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"The false tactic" (4231/433 asymmetric) -A discussion-

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The idea behind "the false tactic" started with a CM01/02 save where I was trying to fit Beckham into my first 11... The solution was to drop one of my strikers down to MR, and what I ended up with was a "false 7" (in lack of better terms...) A MR with an arrow to MCR. The arrow towards MCR was to make space for Cafu... You wouldn't want to reduce the possibility of him getting forward..?

So, my tactic in FM (will post screenshots later today):

AE2F4EE1FDBED9DE8C23835D21B507BE101305C2

Philosophy: Balanced

I chose balanced because it sets the mentality of my DR higher than the MR (same with my f9,SS and IF)

Mentality: Control, standard or counter?

Won the BPL 1st season with Liverpool playing only on control, but feel it should work better with a lower mentality...

GK: Kee, distribute to defenders.

DR: WBa, stay wider (considering adding get further forward)

DC: Both DCd

DL: WBa, dribble less

DM: HBd

Not sure whether this is the best role for this player, but other DM-roles have pushed him too close to (and even on top of) my DPM... This may be down to philosophy...

MR: WMs, sit narrower, cross from deep, cut inside with ball

This is my "false 7" I would like this player to be even narrower when attacking, and maybe a little deeper, but haven't found a good compromise between attacking threat and defensive cover...

MCL: DPMs, I've had some success with this role, and I need a player coming deep enough to link up with my defense...

AMCR: SS/APa

My second "false" player. The "false 10". I find that playing him as an APa with a f9 or Tq he acts more like a 2nd striker than an AM

AML: IFa

This is the player I really struggle sorting out... I don't think the problem lies with his role, but rather the players around him... I want more passes between opposition Fullback and DC for him to run onto. I know he's on support in the screenshot, but that is just an experiment

ST: f9/Tq, have tried both with a fair amount of success

Third "false" role (fourth if you define the IF as a "false 11" :p )

Has anyone else played a similar set up?

How can I improve my tactic?

Are there any obvious flaws to my setup?

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Control inherently adds width. Take a real life example (Barcelona); the pitch in their stadium is huge and they exploit that width to full effect which ties in as they control their games. Although this may be what you want it could compromise your desire for the MR to stay narrow. I'd use standard as your mentality and change if you feel you need to. Your formation is working from clever movement from your physical positioning (I really like the shape actually) which you have decided upon - I personally would let the player's roles and personalities (very good thread at the moment by Redmark covering this) define them more around your initial shape and wouldn't ask them to deviate from what their physical positioning and roles will ask. With that in mind and with some very specialist roles, I would have thought rigid would suit.

(Not that you really need suggestions if you've won the league but...) Try this and let me know how it goes, I don't know how your players will suit this but give it a go if possible:

1. Change your roles on the full backs. DL = WB(a) and DR = WB(a) and push them as forward as possible (a support duty is very effective at creating width too - just not as direct as attack. Perhaps a support duty on both with PI of get further forward is a safer compromise?). I think this will keep defences honest against you and allow for that pass you want in the channel. A full back adding width will stretch the defence and make that channel as big as possible.

2. MCL keep on DLP(s) - try and restrict his movement so your HB, CBs (who will be wider - covering the WBs) and your DLP form a triangle/shallow diamond when defending).

3. Try placing your MR on a defensive winger duty and a PI (if possible) to sit narrow. This on your standard mentality will give extra protection from the counter and offer a 'start again' option alongside your MCL - moreover will give further room for your full backs to push on and on.

4. Don't use 'Hassle Opponents' as a TI. Hopefully these changes will solidify your defence and this will only drag players out of position.

Let me know how it goes. If you have the time perhaps pay attention to, specifically, the shape your team adopts when defending and attacking. I think this could be food for thought!

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I played a similar setup only difference the IF on the left was a winger in the ML position. my roles were different but the duties were the same as in your setup.

I also played Balanced/standard, TI: play out defence. In game i was adjusting pressing and d-line according to the match developments and i sometimes changed the mentality in game, ranging from attacking to counter for brief periods of time.

Now the most interesting was the position of WMR(s)

in order to get him more inside i had my MC player on the center left (like you) this made it possible for the Wide midfielder to get narrower which i already instructed to get narrower and to cut inside with the ball. What i never had the chance to test was a left footed player there, i think that a left footed guy in there would be even more perfect for the role of "false 7"

The WMR(s) played long thru balls, crossed (but not that much), held the ball and played it wide for the DR and got late in the box. He was basically acting as an AP(s). In some games I added some defensive instructions too, like "mark tighter" , "tackle harder" as the guy i played there was a fancy DLP (good defense + creativity + technique and decent pace) - with the "mark tighter" and "tackle harder" I added some dimensions that a DW has, but did not restricted the creative freedom that a WM(s) has

I enjoyed the tactic and the football produced. The constant struggle for me was to get enough players in the box when attacks developed on the left side. Because when the left winger had the ball all i had in the box was effectively the ST and the AMC with the WMR arriving late and the DR pushing forward but wide

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Ronny makes a good point about the wide midfielder. Defensive PIs would give a similar result to a defensive winger, as Ronny says, without restricting freedom. It is all about how you want them to play. I'd be concerned, with the changes I suggested in mind, of not having the wide midfielder tucking in to primarily defend. If you truly want a false tactic throughout the team then full backs with the attacking direction of very attack minded wing backs/wide midfielders would fit that remit (as would a defensive wide player). They would still have the chance to be that deep lying playmaker but they would allow better attacking players the freedom to do so.

The getting enough players in the box, again with the changes I suggested, wouldn't necessarily be an issue I don't think. The width that both the WB(a) would provide is more than enough to open space up in the middle. As long as transitions from one wing to the other are quick and cause panic in the opposition defence it doesn't matter how outnumbered you are as space will always open up.

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Control inherently adds width. Take a real life example (Barcelona); the pitch in their stadium is huge and they exploit that width to full effect which ties in as they control their games. Although this may be what you want it could compromise your desire for the MR to stay narrow. I'd use standard as your mentality and change if you feel you need to. Your formation is working from clever movement from your physical positioning (I really like the shape actually) which you have decided upon - I personally would let the player's roles and personalities (very good thread at the moment by Redmark covering this) define them more around your initial shape and wouldn't ask them to deviate from what their physical positioning and roles will ask. With that in mind and with some very specialist roles, I would have thought rigid would suit.

(Not that you really need suggestions if you've won the league but...) Try this and let me know how it goes, I don't know how your players will suit this but give it a go if possible:

1. Change your roles on the full backs. DL = WB(a) and DR = WB(a) and push them as forward as possible (a support duty is very effective at creating width too - just not as direct as attack. Perhaps a support duty on both with PI of get further forward is a safer compromise?). I think this will keep defences honest against you and allow for that pass you want in the channel. A full back adding width will stretch the defence and make that channel as big as possible.

2. MCL keep on DLP(s) - try and restrict his movement so your HB, CBs (who will be wider - covering the WBs) and your DLP form a triangle/shallow diamond when defending).

3. Try placing your MR on a defensive winger duty and a PI (if possible) to sit narrow. This on your standard mentality will give extra protection from the counter and offer a 'start again' option alongside your MCL - moreover will give further room for your full backs to push on and on.

4. Don't use 'Hassle Opponents' as a TI. Hopefully these changes will solidify your defence and this will only drag players out of position.

Let me know how it goes. If you have the time perhaps pay attention to, specifically, the shape your team adopts when defending and attacking. I think this could be food for thought!

This was the kind of response I was hoping for :) Suggestions WITH the reasoning behind it!

I do need suggestions, I might have won the league, but still had matches where we just didn't turn up...

So for your suggestions:

1. Will try both on attack and both on support with get further forward PI.

2. When you say restrict movement; do you mean PI-hold position? I'm actually not sure what this instruction does, so I haven't used it at all... In addition I fear that he will be to far away from the front 3??? Also I don't really understand what you mean by shallow diamond... When defending, the HB steps up to the DM position and DCs fall back in..?

3. Tried DW for my MR a few games, but then struggled to get a performance out of him... might be down to the player though (or something else...?)

4. Will try this as well, but have previously struggled with winning the ball back...

Mentality: I'm going to try with standard and take it from there

Philosophy: I initially intended to go for rigid because of the way I wanted my players to behave, but decided against it because I wanted that "natural" overlap on the right side. Changing DR/DR to WB(a) and using look for overlap TI, might allow me to switch to rigid, and still play the way I intend to..?

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This was the kind of response I was hoping for :) Suggestions WITH the reasoning behind it!

I do need suggestions, I might have won the league, but still had matches where we just didn't turn up...

So for your suggestions:

1. Will try both on attack and both on support with get further forward PI.

2. When you say restrict movement; do you mean PI-hold position? I'm actually not sure what this instruction does, so I haven't used it at all... In addition I fear that he will be to far away from the front 3??? Also I don't really understand what you mean by shallow diamond... When defending, the HB steps up to the DM position and DCs fall back in..?

3. Tried DW for my MR a few games, but then struggled to get a performance out of him... might be down to the player though (or something else...?)

4. Will try this as well, but have previously struggled with winning the ball back...

Mentality: I'm going to try with standard and take it from there

Philosophy: I initially intended to go for rigid because of the way I wanted my players to behave, but decided against it because I wanted that "natural" overlap on the right side. Changing DR/DR to WB(a) and using look for overlap TI, might allow me to switch to rigid, and still play the way I intend to..?

Sorry if I wasn't clear in some areas. I think my trail of thought goes off on one and I can lose clarity sometimes :D

I will answer your queries number by number.

1. If your players are even the slightest bit attack minded they won't need the get further forward PI - especially true if they have the attack duty. Definitely experiment!

2. Looking back I definitely wasn't clear in this area. By 'shallow diamond' (whatever that is!) I meant (all of this when you're attacking): Your half back DM being slightly deeper and in the middle of your two CBs. Your two CBs pushing slightly wider (as that is what the HB does to CBs) and your DLP completing the 'shallow diamond' by being the top point, in the middle. The shallow adjective comes from the bottom point of the diamond (your half back DM) being slightly flatter. The shape I mean is the Assassin's Creed logo ( a quick google image search will find what I mean :D). The reason I suggest this is that it is a very important shape when defending, especially if a lot of players are committed forward. Maintaining this shape will always help push attacks wide, away from the most dangerous area of the pitch (directly in front of goal). In terms of support for the front three, your central players will drift on the peripherals of your attack providing a fall back option (hopefully). Your full backs will be the main support though and will stretch the defence with their WB roles. Think of your full backs and central players 'surrounding' the opposition box. Two wide players on the flanks, nearish to the touch line and two central players holding position outside between the edge of the opposition's box and the half way line.

3. By 'struggled to get a performance out of him' what do you mean? Watch a period of the game in full and look at his positioning - you might find he helps stop opposition attacks and supports your central midfielder. You may decide this is worth more to you than his creative role, or not. I often find myself preferring defensive players who have lower average ratings because they simply hold position and do a less glamorous job. The suggestion of using a defensive winger was based on adding defensive stability to your side working off the logic that even if your attack doesn't show up, at least you won't concede. If you're more comfortable with using a wide midfielder and tailoring his PIs to suit your style of play then definitely do that and ignore me. I need to experiment more with a defensive winger anyway.

4. Hassle opponents is a funny one. It is good in some situations however I feel fairly indifferent toward it as I, personally, find that it can drag players out of position fruitlessly. My set up at the moment puts players in the best possible place to stifle the opposition whilst maintaining a threat in attack - I don't want to over ride that. I did use hassle opponents but found I was more solid at the back without it (just gone 10 games without conceding). Of course this is on my save and personally speaking - if it works and you're comfortable with it then do it!

I hope this is clearer; keep at me if not! I want to try your formation on my save tonight so will post results and experiment myself.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear in some areas. I think my trail of thought goes off on one and I can lose clarity sometimes :D

I will answer your queries number by number.

1. If your players are even the slightest bit attack minded they won't need the get further forward PI - especially true if they have the attack duty. Definitely experiment!

I'm trying get further forward only on WB(s) (might try it on WBR(a))

2. Looking back I definitely wasn't clear in this area. By 'shallow diamond' (whatever that is!) I meant (all of this when you're attacking): Your half back DM being slightly deeper and in the middle of your two CBs. Your two CBs pushing slightly wider (as that is what the HB does to CBs) and your DLP completing the 'shallow diamond' by being the top point, in the middle. The shallow adjective comes from the bottom point of the diamond (your half back DM) being slightly flatter. The shape I mean is the Assassin's Creed logo ( a quick google image search will find what I mean :D). The reason I suggest this is that it is a very important shape when defending, especially if a lot of players are committed forward. Maintaining this shape will always help push attacks wide, away from the most dangerous area of the pitch (directly in front of goal). In terms of support for the front three, your central players will drift on the peripherals of your attack providing a fall back option (hopefully). Your full backs will be the main support though and will stretch the defence with their WB roles. Think of your full backs and central players 'surrounding' the opposition box. Two wide players on the flanks, nearish to the touch line and two central players holding position outside between the edge of the opposition's box and the half way line.

Sorry, got confused when you wrote "shallow diamond when defending". I understand what you're saying, but don't know how to restrict his movement... only way I can think of is to give him a defensive duty..?

3. By 'struggled to get a performance out of him' what do you mean? Watch a period of the game in full and look at his positioning - you might find he helps stop opposition attacks and supports your central midfielder. You may decide this is worth more to you than his creative role, or not. I often find myself preferring defensive players who have lower average ratings because they simply hold position and do a less glamorous job. The suggestion of using a defensive winger was based on adding defensive stability to your side working off the logic that even if your attack doesn't show up, at least you won't concede. If you're more comfortable with using a wide midfielder and tailoring his PIs to suit your style of play then definitely do that and ignore me. I need to experiment more with a defensive winger anyway.

Sorry, that was poorly phrased. He didn't play the way I wanted him to. Too mutch dribbling, ran too wide, but I might have been too quick changing the role.. I want him to be a playmakerish wide midfielder... Somethin like an AP, but in a little bit deeper role

4. Hassle opponents is a funny one. It is good in some situations however I feel fairly indifferent toward it as I, personally, find that it can drag players out of position fruitlessly. My set up at the moment puts players in the best possible place to stifle the opposition whilst maintaining a threat in attack - I don't want to over ride that. I did use hassle opponents but found I was more solid at the back without it (just gone 10 games without conceding). Of course this is on my save and personally speaking - if it works and you're comfortable with it then do it!

I hope this is clearer; keep at me if not! I want to try your formation on my save tonight so will post results and experiment myself.

I've tried making numerous tactics without using hassle, but just can't get them working defensivly and at the same time being able to get the attacking fluid... In addition I struggle with consistency when not using hassle. Not sure why, maybe it just suits my way of playing FM?!?

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Keep him on the role you prefer - try him on the defensive duty. Keep hassle on if you feel you need to.

Tell me exactly what you want to improve in your team?

I am going to experiment now.

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It's not that I necessarily want to improve anything, but rather "pick some brains" to help me see if there is some kind of flaw to my logic. I think it always helps to have a second, third and fourth opinion on tactics. It often helps bouncing ideas of others, to see things from a different perspective.

If I was to name one thing I really would like to improve, it has to be the number of goals from my inside forward...

I'm going to try my IF on support to see if that changes anything...

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I am playing Internacional at the moment and using this formation.

Take the following example:

movement.gif

Ibson is my defensive winger (PIs: Sit narrower, hold position and more direct passing). Red 28 is being drawn inside due to Ibson's positioning which opens up space on the right for Mayke (WB(s) - you're right: WB(a) is not good) and his direct passing PI use useful in this instance as he attempts to play the ball to Emerson (between Red 18 and 5 - as you want). He doesn't make the pass but the width Emerson is enjoying is potentially dangerous later in the match. The two CFs in this image are keeping the opposition CBs narrow.

Fernando, my DM, has been changed to Anchor Man. As a HB he was drifting too far wide.

More to follow.

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I am playing Internacional at the moment and using this formation.

Ibson is my defensive winger (PIs: Sit narrower, hold position and more direct passing). Red 28 is being drawn inside due to Ibson's positioning which opens up space on the right for Mayke (WB(s) - you're right: WB(a) is not good) and his direct passing PI use useful in this instance as he attempts to play the ball to Emerson (between Red 18 and 5 - as you want). He doesn't make the pass but the width Emerson is enjoying is potentially dangerous later in the match. The two CFs in this image are keeping the opposition CBs narrow.

Fernando, my DM, has been changed to Anchor Man. As a HB he was drifting too far wide.

More to follow.

Not quite sure what I'm right about...? I have my WBR on attack...

I'll try finding a couple of screenshots to illustrate my problems

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I'm trying get further forward only on WB(s) (might try it on WBR(a))

I assumed that this was still the case ie you are trying it on WB(s).

The game was edging toward a draw and Internacional dominated in the later stages by playing intricate football through the middle which left players in the formation you're trying isolated. I switched to my tactics to try and win the game (we did, 2-0) only because winning the game would mean I won the First Divison. Now I have that safety net I will experiment with this formation.

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74E1B9965CEC527BC7B8998741C0D186541B91F4

This might be a poor example, because it ended in a goal from my #8 after a perfect chipped through ball from Pedro Obiang :p

What I would like, in a similar situation (Pedro Obiang might need more space), is for him to try a pass between Celtics #20 and #6 to my #27...

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I assumed that this was still the case ie you are trying it on WB(s).

The game was edging toward a draw and Internacional dominated in the later stages by playing intricate football through the middle which left players in the formation you're trying isolated. I switched to my tactics to try and win the game (we did, 2-0) only because winning the game would mean I won the First Divison. Now I have that safety net I will experiment with this formation.

Ah, I see the confusion now :p I'm currently trying both WB on attack, will try both on WB(s) with get further forward later.

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I've tried making numerous tactics without using hassle, but just can't get them working defensivly and at the same time being able to get the attacking fluid... In addition I struggle with consistency when not using hassle. Not sure why, maybe it just suits my way of playing FM?!?

IMO a high line and/or hassle are a must when using this formation (which happens to be my favorite).

The beauty of the formation is that it puts offensive players in dangerous positions and creates great angles for attacking movement. The downside is that it's not a very good defensive shape, so there's not much point to sitting deep and holding that shape. Closing down is the best way to make this formation function defensively without losing its attacking edge.

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IMO a high line and/or hassle are a must when using this formation (which happens to be my favorite).

The beauty of the formation is that it puts offensive players in dangerous positions and creates great angles for attacking movement. The downside is that it's not a very good defensive shape, so there's not much point to sitting deep and holding that shape. Closing down is the best way to make this formation function defensively without losing its attacking edge.

This I am coming to realise. I have experimented with the formation slightly (and will continue to do so) and realised that the defence is compromised to achieve good attacking movement and positioning.

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