also cut inside to the middle so that Ribbery take the right back up wide leaving the marker of the DL clueless.. the DR would bomb the right flank but wont cut inside as the DR does. So i would make the DL a CWB (A) and the DR a FB (S or Auto)

Defenders: Dante is more a BPD so i would go for a BPD/CD combi with the BPD (Cover) and CD (Stopper)

Def Midfielder: that would be a HB (D) as Lahm/Schweinsteiger Always drop deep between the Defenders.

Midfielders: Gotze is an AP (A) player. So i would go for at least 1 mc as AP (A). Kroos played yesterday more as BBM (S) being everywhere and Always arriving "later" in the box. So I would go for AP (A) and BBM (S) combi on midfield.

Wingers: This an area where i have my questions. A lot of people says Bayern plays a 4141 but i cannot understand why.. they are Always high up the pitch with Robben and Ribery always going inside . the only change they made is the fact that both players are doings less solo action and are more playing for the team. So i would think (in FM term) they both plays as IF in a support role. They cut diagnolly and go behind the defence and try through passes or try to shoot from just outside the box. and sometimes ofc inside the box.

Striker: The striker looks to take the all attacking line.. he drops into space, run a defence, take longshots, go wide .. so a Complete Forward (S) would be perfect for this role..

in term of Team Instruction, i would go like this:

Retain Possession

Shorter Passing

Work ball into Box

Look for Overlap

Much Higher Def Line ( would this work in combi with a Counter mentality ?)

Roam from Positions

Stay on Feet

Use Offside Trap

Lower Tempo

Be more Expressive

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Llama could you advice me on closing down settings. At the moment I am closing down for striker my AMR/L and my AMC. I want my front 4 players to cto close down the opposition back line. I then set my two central midfielders to close down less. My full backs and central defenders are alsos

set to close down less. I do not use hassle opponents because it destroys my shape. Should i use push higher up to get my front four to close down more quickly or would having them in the AM Strata allow them to be in a good position to be closing down.

My other question is closing down for midfielders I tend to give my two central midfielders close down more if the opposition are playing with two DMC. If I am playing with two DMC and the opposition is playing with two central midfielders I will give close down more instructikns to my two central midfielders.The reason for this is because I want to stop them from dictating play from deep. Could you advice if I am doing this correctly or is there a other way to stop DMC from playing out from deep and the

Also if there are playing a flat 442 i instruct my full backs to close down more so they are closer to the opposition wingers. Need your advice to if i should be doing this.

I am playing as Arsenal with Balance and Control. I only use shorter passing, play out of defence and more expressive shouts. I am reaaly unsre about the push higher up shout because I do not know when to use and what opponents to use it against. The same thing applies to tbe drop deeper shout and also selecting when to use Counter Attack Strategy.

Please help me mate. I do not know what I am doing anymore

Closing down I do on an opponent by opponent basis. I try both systems. If you want to press and win the ball back, a higher line squeezes the space more, so suits this. Although I am confused about your question over the AM strata? You have 3 players there already surely?

If you are playing with 2 DMC - then getting them off closing down is not super, they leave a strong defensive shape, and expose your team, nearer your own goal. Either have your team press as a unit, or stand off as a unit first and foremost. I think you try and replicate real life's quirks far too much, rather than simply learning what does what. It doesn't matter if the opposition DM's play out from the back, as long as they are harmless in possession. Perhaps a DF can help you win the ball back from a DM?

I am not great with marking and closing down OI's - so will refrain from offering much advice. If you are trying to sit compact then don't get your full backs out of shape on the flanks, running around closing down. Similarly if you play a high line, getting your team to stand off an AMC is crazy.

Basic principle: = the push higher & drop deeper thing is easy - quick opposing strike force = drop deeper - whereas a slow opposing strike force = push higher. That's the general gist. A pair of strikers is more complicated.

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Closing down I do on an opponent by opponent basis. I try both systems. If you want to press and win the ball back, a higher line squeezes the space more, so suits this. Although I am confused about your question over the AM strata? You have 3 players there already surely?

If you are playing with 2 DMC - then getting them off closing down is not super, they leave a strong defensive shape, and expose your team, nearer your own goal. Either have your team press as a unit, or stand off as a unit first and foremost. I think you try and replicate real life's quirks far too much, rather than simply learning what does what. It doesn't matter if the opposition DM's play out from the back, as long as they are harmless in possession. Perhaps a DF can help you win the ball back from a DM?

I am not great with marking and closing down OI's - so will refrain from offering much advice. If you are trying to sit compact then don't get your full backs out of shape on the flanks, running around closing down. Similarly if you play a high line, getting your team to stand off an AMC is crazy.

Basic principle: = the push higher & drop deeper thing is easy - quick opposing strike force = drop deeper - whereas a slow opposing strike force = push higher. That's the general gist. A pair of strikers is more complicated.

Thank you Llama. Could you give me your thoughts and advice on playing with Very Rigid + Control as a team strategy. The reason why I was considering playing this way is because I want certain players to behave as I instruct them. Now I am not sure if this set up will suit a team like Arsenal. Your feedback and advice would be very helpful.

Also when you drop deeper do you use a counter strategy.

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Another quick one, this time related to my back up strategy:

Would you suggest using an Attacking or Support role for a central striker in combination with an Inside Forward - Attack out wide in a 4-3-3 / 4-5-1?

My front 3 will be:

AMR: Winger (Support): Theo Walcott

AML: Inside Forward (Attack): Lucas Podolski

FC: Advanced Forward (Attack) / Deeplying Forward (Support): Giroud

I'd like Giroud in an attacking role ideally but would he get in the way of Podolski. There will be one MC (A) and one MC (S) in the midfield behind them.

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Thank you Llama. Could you give me your thoughts and advice on playing with Very Rigid + Control as a team strategy. The reason why I was considering playing this way is because I want certain players to behave as I instruct them. Now I am not sure if this set up will suit a team like Arsenal. Your feedback and advice would be very helpful.

Also when you drop deeper do you use a counter strategy.

The philosophy depends on your team and formation. I don't have an opinion until I know how you plan to use it.

Generally, although a counter strategy naturally drops the defensive line anyway. Sometimes I use it to modify a Standard approach etc.

Another quick one, this time related to my back up strategy:

Would you suggest using an Attacking or Support role for a central striker in combination with an Inside Forward - Attack out wide in a 4-3-3 / 4-5-1?

My front 3 will be:

AMR: Winger (Support): Theo Walcott

AML: Inside Forward (Attack): Lucas Podolski

FC: Advanced Forward (Attack) / Deeplying Forward (Support): Giroud

I'd like Giroud in an attacking role ideally but would he get in the way of Podolski. There will be one MC (A) and one MC (S) in the midfield behind them.

If he is an Attack duty make sure that there is space for both forwards. If they seem to both be getting stuck centrally, make the central striker move into channels to free up some space.

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The philosophy depends on your team and formation. I don't have an opinion until I know how you plan to use it.

Generally, although a counter strategy naturally drops the defensive line anyway. Sometimes I use it to modify a Standard approach etc.

If he is an Attack duty make sure that there is space for both forwards. If they seem to both be getting stuck centrally, make the central striker move into channels to free up some space.

Hi Llama I am going to set up my team in the 4231 formation. Because I fan of Pep and possession football I want my team to play a possession game. I though going rigid or very rigid would ensure that my team carries out my specific instructions. Can I also ask what team instructions you would recommend for possession footbal

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Hi there, I was hoping to get some advice from llama3 regarding 3 tactics but I am having issues uploading images from my hard drive (each saved In jpeg format, about 150K In size) - I have searched and not found anything on the forums other than some html (probably poor searching on my part) which I am not sure how to implement. Could someone please offer me some advice on the best way to upload images onto this thread, I have never tried it before.

Thanks in advance.

Edit:

Posting Permissions at foot of thread shows as:

You may post new threads

You may post replies

You may not post attachments

You may edit your posts

so I do not have permission to post attachments (images via the image icon). When uploading via the image button via Advanced Reply for example, I can select the files (which are local to my PC) and click on the upload button but there is a red circle icon with an ! to right of each image I have tried to upload and when I move my mouse over this icon it just says 'unspecified'.

I did come across the FAQ but made no sense:

How do I attach a file to a post?

To attach a file to your post, you need to be using the main 'New Post' or 'New Thread' page and not 'Quick Reply'. To use the main 'New Post' page, click the 'Post Reply' button in the relevant thread.

I could not see the 'Post Reply' button, just 'Reply to thread' and 'Quick Reply'. Must be me being thick as plenty of others can post images easily, I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.

Thanks

Most recent edit:

As you can hopefully see from below I have managed to work out how to do it - what a dunce I can be!!!

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I have found your excellent thread a very insightful and interesting read, thanks llama3.

I have long played a 41221 and never really deviated from that for the last few years on FM other than to drop the CM dlp to a DM position to make 2 DMs and 1 CM when facing a 4-2-3-1 with 3 narrow AMCs. I have changed the team instructions on the 4-1DM-2-2-1 to previous years due to the changes in the Tactical Creator and the new positions available to the player. As such, it feels almost like a little bit of a fresh start with this formation.

I am trying to add a further 2 formations to my bow and have been looking at your thread / Cleon's tactic creating thread and wwfans 12 step thread as I am unfamiliar with player roles/duties/combinations that best fit other formations. I am looking to add a 4-2CM-3-1 and 4-1DM-2-1-2 Diamond 442 to my bow. I would greatly appreciate any advice or input yourself or anyone else can offer.

I include screenshots of my tactics and also my first choice team with those tactics which may help explain the choice of roles/duties which is also heavily influenced by the aforementioned threads above and also my previous experience playing. The team instructions are the same throughout although I am unsure of their appropriateness through all the formations. They merely reflect a starting point that is in part indicative of a particular style or perhaps basis and yet I want the players to have freedom of choice rather than pinning them down with too many instructions. A kind of creative freedom without selecting creative freedom if you like.

2gtvxbr.jpg

This is my base starting 4-1DM-2-2-1 tactic, team instructions shown, absolutely no individual instructions used - I try to limit team instructions and player instructions till I see how the match is panning out.

I have a HB dropping in from DM position to provide additional cover to allow for bombing on wing backs who will provide my width and stretch the opposition. If playing against 1 striker, sometimes I change HB to a DM role.

Although slightly contradictory in terms of duties to your guide and Cleon's also, I have WBs and IFs all on attack because I need the attacking width of my WBs to stretch teams and given the players I am playing in the IF positions, I want them attacking and running at the defence rather than cutting in too early.

3 specialist role points is at the top range of Balanced Fluidity. I like the Counter philosophy and so have picked Retain Possession, Pass Into Space and Run At Defence. I am playing wider to stretch the pitch knowing I have the security of a HB in the DM position and I hassle opponents and stay on feet to try and press my opponents to win the ball as quickly as possible and counter off that - the higher up the pitch I can win the ball and counter from, the more likely I am to create a good scoring chance. I like retain possession (I know it slows tempo a bit) as although countering, I want to keep as much possession as possible - I can only score when I have the ball and my opponents cannot score when I have the ball. It suits me a little more than short passing instruction I think as I want to retain possession but not necessarily limit the range of passing.

Depending on where players are in the opposition formation and how the game is going, the following are some simple examples of player instructions I may use -

If I see players wasteful with shooting I may decrease the frequency of this, especially on the IFs and CMs.

The largest spaces in my formation exist in front of my WBs and CMs and so I may use closing down if I feel it's required - e.g. against a wide midfielder as the gap between the opposition wide midfielder and my WB may be larger than I would like at times.

Towards the end of games I may lower the duties of my WBs to support and then defend late on to increase defensive stability, especially if I am only a goal up and also when my team are early on in the tactic learning process.

Is there anything you could either add or correct me on with this formation/strategy that would improve it please llama3?

2ly507n.jpg

This is my base starting 4-2CM-3-1 tactic, team instructions shown, absolutely no individual instructions used - I try to limit team instructions and player instructions till I see how the match is panning out. I am very unsure about some things with this formation.

Again, width coming from the WBs and with Sterling and Sturridge in the IF position I want them attacking rather than a support duty. However, I feel I have too many attacking duties up front and therefore not an ideal balance in my style of play during the game. I think I am happy with the 2CM combination but I am wondering if I should be looking changing the duties of Coutinho and/or Sturridge. On the one hand, I want the balance of having 1 of each duty in the AM triangle but although I can almost justify the duty of each singular player in the formation with one reason or another, I am just unsure it fits as well as it could balance wise when considered as a team if you know what I mean.

As with the 4-1DM-2-2-1 I have 3 specialist role points which is at the top range of Balanced Fluidity. I like the Counter philosophy and so have picked Retain Possession, Pass Into Space and Run At Defence. I am playing wider to widen the pitch and create as much space and options for space when attacking and I hassle opponents and stay on feet to try and press my opponents to win the ball as quickly as possible and counter off that - the higher up the pitch I can win the ball and counter from, the more likely I am to create a good scoring chance. I like retain possession (I know it slows tempo a bit) as although countering, I don't want to stupidly fritter possession away with aimless passing. It suits me a little more than short passing instruction I think as I want to retain possession but not necessarily limit the range of passing. Perhaps the setup is a bit suicidal but I want to keep possession and press when I don't have the ball to limit the opposition chances.

I am new to the 4-2-3-1 and I realise playing it with 2CMs is quite offensive but I see this as potentially quite an attacking tactic, at least positionally formation wise although I am using a Counter strategy and plan to use it when playing at Home as another option. I am also concerned that the centre of my defence may be a little exposed although it has not looked too bad in the few home matches against albeit weaker opposition that I have tried it against so far. I am especially worried about being undone by an opposition AMC. I may be asking for trouble by playing so Wide without much central defensive cover, I am uneasy about the amount of spaces around my players with this formation and yet have never liked the DM DM AM triangle as I feel there is too much space to effectively link play. I do feel this could be an important option for me stategy wise if I can get it right.

Is there anything you could either add or correct me on with this formation/strategy that would improve it please llama3?

25rl7r7.jpg

This is my base starting 4-1DM-2-1-2 tactic, team instructions shown, absolutely no individual instructions used - I try to limit team instructions and player instructions till I see how the match is panning out. Again, without much experience with this formation, I am a little unsure. I ripped the 4 man midfield combination from your thread llama3, I think in an earlier conversation with Dr Hook perhaps. I tried the Treq at the tip of diamond and DLP at bottom of diamond combo also but it didn't seem to work all that weel in the few games I saw. The combination I have seemed to work a little better.

My WBs are attacking duty as I need them desperately to provide some width up the pitch but are only WBs and not CWBs as they need to do some defending also with this formation. Here I think I am most worried about my striker combination and if I have the best possible combination, not just in terms of the partnership, but also in terms of the whole team.

I particularly wanted a combination that would allow me the luxury of Suarez and Sturridge to effectively link up as an orthodox front 2 of sorts as an option in my formation choices, and I felt this may be the best and most secure 442 formation to go with although it does lack width. It would also be a viable option if I did not have wide men available as Liverpool are not blessed with strength in depth there at the minute and I have addressed other areas of the team first in my early transfer activity.

As with the 4-1DM-2-2-1 I have 3 specialist role points which is at the top range of Balanced Fluidity. I like the Counter philosophy and so have picked Retain Possession, Pass Into Space and Run At Defence. I am playing wider to stretch the pitch knowing I have the security of a DM and I need to widen the 4 central midfielders a little to cover a bit more of the pitch and I hassle opponents and stay on feet to try and press my opponents to win the ball as quickly as possible and counter off that - the higher up the pitch I can win the ball and counter from, the more likely I am to create a good scoring chance. I like retain possession (I know it slows tempo a bit) as although countering, I don't want to stupidly fritter possession away with aimless passing. It suits me a little more than short passing instruction I think as I want to retain possession but not necessarily limit the range of passing.

Is there anything you could either add or correct me on with this formation/strategy that would improve it please llama3?

Apologies for the massive long post, any feedback you could offer me llama3 (or anyone else for that matter) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for a great, informative thread.

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Hi Llama I am going to set up my team in the 4231 formation. Because I fan of Pep and possession football I want my team to play a possession game. I though going rigid or very rigid would ensure that my team carries out my specific instructions. Can I also ask what team instructions you would recommend for possession footbal

Most teams that play possession football are not set up in a strict fashion though. Possession football is about good movement and passing options. Rigid will restrict players to certain jobs in the team. Really not sure what you are trying to say or achieve.

2gtvxbr.jpg

2ly507n.jpg

25rl7r7.jpg

Wow that was a marathon post! There are several ways to achieve what you want with each system, but the basic pointers for each system are:

4-2-3-1 You central midfield pairing should be defensively minded. Be very wary of having a BWM and Hassle Opponents like that. It can cause you to lose a lot of defensive shape as the BWM goes running off chasing the ball into the flanks, with the AMR & AML upfield, leaving Gerrard and the defence exposed. A CM(D) will offer better protection. Make sure that if you want the wide men tracking back, that you tell them to. Also be wary of the AMC and his movement options. He may get very congested with Sturridge and Sterling coming in from wide, so you may wish Coutinho to be a Trequartista to be able to move into wide spaces vacated by your wide men.

4-1-2-1-2 The main issues are making sure your Wing Back's get forward enough to provide the width (they are, good start), and that your AMC does not get marked out of the game, otherwise you can find that your team becomes utterly dependent on him as a single route of attack. Again an AP(S) will not inherently have great lateral movement. So either get him roaming and moving into channels, or pick a Treq for Coutinho (which means change Suarez - CF(S) would be a great option, that are a few alternatives - F9 or DLF(S) would be good too). Basically the reason for this is that a lone AMC can be easily marked by a DMC or 2 - so if you get him pulling wide, it can drag him out of place, letting Henderson from deep run into the space, and Suarez dropping deep from the final third into the space too. Coutinho can find little pockets will Henderson & Suarez really control that little area.

4-1-2-2-1 Suarez is a hard working player, a Treq is a bit of a waste - he could achieve a similar style of play, and work harder with a F9 or CF(S) if you feel he is getting isolated, or wasting chances. But I don't play as Liverpool or with Suarez - so that is up to you what is right. Hassle Opponents should work with a high defensive line, otherwise your team can be pulled apart, close to your own goal. The run at defence and pass into space shouts do conflicting, opposite things to each other - choose neither, and pick either if you need it. Helpfully, a good way to identify the need for either - if you are playing against a high line - pass into space gets you in behind it. Playing against a packed defence, sitting deep - then run at defence, and try and unseat the defender to wriggle into some space.

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Llama after watching a few games last night on rigid I now no that using rigid is not for me or the way I want to play. So I am going back to Balance/Control. Do you know how to get the AMR/L in a 4231formation to track or is just down to the players work rate that decides if they track back or not. I see that you play the 4231 so I was hoping you could help with some advice in this area

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Llama after watching a few games last night on rigid I now no that using rigid is not for me or the way I want to play. So I am going back to Balance/Control. Do you know how to get the AMR/L in a 4231formation to track or is just down to the players work rate that decides if they track back or not. I see that you play the 4231 so I was hoping you could help with some advice in this area

Specific man-marking the full backs helps, or giving OI's on the opposing full backs too are generally the ways to go.

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Wow that was a marathon post! There are several ways to achieve what you want with each system, but the basic pointers for each system are:

Thanks very much for your detailed replies llama3. Some things (my team instructions) I thought I kind of understood, but I clearly don't. There is much to digest and test from your replies but you have given me a great head start, thanks very much.

Can I just ask, I am choosing fluidity level based on the points tally suggested by wwfan but I am not sure if I am picking the correct philosophy (Counter Attacking in this case) for each formation. Does the counter attacking philosophy suit the formations I have gone for in your experience?

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Counter, Attacking etc are Strategies, not Philosophies. Those formations are fairly adaptable, and can suit many strategies. 4-1-2-2-1 suits possession, a 4-2-3-1 can counter or press very well, depending on which variant you choose. 4-1-2-1-2 is not quite such a counter-attacking formation though.

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Most teams that play possession football are not set up in a strict fashion though. Possession football is about good movement and passing options. Rigid will restrict players to certain jobs in the team. Really not sure what you are trying to say or achieve.

Wow that was a marathon post! There are several ways to achieve what you want with each system, but the basic pointers for each system are:

4-2-3-1 You central midfield pairing should be defensively minded. Be very wary of having a BWM and Hassle Opponents like that. It can cause you to lose a lot of defensive shape as the BWM goes running off chasing the ball into the flanks, with the AMR & AML upfield, leaving Gerrard and the defence exposed. A CM(D) will offer better protection. Make sure that if you want the wide men tracking back, that you tell them to. Also be wary of the AMC and his movement options. He may get very congested with Sturridge and Sterling coming in from wide, so you may wish Coutinho to be a Trequartista to be able to move into wide spaces vacated by your wide men.

Hi again LLama3!

I was waitin' for your reply, but fair enough :D

As you answered to James 9, you told that the 2 players on the MC strata have to be defensive minded, but in the "AMC triangle" your suggestions were about one on defence and one on support. Or were you just suggesting to use a different combination like a dlp (sup) and mc(def) to avoid role like BTBMid and BWMid that often leaves spaces due an high pressure on the opponents?

Anything about my questions?

What about the decision of James9 to use "Retain possession" in a CounterAttacking Mentality?

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Hi again LLama3!

I was waitin' for your reply, but fair enough :D

As you answered to James 9, you told that the 2 players on the MC strata have to be defensive minded, but in the "AMC triangle" your suggestions were about one on defence and one on support. Or were you just suggesting to use a different combination like a dlp (sup) and mc(def) to avoid role like BTBMid and BWMid that often leaves spaces due an high pressure on the opponents?

Anything about my questions?

What about the decision of James9 to use "Retain possession" in a CounterAttacking Mentality?

I saw your post at work, then completely forget about it the next morning when I finished my night shift. Sorry about that. Onto that in a sec...

Regarding the defensive minded thing - a CM(S), DLP(S) or BBM(S) can sit in that pairing well enough - the former 2 are conservative enough getting forward, the latter is hard working enough defensively to use as well. A CM(D), DLP(D), BWM(D) (sometimes) are the better options as the defensive player. Sometimes you have to break or bend your own rules a little. Within a 4-2-3-1 I normally use CM(D) & DLP(S) to sit deep enough and cover. I would only use a BWM & BBM if the pairing next to them was defensively hard working enough, and if it suited the opposition.

Retain Possession is something I am cautious of. I think that it is being used alongside Counter for the general approach of keeping hold of the ball, and the mentality structure that counter allows. Personally I don't mix the 2, but Cleon has and done well out of it.

As for your previous post...

It is a very complex system to get right, but very variable at the same time. You can play it quite direct or use it for possession. Pressing or Countering - frankly, a lot works with it. The "partnerships" are what you choose them to be. For example - you could choose to identify your AML-STC-AMR as a "front 3" and make your AMC selection based on what you have chosen for your front 3. Or, you could choose to form a partnership with your AMC-STC instead, and then base your wide players around the supply, and what you want from your full backs. You will tend to have an obvious player or 2 that you want to build your system around - so at Swansea for example, you will have Michu & Bony as very obviously stand-out players. So naturally you would look and find a partnership that suits them. Maybe SS(A) & CF(S) - then choose the other options to serve them best - maybe 2 wingers (1 S 1 A) as you don't want to crowd the 2 forwards out. Then I could go back to my central midfield pairing, and decide that a BBM might be preferable as the support player, because you need another player that offers a little creativity in the middle & final thirds that Michu won't be offering as a Shadow Striker...

So you see how 1 decision affects another - look at your team, identify the most important players and components - then find how they can fit together well & the other players can link in with them. Many clubs have such pairs through the team:

Man Utd - van Persie & Rooney (then subsequently how to link Mata & Januzaj)

Arsenal - Ozil & Giroud (then subsequently Walcott too)

Chelsea - previously the "3 amigos"

Man City - Aguero & Negredo

etc etc

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I saw your post at work, then completely forget about it the next morning when I finished my night shift. Sorry about that. Onto that in a sec...

Regarding the defensive minded thing - a CM(S), DLP(S) or BBM(S) can sit in that pairing well enough - the former 2 are conservative enough getting forward, the latter is hard working enough defensively to use as well. A CM(D), DLP(D), BWM(D) (sometimes) are the better options as the defensive player. Sometimes you have to break or bend your own rules a little. Within a 4-2-3-1 I normally use CM(D) & DLP(S) to sit deep enough and cover. I would only use a BWM & BBM if the pairing next to them was defensively hard working enough, and if it suited the opposition.

Retain Possession is something I am cautious of. I think that it is being used alongside Counter for the general approach of keeping hold of the ball, and the mentality structure that counter allows. Personally I don't mix the 2, but Cleon has and done well out of it.

As for your previous post...

It is a very complex system to get right, but very variable at the same time. You can play it quite direct or use it for possession. Pressing or Countering - frankly, a lot works with it. The "partnerships" are what you choose them to be. For example - you could choose to identify your AML-STC-AMR as a "front 3" and make your AMC selection based on what you have chosen for your front 3. Or, you could choose to form a partnership with your AMC-STC instead, and then base your wide players around the supply, and what you want from your full backs. You will tend to have an obvious player or 2 that you want to build your system around - so at Swansea for example, you will have Michu & Bony as very obviously stand-out players. So naturally you would look and find a partnership that suits them. Maybe SS(A) & CF(S) - then choose the other options to serve them best - maybe 2 wingers (1 S 1 A) as you don't want to crowd the 2 forwards out. Then I could go back to my central midfield pairing, and decide that a BBM might be preferable as the support player, because you need another player that offers a little creativity in the middle & final thirds that Michu won't be offering as a Shadow Striker...

So you see how 1 decision affects another - look at your team, identify the most important players and components - then find how they can fit together well & the other players can link in with them. Many clubs have such pairs through the team:

Man Utd - van Persie & Rooney (then subsequently how to link Mata & Januzaj)

Arsenal - Ozil & Giroud (then subsequently Walcott too)

Chelsea - previously the "3 amigos"

Man City - Aguero & Negredo

etc etc

Excellent, I did something like that in AC MILAN and It works perfectly, but as I said, I'd like to build something that can count on both IF.

Do you think that a F9 (cause He drops deep) and a TREQUARTISTA (moves into spaces) could well supply 2 IF (both on Attack)? Do you think could It work?

Which kind of midfield would you use?

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Specific man-marking the full backs helps, or giving OI's on the opposing full backs too are generally the ways to go.

Specific Man Marking is that the same as Mark Tightly in the Player Instruction section

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The "partnerships" are what you choose them to be. For example - you could choose to identify your AML-STC-AMR as a "front 3" and make your AMC selection based on what you have chosen for your front 3. Or, you could choose to form a partnership with your AMC-STC instead, and then base your wide players around the supply, and what you want from your full backs. You will tend to have an obvious player or 2 that you want to build your system around - so at Swansea for example, you will have Michu & Bony as very obviously stand-out players. So naturally you would look and find a partnership that suits them. Maybe SS(A) & CF(S) - then choose the other options to serve them best - maybe 2 wingers (1 S 1 A) as you don't want to crowd the 2 forwards out. Then I could go back to my central midfield pairing, and decide that a BBM might be preferable as the support player, because you need another player that offers a little creativity in the middle & final thirds that Michu won't be offering as a Shadow Striker...

So you see how 1 decision affects another - look at your team, identify the most important players and components - then find how they can fit together well & the other players can link in with them. Many clubs have such pairs through the team:

Man Utd - van Persie & Rooney (then subsequently how to link Mata & Januzaj)

Arsenal - Ozil & Giroud (then subsequently Walcott too)

Chelsea - previously the "3 amigos"

Man City - Aguero & Negredo

etc etc

This is a very useful post, thank you. The front 3 seems to be the most difficult combination to get right..

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Excellent, I did something like that in AC MILAN and It works perfectly, but as I said, I'd like to build something that can count on both IF.

Do you think that a F9 (cause He drops deep) and a TREQUARTISTA (moves into spaces) could well supply 2 IF (both on Attack)? Do you think could It work?

Which kind of midfield would you use?

Well in theory - yes it could. It will rely on good movement all round - so as long as they all have the right sort of PPM's, good Off the Ball attributes etc then it could. Get the wing backs in down the flanks, offering width and you are laughing.

Specific Man Marking is that the same as Mark Tightly in the Player Instruction section

No, pre-match and via quick tactics dropdown menu in-game you have options to select player marking before the game. Man to Man individual marking can only be selected once you get into the match build up screen.

This is a very useful post, thank you. The front 3 seems to be the most difficult combination to get right..

Yeah, especially with an AMC. I have often had to rethink systems because I didn't quite like how the lovely individual components interacted with each other.

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Basic principle: = the push higher & drop deeper thing is easy - quick opposing strike force = drop deeper - whereas a slow opposing strike force = push higher. That's the general gist. A pair of strikers is more complicated.

What if the opposing strike force is quick but my CBs and quicker? Push higher?

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What if the opposing strike force is quick but my CBs and quicker? Push higher?

That is up to you. I can't micromanage your team for you.

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Hi llama3,

Apologies, another mammoth post!

After your previous advice I have decided to focus on 1 formation at a time and try to get a base starting point that can potentially be used home and away and then modified as per circumstance during the game. My first focus is my 4-1-2-1-2 narrow diamond formation and after taking your initial advice, I was left with a setup along the following lines –

Gk (D)

WBR (A) DC (D) DC (D) WBL (A)

DM (D)

DLP (S) CM (A)

T (A)

AF (A) CF (S)

As per your previous suggestion, I changed the AP at the attacking tip of the diamond (Coutinho) to a Trequarista to improve his potential for movement and hence make it harder to close him out of the game. In doing so I then modified Suarez as per your suggestion to a CF (S). Both my CF (S) and CM (A) had potential to use the space vacated by Coutinho in the T (A) role. Also, you suggested previously that "Counter" was not a great strategy for this formation so I changed to "Control" but retained "Balanced" as "Balanced" should be 2-3 points on WWFan's guide and using his system the DLP and T both score 1 point and CF scores 0.5 giving me 2.5 points.

I started without team instructions or player instructions and played a home game against Hull a couple of times without any changes in tactics or players during the game so I could get a feel for what I was looking at. I am no guru at tactics but thought that perhaps looking initially at the game stats, the individual player stats and the heat map (average player positions) as well as watching the game would be a start.

Looking at the heat map, I could see that my wing backs were a little in advance of my centre backs which is good, but my 4 central midfielders in the diamond were very narrow and close together and that Coutinho at the tip of the diamond, T (A) was very very close to Suarez, my CF (S). From watching the game I could see that the opposition was not really causing me any problems but that I also was not really causing them any problems. Possession was poor, less than Hull's and CCCs were low.

I decided to introduce team instructions, to start to enforce a style on the team that is simple and effective and gets the best out of this formation. I am looking maximise the strengths of this formation and nullify the weaknesses as much as possible and also not create any further weaknesses with conflicting instructions. I have gone for Width, Possession and Pressing -

Play Wide

Shorter Passing

Play Out Of Defence

Work Ball Out Of Defence

Higher Defensive Line

Hassle Opponents

Stay On Feet

I felt I need to play Wider with this narrow formation, this will help my MCs cover wider areas by closing down opponents when needed. I want to retain possession without giving it away too easily, when I have the ball, I can score and my opponents can't. By playing wider I am leaving larger spaces for opposition players to potentially move into and coupled with the weaknesses of this formation in terms of out wide also, I need to be able to close down the space effectively, a higher D-Line will lessen the amount of space to close down a little and by staying on feet, I can try and pinch the ball and keep my player active and hopefully lessen the chances of being booked for fouls because the fouls should not be as bad when on my feet and less likely to be yellow carded or worse if they are further away from my box (higher D-Line).

I played out another couple of home games and although an improvement, I was not really threatening enough yet although I was not being threatened myself overly.

I then got to thinking about how Liuverpool play the diamond and I was reading your thread around where Dr Hook's narrow diamond formation is being spoken of and I see the bit about the free players DC and DM and how the opposition does not mind them having the ball and then I think of Gerrard and suddenly I am thinking of DLP or Registra in DM position. I also noticed from the player stats that my goalkeeper had a shocking pass conversion rate so with all that in mind I made the following setup:

Formation/Roles:

Gk (D)

WBR (A) DC (D) DC (D) WBL (A)

DLP (S) or REGISTA (S)

BWM (D) CM (A)

T (A)

AF (A) CF (S)

Team Instructions:

Play Wide

Shorter Passing

Play Out Of Defence

Work Ball Out Of Defence

Higher Defensive Line

Hassle Opponents

Stay On Feet

Player Instructions:

Distribute to Defenders (Goalkeeper)

I basically play DLP (S) if I play Lucas in the DM strata or Regista (S) if I play Gerrard in the DM strata, I have swapped it around also, I have retained CM (A) in MC strata and Henderson seems a better option than Gerrard here, possibly due to his stamnina, mobility and work rate I am guessing, and Lucas or Allen in the BWM (D) also in the MC strata.

When playing the Hull game at Home again, I am coming out clear winner by a few goals usually, not having a massive amount more possession than before but seem to be much more effective with it, having about 3 times more CCCs (sometimes 10 or so in the game) but at the same time my keeper is having to make a few great saves, perhaps a couple of last man last ditch closing downs where my last defender closes down the space and gets to the striker just in time. I usually concede nothing or 1 goal at most. I realise that this is only against 1 team and this needs testing against more style etc.

I have kept back shouts like (as you advised in part previously)

Higher Tempo

Run At Defence

Pass Into Space

to cover in game scenarios where I may need to play with more urgency or I am struggling against a team sitting deep or I am struggling against a team closing me down quickly respectively.

I am worried that I may have opened things up too much (although I know it's about balance, risk and reward etc) due to some of their offensive moments - which are usually nearer the start, and sometime the end of a game.

What do you make of my current set up llama3 and can you offer any suggestions to improve my 4-1-2-1-2 further based on your tactical experience?

Is there anything I am still doing wrong or could do better?

Could I come up with a suitable home and away version by messing around with the player roles/duties in the formation – I currently have 2 midfielders on attack duty, 1 on support duty and 1 on defence duty – I am guessing I could modify so that I have a base starting point when playing stronger teams at Home, stronger teams Away, weaker teams at Home, weaker teams Away – do you have any thoughts on that?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and take care.

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To be honest Grokaer - I would not want to sit there and advise changes to your system when you have demonstrated ample ability to do so yourself. A diamond system does not really lend itself to counter-attacking I feel - but I am sure it can be made to work well with the right set up. I don't have a "big games" tactic and a "small games" tactic. I play to the strengths of myself, and weaknesses of opponents - not all big teams play the same, not all small teams play the same. I can advise on any specific issues - but you sound like you already have a good solid base now.

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To be honest Grokaer - I would not want to sit there and advise changes to your system when you have demonstrated ample ability to do so yourself. A diamond system does not really lend itself to counter-attacking I feel - but I am sure it can be made to work well with the right set up. I don't have a "big games" tactic and a "small games" tactic. I play to the strengths of myself, and weaknesses of opponents - not all big teams play the same, not all small teams play the same. I can advise on any specific issues - but you sound like you already have a good solid base now.

Thanks llama3, I may not have mentioned it above but I did heed your advice about the narrow diamond formation not suiting the counter strategy and in the final setup I describe above, I have gone for a control strategy.

I think (hopefully) I have made some progress on my 4231, also a control strategy, team instructions as 41212 except without the play wide instruction and the keeper has the same player instruction to distribute to defenders. Currently trialling:

Gk (D)

WBR (S) DC (D) DC (D) WBL (A)

CM (D) DLP (S)

W (A) SS (A) AP (S)

CF (S)

The attacking winger on right side has been an inside forward attack - that is Sterling's position - I am checking to see which role suits him better in games, the SS is Suarez, the CF is Sturridge and the AP is Coutinho. It's been about trying to find the best way to fit them all in. Not quite there yet as not convinced Sturridge works great as a CF (S) as I feel he works best running the other way but my tactical familiarity is still low so there are a few more games for him to show me some improvement :-)

I think I was already pretty much ok with the 41221 although I did take you up on your suggestion of Suarez as CF (S) instead of T (A) so I get more bang for my buck from Suarez. That one is looking good so far, and kept strategy at Counter so it's a little different. May toy with one of the others at Standard away from home instead of Control and see how I get on.

Thanks for your advice and this thread, I would not have been able to improve the 4231 and 41212 (I desperately wanted to add a couple more strings to my bow formation/setup wise) as quickly and effectively without your advice, your thread and the later contributions of yourself and fellow posters at random points throughout the thread. I am very grateful for that.

Advice always appreciated.

Take care llama3.

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A question about using a BWM D. I understand the logic he doesn't really hold so a cm d or dm d for example would better but what if part of your set up is using the hassle opponents shout?

Does a cm d still hold a bit more or does using the hassle opponents shout mean he will close down as much as BWM d would do anyway?

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A question about using a BWM D. I understand the logic he doesn't really hold so a cm d or dm d for example would better but what if part of your set up is using the hassle opponents shout?

Does a cm d still hold a bit more or does using the hassle opponents shout mean he will close down as much as BWM d would do anyway?

Would behave similarly with that shout.

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Hello.

Need help with my tactic. I managed to achieve lots of possession but often it does not convert into goals.I can have 65% of possession and 0 CCC and few half chances and the game ends 0-0.

My team is a bit vulnerable to counter attacks but only against big teams I can live with that as long as I dominate the games.

The only PI is GK distributing to my WB and AP roaming from position.

So how can i make my attack more effective without reducing the possession stats.

21279y1.jpg

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You have a pretty well balanced system - and my first thought was "so what is wrong with it?" - you are top of the league too. What I have noticed is that you are slightly too possession-friendly. I would tend to only use retain possession when I need to hold on to the ball - as in closing out a game, under pressure maybe etc. Otherwise it can limit your expressiveness in the final third.

I suspect most issues centre on this and your in-match decision making. Do you know when to Counter instead and how to adjust your shouts? Are you exploiting opponents weaknesses? You have a well balanced system - so it is unlikely that your problems are anything other than fairly minor.

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I suspect most issues centre on this and your in-match decision making. Do you know when to Counter instead and how to adjust your shouts? Are you exploiting opponents weaknesses? You have a well balanced system - so it is unlikely that your problems are anything other than fairly minor.

I'm not sure I perfectly know when and how to exploit opponents weaknesses but i try to.The most problems i've had were games like against Parma or Udinese who were dominated for about 30 minutes and then changed their formations to 5 defenders and packed midfield and tried to counter.As a result i couldn't get any chances at all although the quality of game remained the same.Should i play wider against "parked bus"? with the higher tempo to try to unsettle them? Any tips would be appreciated.

the 3 central midfield players are all static,that's a problem; the 2 MC should be like that in that formation, so the AMC needs a more agressive role; my 2 cents :)

Which role would fit in here? If i change to APa Kaka often moves on top of Balotelli i would go for Treq cause it suits his playing style but im afraid that it will kill the defensive/pressing balance cause Treq are lazy without the ball.

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I'm not sure I perfectly know when and how to exploit opponents weaknesses but i try to.The most problems i've had were games like against Parma or Udinese who were dominated for about 30 minutes and then changed their formations to 5 defenders and packed midfield and tried to counter.As a result i couldn't get any chances at all although the quality of game remained the same.Should i play wider against "parked bus"? with the higher tempo to try to unsettle them? Any tips would be appreciated.

Which role would fit in here? If i change to APa Kaka often moves on top of Balotelli i would go for Treq cause it suits his playing style but im afraid that it will kill the defensive/pressing balance cause Treq are lazy without the ball.

You can get some overlapping wide to cause some overloads. Run at Defence can unseat a compact defence if they are sitting deep too.

You could always try and get your AP to roam from position to get some added movement.

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I'm not sure I perfectly know when and how to exploit opponents weaknesses but i try to.The most problems i've had were games like against Parma or Udinese who were dominated for about 30 minutes and then changed their formations to 5 defenders and packed midfield and tried to counter.As a result i couldn't get any chances at all although the quality of game remained the same.Should i play wider against "parked bus"? with the higher tempo to try to unsettle them? Any tips would be appreciated.

Which role would fit in here? If i change to APa Kaka often moves on top of Balotelli i would go for Treq cause it suits his playing style but im afraid that it will kill the defensive/pressing balance cause Treq are lazy without the ball.

I would set APa and slect move into channels for both AMC and ST

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