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DaBossa

4132 - how many people use this formation and how.

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As a very long time CM/FM player, im often brought back at some point to try my favorite game (CM 01/02) Graeme Kelly 4132 tactic. I often find that it doesn't work so well - but is it working again?

I would like to hear other players experiences with 4132s, as im suddenly enjoying 2014 watching my terrible Barnsley team play attractive flowing football, creating up to 20 chances a game while restricting my competition to long shots and the cursed long throws - with around 5 CCC a game im loving it.

Basic info for my 4132 (2014)

Standard, Defensive (Im a weak team) - Short passing, Higher D-Line and retain possession. (with the Defensive instruction the team will play deep, slow and narrow, with no pressing. Defenders will pass direct, attackers short)

CM - (support) close down more. CMR/L - (attack) Roam, Close down more.

FBs - (Support or attack) less risky passes, short passing. CBs - (defensive) short passing.

I use two DLFs to help maintain the midfield, one support, one attack - both roam/channels.

The formation also lets me keep a smaller squad, not having to worry about wings, but if you have a CMR/L with crossing and dribbling skills... Golden.

On a side note - ive gone back to 2012 to try it with my save there and ... wow! (in 10 games, won 10 43 goals for 7 against)

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There is no magic formation that exploits ME flaws like in some previous versions of FM/CM.

If you find a formation that suits your club's players and is applicable to your team's standing (defensive for your relatively weak team, for example) then you have a good chance of it working out well.

So congrats if you've got the formation working nicely for your team, but there's no guarentee it'll work with all teams.

Personally I got it working nicely with Juventus, who have a ridiculously good midfield, although I played with three CM's.

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I just won promotion from Skrill North using a 4-1-3-2 formation.

DCs are usually on Limited Defender d and c roles (or d and x; never c and x).

FBs are on CWBa duties/roles - or one of them is LFBd if the oppo have 2 dangerous strikers.

DMC is usually a half-back (d) to compensate for the marauding wingback(s).

Ahead of them are AML/AMC/AMR - roles and duties depending on personnel and opposition.

Up front an AF or CF(a) and F9.

Team instructions: Rigid/Counter; rest depend on personnel, opposition, conditions etc. but usually possession-based, low tempo, narrow with D-line depending on speed of oppo strikers.

Assman perpetually tells me the midfield is being overrun but actually it's a very solid system, especially defensively.

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@phnompenhandy

That just sounds like it shouldn't work to me! A 4-1-3-2 where the 3 are in the AM line?

When your Half Back drops into the Defensive Line, the opposition could have a lot of time and space to attack the space between your DC and AM lines.

What Roles / Duties do you use in that AM line in a "typical" game against a similar quality of opponent?

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This is my favourite formation for when I start out with small teams in low-reputation leagues (Welsh Premier, Norwegian Second, Skrill N/S, etc...).

I came upon it a few versions ago as a solution to the fact that at these levels finding quality wide men was very difficult, while I also found I could attract a (relative) abundance of central midfielders and strikers.

It's very good defensively, but takes some work (and finding good players) to begin to work offensively. This suits me since I'm usually starting with a relegation candidate team, and I like to focus first on making it hard to score on us before I focus on attack.

With no wide men other than the fullbacks (who I have as wingbacks) you'll get a lot of crosses into your box, so this must be countered by having central defenders who are at least big and strong with good heading.

The other key challenge you run into is stagnancy on offense, which can only be partially solved by better personnel. When I do find myself up against teams I should beat and/or dominate, I find that they can park the bus quite effectively given the narrowness of this formation. So, at that point it's time to bring out the "Play Wider" shout.

Anyway, for personnel, this is what I do. I also run Rigid, and alternate between Counter, Standard and Control as things merit. I tend not to use Defensive, even against the best teams, because it'll just be an endless stream of uncontested crosses against me.

GK: Defend

WBR: Support (in the FB strata)

CD: Defend (bigger guy here)

CD: Defend (faster guy here)

WBL: Attack

DM: Defend

CMR: Attack

AP: Support

BBM: Support

STR: Deep Lying Forward Support

STL: Attacking Forward Attack

Eventually I find it not dynamic on offense to succeed at higher levels, even with much better players, but it's a great formation when you get it working.

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Assman perpetually tells me the midfield is being overrun but actually it's a very solid system, especially defensively.

Yeah mine too (lol) Its nice to hear that others have found similar things.

The other key challenge you run into is stagnancy on offense, which can only be partially solved by better personnel. When I do find myself up against teams I should beat and/or dominate, I find that they can park the bus quite effectively given the narrowness of this formation. So, at that point it's time to bring out the "Play Wider" shout.

In CM01/02 i used DML/R instead of FBs, but the wide open spaces outside the CMs attacking FB/WB would work well, but i like my FBs to stay around halfway and help keep the ball rather than pushing on, but if the oppo camp deep then FBs Attack and look for overlap works well.

With no wide men other than the fullbacks (who I have as wingbacks) you'll get a lot of crosses into your box, so this must be countered by having central defenders who are at least big and strong with good heading.

I have found the defense suffers if the FB/WBs are too attacking?

I find it not dynamic on offense to succeed at higher levels, even with much better players

Ive found that the inter passing using 2 DLFs breaks down most defenses. Has anyone tried playing one of the attackers in the AM roles - like maybe a shadow striker??

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@phnompenhandy

That just sounds like it shouldn't work to me! A 4-1-3-2 where the 3 are in the AM line?

When your Half Back drops into the Defensive Line, the opposition could have a lot of time and space to attack the space between your DC and AM lines.

What Roles / Duties do you use in that AM line in a "typical" game against a similar quality of opponent?

Well first of all remember that the CWBs are occupying virtually ML/MR positions (or one of them is). The AML/AMRs are typically one on Winger (attack) and the other on IF(support). The central midfielder's role 'n' duty varies the most depending on personnel and opposition - can be anything from BWM(s), DLP (s), AP (s) to AP (a).

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Due to inheriting a squad with no wingers, I'm currently using a 4-1-3-2. Generally control and possession-centric, but throw in a few change ups here and there. Won me the Skrill Premier, 1/4s FA Trophy, 5th Round FA Cup, and currently unbeaten after 15 in L2.

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I've started experimenting with a 4-1-3-2 in my 2nd Season in the MLS with Toronto and am struggling with it so far.

I think a large reason for this is the style i'm trying to play, with heavy pressing and quick direct transition play, It's something i was concerned about when deciding to make the switch to the formation in pre-season, and my fears seem to have come true so far. It's very hard to play a pressing game when your midfielders have a lot of distance to cover to close down a winger or fullback. And after winning the ball back due to lack of width there's not much space at all against defensive teams to move the ball forward quickly.

It's forcing me to reconsider my approach with it for this season and perhaps play a more possession based game as it seems far more suited to that, and my midfielders are technically very sound for the level.

As Flere says, it seems to struggle with the offence side of things when opponents sit deep which is something i am experiencing a lot at the moment. I found it very difficult to break down a 4-4-2 with 2 DM's with it recently which required a lot of tweeking and on the fly experimenting.

I think key to this as well is having some pretty capable wingbacks/fullbacks to provide the width. While mine provide the width in terms of movement, their attacking play can leave a lot to be desired. I've ended up retraining a left midfielder to better suit this.

I don't suppose anyone has had any form of success with this using a none possession based system?

I'm persevering with it for now, but have had a poor start to the season so may have to consider changing things up soon, though i am reluctant to do so.

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Yeah mine too (lol) Its nice to hear that others have found similar things.

Same here as well (assman telling me I'm getting overrun in midfield).

I have found the defense suffers if the FB/WBs are too attacking?

In my experience there's two things here.

1. If you don't properly think about how the rest of your defense are going to cover for your FBs/WBs in this system then yes, your defense will hurt. But I still think you can get away with one on attack and one on support, as long as your DM is halfway decent to good - he can come out to one of the wings a bit to help slow someone down until the FB/WB can recover. But yes, in this system one should always be looking for good FBs/WBs, especially ones who can recover to their defensive position quickly (acceleration, pace, stamina, etc...).

2. More of my defensive problems have happened with less than solid central defenders, to be honest. Again, in my experience I'll end up facing a lot of crosses into the box due to the (relative) lack of defense on the wings. I always try to make sure my central defenders are above 6 feet and I'll prioritize heading & jumping over marking & tackling.

Ive found that the inter passing using 2 DLFs breaks down most defenses. Has anyone tried playing one of the attackers in the AM roles - like maybe a shadow striker??

Yeah, I should note that I've rarely played this at a higher level, mostly because I rarely play at a higher league level. So, like anything, I'm sure it could be made to work. I'll bet a F9 + SS combo would also work well. One thing to remember, though, is that there will tend to be more free space higher up the pitch in the wide areas, so making sure you pick striker roles that'll move around a bit is a good thing. It's one of the reasons I like the AF as one of the two, as he'll actually roam out wide a bit and put in crosses when necessary. The DLF will also roam a bit and look for space, which is good.

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Techstep - I've found that when I want to press, it helps to also push up to constrict the space the opposition has at the same time. When I want to counter it's actually better, with this system to drop deeper and not press, as that'll expand the space my guys can run into. It's counter-intuitive to some.

Getting your middle three central midfielders (and actually the CML and CMR) to press on the wings can cause problems, as you've run into, in that it can tire them out. I've found, in general, that mine press just enough to slow people down, but you do need to learn to live with the fact that the opposition is going to cross into your box (see my previous posts).

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with this system drop deeper and not press
Getting your middle three central midfielders (and actually the CML and CMR) to press on the wings can cause problems

I would agree with not "hassling the opposition" as the formation just crumbles. Whats interesting though is i ask my CMs to "close down more", i never thought about the shape being lost... I was thinking that if say the CMR pressed over to the right - the other two would move right to cover the middle, so you would always have two in the middle?

Interesting result for my Barnley team - just beat Everton and Westham (away) in the League cup - have made the semis!

With so many teams using 4231 formations, i was thinking that 3 CMs and a DM would compete well - hence "close down more".

WWFan - Would love to hear your thoughts on how to best make use of this formation - always find your advise very helpful.

Tried an interesting "challenge" last night with Fulham - avoid relegation. In 3 games using my Def tactic, watched my support CM dropping behind my CBs? and my Support DLF dropping behind my DM?? thus my support CM and DLF never got far enough forward to help attack? (they appeared to be Man Marking?)

Its the second time ive tried this "challange" with Fulham, last time i found the same things - players not doing what they should. Last time my Anchor man (Parker) was forever up near halfway next to the strikers - does low morale make players stupid? (lol)

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I would agree with not "hassling the opposition" as the formation just crumbles. Whats interesting though is i ask my CMs to "close down more", i never thought about the shape being lost... I was thinking that if say the CMR pressed over to the right - the other two would move right to cover the middle, so you would always have two in the middle?

The line, for me, is that while I want my central midfielders (specifically those on the left and right) to provide some pressure on a wing man with the ball (assuming the WB isn't there, for some reason), I don't want them overcommitting.

What you're trying to avoid is having your FB/WB try to cover two guys who might be on the wing (like a winger & a FB, or a winger and a CM who's slid over). They'll just end up playing keep away from the FB/WB until he gets tired, and then exploit that.

The solution is to have one of the CMs come over to help the FB/WB break this up. The other two central midfielders will slide over to occupy the middle of the park. This is OK, but do bear in mind that it leaves you open to a cross-field pass, but, again, that's just one of the weaknesses of the formation you have to accept in order to gain its strengths (and the other FB/WB, and maybe the DM can sometimes help cut out that crossfield pass).

What you don't want to have happen, however, when your CM comes over, is for him to be too aggressive and end up getting beaten by the winger (or whomever). Now that player is goal-side of your CM and other players (worst case: your DM) will step up to compensate.

Finding the right instructions, team & individual, to accomplish this, can be a bit of trial-and-error, because it's also based on players' own tendencies, but my general comments above generally work.

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Having one of the CM's come over seems to be my biggest issue. Constantly my FB or Wing back are finding themselves in 2 v 1 situations against the oppositions fullback and winger while the midfield sit and watch.

Short of telling the midfielders to man mark specific widemen or fullbacks i'm not sure how to get them to come over. Team is already on high closing down.

I'm not sure if there's a correct way to do this or if the ME doesn't compensate for only having a lone wide defending player properly. It's not that the midfield are getting caught out, they're just not coming over at all half the time, when they're already behind the ball in the middle of the park and simply have to run over.

Perhaps their work rate isn't good enough, but at 15 i'd of thought they'd at least consider coming over!

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I've started playing around with the 4-1-3-2 using attacking wingbacks and a half back, seems to be doing ok thus far, but the sample size is only about 5 games.

The midfield I"m using an AP(A)/BBM/DLP(S) setup, which lets the AP go with a bit more freedom, whilst the DLP sits deeper and the BBM does everything in between.

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Im trying to transfer over the 4132 im using in FM12 (which is fantastic!), im thinking of trying a attacking mentality (higher D-Line & closing down). and then dumbing down the weaknesses with team instructions?

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I tried a similar thing DaBossa, attacking with high closing down. I tried to transfer my team settings over from my 4-3-3 originally but i think the formation frankly is not ideal for an attacking quick tempo tactic. That's not to say it can't be done, anything is possible, but i've had painstaking difficulty trying to get that sort of tactic to work and have now resorted to a possession based tactic to see me through the season.

I don't believe they'd be an issue with playing a high D-Line with high closing down, though i'd be worried about how your team close down opposition fullbacks, as stated earlier, a lot of the time my midfielders did not want to seem to come across to help my fullback out so it ended up with my Fullback moving from marking their winger to pressing their fullback and they'd just play a ball down the line and be in behind my defense.

I'm curious if anyone "Plays Wider"? I've mixed feelings about using it and obviously it depends on the opposition, usually i use it as an offensive tool to try and open up stubborn defences, but with this formation i've been using it to get my midfielders closer to their wide men to allow easier closing down.

I'll make a new post soon with my new tactic which seems to be working very effective suddenly, albeit i was forced to change my whole style of play to allow this.

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My first try at transferring over my FM12 tactics has gone quite well...

I haven't seen the wings and crossing problem, in my games the center midfield seems to move as a group left and right around the center circle. Using standard and push up, my Anchor sits just outside the penalty circle and stays central (as he should), and the CWM move wider and deeper covering the Fbs. They create these nice little reverse triangles with the Anchor as the defensive point.

Current team settings and the (FM12 slider) that im trying to replicate:

Standard, Balanced - Retain, Shorter passing (6-8), Play out of D, Narrower (Width 7), higher D-Line (14), Slower (tempo 7), More Disciplined (creative freedom 2-7).

Balanced - Maybe i need to change to Riged to replecate mentality K/CB (9), FBs/DM/CMS/DLFS (11), CMW/DLFA (14) http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/374515-Philosophy-a-debate.

Players: (closing down 17) for my CMs and front men - close down more, harder tackling. Use a attack mentality?

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Due to inheriting a squad with no wingers, I'm currently using a 4-1-3-2. Generally control and possession-centric, but throw in a few change ups here and there. Won me the Skrill Premier, 1/4s FA Trophy, 5th Round FA Cup, and currently unbeaten after 15 in L2.

where are your 3 lined up at?

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I'm curious if anyone "Plays Wider"? I've mixed feelings about using it and obviously it depends on the opposition, usually i use it as an offensive tool to try and open up stubborn defences, but with this formation i've been using it to get my midfielders closer to their wide men to allow easier closing down.

With my short-passing possession-based tactic, if I don't go narrow my assman nags that the boys keep missing easy passes. Narrow's sweet 'cos with 'exploit the flanks' my wingbacks and wingers see plenty of the ball and get behind defences. Plus I'm light-weight and always 'overrun' (a/c to said assman) in the middle anyway.

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What are the advantages of this formation? Is it better for Attacking or Defensive strategy? Also what suits Philosophy it?

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What are the advantages of this formation? Is it better for Attacking or Defensive strategy? Also what suits Philosophy it?

For me, it is versatile as should allow you to dominate central midfield, which is key.

It "feels" like a fairly neutral set up in terms of Mentality, but I'd tend to consider it as a counter attacking set up, as the DM means you can afford to send the full backs forward and get a couple of runners from the MC line to supplement the attack.

As far as Fluidity goes, I stick religiously to wwfan's suggested application of Fluidity from the Twelve Step Guide, so it is (for me) entirely down to what Roles you use.

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What are the advantages of this formation? Is it better for Attacking or Defensive strategy? Also what suits Philosophy it?

Good questions... I agree with RTHerringbone - its a very versatile formation. as such i use Standard/Balanced. you can then switch mentality's as the games develops, same for instructions. I would add that i have tried using a attacking mentality to get a higher D-Line and pressing, which did sort of work, but i found that the attacking CMs advanced to far forward and too quickly so we kept losing the ball in midfield, to counter this a played with a all support midfield, which worked better but...

Im not playing FM14 at the moment as i just cant find any love for the current match engine (players dribbling backwards or standing still with the ball etc...) it just looks terrible to me, and playing is a chore not fun - ill wait for the next patch and hope.

Ive gone back to my FM12 save and am having the most fun using the 4132, some of the open play goals are just wonderful to watch. results after 25 games, won 22 drawn 1 lost 2 (both 1-0) 88 goals for, 16 against. the attacking DLF is almost averaging 2 goals every match. the passing and movement is just fantastic.

Joy just seen a patch has come out yay...

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Trying to get this to work with Crystal Palace; am I right in saying that this isn't the best tactic to use? Leave to exposed on the wings for a weak side?

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Trying to get this to work with Crystal Palace; am I right in saying that this isn't the best tactic to use? Leave to exposed on the wings for a weak side?

You're either light on the wings or light in central midfield depending on how you set up the '3'. I use wingers and play narrow. The alternative - foregoing wingers and playing wide is asking for trouble for a weak side!

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I am finding that my wings are the main goal threats for the oppostion. I have looked at the analysis over the last 50 games and the vast majority of assists come from the wings. Strangely though the assist are passes, not crosses. Anyone else had this issue?

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Do you give OI to push onto weaker foot? If their crossong is no better than their passing, and your DCs are good in the air, force them to cross.

Otherwise, consider tight-marking and even hard tackling the wingers - they're often the least brave and strong of the opposition.

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Very interesting thread. I am also using this formation in my current save and it is working very well indeed.

I find that the key to this formation is definitely the use of a Half Back in front of the defense. With very attacking wing backs the half back tends to spend a lot of time dropping in to make a very capable back three on their own.

I am using hassle opponents, but as mentioned by others I do struggle from midfield fatigue, perhaps I will dropping this and just getting the team to press higher - my thinking being that with essentially a midfield 5 (3+2 wing backs) if I squeeze the space then it should effectively hassle most teams anyway.

As Wakey mentioned, my most common goal to concede is from passes (not crosses) from the wide positions, perhaps these being passes just again highlights how susceptible this tactic is out wide. Them having time and space to pick a pass as opposed to whipping balls into dangerous areas?

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Look at the real-life match stats and you'll see the percentage of crosses that lead to goals - even from the best crossers in the world - is very low. Providing your DCs have reasonable positioning and jumping attributes, you shouldn't be too scared to let wingers cross. Coming inside and passing is more dangerous. Keep the wingers pinned to the byline and force them to cross.

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Thanks everone, enjoying reading about ideas etc...

Im back playing FM14 after patch... trying ideas.

How do i make my CMS make more thru balls - be more direct?

Its strange to me that i dont see the wings being overloaded, im trying telling my FBs to press less and see very few wingers run pass them? in fact the most chances come from throw-ins and FKs, its almost the only way i concede.

Im about to try a quick result season in Classic using 1860 Munchen in the German div2.

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dabossa, i have a question: your tactic work well also with counterattack strategy setup from beginning?

hay mate sorry its taken so long to reply... (Now playing as Fulham EPL 5th after 26 games - patch 14.3)

Ive tried using counter attack against strong teams with mixed results, but im not sold on the idea. Im playing Classic mode so the info i get from matches is less than perfect, so i wont even try to offer advise about settings for counter attacking.

What i did try against Man City was playing narrower with FBs Def, and the DM as support (which is one thing im trying). also took off play slower (another thing im trying). Biggest difference i saw was FBs not making crosses. lost 2-1 to a long throw goal in the 92min (BS!). Gave up twos goals in the last 5 min. (think my Match plan let me down there), but out played them 16/6on/4ccc shots to 4/2/0, possession was 45-55 to them.

I have been reading about set pieces on this forum... counter attacking from corners is something ive become quite good at (evil lol).

Copy the AI corner defense set up of having 3-4 players in a line on the 6 yard box, your AM on the edge of the box, and keep both front men forward. the rest im still experimenting with - but the CBs should man mark.

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