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Any help for a Benitez 4-2-3-1 Tactic

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Hi. I have been trying to create a typical Rafa Benitez 4-2-3-1 tactic for months now but I can't get it to work!

I am not sure about a lot of things. For example the fluidity: rigid or fluid? Some think rigid because Benitez hammers on structure and shape of his team. Some think fluid because he wants his whole team to defend as a compact unit, with 6 players focusing more on defending, and 4 players focusing on attacking.

This is what I have now as a basic template, playing with Napoli:


W(A) SS(A) W(A)




With Dries Mertens in my team, I have made the left winger an inside forward when he plays. Also I have played Hamsik both as a shadow striker and an advanced playmaker(A). When he plays playmaker, I change my striker to a CF(A) and my DLP(S) to DM(S) to keep it balanced.

Mentality: Control

Fuidity: Fluid

Team instructions:

-Pass into space?

-Push higher up?

-Higher tempo?

-Stick to positions?

-Hassle opponents?

-Shorter passing?

I have put a question mark after all instructions because I'm really not sure about what instructions to use. I have been watching Napoli play last weeks and I noticed that in defence their team looks more like a compact 4-4-2. How do I make my wingers to behave like they do in reality, tracking back to form a second bank of four? Is this possible with the use of a deep 4-2-3-1 formation?

Anyone who can help me in recreating the Benitez style of football?

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My bad. In Dutch language GK is DM so that's where the mistake comes from :-). It's edited now.

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I would say that you're going to want to have your fullbacks more involved.. You won't have much dynamic in your attack using fullback-support + winger-attack on both sides. It's good to alternate them. Attacking duties throughout each line of your team creates overlaps and critical movement. You want to have that.

For Rafa I would say fluid makes more sense. If you read the Tactical Theorems 10 appendix they cover a bunch of popular styles and Rafa's 08'-10 liverpool team are in there.

Some basics: 4-2-3-1 fluid, asymmetric wing play (like I said above), deep lying playmaker usage, one DMC as a destroyer one DMC as deep lying playmaker, AMC - gerrard - let him roam about as an attacking mid on attack. Torres up top in the TTF appendix is given a CF-S. So basically you'd want your striker to roam around and find space while also linking play a bit.

In terms of Napoli I think you can do this pretty well. Higuain up top as the creative role, Hamsik behind him playing like Gerrard, and the rest should fall into place.

But that's just one interpretation :)

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Thank you for the insight bababooey. I have actually read the Tactical Theorems 10 appendix 3 years ago.

I am now playing with Dnipro with my own made 4-2-3-1 and I'm doing fine. Instead of control I play counter now, it works much better.

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